MEET Ellen Sibanyoni, general assistant in the Department of Library Services.

Posted on September 17, 2021

The silence that the library provides is one of the best parts of her job, says Ellen Sibanyoni, general assistant in the Department of Library Services at UP. She chats about the highs and lows of her duties and why “we should all do our little bit of good wherever we are.”

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, and raised in Mamelodi East.

What does your job entail?

I clean designated facility areas; this includes dusting, sweeping, vacuuming and mopping. I also carry out deep cleaning and detailed cleaning tasks, and notify management of deficiencies or repairs that are required. I enjoy the flexible hours and the fact that you get to work in a variety of different locations on a daily basis.

What are some of the challenges of the job?

There are physical hazards. Wet, slippery floors can cause accidents and are a legal liability. I try to ensure that the “wet floor” signs are visible, yet some students and staff just walk over the wet floors without saying a word. The availability of new technology could play a role; maybe a cordless animated sign could replace the existing signs.        

What is your least favourite part of the job?

Well, life is about making an impact, not an income. Moreover, we should all do our little bit of good wherever we are – it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. I believe everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

What is the next step for you?

I am optimistic that one day I will qualify as a social worker. We all go through certain stages of life in which we focus on certain goals. It’s an urge, truth must be told. Every leader has felt it, every winner has felt it, every soldier has felt it, every victorious person has felt it. I have developed an attitude that says, “Do not quit and do not give up on your dreams.”

What do you do in your free time?

I often help my son with his school projects and homework.

What are your personal likes?

Fortunately, I am stationed in the library, where noise is not allowed. I like quiet places because I can focus on my assigned responsibilities. I do not like distractions or unnecessary noise when working. I find it’s hard to do my best work when there’s extra noise; I can’t delve in as fully as I’d like to. In our library, silence is controlled. I can articulate my thoughts better and key into what I’m doing.

Quick quiz:

Sport: Soccer

Food: Healthy eating

Movies: Why Did I Get Married?

Actor: Connie Ferguson    

Musician: Aretha Franklin

- Author Jimmy Masombuka

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