Success Against All Odds for Frene Ginwala Scholarship Recipient
The challenges of being raised by an unemployed single mother sustaining a family on a seamstress’s income; sometimes having to go to school on an empty stomach and not having enough money for registration because of a lack of financial aid are the odds Frene Ginwala Scholarship recipient Ms Thembelihle Thusi faced in her pursuit of academic excellence.
The 18-year-old Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting student, who hails from Inanda’s KwaMshayazafe’s Township says that seeing how a lack of Higher Education limited opportunities for her mother increased her drive for success.
‘From a young age, my mom would tell me that she wished she could provide more for me and my older brother and was doing the best she could from the social grant and money she gets from selling the pinafores she sews,’ says Thusi. ‘Despite all of my family’s socio-economic challenges, my mom always made sure that I had everything I needed and I’ve never missed a day of school even if it meant going to school on an empty stomach as studying is more than just an option for me, it is a must and it still is,’ she added.
While this scholarship belongs to Thusi, she is however dedicating it to her mother, Winnie, for her unyielding support. Speaking about her daughter’s achievement, Thusi’s mother said that she believes that education will open a lot of doors for her child.
Said the proud mother, ‘My parents believed that a girl’s place was in the kitchen and therefore never encouraged me to go to school. I want better for my child because I know the struggles of not being able to get a decent job because you aren’t qualified. I know we don’t have a lot but with the support of our neighbours and the little that I make, she has never missed a day of school and we are surviving. Now thanks to her teachers at Inanda Newtown Comprehensive High School who collectively put money together for her to pay for her registration fees when financial aid hadn’t come through and now this scholarship, our financial burdens where her tuition is concerned will help immensely. My daughter is destined for a bright future.’
Speaking of her bright future, Thusi has ambitions of becoming a businesswoman and uplifting the community that supported her and her family. Her immediate goal remains pursuing a career as a chartered accountant.
Words: Thandiwe Jumo