Writer: Senzekile Mdluli
I’m a 25 year old lady from Luckau “a small village in Limpopo”. I am the last born child in my family with three brothers and one sister. I was raised like everyone else and was never given a special treatment just because I am the last born. I was raised by parents who were very strict and were able to mould me to the woman I am today.
I wasn’t born in a wealthy family, both my parents were not earning much but they made sure that we do not go to bed on an empty stomach. I went to Luckau Primary School and St Pauls High School. Both these schools were chosen because they were a walking distance (4 km away) from my home and there was no need to worry about transportation fees. I remember that my primary school fee was R10 per year including books. I would always pay in a week before we get our December reports with my father’s bonus because my siblings were in Universities studying towards their qualifications and to improve their careers. My mother used to give me 50c per week because she did not understand why I need to buy food at school when I can just walk home to eat during our lunch breaks. I matriculated in 2007 and had intended on choosing journalism as my qualification at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) but unfortunately I got rejected. I then went to Tshwane North College to do Public Relations (PR). In 2009, I got my N6 in PR and realised that I need to further my studies so that I can be more employable. I applied for Public Relations Management at TUT because I realised that I have a broad interest in Public Relations Management (PRM). On my first day at TUT during the orientation I felt like I was in a different world, I felt intimated by other students who were well spoken and eloquent because they went to multiracial schools. I did not want to go back to school the following day but I thought to myself that I will not get the job that I want with my N6 certificate.
I still remember my original fears, self-doubts, pressures stemming from school assignments and frustrations, sweat and in some cases, tears but that was not all in vain. In order to learn and grow, I had to go through these kinds of challenges and learning processes. I started to associate myself with like-minded people and friends who are positive. In my second year we were involved in a Corporate Social Investment project. This project helped me to receive new knowledge, information, experiences and insights into new mysteries of people – the greatest accomplishment has been learning about myself, my potential and the desire to succeed. In my third year I got an internship at the South African Breweries while I was still doing my final year. It was really challenging to do both work and school due to the fact that I used to have sleepless nights and I used to say that ‘I am a CEO during the day and student at night’. Working for SAB was a great experience I was very new to the corporate environment. I had a great boss who saw a potential in me and I was always enthusiastic when I was given work.
SAB helped me to broaden my horizons and as a result, I began to see the big picture, and how my role was supporting SAB’s commitment to social responsibilities and BBBEE in South Africa. I pushed myself to develop better relationships at work. I encouraged myself to meet new people outside of my immediate team, citing the importance of strong networks. I told myself that I should harness this network, to improve my chances of securing a permanent role with SAB upon completion of my internship.
As a young South African, I am the future. I have so much to contribute towards my country’s success. I believe strong role models and mentors will help shape young South African’s success.
In 2012 I finished my National Diploma in PRM. It was a notable achievement and I was honoured to celebrate my journey and a significant accomplishment. I would like to encourage young people out there to use the knowledge gained at school and expertise for a greater good and make South Africa a better place. In 2015, I went on to graduate and complete my B-TECH in PRM. Completing my B-Tech was a very special moment in my life knowing that I have successfully completed a long and challenging journey of personal development. I was a different person from when I started my journey in 2008 after I got rejected at TUT. I am convinced that during my learning path, I have also developed new life long personal relationships. I am now a changed person and my life will never be the same again. I am now working for an Information and Technology Global company called Accenture as an Inclusion and Diversity Analyst. When I first started in November 2014 I was ready to face new organisational opportunities that may present themselves due to my renewed confidence as a result of my newly acquired skills and knowledge from TUT.
In closing, to all you in pursuit of educational qualifications and careers goals:
- Remember that your journey continues, I am convinced that the matric certificate that you will receive soon will be stepping stones to your future careers. Do not stop empowering yourselves, “knowledge is power”. You cannot learn enough, I am still learning new things every day.
- I encourage you to keep up the good work and invest in the Education and Training for your future. By investing in education and training, you are investing in a secure and prosperous future.
- Dream big, work hard and persevere. This is a very simple and proven magical formula for success.
- Everything starts with an idea, a dream or a vision. What you are now does not matter, what matters is how big your vision is because you will become as great as your dreams are.
- When you get your matric certificate note that it is not the end, but rather the beginning of continuous process of learning.
Facebook: Senzekile Mdluli
Thank you for sharing your inspiring and encouraging story with our community, Senzekile. Here at Education Ambassadors SA, we appreciate it and wish you all the best in your career and educational journey.
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