Zikhona (29) and Bhungane (22) are siblings and Vulamathuba Empumelelo’s students in the Matric Senior Certificate for Adults Programme, Class of 2023. Initially from Langa, where they stayed with their parents and siblings, the duo are now Bothasig Gardens tenants.
“I always knew that I wanted a better life. When I fell pregnant, my plans and how I envisioned my future took a massive detour.
“I had to give up everything to care for my child, and other areas of my life suffered. Deep down, I knew I wanted to study further. When I enrolled for Matric, I failed because there wasn’t time to focus on my studies. A lot happened at once. It felt like everything was tumbling down.
Bhungane adds, “Growing up, I wanted to be an architect. I didn’t manage to write Matric. I remembered how bright I was at school and that I needed to focus on that dream again.”
A LEAP OF FAITH
Zikhona says that their father’s encouragement to further their education inspired them.
“We saw his efforts raising us; he is educated and always emphasised that we should become something in life.
“I looked at everyone within my circle and asked myself: “Whom do you want to be? How do you want to live your life and foster new conditions for generations to come?”
‘I decided to go back to school.”
With new determination, the siblings enrolled in the Vulamathuba Adult Matric Programme in June 2022.
“When I thought of returning to school, it was difficult because I didn’t have a place I could call home or an environment permitting me to focus on my studies. I also wanted a programme where I knew I’d be supported in terms of study materials, having a teacher in front of me, and a desk to sit down at to learn and focus. With the Vulamathuba programme, I got that.”
“The support is immense, classes are safe and comfortable, and I don’t have to worry about books or Wi-Fi. The tutors ensure that we understand the work. I’m super grateful for this opportunity.”
The siblings believe the programme is a doorway to studying further.
“I want to secure a space at university. I love Media and Communication and want to attend career expos for more guidance,” says Zikhona.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Still, for some, the idea of completing Matric can be overwhelming. However, the duo is proof that it is possible.
“Upgrading your marks has nothing to do with your abilities,” says Bhungane.
Zikhona adds, “Study hard and show the people providing the opportunity that you want this and want to change your life. Be hungry, be respectful, never waste time on things that won’t build your life and surround yourself with people who want you to succeed.”
“Just because you come from an underprivileged background doesn’t mean you should associate yourself with negative thinking. Be authentic, honest, diligently serve others, and have a simple lifestyle. You never know where your help comes from. Don’t choose a path simply because everyone is. Choose your path.”
Interested in completing your Matric? Email Wandile at admin@Vulamathuba.org.za or call 021- 421 6008.