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Learner success story – Thulani Nkabinde

This was a bittersweet one for us...While we are so incredibly proud of Thulani Nkabinde for realising his dream of obtaining permanent employment, we were also sad to lose a valuable member of the Progression team. Thulani was hosted as a learner at Progression’s offices over the last few years, gradually developing his skills and confidence until he recently applied for and secured a full-time position at Multotec.

Thulani’s journey has been one of overcoming misfortune and beating the odds. He grew up in Mtubatuba, a small rural town in KwaZulu-Natal, where his family faced financial difficulties and struggled to survive. After completing his Matric, he went to Durban in the hopes of finding work. Following a number of short-term jobs, he was taken on as a machine operator at a steel company in 2004. Things were looking positive, life seemed to be going well and his future looked bright.

Learner success story – Thulani Nkabinde

But everything changed in January 2006 when Thulani suffered severe injuries due to a gunshot wound that resulted in the partial amputation of his left leg, leaving him devastated and shattering his life. Recalling that difficult period, Thulani says, “I was depressed and it took me years to recover. I just lost myself, I cried every night and questioned God, ‘Why me’. It wasn’t easy.“

But in the face of the immense challenges, Thulani’s family and friends stood by him and after many years of hardship, in 2017 he finally reached a turning point and made the decision to stop allowing his circumstances to define him and to start rebuilding his life again. “Each sleepless night and each painful procedure represented a struggle. But after each battle, I found myself stronger. I resisted, I persevered, I overcame,” he explains.

Thulani decided to leave KZN and come to Johannesburg in search of better opportunities. In 2018, he was selected for his first learnership through Progression and over the next few years he successfully completed five learnerships, mostly in the IT field. His first opportunity at Multotec saw him doing an End User Computing NQF3 learnership while working as a dispatch clerk and performing various administrative tasks. He subsequently went on to complete three more higher level IT learnerships, all while being hosted in Progression’s IT department.

During his time at Progression, Thulani gained valuable hands-on experience, allowing him to expand his knowledge and hone his skills. Tarryn Mason, MD at Progression confirms, “Thulani was always a quiet, humble learner but as his competence grew, so did his confidence and he slowly began to prove his value to our business.” His excellent work ethic, coupled with his commitment to continuous growth earned him the admiration of his peers as well as management, and in December 2022 Thulani was appointed as a Team Leader in Progression’s IT department where he was responsible for overseeing and mentoring a number of other learners.

Progression and Multotec have a long history of partnering on learnerships for people with disabilities and Multotec are committed to prioritising past learners for new positions. So, when Thulani recently learned about an opportunity for a permanent position at Multotec, he didn’t hesitate to apply and his many years of diligence and perseverance finally paid off when he got the job! “I think I have shown that I am a hard worker who is reliable, trustworthy and a team player, and I am now a full time Junior Fleet Administrator at Multotec,” Thulani proudly states.

Thulani is happy to share his story, not to focus on the hardships he faced, but to serve as a reminder of the transformative power of determination and resilience. “I am now proud of my disability. It makes me who I am and it does not make me any less of a person! Your circumstances may seem overwhelming, but remember, so is your spirit,” he concludes.

We applaud Thulani’s many achievements over the years and we are honoured to have been a part of his journey of growth. And a huge thank you to Multotec for their continued support and unwavering commitment to the values of skills development and transformation.

8 May 2024 14:20