Paul is a disciple of courage, verve

2016-07-14 06:00
 2Left to right: Luvo Vice, Sandile Maqhoboza and Paul Mphambani (all TSiBA Cape Town BBA degree students who originally met at TSiBA Eden)

2Left to right: Luvo Vice, Sandile Maqhoboza and Paul Mphambani (all TSiBA Cape Town BBA degree students who originally met at TSiBA Eden)

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“You have to look back in order to know where you going

These are the words by which Paul Itumeleng Mphambani lives.

Paul,27, grew up in Soweto with his mother and five siblings.

Never in his wildest imagination did he dream that one day, he would be pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) degree in Cape Town.

Paul’s journey from Gauteng to Cape Town began after he heard about an accredited non-profit business school, the Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA), through a friend who was studying at TSiBA Eden, in Karatara near Knysna.

Paul said he immediately knew that TSiBA would be his gateway to success as he had always been passionate about entrepreneurship, although, like most people, lacked the funds to pay for a tertiary education.

After his mother passed away, Paul knew he would have to be the future breadwinner and desperately needed to get an education.

He took a leap of faith and applied for a full-tuition scholarship to study a Certificate in Practical Business Administration (CPBA) at TSiBA Eden.

This course is designed for school-leavers to learn about business and entrepreneurship and include substantial practical experience, which would provide the perfect academic foundation for Paul in his journey to become the first in his family to get a tertiary degree.

He remembers: “when I was accepted to TSiBA Eden, I knew this was an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others as well as provide for my family.

In the beginning it was not easy as I struggled with maths and, at times, I really felt like giving up, but the values which we learn at TSiBA really kept me going.

TSiBA taught me resilience; the importance of self-development and, one of my most important values, discipline.

I realised that the attitude with which you approach a challenge determines how much effort you are willing to put in to overcome it. These all gave me the courage to keep working at maths until I passed.”

Paul admits that “initially, the tertiary campus environment was strange as I was not used to rural life. Being a ‘township boy’ from Johannesburg, I also missed my family. This all changed one day when I came across an empty shipping container on campus which I discovered was for bicycles.

This was really exciting as TSiBA Eden’s rural campus in Karatara is far from town and a bicycle would be a much faster way to travel.

At the beginning it was just a hobby until my mentor suggested I take up competitive cycling - TSiBA has a unique support system for students and we are all required to have a mentor. ’

I dismissed this idea at the time because I wanted to focus on completing my second TSiBA qualification which would provide entry into the bachelor degree.

However; cycling became my stress-relieving exercise, which also fuelled my passion for the sport and soon opened up a whole new world.

“When I moved to Cape Town to start my TSiBA bachelor degree in 2015, I could no longer ignore my desire to cycle seriously, so I practiced and researched more.

I will never forget my first competition “the 20km Kingfisher” which really motivated me as I placed in the top 20.

I felt so empowered because back home in the township I watched others on TV in cycling races, but now I was the one in cycling kit and racing!

This proved what I had learned during my studies at TSiBA that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. We truly never know what amazing things the world has in store for us.

“The special bond I have with my fellow students at TSiBA, many of whom are on my cycling team, is a big support in my life, personally and academically.

The sense of family and support has inspired me to want to educate more people about cycling so they can feel that sense of community too.

In Langa, where I live, we have started a community project to pay it forward which is a philosophy I learned at TSiBA. As TSiBA students, we are all on full, or part, tuition scholarships and while we are not required to pay back the scholarship portion monetarily, we are required to pay it forward by transferring our skills into the community to drive social change in our country.

“For this community initiative we teach youngsters about cycling. In the townships bicycles are already being used as a means of transport, but I believe we should take this a step further and turn it into a competitive sport which will give local youth a more positive, healthy focus.

Cycling really helps keeps me going when life is stressful, or I miss my family, as I just take my bike and hit the open road.”

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