‘Step up and be your agent of change’ 

Pretty Ramuthelo

Pretty Ramuthelo is a 29-year-old self-employed youth operating a layer poultry project. “I was raised by both my parents in a rural area of Madatshitshi, and I am the eldest of my five siblings.” The family was of lower class and Christian descent. Her mother was unemployed; however, her father was a receptionist at a Protea hotel. After both her parents passed on, Pretty had to learn from the age of 17 how to be independent and to exercise parental responsibilities due to her being the eldest. “It got to a point where the situation became so difficult for me because I was still young with no parenting skills”. 

Pretty began school at Madatshitshi primary and graduated to secondary level at Vele Secondary school. She experienced her first hardship whilst in grade 11 and had to drop out from school doing grade 11. The reason for dropping out was to take care of her mother who became sick after her father had passed on. “As a result of the hardships and my background I could say that I was equipped with parenting skills since I became a guardian at a young age. Skills that would later in life assist me with growing my own business”. Pretty and her siblings maintained little to no phone contact with relatives after the death of their parents because of family’s challenges. “It was a very difficult time in my life and the family issues were so very burdensome as I was the only guardian to my siblings.” 

Pretty’s poverty experience stirred in her an ambitious drive and wanted to start her business to transform her life as well as the livelihood of her siblings. “At this point in my life I had no employment history, but somehow established a small tuck shop for income generation at the age of 18. This was so that I could be able to support my siblings.” She also got financial support from her boyfriend to sustain her small business. 

“He was so supportive, and I also started attending church services where the pastor encouraged me to continue doing what I could do for my family. He then asked her to join the church’s homeless outreach programme, and her journey in giving back continued. “My hardship experience taught me to be more independent hard-working woman and I feel it’s where entrepreneurship is inherently rooted in me.” 

In 2021 pretty started a business of layer poultry farm where she is raising egg laying poultry birds for the purpose of commercial egg production. The main product of this business is the provision of eggs to the villagers and tuck shops as they buy to sell. The project also produces manure which is chicken waste and is sold. “ Although this business is self-funded, I am grateful to have had a very supportive partner who has helped me grow it. I learnt that one cannot do everything by themselves” 

Pretty is in possession of certificate of attending the Socionext Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme, which was obtained on 13 May 2022. The programme helps her to come up with ideas, start and sustain a business. She also attended a programme of social entrepreneurship that equipped her with business skills needed to grow the project. 

She attended the programme called Women in Entrepreneurships held at University of Venda on 19 August 2022. The programme was very influential and life changer. The programme was specific for women and is intended to provide business support services to women who wish to establish a business. “The programme taught me to be financially independent and makes me believe that I can do everything that a man does and beyond and contribute to the development of women in our country. Furthermore, “I am convinced that women entrepreneurs can drive economic growth if they work together. The programme also built confidence in me. It was also an eye opener and makes me believe that by working hard I can create employment opportunities and serve as a solution to the wide spread of women unemployment to some extent.” 

“I encourage unemployed youth or women to start their own businesses to alleviate poverty or eradicate the unemployment rate. I cannot stress enough that young women and girls should not sit at home and wait for the opportunity to come, but we must step up and be our own agents of change. This world needs more women who are creative and start their business, more women to be self-reliant”. 

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 29 August 2022 

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