April 13, 2024

TCB: Changing lives for the better

3 min read

Josiah Morake from Ivory Park in Midrand was a part-time gardener. He says, “I worked for different people with no stable income, which put a strain on me. The money was not enough. I had to wake up very early in a dangerous township and face the daily possibility of being robbed. I had three children and a wife whom I needed to support. I was stressed out and struggling to deal with the difficult situation I was in.”

Repair programme as a way out

When Morake was younger, he had worked for someone selling things door-to-door, so he had some selling experience. “I tried selling for myself, but I didn’t know how to manage my money and so it was not a success. When I heard about Taking Care of Business’ (TCB) Repair Programme, I knew this was my way out. In 2022, I applied and started that year.”

Never too old to learn

He continues, “At 49 years old, I was excited to start learning the skills I needed to run a successful business and fix electrical appliances. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I found it challenging being out of my comfort zone and having to learn all these new things. I never thought that one day I would be able to fix appliances. But today I can – and I have a good business.

“I’m proud to be in a programme at TCB that uses waste for good. Not everything belongs in the dump, there are so many items that can be fixed rather than being thrown away. At TCB, we de-brand and repair items and then sell them to our customers at a cheaper price. People in my community are happy because they get these products at a bargain,” he says.

Holistic learning

“Since being at TCB, my life has changed for the better because now I’m my own boss and I know how to run a business successfully with the skills that I’ve learnt. I am a responsible person and I’m able to take my business to a higher level. TCB has taught me to categorise my expenses into personal and business expenses, and I record all my expenses so I know exactly what I spend,” says Morake.

“I’ve been able to work on my personal well-being through the life skills I learnt and the mentoring I got at TCB. I’m now a better person, capable of handling a difficult situation – something I previously struggled with. What stands out for me is the part of the programme that transforms participants into better human beings. When people are empowered, they can change their circumstances from poverty to success – like I did.”

Your future can be so much more than your current circumstances

Morake sells his repaired appliances in his neighbourhood, at churches on Sundays and through social networks. “I focus on where people gather in numbers and where my items are needed. Knowing my target audience is important,” he says.

“My dream is to own more than my one business, and I also want to run a food outlet and later own a franchise. My advice to others starting out in their businesses is that they should learn to finish what they start, never quit no matter the circumstances, and be passionate about what you are doing.”

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