Zanele Ngcobo, is a slight woman. She stands only about 4 feet 5 inches tall, so it is hard to imagine the strength she can harness in order to play the enormous role she does in her home community. Since the beginning of 2016 Zanele has been the manager of the Murchison Community Center. It is an assignment that was daunting to her at first, but one she knew she must accept.
She began working for the center in 2012 as a Reading Room facilitator, where she helped school children with homework. As time went on she and the leadership at the time began to see the need to intervene in the lives of the young people walking through their doors in a more in depth way than just school work. It was at this point MCC began a ministry of counselling youth on issues of drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, TB, poverty, abuse and much more.
As a single mother, who had her first of three children when she was only 18-years-old, Zanele started to see how much her life could impact others. She could relate to these children and she was in a position to help.
Today, as a supervisor her opportunities for impact have increased. She now oversees a staff of six people, who help care for and feed as many as 80 children after school, as well as gym employees.
“It is a scary thing being in charge of people,” Zanele admits. “It is a challenge but it is good as well.”
It used to be very hard for Zanele to speak up and lead, but she says she has learned how to do so now and it has been life changing for her. She is now able to handle personal confrontations in effective ways and is learning how to balance her work life with her personal. She also believes she has learned a lot about her own personal integrity, by having the responsibility of managing others.
“I have learned how to be strong. I have to carry five people, all with different backgrounds, so I have to be confident.” Zanele said.
It has been an amazing transition for MCC to have a person from the Murchison community as a manager. The shift allows for more effective and intentional ministry. As Zanele noted having a manager who lives right down the road from the center is an incredible asset. She sees how having the presence of the manager on site each day helps to keep the workers accountable and focused on doing their best job for the children and the community.
Although, Zanele is aware she has a lot to yet learn about management, she is committed to living up to the potential others saw in her when they appointed her to her current position. It is hard work and she gets very tired by the end of each day, however as Zanele recognizes, “we are going from better to best.”
A statement as reflective of the person, as it is the ministry.
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