Born to a white father and a black mother who hid in the mountains of Burgersfort to give birth to her and who wanted to leave her in a plastic bag to float down a river in fear that the community would kill her, Veronica was just a few days old when she was given away to family who took her as their own.
However, if she thought that from here she would grow up in a loving environment; this poor little girl was badly mistaken. Her childhood discipline consisted of being tied to a chair and beaten with a whip, and all Veronica just wanted was to have a normal family with a normal upbringing. During her scholar years a schoolmate gave Veronica a sewing machine to use and that is where her passion for sewing started, making clothing for children and friends for pocket money.
After years and years in a tormented home environment, she finished grade 11, got married and managed to enroll herself into a sewing school – an institution with a prerequisite of math’s and matric, neither of which she had. With her outdated sewing machine in one hand and her clothing in the other, she would walk the 2km to the school every day to be able to turn her passion into something that she could one day make a proper living from.
Through the ambition for the well-being of people, Veronica started a manufacturing company called Dolla Tella, a Bloemfontein based enterprise that mass produced clothing to retailers and individuals in the Free State. She had a staff compliment of 60, 57 of which were the breadwinners in their households, and 94% of which were woman.
In 2002 Veronica was awarded “Bloemfonteiner of the Year” and in 2003 won the ATKV (Afrikaans Language and Culture Association) merit award for motivational speeches.
During 2010, Veronica was forced to close down her factory due to unfairness of black empowerment in South Africa. This had a huge impact towards the woman who were the breadwinners in their households as well as on Veronica.
Let Veronica share with you her life story, how through her tormented upbringing and continuous hardship managed to learn 7 languages and turn a passion into a successful business enterprise.