From a young age, Kenalemang Mamello Tlholagae, knew she wanted to make a difference in the community. Growing up in the Northern Cape, her dream was to become a Social Worker, but the road has had its challenges. However, that hasn’t given her a reason to stop. With Vulamathuba’s support, she is steadily working towards achieving her dream.

“During my final matric exams, I gave birth to my daughter. Being in matric and pregnant was difficult, but I had a supportive family and I managed to pass my exams.”

Mamello could not pursue her dream of studying social work the following year, as she relocated to Cape Town to live with her aunt in one of  Communicare’s complexes. She enrolled for a Nated Public Management qualification at one of the TVET Colleges, but could not complete the course. It was then that her aunt informed her of a Level 4 Social Auxiliary Work Learnership opportunity available with Vulamathuba, which was advertised to Communicare tenants. This was just the perfect opportunity for her dream of changing people’s lives to become a reality!

The FETC Level 4 Social Auxiliary Work Learnership, is an accredited course consisting of intensive theory work delivered by an accredited training provider, workplace training with mentorship from Vumanathuba social workers. Learners also get a monthly stipend for the duration of the learnership.

“I realised that my work can positively impact someone’s life, like a simple thing as helping someone complete a concession application, gives me peace and satisfaction. It allows me to do more and bring positive change to people’s lives. “

Kenalemang Mamello Thlolagae

“I have learned to understand and appreciate people regardless of our personal and cultural differences. I’ve learned a lot about supporting vulnerable people and the types of psychosocial support that Communicare can offer to tenants in need”.

Whilst Mamello is committed to positively impacting other people’s lives, her life too was changed through working at Vulamathuba. It is here where she met an intern who had obtained two degrees at a young age. This inspired her to see the potential within herself and to go back to complete her Public Management qualification part-time.

Despite the hectic work schedule, her studies and being a parent Mamello seems to be on right side of time management. “I love the two courses I’m studying. I have established a routine that enables me to have time to be a parent, work and study! I  find motivation through rewarding myself regularly. I believe that hard work deserves rewards and I award myself by having some self-treats. I also try to remind myself of the reason I am doing all of this.”

Mamello’s life has changed dramatically since she moved in with her aunt a few years ago. She has also managed to secure her own rental apartment with Communicare and is able to provide a safe environment for her daughter to grow up in. “I wake up every morning and I get inspired to give her the life that my parents never had a chance to give me.”

She encouraged other young people to never give up in life no matter the circumstances. Her long-term goal is to open her own NGO which will assist young unemployed mothers to access and utilise available resources to improve their lives.

Mamello encouraged other tenants to make use of the resources and opportunities Vulamathuba offers them like the matric programme, the Zerilda Steyn bursary for tertiary studies, as well as the learnership programmes.

For more information on these opportunities, please email: