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MACHAA SEBELA

“What I liked about NSFAS repayments is that they make it so affordable that you do not even feel it when you pay. NSFAS had a very big impact on my life. It helped me to be in a position where I am also helping my younger siblings and my family”



Career Field : Marketing
Occupation : Senior Marketing Officer
Years Funded : 2008; 2009; 2010.
Institution : University of Limpopo
Qualification : Degree in Media Studies

I come from a family of four siblings in the Namakgale village in Phalaborwa, Limpopo. My father was a mineworker and my mother never worked in her life. Growing up in my village was fun even though – like many other families – we did not have money. As a youngster, I developed love for radio and as I grew up, becoming a radio producer became my main ambition. My older brother went to university while I was in high school and that is when my father started feeling the heavy burden of paying for higher education with the little money that he earned.

Something very strange happened when it was my turn to go to university. My brother quit his studies in order to allow me to do my first year at university, because my father could only afford to pay for one child. It was a painful thing for me and my brother and I will never forget that sacrifice. Because of my love for media and particularly radio, I registered for a degree in media studies at the University of Limpopo. In my second year I received NSFAS funding and that was a big financial relief on my father’s shoulders. My family’s financial situation was so bad that while I was still studying, I bought myself a small camera and started taking photos to make some little money for myself in order to help my parents.

I took my studies seriously till I graduated in 2010. I worked as a volunteer at a community radio station in my village, where I earned R250 per month. At the same time, I started putting my writing skills to good use by contributing letters and articles to newspapers. I was later recruited by a local businessman who appointed me as a Public Relations Officer at his company – Two Mountains. I have taken my professional experience to government and the South African Police Services, and now I am working in the higher education sector as Senior Marketing Officer at the Ekurhuleni West TVET College.

I have now established my life and this is thanks to the support I received from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Should I not have received the funding from NSFAS, I would definitely have resorted to other means of survival and that would have been the end of me. I can tell a different story now because of the support that NSFAS afforded me. This is the reason that as soon as I started working, I called NSFAS and made arrangements to start repaying my student loan. I saw repaying NSFAS as a way to open opportunities for other young people. My dream now is to grow in my field and become an executive manager. There is no turning back. NSFAS gave me a start, so now I have taken it upon myself to invest in my own personal growth. Thank you NSFAS.

ADVICE TO CURRENT NSFAS STUDENTS:

“They must take their studies seriously and dream big. The support from NSFAS can take you far only if you are committed”.

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