Qhubeka aims to train bicycle mechanics in the communities in which we work, which ensures the bicycles we distribute get the maintenance and service they need, keeping them in riding condition. It also helps to create new economic opportunities for the mechanics, who are trained not only in how to maintain and repair bicycles, but also in basic business skills.
We’ve decided to feature some of the mechanics we’ve met along the way every few Mondays, and to share some mechanic tips from Mzi, who manages the mechanic training programme.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Isaac Mathebula.
Isaac lives and works in Giyani, in South Africa’s Limpopo province.
“To be a Qhubeka mechanic really changed my life,” he says, explaining that it introduced him to working with schoolchildren and the local community – “especially elders who want me to fix their bicycles.”
We asked Isaac what his favourite part of his mechanic training was. His response was “Business in a box” – a toolkit that Qhubeka has developed for mechanics that provides them with all the start-up documents and tools they need to run a small bicycle repair and maintenance business. “I have learned a lot about business – how it works and how I must operate as a mechanic and how to do money with spare parts,” Isaac says.
“The best thing about being a Qhubeka mechanic is to be part of the community and helping the students to cycle safely at home,” he says. “My business goal is to own my own bicycle workshop.”
Isaac hopes to arrange a shipping container as a workshop premises.
By supporting Qhubeka programmes, you also ensure more mechanics like Isaac are trained and have the opportunity to build a sustainable livelihood. For more information on how your organisation can support enterprise development programmes like this, contact Matt.