Pursue your dreams with passion, stamina

A brilliant matric pass isn’t everything, says hip young self-starter you have your matric, but not a university pass. Now what? Don’t give up – and keep following your dreams because with passion, stamina and energy you can and will succeed.

That’s the message from at least one young man who was disappointed by his matric results – but who went on to succeed. The future for matriculants in the 2016 job market is bleak, with only four out of every 10 matriculants destined to find jobs, said Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue, yesterday.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Youths have the power to choose to try and get a job and even make their own work. Take the experience of Mthatha clothing designer “Luno” Mphamba, 20, whose D pass hit him like a punch. “I thought my life was over, that I would not succeed in my life.” But then he looked at his teen hobby of making hip designer clothing on his father’s sewing machine, and decided to keep going with his own label, LunoWear RSA.

Dad Jimmy Mphamba, a promoter for Distell, used the machine to darn his socks and mend tears. He offered it to 16-year-old Luno to use to make designer T-shirts, socks, jackets and sweaters. By the time Luno read his matric results, he was already making and selling designer shirts at R500 each, and earning an average of R2 000 a month while still at school.

“It was going well. I put a lot of that money back into buying new material and bulk stock.” Sales and demand have grown. He receives requests from around the country, has a few clients in London and already has three people working for him. His life’s journey was vast and varied.

He grew up in Mount Frere, but the family left for Pretoria when he was five. His high school years were filled with fear – a result of high school bullying – and he finally found an academic and creative home at Dana International College. Times turned tough for the family, and the freshly-matriculated Luno was obliged to move to Mthatha to live with his dad. He stepped it up with his clothing business and moved from designing on paper to using a digital app called Bamboo Paper to get his designs to the printer.

“I based my designs on what the youth loved, such as the latest trends set by Galxboy and Bowcutz.” He was enthusiastically encouraged by his dad and his mom, Lindelwa Ntlangula, who helped him to draw up a business plan.

“My mom persuaded me to keep going; she was fully supportive and helped with a business strategy. I put my full focus on LunoWear RSA and now it’s wanted in the Eastern Cape, Pretoria, Cape Town and I have a few customers in London.

“I have found space in a friend’s apartment and I have three family friends aged 20, 21 and 23 who work for me and get a cut [of the earnings].” Luno’s message to matrics who today face his predicament: “No matter how bad your results or how bad you feel about it, keep going. God will have your back, but don’t give up on your dreams. Never give up on what you love the most because you can fulfill any dream you really want to fulfill.”

“You need to be passionate, have stamina and energy. You need to work at the positivity inside you knowing all the time that you are doing what you love. “Just get going. Get into it!”

GO FOR IT! Lunowear clothing designed and made by Mthatha fashion designer, Luno Mphamba, 20, Luno says he was gutted when he only got a D for his matric, but never gave up on his dream.

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