The Way To Break The Mould
Qhubeka’s head bike-builder tells us how she went from empowering women through cycling, to running an allfemale bike-building plant.
People are often surprised when they hear what I do, and assume I’m the only female in this field. But that’s not true! My interest in bike building started when I became the safety training officer for a bicycle-related NPO in Cape Town. I worked with schools to teach learners to cycle, and would make adjustments to bicycles as well. It interested me, so I did a bicycle-repair course, to improve my skills and use them on the learners’ bikes.
Then in 2015 I founded Bicycles And Beyond (BAB) with my friend Beverley Roode, to empower women and children by teaching them about cycling, bike maintenance and repair. In 2016 Qhubeka opened their bicycle assembly plant, and wanted experienced, skilled women to run it. We fitted the bill, and we took over the running of the facility. Since then ±1 200 bikes have been handed out, thanks to the work of the BAB ladies and Qhubeka.