Putting people first – Catherine Nthleng
By Miliswa Sitshwele
From shy and quiet to bubbly and confident – Catherine Nthleng has come out of her shell in her five years of working at Maropeng. She is one of the boat ride operators and she interacts with visitors all day.
Before she joined Maropeng, Catherine worked as a volunteer at Itumeleng Clinic, educating people about HIV/AIDS. She and her team of volunteers went door to door, telling people about the virus and the importance of using condoms.
At Maropeng, she’s still making sure people are protected. Catherine’s job is far more than merely pressing a button: “There is one part of the lake that is really deep, so I have to take extra care of my guests.” As a safety representative, she is also skilled in fire fighting and first aid.
She enjoys the pleasure visitors get from the boat trip. “The look on people’s faces after going on the ride is priceless. When they get off they are happy, laughing, saying they will bring their friends and family to experience it.”
Catherine’s job isn’t an easy one because she works underground the whole day. She never sees the sun because she leaves her house early and finishes late – but she loves her job.
She says her life has changed a lot since she started working at Maropeng. “I wasn’t a very social person but now I work with people all day and I can talk to them.”
She is grateful that the management of Maropeng gave her the opportunity to be part of the team. “I only had a Grade 12 certificate when I started, but now I am skilled in other areas.”
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