"Giving Up Was Not an Option": Tembisa Petrol Attendant Becomes 1st Graduate in Her Family

"Giving Up Was Not an Option": Tembisa Petrol Attendant Becomes 1st Graduate in Her Family

  • Masutane Othilia Sebetha, a mother of three working as a petrol attendant, graduated from Unisa with a teaching degree
  • Sebetha overcame challenges like financial strain, being a breadwinner, raising three children and fatigue to become the first graduate in her family
  • Her determination to provide a better life for her children and herself fueled her success
A mother of three who works as a petrol attendant graduated from UNISA with a teaching degree
A determined mother of three overcame great odds to obtain her degree from Unisa. Image: Unisa
Source: UGC

Wife, mother of three, and breadwinner Masutane Othilia Sebetha became the pride and joy of her family after becoming the first to graduate.

Sebetha, from Thembisa, recently graduated from Unisa with a Bachelor of Education in Intermediate Phase Teaching.

According to Unisa, Sebetha was raised by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet.

Sebatha falls pregnant

Sebatha shared that, in 2007, she added to the family's poverty by falling pregnant without a means to provide for the child. To make matters worse, five months after the baby was born, the father of the child stopped supporting the child.

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Realising the overwhelming burden of caring for a newborn in adverse conditions that her family lived in, Sebetha began hunting for any working opportunities to support her newborn child and family.

Mom becomes petrol attendant and pursues studies at Unisa

She got a job at a local restaurant, where she worked from 2008 to the beginning of 2012, and eventually landed a job as a petrol attendant at a local filling station, where she currently works.

Five years later, Sebetha says she felt inspired to pursue higher education. She turned to Unisa and applied to enroll for the 2018 academic year in 2017.

Sebetha passed her higher certificate and enrolled for her degree the following year.

Sebatha reflects on wanting more for her life

"I wanted access to higher education to change my circumstances. Today, I am the first to graduate from my maternal side of the family."

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However, this feat was not without hurdles. Sebetha has had to hope against hope several times to attain her degree. With her full-time job on one side and her academic work on the other, she had to make time to fit in her practicals.

Academic demands proved challenging

Working night shifts, having no study leave, doing academic work, doing practicals, and being a mother of three, Sebetha faced many academic demands and fatigue that almost cost her her job.

But she was determined to see her academic goal through.

"Giving up was not an option I was willing to take. I was determined to meet demands from all fronts. Defying the odds is never easy, but with determination, you can overcome any challenge," said the ambitious graduate.

Man goes from being petrol attendant to successful advocate

In another story, Briefly News reported that after passing his matric with flying colours, Tsatseng Rantso from Daveyton in Ekurhuleni worked as a petrol attendant to make ends meet while studying for a law degree at the University of Johannesburg.

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Young woman's inspirational journey from junior police commissioner at 15 to first graduate in the family

Although determined to realise his dream, the young man faced a lot of ridicule as many told the petrol attendant that he was where he was because he did not study.

Source: Briefly News

Nothando Mthembu avatar

Nothando Mthembu (Senior editor) Nothando Mthembu is a senior multimedia journalist and editor. Nothando has over 5 years of work experience and has served several media houses including Caxton Local Newspapers. She has experience writing on human interest, environment, crime and social issues for community newspapers. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree and an Honours Degree in Media Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, obtained in 2016 and 2017. Nothando has also passed a set of trainings by Google News Initiative. Email: nothando.mthembu@briefly.co.za

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