“NSFAS was the invisible parent who paid for my studies at university. I became a top achieving student in my faculty and later on reached out to millions of disadvantaged young people through my TV job, and empowered them with information, thanks to NSFAS”
I come from a rural village called Ga-Dikgale outside Polokwane in Limpopo. I was raised by my grandmother together with my six cousins. We all stayed with our grandmother because our parents were away to work. It was a very competitive environment in a positive way. We all wanted to be the best we can be. My grandmother was particularly very encouraging towards me. She told me from a young age that I was never allow other people to achieve better than me. As I grew up, I carried that motivation with me throughout. I wanted to become a medical doctor when I was growing up.
After I matriculated in 1995, I applied to study medicine at three universities, but they all turned me down due to my grades. I eventually went to the University of Fort Hare where I enrolled for a degree in Chemistry and Microbiology. When I arrived at the campus for my first year in 1996, I heard for the first time about NSFAS. I applied and in a few weeks received the good news that my application was successful. NSFAS funded my tuition fees and gave me meal allowances. Even though I studied Chemistry and Microbiology, my first job was in Information Technology at a Johannesburg based company.
I had always had a desire to reach out to disadvantaged young people to help empower them with information. It was for this reason that after two years working in IT, I auditioned for a TV anchor opportunity at SABC 1. I got the job and became a TV presenter of an educational youth show called Take 5. After some years I presented yet another educational talk show called Shift on SABC 1. Through Shift, I toured the country, meeting with young people from poor backgrounds and empowering them with information. For the first time in my life, I felt that I was finally doing what I was called for. I did career exhibitions and motivational sessions across the country for high school learners.
I was having the best time of my life thanks to my invisible parent called NSFAS. Today I run my own media business and involved in other TV production jobs such as scriptwriting; producing; voice-overs and acting. Through television, I have been able to fulfil my desire of reaching out to young people who fell through the cracks because they could not get further education.