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Yoliswa Ruth Sontlaba | 42, Call centre agent
"Joining 10X was a big step to my future".
Single Mum of 4 turns things around after a long struggle
After many years of struggle, things are turning around for 42-year-old single mother of four, Yoliswa Ruth Sontlaba. Her children are all doing well, one of them is at university and she has started saving for her retirement with 10X Investments, where the team make her “feel like a queen”.
Yoliswa, who was raised by her grandmother in Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape, barely knew her parents. Her grandmother really tried to guide her to a better life, she says, but she fell pregnant in her final year at school.
Her life has been quite a struggle since then, but Yoliswa is one tough lady and is turning her life around.
She met her first boyfriend in 1995, when she was in her final year of school, and fell pregnant. Any chance of studying further or starting a career was delayed by the birth of her first child soon after she had passed her matric. She had to put her career plans on hold again the next year when she got pregnant with a second child.
At this time, in her words, “fate came” and her grandmother passed on. Things got really difficult for Yoliswa. Her boyfriend, who had promised to help her further her studies when the children were old enough, backed out of his promise, and the relationship ended. She was left alone with two young children to care for.
“Life became very hard for me. All hope was lost,” says Yoliswa, who couldn’t turn to her mother because “she didn’t know much about me”. Fortunately, an aunt, her mother’s sister, said Yoliswa and her two sons should come to her in Johannesburg.
Things started to look up for Yoliswa when took a course at Cornerstone training centre in Randburg. She learnt basic computer skills as well as other skills required to work as an operator in a call centre. She loved the training and the work.
In the meantime, the father of her two sons had got engaged and had settled in Langebaan, near Cape Town. She asked him to take care of the boys so she could study and work. He agreed, and the boys went to live with their father. After a few years, he got married and no longer wanted the boys to live with them, so he sent them to live with Yoliswa’s mother.
Yoliswa was reluctant to join them there because, she says, it would have been “very difficult” for her to move into her step-father’s house with her mother and step-brothers. So she stayed in Johannesburg.
In 2004, she started seeing someone else and they settled down together and had a child, a daughter, in 2006. Tragically, Yoliswa’s boyfriend died of kidney failure. A relationship with another man also ended in sadness for Yoliswa when he disappeared soon after she gave birth to his child, another daughter.
Then, no matter how awkward it was, she was forced to move back to the Eastern Cape and move in with her mother and step-brothers, which “seemed like a nightmare”.
But things took a turn for the better in 2012 when Yoliswa got a job as a sales agent at IQ Academy, a distance learning institution in East London. It was a great blow when she heard she was be retrenched from this job. She was absolutely devastated by this turn of events.
“I thought my life was coming to an end,” says Yoliswa. "Bear in mind that I have four children, who rely entirely on me.”
But, thankfully, her luck turned again, this time for the better. On her last day in the job she was offered a job at another call centre in East London. “On my last day at IQ Academy, Mrs Joan Nel (who I call my Godmother), the call centre manager at DMC, offered me a job.”
It was through DMC, a debt collections call centre, that Yoliswa was introduced to 10X Investments.
With no experience at all of the retirement savings industry, Yoliswa says, joining 10X was “a big step to my future”. Joining was easy and “it is so easy to check on the internet how my investment is growing, or even send an SMS to 44844 and within a minute 10X sends an answer of my balance”.
Yoliswa now has a job that she loves, and the children are all doing well. In fact, her second child, a young man of 20, is at university. Her girls are only 12 and 7 so she still faces many challenges, but she feels positive about her future and has a plan, which includes putting money away for her own retirement.
“All my experience with 10X has been a great journey. That still continues. Every time I check my balance my heart rejoices because I'm now not only saving for myself but also for my kids.”