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Optic Fibre Lab Facilitator

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My Story

Lwazikazi Mpetsheni is a goal-oriented, resilient, introvert and extrovert depending on the environment which commands her presence. She was born in the boxing township of Mdantsane at Cecilia Makhiwane on the 06th of November 1984 to Ntombekhaya Mavis Mpetsheni uMamTolo.

Growing up in the neighbourhoods of Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, Lwazikazi quickly proved to be a cut above the rest of her agemates despite the prevailing challenges and the dominant adverse atmosphere inspired by the then-dominant apartheid regime. As a child, she budded against all odds as if inspired by some greater cause, the inspiration for greatness, by God’s power. She completed her foundation phase schooling at Mdantsane in Siyavuya Secondary Primary School and completed her high school at Commercial Park Private School in 2003 and was so excited to start her varsity. She applied for a short course at the University of Fort Hare in 2004, which then prepare for her first love of Information Technology (IT). In 2005, she got accepted at Border Technikon, now known as Walter Sisulu University of technology, but life had other plans for her. Unfortunately, when she was about to start her final year of studies, her mother, who was then paying for her tuition fees, had a major stroke, and she could not provide for her family. 

Roles changed, Lwazikazi decided to drop out of school as the financial situation at home had worse.

Her first job was at Pie City. She started in the kitchen as the cook, then, later on, she became a cashier. In a year, she was responsible for the juice department and the Manager trusted her enough to do banking as well. In 2012, she started working for Polaz Computer and Driving school as a receptionist working 08H00 to 16H30. At the same time, she was working as an aerobics instructor from 17H30 to 20H00 Monday to Friday. After a year, Polaz had to let go of her because the company was not doing well, so she worked at the gym full time as a full-time instructor and administrator.

She got a breakthrough in 2013 when she started working for Johnson Controls interior, now known as Yanfeng Automotive Interior in ELIDZ where she started working as an operator at the warehouse under the Department of Logistics. Because of her self-driven and curious personality, Lwazie started learning about all sectors that were available in the company. She got promoted and started working as a Line Side Team leader, a position that never existed in the company before then. She was the first one, along with her former colleague Mthetho Monakali since the company is operating 24 hours.

After ten years of trying to make ends meet (from Pie City to Yanfeng), she felt the need to quit her job as the Lineside Team leader in February 2017. She pursued an academic qualification at the University of Fort Hare, studying Bachelor of Science majoring in Geographical Information Systems and Geography. She felt that she could be in a better position to get a career that would provide better opportunities for her family as she is the sole breadwinner. Her income was barely enough to support her financial obligations. Going back to school after 14 years with no salary, savings, or financial aid scheme was challenging. There were times she wanted to give up, but it was not in her nature to quit. Towards the end of her first year, she got financial aid, and things were better until her last year when NSFAS implemented the N+2 rule, which stated that “if a student had more than five (5) years in higher education they would not fund him/her”. She was devastated but then again did not stop at anything to complete her studies. Currently, she is doing a BSc Hons in GIS and Computer at the University of Fort Hare.

She is now part a team of one of the most innovative and empowering business incubators/accelerators, Cortex Hub, which provides entrepreneurial support to youth owned startup companies looking to leverage technology in addressing societal challenges and exploring opportunities where Technology can improve our communities. She facilitates fibre optic training for women. Her duties include keeping up with optic fibre industry trends and developments to ensure compliance with current standards and conventions. The end goal is to produce young technicians certified and capable of planning, designing, installing, servicing and maintaining fibre optic infrastructure, working with the latest technology tools.

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