KZN prison inmates dream big after passing matric

2016-01-19 16:30
Cebolenkosi Zulu, 23, Malusi Mzobeni, 23 and Sihle Ngonyama, 22. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Cebolenkosi Zulu, 23, Malusi Mzobeni, 23 and Sihle Ngonyama, 22. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban – The first thing Sihle Ngonyama will do when he walks out of the gates of Westville Prison in October, is apologise to his family.

"I want to tell them I am sorry for what I did," said the 22-year-old from KwaMashu in KwaZulu-Natal.

Ngonyama, serving eight years for armed robbery, was the top matric pupil in the country’s prisons for 2015. He received two distinctions, for life orientation and isiZulu.

Of the 29 matriculants who wrote their matric exams at the Usethubeni Youth School at the Westville prison, 28 passed.

Ngonyama said he was proud of his achievements and would study auditing when he was released, but had not applied to a university yet.

"Jail is the worst place to be in, but if you know what you want and are dedicated to your studies, you will do well."

Ngonyama urged those who passed their matric to further their studies.

"Just because you have completed matric, it does not mean you know everything. You can never stop learning. Those who did not do well can go back and try again."

He urged this year’s class to focus on their studies and forget about distractions.

Malusi Mzobeni, 23, from Chatsworth, was fourth in the country.

He was arrested for hijacking in April 2009 and sentenced in November 2010. He was due to be released in June. He wanted to go to university and study BCom Accounting.

The biggest lesson he had learnt was to be himself.

"I now know what is wrong and right. I want to say to all the young people out there, they should not bow to peer pressure. That is one of the reasons why people make the wrong decisions."

One day, when he had money, he intended doing something special for his parents to thank them for their support.

Cebolenkosi Zulu, 23, from Sea View, was serving 10 years for rape. He was due to be released in 2018.

"In jail all you focus on is your studies. There are too many distractions out there like girls, fun and alcohol."

He wanted to be an economist and make a life for himself when he got out.

"My mother died last year, it was really difficult. But I managed to focus on my studies."

Read more on:    education  |  matric 2015

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