By: Sizakele Nduli
The rate of unemployment for graduates in South Africa is at 10.6%, which is a 5.1% increase over the last decade. This is a reality for Tirego Lelaka who comes from Mosesetjane village in Limpopo. Lelaka, 28, said he was compelled to come up with a solution for his unemployment problem and he resorted to a business he grew up doing with his family. “After I graduated and completed my internship at the Department of Education in 2018, I went back to varsity to do a B-Tech degree in BA where I majored in logistics and business management,” Lelaka said.
“After I was unable to get employment from then till 2023, I took a little knowledge that I had, with the help of my family of course, to start a poultry business which I’m currently working hard to turn into a business that can create employment for others (and) not just for myself and my family.” Lelaka has worked tirelessly to get his poultry enterprise off the ground. He employs three people and aims to hire four more workers by the end of the year so that more people in his community can put bread on the table.
When asked if he was still keen on looking for a job, Lelaka told Vutivi News that he was looking forward to using the knowledge that he had acquired at university to help build his business. “I have people by my side (and I have) some kind of knowledge and my education to try and prosper. So no, I am not looking for a job, but I am looking for four more employees.” While his venture into poultry was not the same as heading into uncharted waters, it still presented challenges just like any other business.
Lelaka lost 87 chickens due to a lack of biosecurity when he first started his enterprise. Other challenges included the high crime rate, disease outbreaks, a lack of reliable full-time suppliers, and having to use donkey carts to transport his broiler chickens. Despite every setback, Lelaka said he was still hopeful for the future of his business and the life he wanted to create for his child. “In life when you do something, do it with a rapid pace because time waits for no man. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. I have a child to think of if it happens that he is one of the unlucky ones. As a father, I should ensure that he is well taken care of and that I have left an example to which he will follow in order to prosper. “I lost my brother a few weeks back and he was more of a hustler and hardworking than me. Now his kids and mine are for me to take care of,” Lelaka said.