How Engen and a chance encounter changed Vuyanavo Vuyi Mukhari’s life

Tagged with: # , #
#" data-count="none" data-via=" "> Tweet August 10, 2018 3:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The story of how Vuyanavo Vuyi Mukhari went from being a petrol attendant to achieving her goals in the film and television industry is an inspirational tearjerker, to say the least.

Who is Vuyanavo Vuyi Mukhari?

Vuyi is a 26-year-old dreamer from Johannesburg. After graduating from the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa, she found it very difficult to secure employment in the industry.

She described this disappointment as one that upset her a lot:

“I became downhearted when I couldn’t get a job after graduating from the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa, especially since I’d worked so hard at a butchery to fund my studies.”

The one thing that secured her the position as a petrol attendant at Engen was her infectious smile, her professionalism and upbeat demeanour.

Vuyi had to motivate herself from falling into a depressive state that most young people her age fail to get out of after things don’t go as planned. She added that

“one day I picked myself up and decided I would get a job, any job, so long as it gave me an income a reason to get up in the morning.”

The chance encounter that saved her life

The job opportunity she received at Engen did not come as easy as most would think. She had to convince her bosses that despite being overly qualified for the position, she had the will to work hard and contribute towards the excellent service of the station.

Three months later, Vuyi caught the eye of Lerato Ditshego, a businesswoman-turned-motivational speaker. She had offered to get a few items for Lerato in the store while her car was being filled up.

Vuyi’s reason for doing something that is rarely practised at petrol stations proved to be the thing that would change her life:

“it was a very cold day in July last year and when she pulled in I gave her my best smile so she would choose my lane. I offered to run into the shop and get her a cup of coffee or anything else she may be needing. She went in herself, but then she asked my name and we got talking.”

Unbeknown to Vuyi, she had just served the one person who would change everything for her. When she arrived at work the next day, she found that she was trending on social media and that Lerato had mentioned her story in an interview she did with Destiny Magazine.

Lerato was inspired by Vuyi’s positivity. She could have been demoralised by her position in life, filling cars with petrol in the cold winter, but she wasn’t, and that was a choice that encouraged Lerato to post about it on social media.

“I shared he story on social media and got an overwhelming response.”, she added.

Once Vuyi realised that so many people empathised with her plight, she could not hold back her tears.

Soon afterwards, she had several companies ready to take her on on an internship and she chose to go with TBWA Hunt Lascaris in Sandton.

Vuyi thanks Engen for changing her life

Although she recognises Lerato’s post as the beginning of her forever, she stated that without Engen, she would not have been where she is today:

“They were reticent about employing me in the job because I was a graduate, and I had to work hard to persuade them that I would be grateful for whatever job I could get. Engen took a chance on me and provided me with a platform from which I could chase my true calling. I will always be grateful for the chance Engen gave me when I was really struggling to get started.”

Unathi Njokweni-Magida, who is Engen’s Head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, stated that the company’s committed to empowering young, black women.

Not only is Engen prioritising the creation of a pipeline of opportunity for black and female graduates, but it also wants to become more of a staple for women who seek to launch themselves into other careers.

She added that

“We are committed to education and we would never want to hold someone like Vuyi back from her true calling. We are just grateful to have been part of her journey, and for playing a role in setting her on a path to doing what she is trained to do.”

Tags: ,

Categorised in:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *