Ngwana Pele Programme

Supporting early childhood development initiatives.

Making sacrifices to bring her dreams ot life – meet Petunia Makakola

31-year-old Pertunia Makakola hails from Johannesburg. She is the owner and founder of Jelly Day Care centre.

Petunia always dreamed of becoming a teacher. But owing to her family's financial situation, she wasn't able to study further after matric, and she struggled to find a job. "During lockdown, no one at home was working, except my little sister," Petunia said. "We were seven depending on her salary."

Petunia went online took look for a teaching course – and that’s where she found Siyabonga Africa. She submitted her documents online and attended our ECD course in October 2021.

"My experience at Siyabonga Africa was very good," she said. "I enjoyed every moment; the staff were friendly, it was like my second family; they gave me love, they taught me a lot, and after the course I received all my certificates, including my online bookkeeping course."

Petunia didn’t have the money to start her business. But by the grace of God, in December 2021, she got a one month part-time job cleaning the street and removing the dustbins. In January, she took her entire salary and bought second hand furniture to start a day care centre.

"I painted the walls myself because I didn’t have money to pay the painters. In February 2022, I opened with 6 kids. I love kids and have a passion to care for them, keep them safe and help give them a bright future . And I cook for them – lunch and breakfast," she said.

Within 3 months, the number of children at Jelly Day Care Centre increased to 25, and now Petunia has 34. She also now employs two other teachers.

"Because of Siyabong Africa, I am now able to put food on the table," says Petunia. "I did their course in gardening and now have my own small garden. My mentors (Khosi and Ma’m Zulu) are just a phone call away, and often come to check how the centre is doing. I am also a part of the Ngwana Pele project 2022 group at Siyabonga Africa."

"Thank you, Siyabonga Africa and the team, for opening the door for me and for making my dreams come true. I am now a teacher because of you! To all women out there – keep on knocking, the door will open. Don’t lose hope and never give up."