Nolungile’s Story

Slow –Build Start Up With SEF

Mrs Elisabeth Nolungile Ntakana from Tembeni village in the Eastern Cape region belongs to Siyaphambili (‘Forward we go’ in English) group which falls under Tembeni centre in Tsolo branch. Mrs Ntakana has been with SEF since 2009 and she is currently on loan cycle 20 with an amount of R25 000 over a 6 months loan term, which will be disbursed this May 2019.

Mrs Ntakana stays with her retired husband and 4 of her grand-children (see photo). She provides for their needs including food and school uniforms. When she joined SEF in 2009, she was so excited to have got what she wanted all along and she managed to recruit more women to join the programme. Unfortunately, in 2013 the performance of the centre was bad and it happened that they lost 7 out of 10 groups that were recruited. The remaining 3 groups did not perform well and the Development Facilitator (DF) who was working with them decided to close the centre.

She mention: “I was so heart broken and found myself helpless to realise that I have lost my second husband (SEF) who was giving care to my family. Nevertheless, God helped us to reform the centre later the same year (2013) and now we are having 11 groups and their performance is very good,” she added: “I started very well in 2013 with my group, saving more than a R1000 as an individual. Now I qualified for R22000 and after requesting an increase SEF granted me R25000, which is still fine I guess”.

Mrs Ntakana is now feeling rich, because she managed to buy more sheeps, goats and a cow. She wants to breed them to have more livestock like other community members.

Ever since she joined SEF, life was getting better than before. That is why she was heartbroken when SEF closed their centre. She managed to renovate her old house and put a gate on the yard and burglar proofs in her house. “My house is full of old furniture which I want to remove and replace with new ones” she explained. Her plan is also to buy pigs, breed them and sell them to the communities nearby. She also sells Xhosa chicken (Mleqwa in Xhosa).

Mrs Ntakana still has more to achieve with SEF. She also wants to save not less than R400 per fortnight with SEF. Later, she will take her money out of the savings book and invest it in a bank, so that it will accumulate more interest. She also intends to encourage other group members to save more and invest it for the future.

She thanks her former DF, Miss Nomjobi Tyandela (currently a Branch Manager) and Mr Sphelo Stemela (current DF) for encouraging them to stay with SEF even when there are difficulties. That is what helped them to be strong in solving the centre problems. This also helped the centre to be united and remain stronger. “I am not intending to leave SEF at any stage; the grave will decide my destiny with SEF,” she concluded.

Like Johana, many of our clients are skilled entrepreneurs just lacking the capital to get started. A little credit goes a long way towards helping these women reach their full potential.

Are you as passionate as we are about micro-enterprise development? We're always looking to grow our team.