Siyabonga Gumede was approached by Mormon missionaries on the street in KwaMashu in 2003. They taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ for 6 months, after which he was baptised. His sister, two of his brothers, and his son are also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Last year Siyabonga began the self-reliance courses. After 6 months he had completed all 3 of them: My Path, My Foundation, and Starting my own Business.
“Through these self-reliance courses I have learned how to start my own business, how to save my money, and how to plan for the future. These have helped me become more self-reliant as previously I didn’t save the money I earned from my business and would spend it. When I started the self-reliance courses, my business started to improve and I received an increased number of opportunities.”
Siyabonga is a very talented artist who earns a living by painting portraits. He sells them via Facebook and other social media platforms. He plans to have his own studio and gallery in the future where he can grow his business and showcase his work. He does drawings, paintings, cartoons and some animations.
His father told him that he was artistic as a young child. At home he would paint pictures and family portraits. He didn’t study art at school. In 2003 he left his job to pursue painting professionally.