Gauteng Business News

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EDUCATION: The Power Of Hard Work and Perseverance Always Pays Off


Recent Gauteng Business News

The beginning of every year in South Africa, the nation’s matric students wait with bated breath to hear if they not just passed, but passed well enough to secure themselves a place into one of the nation’s top universities.

Several pass and as this year’s statistics showed there was actually an increase but this did not necessarily grant everyone a place at university. Those who fail often feel it is the end of the world and give up right immediately without looking at progressive options.

Perhaps this is the tough competitive society we live in today and failure is not acceptable, no matter what the circumstances.

South Africa has a very high adult illiterate population; current estimates are above 3, 5 million. This is a huge challenge for government and over the years, through various programmes, and together with the department of higher education they have been working to change this situation. Once such programme is the Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET).

Several companies, especially those that are labour intensive, such as mining or production, have embraced the ABET programme. Tiger Brands subsidiary, Albany Bakery introduced the programme in 2006 with Media Works, a Johannesburg-based national literacy specialist. A particular learner has emerged who can teach us all a thing or two.

Rose Nzimande, 54 years old at the time, is a learner who was totally illiterate who couldn’t even write her own name. Like so many of our youth, she lost her parents at a very young age and was forced to find work to make ends meet.

The introduction of ABET at Albany was an opportunity for her to change this. Not sure how hard or challenging it may be, all she wanted was to be able to simply read her own pay slip or do her banking without having to rely on her children to help her.

She always said her life without an education was very bad and her main source of strength was her faith. Before she could read, she got her children and friends to read the bible to her and she soon memorized it.

As her facilitator, Lindani Mbayisa puts it, “she has an unbelievable faith, the word impossible does not exist for her. She has never missed a day of class from when we started in 2006 to date; she even comes in on her days off.”

However, it’s her perseverance and fighting spirit that separates her from the rest. It has not been smooth sailing at all yet her determination is second to none. She wrote her Level 1 twice, Level 2 three times and Level 3 four times. Today she has a smile on her face as she is doing her Level 4 in Communication.

To think this is a woman who prior to taking up ABET had never experienced what it’s like to be in school or a classroom for that matter. But her determination, self drive and the never-giving-up attitude kept her fighting ahead and never looking back.

Looking at Rose, where she has come from and where she is today, can only encourage all of us. It is never too late nor the end of the world, to learn and progress from our failures or stumbles.

She is a true role model not only to the younger generation but all of us, giving us all hope and encouragement that we often need.

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