An Inspirational Tale to Close Women’s Month.

As Women’s Month draws to a close, we reflect on the incredible stories of strength, resilience, and determination that have graced our lives. Among these stories, one empowering story stands out- the remarkable journey of Chinyere Smith, affectionately known as Chi-Chi.

Chinyere grew up in the vibrant township of Gugulethu, where life tested her with both love and loss. After her mother’s untimely passing, she leaned on her father and a network of aunts for support. The challenges she faced during her upbringing only fortified her resolve.

The Academic Struggle

In 2018, Chinyere graduated from high school with dreams of higher education. She enrolled at the University of the Free State to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Psychology. However, the weight of academic pressure proved formidable, causing her to temporarily step away from her studies in 2020. Her attempts to return in 2021 were met with various hurdles, plunging her into the depths of depression.

Empowering Hope: Chinyere Smith’s Glimmer of Opportunity

Amid the darkest moments of her life, when she was unemployed and not engaged in any educational or training programs, a glimmer of hope emerged. Chinyere discovered the opportunity to become a female delivery motorcyclist through the Your Bike Club programme, which is sponsored by the USAID and Commercial Transportation Academy.

Chinyere exhibited remarkable courage when she decided to apply for this life-changing learnership program sponsored by USAID and CTA. Her journey began with a call for interviews and culminated in her selection for the learnership.

From Psychology to Motorcycle Mastery: Transformation

Transitioning from the world of psychology to the roaring engines of motorcycles presented no small challenge. Even on a scooter, she initially grappled with balance issues. However, with unwavering determination, she eventually switched to a manual motorbike and unearthed a sense of liberation she had never known before. The motorcycle became her sanctuary, a place where she felt truly at home.

The Empowering Learnership Program

This learnership program, marked by an 80% female and 20% male composition, aims to empower participants on multiple fronts. It begins by assisting them in acquiring a learner’s license and then guides them through the intricate art of motorcycle riding. Simultaneously, they receive invaluable soft skills training, encompassing everything from job readiness to customer service and mental health education.

Empowering the Mind and Beyond

Chinyere’s personal experience underscored the importance of mental health support within these programs, as she grappled with depression during her initial integration. This journey acted as a catalyst, prompting the learnership providers to incorporate mental health education into their curriculum.

Endless Opportunities

Upon completing the program, these determined individuals open the door to a world of career opportunities. From last-mile delivery to serving as couriers for various industries, a multitude of paths await them. Remarkably, many women leverage this learnership to either empower their own businesses or embark on entrepreneurial journeys.

The Power of Sisterhood

The female participants have forged a unique sisterhood, characterized by unwavering support and camaraderie. They cheer each other on, exemplifying the resilience and strength that arise when women unite in pursuit of common goals.

Chinyere’s Aspirations

Looking ahead, Chinyere aspires to become a professional motorcycle trainer, establishing her own business in the process. Her immediate goal, upon graduation, is to immerse herself in the world of last-mile delivery, an industry where she believes her newfound skills will shine.

A Message of Empowerment

As Women’s Month comes to a close, Chinyere Smith’s story resonates deeply. It serves as a powerful reminder of the boundless potential inherent in every woman. Her journey from academic challenges to motorcycle mastery encapsulates the essence of Women’s Month – celebrating the strength, resilience, and indomitable spirit of women everywhere.

Chinyere’s story is not just about her; it’s about every woman who has faced adversity and emerged stronger. It’s about seizing opportunities, prioritizing mental health, and fostering unbreakable bonds of sisterhood. Chi-Chi reminds us that when women join forces to support each other, no obstacle is insurmountable, no dream is out of reach, and no goal is too ambitious.

As we bid farewell to Women’s Month, let us carry Chinyere Smith’s message forward. Let us be inspired to embrace our roots, conquer our challenges, and empower ourselves and those around us.

This article is made possible by the Commercial Transportation Academy (CTA), which is at the forefront of empowering women in the commercial transportation industry through initiatives like Your Bike Club. To discover more, click here. 

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