N3TC Hero – Samora Ngcaweni

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N3TC Hero Samora Ngcaweni. Pic: Nikki Brighton

‘Vukuzenzele, umtu utya ukubila kwebunzi lakhe. Akukho nkwali ephandela enye, ephandela enye yene thole’
Translated from Xhosa as:
“Life is not about sitting and waiting for things to happen”

Juggling the demands of career, family, tradition, studies and diverse cultures is probably something many young South African men have to do these days. However, Samora Ngcaweni appears to achieve this with consummate ease. Samora’s mother was a real inspiration – she managed to juggle the demands of family life and studies to become the first black pharmacy graduate at Rhodes and then went on to forge a successful career in the Transkei.

His parents believed that education was the key to a good life and did their best to give their children a decent education. After leaving school Samora studied Civil Engineering in Port Elizabeth and has continued studying ever since. He is currently completing a Bachelor of Technology degree in Construction Management and cramming in short courses to improve his skills and knowledge to enable him to carry out his tasks as Route Maintenance Supervisor even better. “N3TC really believe in developing staff and have made a big impact in many lives, meaning we are passionate about the company.”

Samora is also passionate about South Africa: “It’s not boring. There is always something that will tickle your fancy or make your blood boil. We also have the best weather in the world and no earthquakes.” He says with a laugh.

He absolutely adores his beautiful dogs – Brabus, Vader and Diesel. “I love the way they jump to greet me”. The dogs live at his home in Mthatha though, so he doesn’t spend as much time as he would like with them. His sister, journalist Lusanda Ngcaweni, does live with them and although she also loves them to bits, wishes he’d come home to walk them more often. “They have destroyed the vegetable garden and ripped every toy to shreds. Last time he was here he must have lost 10kgs as it was definitely a case of the dogs walking the man!” Ties are strong to his family home and he has fond memories of childhood. In particular, his Dad’s Car magazine collection (started in 1963) which sparked his own love of cars. “When I was about 10 years old, I saw an Audi Sport Quattro displayed at the Wild Coast Sun, and I was smitten.”

Samora’s multiple lives require commuting between Harrismith where he works, and Johannesburg where his wife, Nomacamagu and children live. Being a weekend Dad means those precious days are crammed with child-centred activities. In everything Samora does he strives towards togetherness – Ubuntu – A world where everybody knows one another, is always there to help and empathise, and to celebrate during joyous occasions. Lusanda agrees “Family was so important to my folks, I think that is where he gets it from. Samora is always tracking down long lost cousins and uncles, sometimes to their surprise.”

Working weeks involve surveying the road for problems and fixing them as quickly as possible. “The N3 is a very, very, very good road” he says “which keeps us focused and busy, and there’s never a dull moment”.

Late afternoons are spent walking along the streets of Harrismith for exercise and listening to music or watching old movies before tucking into supper – lamb curry and rice are a favourite. Then it’s time for studying again. Fortunately Samora doesn’t need much sleep – 5 hours do the trick.

While all the commuting, demands on his time and multiple responsibilities might daunt another, Samora remembers his father’s words “It could have been worse, life is not about sitting and waiting for things to happen” , and gives thanks for all the facets which make up his life – the opportunity to contribute, his thriving family, the convenience of life in Johannesburg and the fact that home is still Mthatha.