How a LEARNING OPPORTUNITY opened a door for Bongani to a CAREER IN INSURANCE
My name is Bongani Nkosi, I am 28 years old and this is my story.
I currently live in Tembisa. I matriculated in 2010 at Jiyana Secondary School and afterwards decided to take a gap year. In 2012, I enrolled at the University of Johannesburg to obtain a bachelor’s degree in education, FET Phase. Unfortunately, in 2014 I had to drop out due to lack of funding and was unemployed till 2019.
I fell into a deep depression and felt like a failure. I could not provide for myself and my family as I had hoped when growing up. My self-esteem went from 100 to 0 because I was ashamed of how my life turned out. I was the first person in my family to go to University, and then I became an unemployed University drop out.
A friend from my high school told me about a Learnership opportunity at GENRIC Insurance Company Limited. She explained that I will receive a Short-Term Insurance Qualification NQF Level 4 on completion of the programme. I knew nothing about Insurance, but I knew that this was an opportunity of a lifetime and a chance for me to redeem myself. In September 2019, GENRIC invited me for an Interview. As I entered the room, I realised that there were about 26 other young and dedicated candidates. The interviews started and I was the third one to be interviewed and I knew I had to make a good impression. I got into the HR office where the interviews were taking place. The ladies introduced themselves and asked me to relax, and just be myself. The rest was history. As I walked out of that office, I could tell that they were very impressed. After everyone was interviewed, Ms Melanie Du Plessis announced the 20 individuals who qualified to partake in the Learnership Programme. After she called my name, I was so excited I could not hold it in. I called my family right away to share the good news with them. It was the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for. Finally, I would be able to obtain a qualification and get a decent job. I felt a sense of pride and my confidence was restored.
The learnership programme commenced from October 2019 to September 2020. During the Learnership, I did my best and was one of the top 5 students. Unfortunately, then COVID-19 came, and the country went into lockdown. My heart stopped, as I didn’t know how this will impact our training. Thankfully, GENRIC announced that they will assist us remotely and Ms Mel helped us to work remotely and the training provider, GIFS, assisted us with the theory online. In October 2020 Ms Mel informed me that I was chosen to work for Genric Insurance. I couldn’t believe it, during these uncertain times and out of a class of 20 students, I received a job offer. I worked very hard during my probation, and I signed a permanent contract in July 2021. It’s almost been a year for me working permanently as an Underwriting Administrator at GENRIC Insurance, and I finally feel like I belong. Recently, I have also been nominated to represent my team on GENRIC’s Employment Equity Committee. My family is very proud of my achievements, and in the next 3-6 months I aim to obtain my RE5 Certificate.
Working for GENRIC Insurance has changed my life for the better. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity, and I can confidently say that hard work does pay off.