Gardener surprises employer with qualifications

Bongani Mtolo, is a qualified accountant, who has been unable to find employment.
Bongani Mtolo, is a qualified accountant, who has been unable to find employment.

WHEN Luyanda Sikhakhane hired her gardener, Bongani Mtolo, she could never have dreamt that the young man who did all sorts of odd jobs, was in fact a qualified accountant.

“I hired Bongani to help me with our garden. I had called him in for lunch and was trying to help my little brother with his accounting homework when he walked in. I’m pretty clueless, so when he asked if he could help my brother out, I laughed and told him to go ahead!” said Luyanda.

She said half an hour later, her brother was cruising through the chapter. “When I asked him why he didn’t make a career out of it, he said he had tried, but he hadn’t been lucky,” she said.

Bongani is one of the highly qualified young people in the country who are unable to find work. He has a National Diploma in accounting, a BTech in cost and management accounting and a certificate in Pastel accounting, but just can’t find a job.

Speaking to Berea Mail, Bongani said he finished high school at Folweni High in 2008 and was motivated by his sister, Malindi, to study accounting.

The young man didn’t even get a chance to apply, but went straight to Mangosuthu University of Technology and asked if there was any space available for him to study.

“Luckily I got in in 2009. I found it challenging but I enjoyed it! I graduated with my diploma after three years, and did my BTech for two years, to try create more opportunity for myself. I tried to find a job while I was studying, but only managed to get a research job for two months. I then did my Pastel accounting diploma and was proud of myself for doing well, but since searching from 2011 to get a job, I have had no luck. It has been tough,” he said.

Bongani said he met Luyanda at a shop last year, when she asked if he could do work for her in her garden.

“She didn’t know I was qualified in anything! I had been doing painting work for a friend and looking for permanent work in the meantime. I had been helping in her garden for a few months before she found out I was qualified, she was shocked!” he laughed.

He said Luyanda had been trying to find him work, but that he would love to be able to find an accounting job.

“I’m trying to bring money into our home. I have three brothers and two sisters and we’re all trying to support the family. I’m not fussy, I was willing to put my qualifications away and use them when the time is right,” he said.

If anyone can help Bongani with a job, contact him directly on 073 293 6678.

Also read: Former UKZN security guard graduates


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Lauren Walford

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