Polyflor SA’s CEO, Tandy Coleman, shares an interview with an up-and-coming fitter on LinkedIn.

William Shakespeare once said: “Some people are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.”  The flooring fitment industry, like many other trades, is not often regarded as a glamorous profession. However, despite hard work, strenuous physical activity and sometimes long hours, these fitters are often the unsung heroes of our success.

During a recent visit to the Kimberley Hospital, Polyflor CEO, Tandy Spolander, was inspired by the passion and positive outlook on life of a young fitter who was installing Polyflor’s Pearlazzo PUR.

“By chance I met a 22-year-old, Venda-born fitter who introduced himself to me as Theo. A student who has trained through the FITA NQF level 1 course run at Sparrow Schools, Nethavhani Pfunzo Theophylus, aka ‘Theo’ explained that is he is currently doing his practical on-site training with Combined Flooring at Kimberley Psychiatric Hospital. He was trained in vinyl fitting by the team he was currently with, and was very proud to announce that he now had the skills to fit vinyl sheeting, including coving, grooving and welding,” Tandy said.

Apart from his obvious pride in his work and dedication to the task at hand, Theo’s passion and enthusiasm for his work was evident for all to see. Although his original dream was to become a civil engineer, a lack of money and opportunities made it impossible for Theo to study at a university.

“I wanted to do something where I could make and build things. I am a physical, active person; I love to be busy and doing physical things,” he said.

Hearing about FITA NQF level 1 course at Sparrow Schools, Theo applied and was accepted to be trained as a flooring fitter. He completed the six-month course, followed by a six-month apprenticeship.

“I have learnt about laying carpet tiles, vinyl tiles and vinyl sheets. I started in August 2015 and then did my apprenticeship with Combined Flooring and learnt so much from them. They have really helped my vinyl skills. Today I can honestly say that I love my job!” Theo added.

Although he has not yet completely given up on his dream of becoming a Civil Engineer, Theo said that he wants to introduce other young people who don’t know what they want to do with their lives to the opportunities that exist as a flooring fitter, and pay forward the kindness shown to him in his career.

“It was very rewarding to see a young man take the opportunities that were given to him, and put so much effort and enthusiasm into making a success of them. Theo reminded me that we should ever underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. The potential for greatness lives within each of us, and the flooring industry could be a catalyst and breeding ground for many future leaders.  I have no doubt that Theo and many of the fitters we are working with today, are busy creating a bright future for themselves. In the words of Bob Marley: “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively,” Tandy concluded.

For more information, visit www.polyflor.co.za or call +27 (11) 609 3500.