When I first came to work with WhizzKids United in 2008 I had certain expectations but I never would have guessed that I would meet my wife through the job. But life is full of interesting twists and turns like that!
Back in July 2009, we were cooperating with partner organisation MCDI to run a small life skills project in the rural town of Maphumulo, KwaZulu-Natal. It was decided that a representative from each organisation should go to Maphumulo to do an assessment of the project site. It would normally have been the responsibility of my colleague Paul, but as he was unavailable that day I went instead. The representative from MCDI was a beautiful young lady named Ayanda. Maphumulo is a one-and-a-half hour drive from Durban so we had a lot of time to chat in the car. Turns out we got along pretty well, and a little over three years later we were married!
Most of us who work in the non-profit sector do so because of we want to give, not because of what we want to get. Yet as a result of working with WhizzKids United I have gotten a wife and soulmate - one of the greatest blessings that life has to offer. Somehow when you sacrifice your own ambitions and live for other people, things have a way of working out in your own life. God is good!
For the past two and half years I was working for WhizzKids United and I have been going to different schools and enjoying it. I was doing Life Skills and running tournaments and making teachers and kids smile and enjoy all over. I was doing this because it was work and it even became my lifestyle. I was kind of bored during the school holidays due to the fact that couldn’t do what I was used to be doing.
But in the last two weeks something strange was asked and I had no answer for something I have been doing for the past two and a half years: to differentiate between who we are as an organisation and what we do in our daily work. I always thought I’m doing it right when I explain it to people but I discovered that it is not the same. I can’t go around telling people what we do if I don’t know who we are. Thanks to the marketing team who held a workshop of one and a half days at the Health Academy the last two Fridays, most of us are clear now on things we didn't know.
What do we do when we market, and to whom do we market, why do we market are the things we never think about, yet we do them every time we are in the street or school. In fact, I learnt that marketing is done every day by everyone. I went into that workshop thinking of when is it going to end, but when information started to flow in I think I wasn't the only one surprised by many things we discovered. For example, I didn't know that 93% of our communication is non-verbal. That the communication happening when we walk in the street with our organisation t-shirt or somebody sees us in Life Skills kicking footballs with kids. Things that attract people to come and see what we do – that is marketing.
When you get to the Health Academy, the friendliness that you get and the warm feeling flowing around, this is who we are as WhizzKids United. You also get the feeling that the people around you know what they are doing. This helps a lot for our marketing because when a client leaves and they are happy, they will come back and also tell their friends.
There were many more interesting things discussed and done at the workshop which I can't all mention now, but all in all thanks to the marketing team – I hope we’re still going to see more of those trainings.