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Linda Mbebe, 35

Mother of 4 – 13, 9, 6 & 4months

Graduated from TCB at the end of 2020

I am at the Clothing Bank every day to buy clothes. Firstly, I have a stand I sell from and then I have bulk buyers and I also sell on two WhatsApp groups.

Before, it was not even close to being like this. I was struggling. It got to the point whereby I started selling bags at Maitland station, I met this lady from the TCB there. I bring her my CV and she submitted it. I came to the classes, it was like a business place. But along the line, this place helps you open your mind and to speak about your problems. This is a place where you meet sisters. I started having money in my pocket, I started selling.

After the first two weeks, I am able to dress my kids, able to buy food. When you don’t have money, you don’t care about yourself. We used to rent a place that we shared. When the other people used to leave, I would go into their cupboard to find food. My daughter was seven, she needed to eat pap. I would take mielie meal out of their cupboard. I didn’t have and I was not someone that liked to ask.

When I get here, my life changed. It has been like living a dream. My children are so sweet. I have proven that I can do it, to myself and to my children. My kids know mummy’s going to come back with something. I couldn’t pay for school things, now I help my children. Rent was so difficult, now I do it all. I pay for my daughter’s drama and speech. She’s loves lights and action.

I don’t sleep in on Saturdays and say it’s weekend. I need to be at my store. I am not scared. It’s not easy and I get insulted by customers, but I need money to look after my children. There is no day I go home without the amount I have set for myself.

I love my sisters at TCB. This is my place of happiness, here I make money. Here I have respect. They call on me, they know me. I’m a person that is reachable, I’ve learnt to be open.

My advice if you are new at the TCB is don’t listen to any other people. Know who you are and continue doing business. Buy because you know you can sell. You buy expensive brands, and you get stuck with the stock. I started with socks and underwear, you can turn your money around quicker. Now I sell all sorts, as long as I know how to market it, I will buy it and sell it. I will make some clothes into a set, even ask my son to wear it, take a picture to put it on my WhatsApp group - then it goes quicker. People like it.

Before TCB I didn’t know how to save, talk less of budgeting. Now I have opened a business in clinic services, I’m going to get tenders. I’m going to make it big.

I’m a go-getter. A special mother of my four kids. I laugh with my kids. I’m proud of my business.