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Happy Boitumelo Bapela

Meet the team: Happy Boitumelo Bapela

We would like to introduce you to our team member, operations manager, Happy Bapela.

What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

Currently I have been attending a ‘COVID-19 in a workplace’ online training. This will add value at my workplace as I am currently the health and safety representative of the organization. I will be able to assist with work readiness during the pandemic and make sure that the proper rules and regulations are followed to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

I don’t have any specific person, but in the past three years that I have been working for the organization I have learnt a lot of things from each and every colleague. So, I tend to grab bits of skills from the team that I think will be beneficial to me.

What led you to this career?

After my second year of studying biotechnology, I realised that the course did not make me happy. I chose it because apparently there is a lot of money in that field. But I felt depressed every morning, having to wake up and attend class. So, I decided to change my course to something that I enjoy. I’m glad that I made that decision to change careers because it feels like this career is a calling.

What’s one thing that surprised you about working at Lefika La Phodiso?

For me, art was just about drawing and painting so that you can sell your artworks. But when I came to Lefika, I was surprised how emotions can inspire creativity. Something that you feel on the inside can come out beautifully on paper. I didn’t know that you can work on your emotions using art material.
It is difficult to communicate with children about how they are feeling, but at Lefika kids would communicate using art! That was amazing to experience and be a part of.

What makes you happy? Angry?

A lot of things makes me happy, the ability to spend meaningful time with my family, seeing family and friends prosper in life, freedom of action at work (when I’m happy at work, I also come back home happy).
Seeing rich people who steal from the poor makes me angry.

What global or South African issues do you feel most passionate about?

Unemployment, specifically of women! I believe many women stay in an abusive relationship because they have nowhere else to go as they are financially depended on their abusers.

How are you dealing/coping with the lockdown and restrictions?

I have never thought that, in my lifetime, there will be a time where I will be afraid to go outside because I might catch a disease and bring it home to my family.

What is the one thing that you’ve learned about yourself from Covid19?

I have learnt that I enjoy more leisure-time in the morning, it uplifts my mood. Also, the importance of flexibility in daily life.

Read more about Happy.

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