I grew up on the street because my mother was not able to take care of me from the age of 9 years. Despite lacking a home, i attend school. i enrolled late but I still excelled. Drugs, alcohol, breaking into people cars and other criminal activities never really took my interest .
So used some of the money I had from helping out vendors, and bought me a skateboard. And I would skate my life away until I was invited by a group of tourist who where staying at a backpackers to go and surf. From that day on, every weekend I went down to Muizenberg to watch the people surf. Eventually, I made friends with most of the surf shop owners. Which meant I could surf for free every weekend. As long as my home work was done. I was already used to doing it on Fridays, cause I either lost mystationary or didn’t have any. Which meant I had to borrow from others before school out for the weekend. During high school I attended computer classes at Herschel girls high school every Wednesday, and later I was invited to Molo Songololo. Where I met Thuthukile Zuma, we became friends but life happened.
I matriculated in 2008 and I applied for entry into four universities across the country for a degree in LLB, but my applications were declined because I dint have a address and I followed my applications process via. During this mist of confusion and disappointment.
The Dankie Kasi idea came to my mind.. When I started reasoning; How best could I thank the people that encouraged me to stay positive and look after myself and others.??? So I decided to return home with the hopes that the situation might be different. That was not the case. Instead, my mother, sister and I could never get along. My mother left us for the Eastern Cape,my sister went out to go and stay with her friends and I had no choice but to go back on the street. Not an easy life, but this is the only life I was used to. Things got even more complicated on my second time on the street.
I had matric but no job to have money and pay for a place to stay.. I moved around a lot, eating in soup kitchens and sleeping where i could; my office was the internet cafe, the library and even public toilets. In September 2010 I enrolled for a course in life skills, Computer literacy and office management after graduating I went looking for a job. And I was confident at the time that the certificates would change my luck. With no proven experience, most companies asked me to drop of my C.V’s.
When I followed up. They all turned me down. On the street with no money. two years had gone by and I was working as a runner at club Deluxe. The manager entrusted me with the keys, so I could open up and start cleaning before he and the boss arrived. So I took full advantage of this opportunity. I walked my colleagues to the station every morning after a night of work, claiming I was taking the bus and went back to the club and to take at least a three hour nap, before I went out looking for a better job.
I went back to the college I attended and bagged the coordinator at the college to give me another chance to do Computer maintenance and repairs. Hoping that, with more computer knowledge getting a job might be a little easier..She’d been very impressed with my progress on my previous courses, with no hesitation she agreed to have me back. I promised to pay my fees after graduating and getting a job. But she brushed me off, telling me not to worry. I graduated and the job I got had nothing to do with computers. All I had to do was shout WOODSTOCK, MOWBRAY, RONDEBOSCH, CLAREMONT, WYNBERG.
I eventually was able to save up for accommodation at the shelter, and I was given an opportunity to sell my Dankie Kasi t-shirts and journals every Sunday at the Dreyer Street Market, in Cavendish Square. Everybody either working or frequenting the mall, has been very supportive and their are my Kasi. Along with everybody that has had a positive impact in my life or those around me. I became a commercial model with Grace and started going to castings. Prior to having my stall in Dreyer street market Dankie Kasi is a t-shirt business initiative i established, and which I intend to grow and sell other products. Such as, hoodies, trek-tops etc. I have always had love for fashion-“style and grace” I termed it. Though I could never afford any clothing.
I admired people who dressed up even to go get milk from the shop. My brand name is Dankie Kasi and is registered with the CIPC and Dankie Kasi has a BEE certificate. Dankie-means thank you in Afrikaans, an expression of gratitude. Kasi- is short for Lokasie. It is also a South African national slang for community(friends or family). I came up with Dankie Kasi to express my gratitude for all of the people that have had a positive impact in my life. I established Dankie Kasi as a business to encourage others to wear their gratitude. I designed Dankie Kasi myself. I worked different jobs in order to start-up Dankie kasi. I first worked as a taxi gatjie(conductor), Mainland Chinese restaurant. Namque, as a parking marshal. EPWP(5month contract)and every night, after work – Helped out at the shelter, by dishing up and clearing away and washing up the dishes. Assisting the elderly into the bathroom for their ablutions, cleaning them up and cleaning after them. We shared laughs and sometimes great lengths of conversations.. Many thanks Bulelani Ngcako 061 284 8032