Masale Gladys Modika, Madumeleng, Limpopo:
Masale Modika was born in the small village of Sehlakong in Limpopo Province. She is the second child in a family of eight children. Both her parents were uneducated and unemployed. Since she was a girl she did not have the opportunity to attend school, instead she stayed at home and assisted her mother in the field during ploughing seasons as this was the only way to provide for the family. Life was very difficult for Masale as being the oldest daughter her mother counted on her not only with their farming but also for keeping the home and taking care of her younger siblings.
Masale married when she was 25 years old and was blessed with a baby girl. Her husband was working but did not support her at all, they were living in a tin house and a small mud structure that was used as a kitchen. Masale’s husband left his family when their daughter was only five years old. At the time she never knew she could legally claim maintenance from him, so she started to look for ways to survive.
Masale started making the sorghum beer (Umqomboti) to make ends meet. Seeing that the business was not running smoothly she would sometimes go to a local woman who was a dressmaker to help work for her. She learnt a lot from the woman just by looking at how she as sewing. As Masale was moving about the village she used to see women gathered under the tree, one day she asked someone what those women were doing there. They explained that they were members of The Small Enterprise Foundation, SEF.
After getting all the information she needed, she joined SEF, formed her own group and received a loan of R800. She bought an old model Singer sewing machine and some material and started sewing clothes and curtains for people. As time went by and the business grew she started selling blankets, sewing materials and boxes of washing soap.
Masale’s business continued to thrive and expand and she took successively bigger loans from SEF. She is now on her 7th loan cycle and is currently borrowing R12 000.
Masale’s business has grown so much and her income has so improved that she managed to build herself a beautiful house and she bought two cars. She also bought a brick making machine and is now supplying bricks, she has a total number of 14 employees. She proudly shares that in her First National Bank account she how has more than R113 000 and in another the post bank account she has R 50, 024.
Her life is now something that she never dreamed it could be.