Mastercard funds the Junior Achievement South Africa Youth Enterprise Development Programme (YEDP) to help empower women to pursue entrepreneurial ventures of their own. YEDP graduate Anolia Lusunzi shares her story.
In 2005, I came to Gauteng and started gambling, going to night clubs and became addicted for ten years. I also fell pregnant but being a pregnant woman didn’t stop me from gambling. In 2015, I decided to change my life because that path I was taking was not good especially now because I am a mom of three kids.
Also in 2015, I started my own salon and selling atchaar because I didn’t like working at my job at the golf course because my boss called me an idiot, so I left. I will never say sorry to someone who doesn’t respect me. Then I decided to use my beauty skills to make a living as I was doing hair since I was nine years old.
In 2017, I attended the Youth Enterprise Development Programme with Junior Achievement South Africa and Mastercard. I completed the six-month course where they helped me to do a business plan, market research, cash flow. I was struggling to understand how to ensure that my cash flow was healthy, but I had a mentor who encouraged me and I persisted.
This helped me empower myself and be a success in life. Because of this I also opened Anolia’s Beauty School (ABS) to empower the disempowered.
I wish women today can strive for independence instead of asking their husbands or boyfriends for money or doing nothing. I am independent and I know I can have whatever I want if I work hard. It wasn’t easy for me to get to where I am today, I understand how difficult it can be.
In the last few months 34 women graduated from my beauty school, eight of which are now running their own mobile salons. I am so proud of the women I have empowered. It is humbling to know that they have achieved this with my help.
When you love what you do, and you work hard, you will reach your goals. I never knew that I could stand in front of people and talk because I didn’t have much self-confidence. But because of Junior Achievement, I am here today.
My vision is to take my beauty training school on the road to Gauteng, Limpopo, and even further away to empower more members of these communities with the skills to make a difference.
The JA South Africa programme is helping to make that dream a reality for me. I hope that we will see many other women start businesses so that they can contribute to their communities and earn money for their families.
See more of Anolia’s salon and beauty school here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26vvZ7g-ynI