A journey of discovery
AkukhanYa started as a consultancy in 2005. Jacqueline Klem left a full-time job to start out on her own. Originally, she focused on assisting private training providers to design & develop their training programmes, obtain accreditation for their programmes through the relevant SETA, and develop their QMS (Quality Management Systems). She also worked closely with the training managers to build capacity within the organisations.
It was interesting work, as it exposed her to different SETAs, different training content and styles of training implementation. It suited her unquenchable desire for knowledge and new skills. However, her love for training and being actively involved with the learners was not fulfilled. When a company contacted her in 2008 to run their AET (then still called ABET) training programme in both English & Afrikaans, she jumped at the opportunity. AkukhanYa was then formally registered as a CC. Jacqueline went into partnership with her Mom, Cecilia Klem, an accountant. Jacqueline managed the consulting contracts and training, and Cecilia managed the books and operational side of the business.
in 2010 a previous client asked AkukhanYa to be their AET provider and slowly over time, the consultancy work was reduced and the AET work increased. AkukhanYa started training English & Mathematics all over the country, as well as upskilling youth workers for the SOS Villages in South Africa. The work became too much to handle for two people and a full-time AET trainer was appointed, as well as an office manager and programme administrator. Freelance trainers were used for contracts all over the country.
Slowly the clients grew - all by word of mouth - and AkukhanYa had to move into bigger premises. The "Ali's Travels" enrichment programme was developed and became part of the AET training programmes. (More about that here.) We opened a satellite hub in Durban and Cape Town.
In 2016 AkukhanYa formed a partnership with "Getting to Know English Centre" in Pretoria and "Out of the Box Skills Training Centre" in Germiston. We offered our first training at the OotB hub in September 2016 and our 1st learnership in 2017.
2017 - 2019 were growth years, but also a time of personal challenges as Cecilia was diagnosed with a very rare form of breast cancer and after fighting it like a warrior, finally passed away in January 2019. Jacqueline fell to pieces and the rest of the amazing AkukhanYa team carried the business and her through it. AkukhanYa had full relocated to Out of the Box in Germiston by then and we took on some interns from our first two learnership contracts. These interns became full-time employees in 2019 and two of them became partners in the business in June 2020. Maybe not the best time to change from a CC to a PTY and take on new partners, but it was time for change and restructuring of AkukhanYa since one of the two partners at that time had passed away. The full-time trainer who had been with AkukhanYa since 2010, became one of the four partners in AkukhanYa. Unfortunately, she left us in September 2020 to relocate to Port Elizabeth.
AkukhanYa restructured and we are now a three women partnership. No window dressing, no on paper only black-owned, but fully involved and committed partnership.
Like everyone in the country, 2020 was a huge set-back for AkukhanYa, but we hanged in there and came through a time of uncertainty. So much so, that AkukhanYa not only employed more of the old learners and interns but also an IT genius, we developed an online training platform and training app, we expanded our accredited training programmes with another partnership - AND we launched the KhuYa Campaign to support our entrepreneurs, skills trainers and associate organisations in Germiston and Johannesburg.
There is so much more to our story, but we will need a cup of coffee and a good hat for the longer version of how we started and grew into the training company we are now. Please invite us over for that cup of coffee.
Below is a quick overview of the history of the birth and growth of AkukhanYa. Start at the bottom and work upwards.
Jacqueline Klem - Founder and now one of the three partners in AkukhanYa (and all its divisions) started as a junior primary teacher and with an art & design background. Below is the timeline in small bites to show how it all lead to this day and our plans beyond this time.
The Three year & beyond vision
Scale our training hub to more provinces in South Africa and neighbouring countries.
Continue to grow the quality of our training programmes...
...and our online & app platforms.
Expand our offerings to include more accredited skills training programmes.
Grow the Ali's Travels brand.
Build & grow the Karabo-inc brand.
Offer more online training programmes.
Nobody is sure what the future holds, but
we have huge hope and big dreams going forward...
...This is NOT a finite game for us at AkukhanYa.
NEW dreams and big ideas
The start of 2021 has not been an easy ride, but out of rough times the best innovation and growth can happen. The KhuYa Campaign was initiated in March 2021 - a crowdsourcing fundraiser for all our skills trainers, small entrepreneurs and educational partners. We also formed a partnership with an amazing learnship trainer and company, as well as a number of organisations that will strenghten and compliment our training and vision in education.
Jacqueline found her feet and just as the business blossomed again, Covid 19 hit the world and lockdowns happened. That was the end of all training in companies and at our hub...
but not the end of innovation and development for AkukhanYa. We contracted a start-up IT development company to develop a training app for us. We developed an online learning platform and adapted our style of training to accommodate the "new normal" we knew were going to be with us for a long time yet to come.
Jacqueline also offered partnership in AkukhanYa to three of hte full time staff and in June 2020 AkukhanYa PTY formally became a Level 2 B-BBEE EME. Unfortuntely one of the partners relocated to Port Elizabeth and left the company. AkukhanYa is now a 3 person partnership.
AkukhanYa's one partner passed away after a three year warrior battle with cancer. This was devistating and Jacqueline made a lot of bad choices for the business in this time of extreme grief. Luckily the AkukhanYa team, who now consisted of 10 full-time employees carried both Jacqueline and AkukhanYa through this dark period in our story.
A time of extreme challenges started in 2019...
...challenges never imagined and never anticipated.
The start of learnerships and qualifications
AkukhanYa offered its first learnership at the Out of the Box centre in Germiston. A new world of possibilities opened to us and from here we grew exponentially. The Fu-Za @A division was born.
We soon appointed learners on our first two learnership contracts as interns within AkukhanYa and by 2019, as full time employees.
A partnership was formed with Getting to Know English Centre with AkukhanYa project managing their accredited training programmes...
...and AkukhanYa started training a short skills programme at Out of the Box in Germiston - another amazing partnership was born out of this initiative.
The iVictorY! AET Training Programme was developed, incoporating Ali's Travels as an enrichment element. More and more training contracts came in and AkukhanYa officially appointed its first full time employees (besides the two partners).
A new time of growth and expansion starts...
...a move away from consultance and towards full time training.
AkukhanYa CC was registered
2008 was a turning point in many ways - amazing friends, associates and clients provided work contracts. AkukhanYa was contracted for our first AET training programme. AkukhanYa now became a formally registered training company.
A major car accident nearly ended the young consultancy...
...six months of numerous hospitialization, operations, physio therapy and no-work put a serious strain on the business.
In March 2005 Jacqueline took the very bold step of starting out on her own and starting a consultancy, specialising in accreditation, programme development and capacity building for private training providers.
AkukhanYa was born - light in the darkness of ducation.
TIME to implement her own dreams...
...without being held back by higher powers.
The start of private training providers
Jacqueline immediately joined a private training provider in Bedfordview, Gauteng as an ABET trainer - then became the curriculum & programme developer, accrediation manager nad finally a junior partner and manager of the company.
Jacqueline was head hunted an appointed as the curriculum developer for a financial company's training division. This was a big transition from teh Eastern Cape to Gauteng...
...and besides ending up being a glorfied assistant, she hated every second of the corporate environment. She was too glad when the training department closed down adn she was retrenched..
In 2000 Jacqueline also won an American scholarship to study English as a Second Language and Multimedia at the University of Inidiana in Bloomington, Indiana, USA - along with 25 other South Africans from all backgrounds and races and gender
The corporate world beckons - A short lived and horrible experience.
The USA scholarship was one of those amazing life altering events.
The end of a chapter
Jacqueline was appointed as the provincial co-ordinator for an ECD NGO capacity building programme, sponsored by D.G. Murray.
Totally by accident Jacqueline landed at a private school in Butterworth, Transkei, teaching Grade 1 again. This is where she decided that better resources are needed for our South African children.
July 1994 - along with the change to the South African democracy, Jacqueline joined ITEC - an ECD non-government-organisation - in East London as a programme developer. She moved through the ranks to team leader, curriulum developer, management and also part of an international health study - determining health on children's academic ability.
Outcomes based education was introduced to South Africa and Jacqueline was part of the curriculum developers who were trained in OBE by USAID, the DoE and other sponsors. It was a three year journey, which included the development of training resources in ECD.
Jacqueline left teaching to study two years of interior design at the Port Elizabeth Technical College. She also taught upholstery part time at the college.
The world of design and art still pulled at Jacqueline...
...and she went back to study design for another two years.
The Years of Teaching
The most remarkable two years of teaching Grade 1s followed in King William's Town, Eastern Cape.
Children and education trumps fashion & art.
Jacqueline completes her B Prim Ed (Jnr Prim) 4 year degree at UPE - now NMMU in Port Elizabeth.
Jacqueline enrolls in a fashion & art design diploma at the Port Elizabeth Technicon.
The journey that would lead to the birth of AkukhanYa in 2005 starts.
Time to join the adult world.