The more you learn the more you go places

“I learned about different types of power, and since the lesson I have confidence to talk about my life experiences.”

Kelly Mjela is a hard working womxn, eager to learn new things, a good listener and just loves to help people around her. She is the co-founder of Waterdal community project, which is based in Vereeniging Emfuleni municipality, helping the community of Waterdal with issues of food security as they have a soup kitchen; they donate clothing and help with registrations for legal documents such as identity document (ID).

“I am a self-employed mother with a catering business, cooking and baking. I just enjoy challenges even though I am my own boss I always set the bar high so that I can learn new things and have alternatives if things do not work according to my plans.”

She represents the community of Waterdal and works hard to address the issues faced by the community. Kelly first met One in Nine team at the feminist farming project at Waterdal hosted by Serapeng sa Basadi and she became a participant of the feminist political education. “Thanks to the One in Nine Campaign we are also able to host workshops about GBVF, Covid-19, Girls workshop etc. and the quarry campaign since we have a huge issue about the quarry in our area”

Kelly is passionate about working with people, “I love making life easy for people with busy schedules and my love for cooking makes the business operate smoothly. I also love to help people reach their full potential”

“The One in Nine Campaign taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know, like poster designing in the art for liberation workshop and how to campaign in the Hate crime campaign workshop. Through these sessions, I am now able to face my fears and speak up for myself, and thanks to the self-defence session, I believe that I can defend myself.

Thanks to One in Nine I am able to convince other people to do the right thing and also stand up for what they believe in. And with the assistance we received of the water tanks my business is able to function and the community of Waterdal is able to receive water.”

“I also learned to appreciate myself which makes it simple for me to communicate with the people around me and the community as a community representative, with the lessons I learned it is easy to encourage other people to accept themselves and work hard to develop the community as a whole because I believe two hands are better than one”

“One in Nine campaign is the first organisation that I’ve met so far that does not mind going all out to assist small organisation to grow and they have taught us that instead one criticising it’s best to share knowledge that will empower us to do big things in life and help other women. Thanks to One in Nine for helping me believe in myself and giving us the opportunity to learn”

Kelly’s future plans are to expand her business so that it caters for other business events, schools and big events such as weddings etc. She also wants to register the organisation so that is could receive funding so that the soup kitchen can grow and she does not want to see people around her community going to bed on empty stomachs.