Telling my Story

Time really flies, Its seems like yesterday that I was sitting at the library doing my school work when I meet Joy, Susie, Makhosi and other Ikamvanites tutors.

I started attending IkamvaYouth in 2004 when I was in Grade 11; the year IkamvaYouth was official registered. Ever since then I have been part of the IkamvaYouth family. I joined this amazing organisation because I needed help with my subjects and I wanted to improve my results in order to become eligible to access tertiary studies. I attended high school at Manyano High School around Khayelitsha. At that time I was doing grade 11 and I knew that I needed help to improve my results but I didn’t have money to pay for extra classes. I spent most of my time after school at the library. After joining the IkamvaYouth my results increased, at the end of 2004 I was the top accounting learner at Manyano High School.

 

In 2005, I came back to IkamvaYouth as a grade 12 learner and continued to work hard on raising my results. 2005 was the difficult year for me. In this year I had to work hard because it was my last year in high school. Before Joining IkamvaYouth university was not something I would ever consider. I knew it very well my family would not be able to afford university tuition. At IkamvaYouth tutors provided us with the pack of information about tuition, loans and bursaries that one can get. They even helped with application money for me and the other learners that needed help.

Growing up in a township is not easy. At a young age you face many challenges, such as peer pressure. You find out some people hate the fact that you go to the library and study. Khayelitsha is one of the townships that struggles most with high rate of crime, HIV/AIDS, dropout at school, low pass rate in Matric, poverty and drug abuse. When you are young, you have to face all of these things. But it’s all about making the right choices. For me I made the right choice by choosing school. I told myself that I wanted to be the role model and be something out of nothing.

I matriculated in 2005 as the dux scholar top most performing student in Manyano High School. I was the top learner at Manyano High school in the following subjects: Mathematics, Accounting, Business and Economics!

I successfully applied at University of the Western Cape (UWC), Tertiary School in Business Administration (Tsiba) and University of Cape Town, with the 1st choice of Bcom General and Bcom Accounting at UCT. I was so excited when I received my provisional accepted letter from University of the Western Cape. The sad part came when I found out that I have to pay upfront payment R4300 as the registration fee. I realised that I had only one option to work hard and get better results so that I could be eligible to get bursary.

On the 28th of December 2005 I got a phone call from my class teacher telling me that I passed. I was in the Eastern Cape that time. I was so excited, but at the same time worried. I was worried about what would happen in the following year because I didn’t have funds for the registration fee.

The following January, I remember I was with Joy and other two learners who were also accepted at University of the Western Cape, none of us had money to pay the registration fee. We were trying to get assistance from the financial aid office and the people were not helping. We moved up and down in long queues NO one was helping and no one was willing to give us registration fees even though we had good results. Joy finally had enough when we got into the financial aid office. She told the lady that was in charge that we not leaving the office until we got help. We showed them our acceptance letter and our good matric results. Then we all seat on the floor since there were no chairs *ha ha ha* After a while, a lady left and came back with 3 forms to fill out. We were told that our registration had been cleared then we can go and register.

That same year I realised that I had to give back to my community. I returned to IkamvaYouth as a tutor. I was tutoring Accounting, Business Economics (Business studies now) and Economics. I was also involved in the branch committee. Giving back to my community as of the things that kept me motivated and working hard in life.

In 2007 I joined another project called Brawam-sisiwam mentoring programme at the University of the Western Cape. I was a mentor to 3 grade 9 learners from Masithembe high School in Phillipi. While I was tutoring at IkamvaYouth I was also a tutor for UWC’s SRC winter classes held in 2006. 

I remained a committed volunteer at the IkamvaYouth branch; I also served as the head of the Career Guidance committee. While I was studying I also managed to find time to work part-time as senior computer lab assistance at the University of the Western Cape in 2009 and 2010.

I graduated with Bcom Information systems degree at University of the Western Cape. In March 2011 I started to serve as branch assistant at IkamvaYouth in Makhaza. In the organisation I am the first employee to come through the tutoring programme.

As for my job now…..

I am assisting with general administration and providing assistance to the branch coordinator. Collecting school reports and entering data into database. Communicating and logistics for daily activities, programme delivery and events. Assisting with general lab duties such as printing, photocopying and ensures proper usage and maintenance of the environment. Working with learners is very interesting and challenging at the same time. Managing 160 learners and 40 volunteers/ tutors is not an easiest task to do. One of the things that really help me to do well in my job is that I have experience as a learner and tutor/volunteer. This helps me to relate well with people I am working with.

Since most of our parents didn’t have the opportunity to study, I find for most of the learners IkamvaYouth is the only place where they get the opportunity to get the feedback on their school results. Our learners are between the ages of 13 to 19. At their young age they realise that their future depends on education, this is one the things that motivate me to wake up every day and be in the office to help.