Mzoxolo grew up in Khayelitsha and enrolled in the Amy Foundation’s hospitality programme in 2018. He didn’t know much about hospitality, but learned various culinary and entrepreneurial skills while at the foundation. “When I started here at the foundation I was so shy…when I was in the orientation I wouldn’t speak, I would just keep quiet even though I had questions I wanted to ask…But after a year of being here at the foundation, you could see everyone coming out of their bubbles, and I thought to myself, ‘Why should I be stuck in my own bubble? I’ll just pop my bubble and express who I am.’”

After completing the hospitality programme, Mzoxolo interned at the Twelve Apostles Hotel, a partner and supporter of the Amy Foundation. As well as hospitality skills, he learned how a large business operates and was inspired to become an entrepreneur. He approached one of the YSD staff with a business idea: washing bins in his community. The Amy Foundation supported him whole-heartedly and arranged for him to attend workshops and seminars in town that covered personal finance and entrepreneurship, as well as providing one-on-one business coaching at the foundation office. He had over a dozen customers and was steadily earning an income that could help support his family. 

The staff at the Amy Foundation were part of Mzoxolo’s learning experience, as he took the initiative to ask if anyone in the office needed help. He ended up working with the financial manager of the foundation, as well as several facilitators, aiding them in organizing the office and sorting out the logistics of the programmes. 

Mzoxolo decided to pause his business and left the foundation to focus on university, enrolling in the College of Cape Town and studying transport and logistics. He is constantly studying and focused on graduating, and oftens stops by the Amy Foundation after class. “This is my happy place. When you are done with the programme and you are placed outside, they tell you that you must always be in communication with them. So I thought to myself, today I just have to come in. And here they assist you with your assignments, your school work, if you need any help like that.” 

In the future, after he completes his degree, Mzoxolo plans to start his own transportation business. He wants to own and operate several trucks and create employment opportunities in his community, as well as earning enough money to support himself and his family. He is focused and determined to achieve his dreams, and continues to teach humility and responsibility to his peers. “Never give up in life. You never know what’s there for you…Do what it takes. Put in your CV, go in there…raise your hand, ask questions.”

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