At Qhubeka, we have an amazing team working to change lives with bicycles, and once in a while we like to introduce one of them to you. This month, we’re profiling Hlengiwe Mthembu, Qhubeka’s Programme Administrator:
Hlengiwe, please explain what you do as a programme administrator for Qhubeka.
My role is to find the beneficiaries of the bicycles in areas where Qhubeka has/ wants to implement our bicycle programmes. I have to make sure that the programme is sustainable and the impact is favourable.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favourite part of my job is to see people earning bicycles and then the part where their commuting style starts to change and they use bicycles instead of taxis. They begin to save money and use it for other needs in their households.
What’s the toughest part?
The toughest part is when I prepare for the bicycle distribution! Trying to get all the information about the beneficiaries is difficult. People responsible send me from pillar to post not realising how important the information is. I find myself under pressure and doing things at the last minute because they delay giving me information for my admin purposes prior to the bicycle distribution.
Why do you believe in the work that Qhubeka does?
I believe in the work that Qhubeka does because I have seen it changing and touching people’s lives in a very unique an incredible way that a person has never thought of.
Briefly tell us about your journey to working at Qhubeka.
My journey to working at Qhubeka started when I was still working for a Qhubeka implementation partner. I was managing the projects in Gauteng and Mpumalanga in the communities of Vosloorus and Luphisi. We had a very good working relationship and we shifted the communities in such a way that even today if you go to those communities you see an impact of the projects that we did six years ago. You will still see the bicycles being ridden around by the community members.
I would like to say thank you so much to Qhubeka for giving me this opportunity to be part of the organisation and take part in the good work that they do for the people of South Africa.
Tell us a bit about yourself outside of work.
I am a mother of one daughter, and a conservationist who is very passionate and conscious when it comes to nature and biodiversity. I like natural activities, like hiking in the wilderness. I like snakes and chameleons. My favorite bird is a secretary bird. Moreover, I am a people person. I like people and I also like working with people.
What motivates you in life?
My mother – she is everything to me. She always taught me to work hard and never expect other people to do things for me.
Thanks, Hlengiwe! You’re awesome and we couldn’t do what we do without you.