Her motivation is in the mirror

Losing her job was a blessing in disguise as she got another shot to complete her matric qualification, which she failed 19 years ago.

Asanda Village resident Vuyelwa Tutumi is one of the oldest people from the area currently writing the National Senior Certificate examinations. The 41-year-old dreams of one day graduating from a tertiary institution and says writing the matric exams is the first step to realising her dream.

“I always wanted to study psychology, but due to circumstances I had to find work after failing my matric exams,” Vuyelwa explained, adding that she is writing the examinations under the auspices of the Independent Examination Board.

After losing her job earlier this year, she took the bold step to not seek employment again, but rather complete her high school qualification. “I bought a house and built flats on the property to provide me with an income so that I can focus on my studies,” she related.

Returning to the classroom after so many years was not an easy transition. “Adjusting back to the life of a student was very challenging. I had to get used to using public transport to get to school and, as I am not a bright student, I had to work hard to get the results.”

What’s even more remarkable about Vuyelwa’s decision to return to school and pick up the books again, was the fact that she did so with no support. “The only support I have is myself; I want this for myself. I want to see myself graduate – that is my motivation.”

She advised locals to use their past victories as motivation to go back to school. “We all have achievements in life, no matter how small they are; use that as a motivation to keep you going,” Vuyelwa implored.

“It is very difficult to go back to school when you are old as there are so many doubts about whether you made the right decision, but you have to fight those.”