She never imagined she would one day be a teacher, even though she was very good at explaining things to her peers when she was also a learner.
Her teachers would often ask her to help make things simpler for her classmates in accounting, her favourite subject.
Now Wendy Matandabuzo (24), an unemployed teacher in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape is helping a new crop of learners.
She's assisting matric pupils prepare for their accounting and business studies exams while she's looking for a job.
“Studying for teaching was not my first choice, accounting was,” she says.
“Teaching was my third choice and I knew that should I become one, I wanted to teach accounting. I really started enjoying it more when I started doing my practicals as a student.”
Teaching her peers in high school was a kind of training, she believes.
Why are you offering you services for free?
Wendy is due to graduate next year after finishing the last of her modules at the beginning of the year.
While searching for a job, she decided to better use her time and skills by helping those in need.
“I am currently not doing anything,” she says.
“And I know how frustrating it can be after you’ve been busy for the longest time. So I decided instead of just sitting at home while I look for employment, why not help some kids who need help with their examination."
Wendy studied teaching at the Walter Sisulu University.
“I am dedicating this time to doing what I am skilled and good at. I am doing this for free, people are currently unemployed like me, and if I charge to help them, where will they get the money?”
The unemployed teacher says another problem that learners are facing at schools is overpopulated classes.
This means teachers do not get enough time to give individual attention to all learners.
“I have seen children who are hard workers but can’t afford private tutors.
“Thina la eLusikisiki, [here in Lusikisiki] our schools are very populated. You find that one teacher has 80 or 60 learners in one class,” says Wendy.
The accounting teacher also told Drum how Covid-19 has also put teachers under pressure to try and finish the academic year in such a short space of time.
"And I know grade 12 learners need all the help they can get as they couldn’t do a lot of schoolwork because of the lockdown, and I thought I should try and help."
Who is she helping?
Wendy is currently only helping matric students.
“There is also an older lady that I am helping get ready to rewrite her matric.”
It feels good seeing how dedicated her pupils are.
While she's trained to teach business and accounting, those aren't the only subjects she helps out in.
“I also help learners with economics as well,” she tells Drum. “Economics is similar to the two subjects I am qualified in.”
How do learners get hold of her?
Not all of Wendy’s learners stay in her area and all those who are interested can get hold of her via Facebook.
“We communicate via WhatsApp,” she says. “They got ahold of me via Facebook after I posted my offer of help for grade 12 learners who are doing these two subjects I teach.”
She has learners from around South Africa and she doesn’t work alone.
“I have one learner who is from Mpumalanga and I have been helping her with business studies,” she says. “I get help from my mentor. I consult my mentor, someone who was mentoring me during my practical’s. I also consult with the people I studied with; they help me out as well.”
Wendy meets up with learners that she knows personally and those from her area.
For safety reasons, she uses social media to help those she doesn't know and those who live far.
“It is not an everyday thing. Only when they need help.
“They come to my house or I go to theirs. But for people I don’t know, I don’t go nor invite them to my house because it is not safe out here and women get kidnapped all the time, so I can’t just trust anyone who wants to meet with me.”