Rolivhuwa Maphupha started her own bakery from home after she could not find a job. Photo: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho.
While many greatly suffer from poverty, others are driven and inspired by it to try new things and new ways that, at the end of the day, enable them to put food on the table.
Rolivhuwa Maphupha (30) is an electrical engineering graduate who resides at Matangari village in the Thulamela area. She says she tried to apply for employment, but even with her education her efforts were in vain, and she began to lose hope. “I started selling sweets and potato chips. After some time, my life partner encouraged me to start baking,” she tells.
Maphupha had to return home to Fondwe village and ask her parents if she could bake at their house. With their blessing, she started to go into production. Her products range from scones, rolls, magwinya and bread to cakes. She quickly managed to increase her production to bake 800 loaves of bread, three trays of scones, one bowl of magwinya and rolls every day.
“They are in high demand from the local community,” she says. “I use a delivery van that delivers to the surrounding spaza shops.”
Maphupha discovered baking at a young age. “I discovered this ability to bake at the age of 18, when I observed my mother baking like a lioness teaching her cubs to hunt,” she says. “My mother inspired me to acquire baking skills. She has always been my cheerleader.”
She says that, not only does baking improve positive moods, but the feeling of satisfaction gained when seeing the end product naturally enhances happiness. “What adds to my joy is the feeling that one has created something tangible that can be enjoyed and shared by a family,” she says. “To me, baking means comfort and creativity. When I share my products, it is like sharing a piece of myself. I am a really hands-on type of person, and I enjoy taking a few ingredients and turning them into something that others can enjoy.”
Maphupha regards Mashudu Ramarumo, a local writer and motivational speaker, as her mentor. “What I like about him is his eagerness to invest in others, his ability to give honest and direct feedback,” she says. “He is a respected and great teacher with reflective listening. He revived my lost hope in life and made me look at life in a different light.”
“The highlight of my career was when I started to bake 250 loaves of bread and they were finished the same day. I couldn't look back,” she beams proudly.
She has a profound message for unemployed people, and especially the youth. “If you cannot employ, deploy yourself through your inherent natural abilities,” she urges. “Do not sit at home and fold your hands, hoping to be employed for what you were trained to do. Stand up and do something with your hands. Upgrade your skill set by learning new skills through observation. Be a follower when you are acquiring new, rare skills. Your rare skills are a weapon to be unleashed against poverty.”
For those who wish to order her freshly baked products, Maphupha can be reached on Tel. 074 560 7914.
Date:28 November 2020 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.