- There is a lot of things that can stand in they way of getting a quality education, but some people choose to overcome those obstacles no matter what
- Seven girls from Thabong, a township in a small mining community, has defied the odds by graduating
- Now, they want to inspire other women to follow their dreams, regardless of their circumstances or backgrounds
Take the seven girls from a small township near Welkom as an example. One of the women, Motlhanka WaMorena, shared photos of them on her Twitter account.
“In a slowly dying small ‘mining’ town Welkom‚ a township called Thabong‚ girls from not so desirable (hopeless) backgrounds took it upon themselves that they’ll get educational qualifications no matter what", she party captioned the post.
All seven women had different obstacles to overcome, for Refilwe Mofokeng it was juggling her studies, work and raising her seven-year-old son.
She is a single mother, who lived alone with her boy, and she admitted it was challenging at times.
TimesLIVE reported there were times Mofokeng could not even afford to take the taxi, so she had to walk to school. But, she kept on pushing through, because she was doing it for herself and her son.
“We may not be from the same backgrounds but we shared common struggles as people who live in this area. The stories of hardships are different. Sometimes it’s difficult for one to place a simple thing such as food on the table‚” she said.
Now, she is the proud owner of a BTech degree in language practices.
Her life turned around after she graduated. Mofokeng scored a part-time lecturing position at the Central University of Technology, where she is also continuing to study towards her masters degree.
Mofokeng could even afford to buy a car, adding she could now fetch her son on time.
Another one of the ladies, Mamoya Tshabalala, is proof of how difficult it is to succeed in the township. She was the only one on her street who managed to complete her studies.
She recalled her mother, who works as a domestic worker, told her to move to a school residence, so that she could focus all her energy on studying.
“There is no hope in this place. The only thing thriving is gangsterism and crime. People are always getting stabbed or robbed. Nothing else is happening. I think I am the third person to graduate‚ another being my brother‚ so you can imagine‚” Tshabalala said.
Tshabalala recalled there were times where it was so hard, she considered dropping out. And the financial difficulties did not help either. She remembers sometimes using her National Student Financial Aid Scheme Allowance to buy things for the house.
But, Tshabalala is also not done. After completing a Diploma in Language Practice, she decided to continue her studies and pursue a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
Many celebrated their achievements, even the premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille.
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