Hlayisani Lorraine Sono, fondly known to her peers as Mhani Buildara, will blow her thirtieth candle on the 12th of June 2020. As part of celebrating what should count as a milestone for her, Miss Sono shares with us the story of her learning experience as she builds, one brick at a time, towards her dream as a future business woman and leader.
Miss Sono’s dream is to one day operate her own company with which she hopes to help her fellow youths with opportunities. She already has a business registered and incorporated under her directorship, although the business is yet not operational.
Sono wants to finish her learnership programme first before she can boldly venture into directing her own company called Mhani Builder Construction and Projects Pty Ltd. N’wa Sono has been attending a three year construction learnership programme run by service provider Mr T Furumele and is hosted at the M2 Engineering College housed at the Matimu Hall, Valdezia.
“Na vona Mr T Furumele na Cllr G Furumele ku va va kotile ku va va hi pfuna hi ku hi tisela learnership leyi yo aka ndza khensa eka vona… I vanhu lava va nga endla leswaku namuthla ndzi ti kuma ndzi ri eka swa vumaki.”
Not only is Hlayisani known for her church attendance, but she is loved by her admirers as a passionate and dedicated upcoming community builder. This is thanks to the tutelage and mentorship she has been getting from Mr Elias Ngoveni, a well known local building contractor in his own right, from whom she has been learning the tricks of the construction industry. Hlayisani hopes to be a force to be reckoned with in the local construction industry when her time comes to step into the big shoes of directing her own company. But for now, all that can wait while she learns all the skills of the trade under the old crocs who have been in the game for some time.
Being a bread winner, taking care of her younger sister, as well as her eight old daughter Angel, comes with a lot of resilience and mental strength for the slender looking young woman. N’wa Sono had no choice but to step into a guardian role looking after the family when their mother Tsakani Sono passed on five years go when Hlayisani was twenty five years of age.
After the death of my mom I struggled to get a job but I never gave up because I am a hardworker, until I found myself getting into the construction space
As they say, being a first born child in an African home comes with its own responsibilities and challenges of looking after those who come behind you. This must happen even if it means you have to let go of your dreams so that you must play a full time parenting role to your siblings. Nonetheless, letting go of her dreams of building towards her future dream of owning her own business, was just too much to contemplate for this resilient young woman. For Hlayisani Sono, learnng is the key that will one day open the door for her to succeed in her chosen entrepreneurial path. After matriculating from the Rivubye High School in 2008, Miss Sono went on to complete her certificate in computer literacy and financial management in 2009. She is now busy working on an apprenticeship in bricklaying.
At the moment i am studying while also trying to do part time on my field of study for extra cash so that I can start my own company which will help my fellow youths with opportunities, not only employing them but also supporting them to start their venture.
Sono says the fact that many women are neglecting the construction field motivates her enough to stick with it, just so she can prove to everyone that this is not a field reserved for men only. Yes they may have dominated for centuries, but it is now time when women can compete and beat men in their own game
She says jobs in the construction field are demanding because one has to be a fast thinker and be able to solve problems that may arise, in order to do a perfect job that will impress one’s client.
Sono says where she is currently is just the beginning for her as she embarks on a path towards reaching her dream.
“I want to shake the world on this construction field, I want to be a reliable person who will be able to fulfill the client’s need, someone who will own a company which will also help a lot of people who are in need by donating to them coz in Xitsonga, they say ku katekile voko leri nyikaku ku tlula leri tekaka.”
With guidance from her God and those who have walked in this field, Sono knows that her dreams and wishes are closer enough to reach.
Miss Sono has people whom she shares her difficult life experiences with, who are always willing to lend her an ear and a shoulder to cry on. These are people who never get tired of hearing her stories, “so their words of comfort and advice do help a lot,” she says. However Miss Sono says she has learnt not to expect too much from people, in order to avoid disappointment because the kind of field she is in requires one to always stay focused to avoid unnecessary mistakes. There are times when she may need financial support in order to meet certain needs, but she has learnt not to be too dependent on other people because as she puts it, other people have their plans too, so the little that she gets she makes sure she uses wisely to make ends meet.
Everyone needs a mentor and a good support structure to be the best that they can be. One of the people that Miss Sono has come to rely on is Mr Elias Ngoveni, a wellknown local builder whom she has been working with, doing some part time work, who plays the role of her mentor to teach her all the practical skills she needs to have.
She is also grateful to have Singita Nkuna from the company called Benreg Group who assists when it comes to preparing house plans. She says Nkuna will also come in handy in future when Sono starts running her own construction business. Sono also acknowledges the good role that is being played by an engineer friend of hers, Katlego Kgomo, who is often on stanby to help answer all her engineering related questions.
The Church has played a very significant part in nurturing Sono’s social upbringing to face some of life’s challenges head on. She is grateful for the role that has been played by the EPCSA under the stewardship of Reverends Moyo and Baloyi who have contributed immensely for N’wa Sono to be part of her current learnership programme.
As for the kind of plans she has for her future business venture, N’wa Sono would rather not say much in terms of specifics at the present moment. All shall be revealed in good time, for fear of copycats (as she puts it) who might steal her ideas and run away with them. But we at the FLAIR MAGAZINE shall be the first to know when she is ready get started, so she says. And when she does indeed get started, Sono’s desire will be to see a lot of people benefiting from her future business, and seeing people earn livelihoods through her business.
I want to be a people’s person, someone who will never be far away from people, someone who will not stress when it comes to helping others because I know that the more I give, the more business opportunities arise.
N’wa Sono says she wants to make sure she has offices throughout the country so that it will be easier for her clients to access her services.
© 2020 Flair Concepts Magazine