Desperate for a future

2018-01-14 06:03

Tertiary institutions have insisted that they won’t allow walk-in applications following President Jacob Zuma’s announcement last month of fee-free higher education for the children of the poor and working class. City Press journalist Msindisi Fengu and photographer Rosetta Msimango interviewed desperate young people who flocked to the institutions, hoping to get a place in a university or college so they can fulfil their dreams

Okuhle Gungu (27) from Thokoza, Gauteng, was queuing at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). “I could not let the opportunity to change myself and get a better job pass me by. I don’t have parents. They passed away a long time ago. I was a casual worker for an agency that hired packers. I was not earning much. This year, I chose to go back to school to help me get a better job. I want to study information technology.”

Kamogelo Motlane (19) from Tembisa, Gauteng, was queuing at UJ. “I want to study for a BA in law. I hope to be accepted because I want to change the situation at home and help people around me. I’m depending on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme [NSFAS] to fund my studies. I’ve got ­siblings in high school who depend on my parents. I’d be the first one to go to ­university [if accepted] and I will help them when I complete my studies.”

Dimpho Senatle (20) from Westonaria, Gauteng, was queuing at UJ. “I want to do teaching because I’m passionate about it. I love giving back to the community and I also want to make my parents proud. When I become a teacher, I will contribute at home and help my two siblings so they can have access to higher education and help my parents. I hope to lead a better life and be an ­example for our generation in my family.”

Faith Dakalo (17) from Mukula, Limpopo, was queuing at Central Johannesburg TVET College (CJC). “I want to do a national certificate in civil engineering. I believe it will help me support my family and do something for my community. I will be ­depending on NSFAS’ support. I hope my application at NSFAS will be accepted and that I will secure a place here.”

Makhosi Shange (18) from Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, was queuing at CJC. “I want to register for a national certificate in electrical engineering. I’ve got a lot of passion for it, and I hope to bring change to my family and ­develop my community. ­People in this field are paid better salaries. I want a ­better future for myself, my children and everyone around me. I hope I will get NSFAS funding because there’s no one at home who can fund my studies.”

Dumisani Vincent ­Ramudzulu (18) from ­Vodwe, Limpopo, was ­queuing at CJC. “I want to apply and register for a civil engineering national certificate. I have big dreams about engineering. I want to see myself one day owning a company and doing great things for the country. I want young people in my ­village to look at me and be inspired. I hope NSFAS will fund me.”

Keorapetse Lecogo (23) from Mahikeng, North West, was queuing at CJC. “I’m here to apply and register for civil engineering. My parents passed away in 2012. When I graduate and get a job, I want to support my little sister. We are coming from a poor background. It’s not easy. I don’t want to die in poverty like my parents. We were born in poverty, but I want to live and build a better environment and make life better for us all.”

Happy Mamba (19) from ­Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, was queuing at the Tshwane ­University of Technology. “I want to study for a national ­diploma in legal assistance. It will help me change my life. I want to apply to NSFAS as well. I’m my parents’ only child. They are both unemployed and depending on me. I have to study, graduate and support my family. I must build a better future for my children.”

Read more on:    education  |  youth

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