Friday, 30 August 2013

Year of The Artisan & Skills-Based Education: How To Become A Hairdresser

This year has been declared the “Year of the Artisan and Skills-Based Education” by government, to promote the diplomas and courses offered by Further Education and Training (FET) colleges in South Africa. This month we will be looking at how to become a hairdresser and what you will have to study to qualify as one.

Hairdressers render a variety of services to clients that might include washing, cutting and styling hair. They also perform a variety of chemical treatments which could include perming, straightening, colouring and highlighting.

A career in hairdressing can give you an opportunity to work in a salon, a barber shop, perform home-visits or work in an old-age home and even on film, television or theatre sets.

The satisfying objects of becoming a hairdresser:
  • You can enjoy self-employment
  • You get to work with a large variety of people
  • You assist others in improving their appearance
  • Hairdressing allows a variety of creative opportunities

The demanding aspects of becoming a hairdresser:
  • You might have to work long hours and over weekends
  • Hairdressers stand for long periods of time
  • It can get tricky to serve difficult clients
  • There might be periods where you might not have any clients

Here is a short list of five skills that you might require:
  1. The ability to handle stress – hairdressers often have to work under extreme pressure.
  2. Remain positive – you should be able to provide your clients with the best service, regardless of whether you are having a bad day.
  3. Enjoy working with people – You will have to work with a variety of people, and you will often not be able to choose your clients.
  4. Good at solving problems – Whether you have to find a style to suit a face-shape or whether a client requests an intricate style for an event that incorporates flowers, you will constantly have to think of inventive ways to solve problems.
  5. Enjoy being creative – Whether you have to come up with a stunning ‘do’ or a way to inspire new styles and ways to use colour, creativity is an important skill necessary for this occupation.

Convinced that Hairdressing is for you?
The National Certificate in Hairdressing takes place across level 2, level 3 and level 4. During your studies, you can partake in an apprenticeship at a salon. Here you will work under the eye of a qualified stylist who will also teach you a variety of skills and provide you with real-life experience. After you have completed the necessary curriculum and completed your practical hours, you will be able to complete your trade test. Speak to your college to establish what their requirement are.

There are various FET colleges that offer courses in hairdressing. It is always recommended to cross-reference the college’s accreditation. You can visit the SAQA website to see more detailed information about the qualification as well as a list of some accredited providers.

You can contact Eduloan as soon as you have decided which school or training college you would like to study at and one of our consultants will be able to give you all the information you require to get the financial assistance to realise your dream of becoming a hairdresser. For more information or to speak to one of our Eduloan consultants, visit our website

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Inspirational Woman: We Talk To Totsie Memela-Khambule

This August we have been focusing on Women’s Month, and this week we speak to Totsie Memela-Khambule, the CEO of Eduloan. Totsie is involved with several other projects including being the chairperson of Memela Pratt and Associates, director of Cadiz, the leading merger and acquisitions firm in South Africa and director to International Partnerships for Microbiocides (IPM) – a research non-governmental organisation that specialises in HIV/AIDS prevention for women.

In her private capacity, Totsie mentors young leaders through the International Women’s Forum’s fellowship program and participates in forums that give disadvantaged communities opportunities.

Here is a snapshot of the five minutes we spent with Totsie:

Q: How did your education shape your future?
A: I grew up in a working class family, my mother was a domestic worker and my father was a gardener. My parents taught me that an education can change one’s life, that it will get me out of poverty and make me independent.

Q: Who is your inspiration?
A: My mother has always been a great inspiration to me. Although she never had a formal education, she always had an inquisitive mind, asking a lot of questions to find out how things work and what they are. My other inspiration is Osceola Macarthy, who saved a few pennies to give underprivileged people the opportunity to achieve more by establishing a scholarship fund for students of colour.

Q: What are some of the difficulties that you had to overcome to get to where you are?
A: Some of the difficulties includes thinking you are not good enough, doubting yourself and allowing yourself to think that your past defines your future. I had to learn that only you can define your future and not to overlook the present.

Q: You are involved with several projects – how do you find the inspiration to continue contributing to and influencing such a diverse range of projects and people?
A: Understanding the role of a leader is important, you have to realise that you have a bigger responsibility. Serving others is important, whether it is intellectual, physical or financial amongst others. You have to treat everyone in the same manner.

Q: What advice would you give South African youth?
A: Realise that you are not entitled to anything and that you have to think differently and independently. Have an inquiring mind. Give meaning to your life by having gratitude and giving of yourself and serving others.

“Maya Angelou said that although people might forget what you said, they will never forget how it made you feel.” Totsie Memela-Khambule, CEO of Eduloan.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Janine Hills: Inspirational Woman

This month is women’s month and Eduloan would like to share the inspiring story of Janine Hills, the CEO and Founder of Vuma Reputation Management, a company that specialises in reputation management, crisis communication, media liaison and media training.

Janine has extensive business knowledge, skill and an intricate understanding of reputation management, backed by over 25 years of experience across various industries. She has done work for some large companies such as Southern Sun, Sun International, Vodacom, Kaizer Chiefs, Ster-Kinekor Home Entertainment, Ster-Kinekor Licensing and Primovie (a division of Primedia). Janine has also worked for FNB and was a founding member of, the eCommerce initiative.

We managed to get some time with this influential woman to talk to her about her approach to life:

Q: How did your education shape your future?
A: I didn’t have any formal tertiary education after matric. Everything I’ve learnt I learnt through experience gained at various organisations, by observing, doing extensive research and reading anything I could get my hands on.

Q: Who is your inspiration?
A: I do not have one single inspiration, because I choose to draw inspiration from daily interactions with peers, colleagues and clients, some of which includes Paul Harris (FirstRand Bank owner and former CEO), Alan Knott-Craig (Cell C CEO) and of course my spiritual leader, Shri Mamuadevi. Everyone teaches me bits and I enjoy continually learning from everyone.

Q: What are some of the difficulties that you had to overcome to get to where you are?
A: The biggest challenge for me has been to believe in myself and my personal capabilities. It included realising that you are your own biggest hurdle and that it all comes down to believing in yourself.

Q: You are involved with several projects – how do you find the inspiration to continue contributing to and influencing such a diverse range of projects and people?
A: I believe that one should always treat every single person the same, whether they are a car guard or an executive, everyone deserves to be treated similarly. It is always important to approach everything with a serving mentality. It you are willing to serve, you can touch people’s lives in even the smallest ways.

Q: What advice would you give South African youth?
A: You need to realise that there are no shortcuts. If you want to achieve something, you have to invest the time. Always think about the legacy that you would like to leave behind and how you impact those around you – there is no better time to start than now, even if you are still at school.

“Everything is possible if you do it with honesty, integrity and perseverance. Keep trying and believe in yourself” Janine Hills, CEO of Vuma Reputation Management

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Four Careers That Touch Lives

There are a variety of careers that touch our lives daily. If you are also interested in furthering your studies and touching people’s lives, there are a variety of career options that you can consider. Here are four careers that might have touched your life as well as those lives around you.

Doctors and nurses touch one’s life from an early age. Whether you require chronic health care or whether you have to go to the doctor for regular check-ups, those who work in the medical profession care for you and your family on a regular basis.

Did you know: The stereotypes some people hold about being a nurse can come from what they know from history about Florence Nightingale, even though the profession has changed over the years.

There is no doubt the role of a teacher is a demanding and rewarding one. A teacher may teach young children who have just started school, or they may teach much older children in a specific subject. One of the largest tasks for a teacher is to ensure that every pupil develops an interest in what they are being taught. Teachers individually and collectively can not only change the world, but improve it, and in the process find personal and professional renewal.

Did you know: There is more than one path towards becoming a teacher and getting the degree you want? Some people choose to study for a BEd – a Bachelor of Education degree. You can also complete a bachelor degree in a specific subject lasting three to four years, and then follow it up with a post graduate course.

Social work strives to address social problems in the country from a social development and a social justice perspective. Social Workers work with people from all walks of life, focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable. Social Workers work with individuals, groups, families and communities. If you’re looking for a career with meaning, diversity, satisfaction, and an abundance of options, consider social work.  Social workers are people who care about people, who want to make things better, who want to relieve suffering, who want their work to make a difference.

Did you know: Social workers are employed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, mental health clinics, schools, nonprofit agencies, and government offices.

There can be few more rewarding careers to consider than that of a police officer. While no two jobs are ever quite the same from day to day, this is definitely the case when it comes to being a police officer. A South African police officer has many different duties. The main duty is of course to ensure that law and order is upheld at all times. Crime prevention is just as important as locating criminals, solving crimes and upholding the law. All police officers must take an oath of office.

Did you know: A reservist is a member of the community that performs part time (at least sixteen (16) hours per month) policing functions or activities for the South African Police Service on a voluntary basis without being remunerated for such services?

You can contact your local college or university for more information on furthering your studies. The South African Police Service has more information on becoming a police officer. By deciding to further your studies in one of these fields are demanding, yet extremely rewarding. We would like to thank those who touch our lives and hope that they inspire more South Africans to walk in their shoes.

Eduloan recognises the need for access to more affordable financial assistance for public sector employees (like nurses, policemen etc). Eduloan enjoys a long-standing relationship with government, offering all government employees easier credit approval processes and automatic salary deductions. This special arrangement smooth’s the way ahead for your career path.

At Eduloan, we have several teachers, policemen and nurses as clients and respect the contribution that these people make to our society. If you are a government employee, you can talk to us about how we can unlock your potential.  We are also on hand to discuss how we can assist with education loans for your children and family members too.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Five Influential Women In Education

This month we celebrate women. What better way to celebrate women, than to honour five influential women in education.

Santie Botha kicked off her career in 1987 as a marketing graduate and worked for Unilever in a variety of marketing and sales roles both in South Africa and abroad. After navigating her way up the corporate ladder, Santie became the Commercial Sales Director of van den Berg Food service, in the UK, before returning to South Africa in 1996.   

On her return, she joined the Absa Group as Marketing Director and was later appointed Group Executive Director in 1998. Santie was also a member of the executive committee of the Absa Group, a board member of Absa Bank and a member of the MasterCard AMEA Board (Africa, Middle East, Asia).

In 2003 the mobile industry benefited from Santie’s service when she joined the MTN group as Executive Director: Marketing. In addition she became a member of the MTN Group Executive Committee as well as onboard director of MTN South Africa, MTN Cameroon & MTN Yemen.  

Santie is now known as the youngest chancellor at any South African university – she joined the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2010.

“People with relevant and cutting-edge knowledge and a competitive spirit, create a sustainable future through science, technology and innovation.” Santie Botha, Inaugural address, 2011

MalalaYousafzai made international news after she was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education. A 16 year-old student from Swat, Pakistan, Malala is studying in 8th class. In 2009, Malala wrote a diary for BBC under the pseudonym, "GulMakai".In her diary, she wrote about the critical situation in Swat at that time. A little later, she became well-known for everything she has done for children rights in Swat, Pakistan. Nominated for a children’s award by an international organization in 2011, Malala became known as a brave girl and has the ability to speak out the truth. She fought for children's education in her region when the militants were fighting against the Pakistan Army in Swat, banning girls' from attending school.

On 8th October 2012 Malala was attacked in Swat when she was going home from school. She continues to be a voice for the rights to education. Malala is now living and studying in the United Kingdom, and she has started going to school.

“In many parts of the world, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan, terrorism, war and conflict stop children to go to their schools. We are really tired of these wars. Women and children are suffering,” MalalaYousafzai, United Nations address, 2013

Wendy Ngoma is a senior lecturer at the Wits Business School (WBS) and the current Director and Head of School. Before joining the WBS she worked at the Wits Graduate School of Public and Development for more than ten years. Over the years, Wendy taught in various Graduate, Executive and Certificate Programmes and served in various university management portfolios. She is a specialist in the fields of Organisational Behavior, Human Resource Management and Change Management teaching thought leadership and management expertise that is deeply relevant to both Africa and the international world of business.

“At WBS, we are doing our bit to create leaders who will take this continent further through innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. We are set to be the platform to launch South Africa's aspirations for alternative thinking on markets, economies and new enterprises. The global financial markets continually call for new ideas and wisdom that will bring stability and equilibrium.” Wendy Ngoma, Director’s Outlook, 33.

Prof Shirley Zinn started her career as a school teacher, teaching English. She then moved to the University of the Western Cape where she lectured in Teacher Education. Zinn holds a doctorate in education from Harvard, as well as degrees and diplomas in education and psychology. She is also an extraordinary professor in HR management at the University of Pretoria. She has received many prestigious awards, including a Topco media award for Top Woman in Business and Government and Top Executive in Corporate South Africa. 

I had a vision that I was not going to be poor in the township for the rest of my life and that I was not going to be a victim of a society of teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse. How I was going to find my way out of that I was not sure but I did know that education was going to play a big role in it. I also realised that I had to work exceptionally hard to achieve my goals.” Prof Shirley Zinn, Interview, 2012

Prof Mary Metcalfe holds a Master’s degree in Education. She has served on several government positions between 1994 – 2004 including Provincial MEC of Education in Gauteng, after which she joined the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) as Head of the School of Education from 2004 to 2009.

She joined the Development Bank of Southern Africa in 2011 as lead sector specialist for: Social Infrastructure. She is a visiting fellow on the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg, and a visiting adjunct Professor at Wits.

“We want to start immediately getting teachers teaching and students learning. We want to see in every area reconstruction and development conferences in education taking place to plan for the immediate rehabilitation of schools and setting up of parent-teacher-student associations. In this way, people will come together.” Mary Metcalfe, Interview, 1994.