I’m Thembela Matthew Kraya, Quemic Ranger

I’m from a small town called Bedford in Eastern Cape. I come from a poor background and had nothing but I wanted to be something. I had no clue where to start. My dreams were fading but all that suddenly changed when I came to Cape Town last year. I had no hopes or thoughts of being where I am today, until I got the opportunity at CTEET when I joined the programme. It opened many gates for me to make something out of myself and made me realize the love I have for nature. There were no chances for me to be where I am today but CTEET made it possible for me because today I am a Quemic ranger. I can make something out of my life and without CTEET none of this would’ve been happening. They changed my life through nature.

One more life changed through our Nature Conservation NQF2 Learnership, the River Ambassadors project. Project Manager Hlomla Dali says, “Thembela joined the team in July 2020, a little later than the rest of the River Ambassadors, and immediately made an impact in the team. He established himself as the ‘go-to- guy’ for any challenging on-site tasks, earning respect from myself, his supervisors and the team at large. He is very versatile, and his fluency in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa, made him a glue that brought together the two cultural groups represented in the project. He was good for the team and also for interaction with greenbelt users.

The Nature Conservation NQF2 Learnership is special in the sense that strong candidates like Thembela will get opportunities, that they wouldn’t otherwise have. And CTEET’s relationships with Quemic, the City of Cape Town and other organisations allow for an easy transition and growth from the learnership level to being employed members of society. This is not the first learner from a CTEET learnership to transform and will not be the last. I am looking forward to seeing more River Ambassadors like Thembela grow from strength to strength,” says Hlomla.