'My mom couldn't go to college, so we did' - 5 sisters get degrees

2015-12-08 11:07
Nompumelelo Shange shows off her culinary knowledge. (Supplied)

Nompumelelo Shange shows off her culinary knowledge. (Supplied)

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Durban – Obtaining a postgraduate degree is becoming something of a family tradition for the five Shange sisters of Inanda, Durban.

When 25-year-old Nompumelelo Shange, the youngest in her family, receives her MSc in Food Science from Stellenbosch University this week, she will become the fifth member of this close-knit family to receive a postgraduate qualification.

Between them, the Shange sisters now share one MBA, three MSc degrees all in fields related to agriculture, and two honours degrees.

The group of sisters contact each other daily, Nompumelelo Shange said.

Speaking to News24, she said her mother instilled the tradition of academics in her family.

“She came from a family that could not afford to send her to college. But she pushed her kids to get educated and has always been a pillar of support for us.”

She said her older sisters have also been a source of inspiration to her, and are the ones she turns to for advice.

Shange said she also remembered the emphasis her father placed on the value of education.

A family inspired

Lawrence Shange, died in 2009 and was a driver for Durban’s municipal bus service, while her mother looked after the needs of her six children. The sixth child, a brother, has since died.

Although she has never worked, her mother, Fikile Shange fulfilled her dreams of becoming a teacher by completing a certificate in foundation phase teaching when Shange was still at primary school.

She said she had first intended to go into a career in accounting like her sister Lungile, but was instead swayed by Food Sciences.

“At that point I was quite undecided and decided to try to understand what Food Sciences was. I then found out what it entailed on a daily basis and fell in love with the career path.”

She added that because of her family tradition of academics, she would one day continue the legacy.

“I think my family has helped me see the value of education. I have been blessed to have such amazing people to guide me.”

When asked what words of advice she would pass on she said, “To succeed in academics, you need to know what you want and push hard to get it”.

Read more on:    durban  |  good news

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