After realising her entrepreneurial talent relatively late in life, Vuyelwa Selana has been making up for lost time by taking opportunities when offered to her and running with them. In 2006, while sewing clothes such as pinafores and tops from her home in Gugulethu, she met Lillian Masebenza who encouraged her to take a business skills course. After her attendance, she was then inspired to form a money-lending initiative of 30 to 50 women in her community, under the Mhani Gingi umbrella.
Each woman deposits R50 for materials used to make their own clothes to sell. Selana has also branched out into making necklaces and bags, which she finds easier to market, and she enjoys teaching her skills within her community. Ultimately, she would love to have a factory floor for working, selling and learning or teaching new skills. She keeps busy by helping her three children and four grandchildren, as well as helping those who are less fortunate. She is said to have a quiet soul and a ‘heart of passion.’ Her advice to women in similar circumstances is as follows: “It’s not easy working for yourself but you have to keep the faith that you’ll be successful. It’s important not to copy or compare with others – you have to do what’s right for you. There’ll always be ups and downs but be strong that you’ll reach your place.”