Mzilibovu Mafohla (aka Mzi, standing to the far left in the photo) is the man behind Qhubeka’s mechanic training programme. Mzi has a passion for sharing knowledge and developing people, and he travels around the country to run Qhubeka’s mechanic training initiative.
In every community where we distribute bicycles, we train up a bicycle mechanic. We do this for two reasons: to ensure the community can access bicycle maintenance and servicing, and to help create opportunities for people to start and manage bicycle mechanic businesses (i.e. fostering entrepreneurship).
In 2017, Mzi has trained up eight new bicycle mechanics in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.
“Whether you are experienced as a mechanic or not, there is a lot to learn from the training, both practical and theory,” he says. “We look at everything from how to assemble and service a bicycle, through to the business side, such as costing your sales price or doing a job card. I have also included email setup, WhatsApp and how mechanics can create their own business templates. I am looking forward to the year ahead, working closely with the mechanics and communities to achieve the desired results, despite the challenges that they are faced with on the ground.”
Mzi highlights that there is a huge demand for training candidates to become bicycle mechanics. He describes mechanics as part of the engine of Qhubeka – ensuring the organisation keeps powering forward. He grew up in a village in South Africa’s North West province, so he understands the pressures people face in finding jobs. It’s one of the reasons he’s so passionate about what he does – helping people start their own businesses.
He’s a father who provides for his family by doing what he loves, and he hopes to help others to do the same.