LIT 2019 graduates ready for bigger things!

Sometimes, all it takes is one opportunity to change your life. For Tebello Ramatekoa, fresh out-of- school with big-dreams to boot, the chance to study for a GIFS-powered, accredited one-year Short-Term Insurance qualification was the break she had been looking for!

In November last year – way before COVID-19 hammered the world and changed our lives, way before lockdown took away our “normal” – Tebello was among 30 young people from Gauteng selected for the Legends in Training Programme (LIT2019). The skills development initiative powered by Constantia Insurance and GIFS kicked off in November with two goals in mind: (1) To empower young people with employable skills so they can become socio-economic contributors to their communities, and (2) To inject new blood into the insurance space.

Fast-forward 12 months and, despite the trauma, chaos, devastation, and heartbreak that 2020 served up, Tebello is among the top two graduates ready for bigger things! “I am euphoric!” she says, her whole face lighting up with excitement. “It gives me so much joy that after nights of studying and hard work I can finally see results.”

The 19-year old’s story began with music. Local community radio stations, Kasie FM and Thetha FM, launched a search to find bright, young minds from the Vosloorus and Orange Farm areas, who wanted to explore a future in the exciting world of insurance. Tebello applied, and the rest, as they say, is history – or in Tebello’s case, herstory!

Snapped up by LIT2019, the Orange Farm resident rolled up her sleeves, put her head down and got to work. “I think the programme is the best thing that ever happened to Vosloorus and Orange farm youth, it has empowered young lives in so many ways and I hope it continues to give these opportunities to other people,” says the teenager, who had just finished high school.

The next year was full of challenges but Tebello never faltered. Her dedication and resilience have paid off. Today, the teenager is proudly employed in Customer Relations at Health iAccess. “(The programme) prepared me for the workplace. I’ve gained the necessary skills and workplace experience that will open up better employment and growth in the insurance world.”

LIT2019 was more than a skills development programme. The opportunity to soak up knowledge from industry experts and be guided by lecturers, fuelled her passion for learning and she is determined to continue studying part-time. “I enjoyed the interactions we used to have with our facilitator. She is the nicest person ever and she made learning very exciting, I fell in love with this insurance career because of her.”

As a result of LIT2019’s comprehensive training and development, Tebello and two fellow graduates now have permanent jobs. Gwen Papo has landed a position in Sales and New Business at Tshepo Hope Funeral Services while Thamsanqa Nzimande is employed in the same capacity at Annandale Funeral Services.

The transition from school to corporate South Africa wasn’t without its challenges but Tebello’s positivity and never-say-die attitude helped her sail through. “For someone who just came straight from high school, everything in the corporate world was a challenge. From the dress code to the language, but because I love learning I quickly adapted to the setting of it all.”

Now, armed with an accredited qualification, Tebello is working hard to give her career dreams wings and is “ready for bigger things and more achievements in the future.”

Her year’s journey with LIT2019 has changed her in other ways too. She is wiser and more confident.

“Grab every opportunity that comes your way,” she advises fellow young people. “Sometimes, things don’t go as planned, especially after finishing Grade 12, but remember, dreams delayed and not dreams denied.”

Tebello Ramatekoa. Remember her name. And look out for it in bright lights in the near future!

28 October 2020