Inspiring teacher helped student overcome obstacles and shine

2012-05-18 00:00

JABULANI Nkosi (21) of Osizweni in Newcastle has passed his BComm accounting qualification with flying colours at the University of Johannesburg.

Out of 24 modules, he received 20 distinctions and graduated cum laude. Now he is working on qualifying as a chartered accountant (CA).

Nkosi told The Witness his accounting teacher at Siyabonga High School was his greatest inspiration.

“Mrs Makhanya was a great teacher. I enjoyed her lessons. She motivated me.”

Nkosi lost his father, who was the sole breadwinner, when he was in Grade 9. His unemployed mother had to step in.

“In my family it was only my mother, my older brother, who was jobless, and myself. My other sister is married in Johannesburg.”

His mother worked irregularly as a domestic worker.

But he did not allow his difficult situation to deter him.

Nkosi said he thought mathematics was a hard subject, but in Grade 12 he changed his attitude and began to see good results.

“I studied every day. We would also have study groups with my classmates.

“My mother then asked Mrs Makhanya to help me apply for bursaries.”

He received a Thuthuka bursary from a fund established by the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants to assist disadvantaged youths who dream of becoming CAs.

He said his environment lacked good role models. “We don’t have a lot of educated people where I come from.”

But he was grateful for the support from his mother, cousins and teacher, he said.

“My mom is very proud and excited. When things are bad I call her and she encourages me.”

He said he was planning to build a house for his mother.

“I’ve learnt that hard work pays,” Nkosi added.


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