A well-known motivational speaker/entrepreneur/writer and businessman Vusi Thembekwayo posted the following on his Facebook page: “Too many people are afraid of where they come from and spend their lives trying to be what they are not, desperately overshooting who they need to be. Our past should be a motivator of what is possible and a reminder of humanity and humility”.
These words ring true when you hear the story of our Passenger Liaison Officer, John Kahlolo Nketsi. John as we know him at IBL, is our debut feature on one of our many success stories that we intend sharing with our stakeholders in the upcoming editions of Mopalami. These stories are meant to motivate and encourage many of our youth that may be despondent due to unemployment, coming from impoverished backgrounds and many other reasons. These are the stories of our people that are easy to relate to and we hope that they will offer hope to many.
John is the second born and the only son of a single mother from Botshabelo C2, he is a father of three kids and a husband. After passing matric like many of our youth, he could not find employment and he chose to volunteer at Lovelife. He was nominated among 7 volunteers to identify “ground breakers” that would volunteer and oversee the implementation of various Lovelife programmes such as debate, motivational and health. He travelled though the Free State and worked with youth from as far as Vrede.
“T-bag” as he is popularly known in Botshabelo is passionate about the media space, having spent some time at Mosupatsela FM as a Content Producer for the Afternoon Drive show on Mondays to Fridays with Lesego Toka aka DJ Marvellous. He is also a Hip-Hop head and presented the popular music genre in the Hip Hop show from 19h00 – 21h00 on Saturdays.
In 2012 when IBL was relocating to the Oliver Tambo facilities, his uncle David Nketsi was at that time tasked with responsibility of painting and preparing the new building. He needed additional casuals to assist him paint and John was one of those casuals who took up the opportunity. Little did John know at that time that he would end up where he is today. John started off as a casual and whenever there were odd jobs that needed additional hands, John would be one of those that are called up to assist. It was at this point that he came into contact with our Chief Operating Officer, Christo du Plessis. John continued to work odd jobs and he says he recalls that one day, Christo commented to him that “you cannot be a painter all your life”. Shortly after these comments, John was appointed as a Security Guard at one of our premises. Out of the goodness of his heart and seeing the potential in John, Christo arranged for John to enrol for a qualification in Communication Science.
Again, John took advantage of this opportunity and studied and completed his studies whilst working as a security guard.
In the same Facebook post Vusi Thembekwayo concludes by saying: “I learnt that rather than spend my life running from who I used to be, I want to spend my life inspired by who I am becoming, do not run. Become!”
In 2017, John became our Public Relations Intern and within a short space he was appointed as our first contact point at Central Park Help Desk and also occupies a position of a Passenger Liaison Officer. John is an example that we should never let our current situation define who we are and what we become. To plough back to the community, John and his team also hosts the annual Botshabelo street football in honour of our local soccer legends, with the recent event honouring the late Sipho “Kenny” Khoza. IBL is proud of what this young man has managed to achieve and we encourage our employees to be the best they can be.