My story | How Zama Zungu single-handedly built a home for her parents

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26-year-old Zama has single-handedly built her parents a home.
26-year-old Zama has single-handedly built her parents a home.

She had a dream. She had no money and no job, but she made it happen, with her own two hands. All she wanted to do was to build a home for her parents who are pensioners.

So she asked them to split their pension so she could buy building material and piece by piece she built them the home she envisioned. 

Zama Zungu (26) from Pietermaritzburg carried, plastered, measured and build the home for her parents and her brother, who is unemployed.

At the time, Zama was home from college and because of Covid-19, she was also unemployed, so she decided to put her time, and energy, to good use. 

Once she had the material, she rolled her sleeves and started with the physical work. 

"Sometimes I am ashamed that there are certain things I can't do due to financial difficulties, but I am encouraged knowing that I am breaking the stereotype of gender-roles. As women, there isn't anything that we are not capable off. It's all in our minds and mentality. The moment you tell yourself you can achieve anything, you realise that it is possible," Zama tells Drum.

Read more | Young farmer Thato Moagi on the challenges and joys of being a South African farmer

She became a social media sensation when she posted the finished work. 

"I realised that what I was doing is beautiful, but also not usual. When I started building my home, people who passed would take pictures of me, and suddenly, I went viral," she shares.

Zama dropped out of high school because she struggled with theory, but she would pass Mathematics and science with flying colours.

"My teacher called my parents and I advised them to take me to a college. At college I only studied Mathematics and science, that was easier for me, and I would pass with flying colours," she shares.

Zama completed her studies, which are equivalent to Grade 12, and went on to enrol for a civil engineering course at uMgungundlovu TVET College in her home city. 

However, Zama was receiving financial assistance from her aunt who sadly passed away due to Covid-19 and as a result she did not manage to complete her studies. 

"My peers need to wake up and upskill themselves. Our hands are capable of so much, not everyone can be an academic, we need to create our own job opportunities and not expect to be employed but someone. Women need to shift their mentality and start believing that we can achieve anything that we set our mind at and that includes work that society say's it's for men," she tells her peers. 

Zama says due to finances, she had to then leave home to look for employment to assist at home.

"Sometimes I feel ashamed because I cannot afford to buy everything, I need to complete out home. I would have been done by now, but I understand that sometime life does not take us where we need to be," Zama says.

But despite the obstacles, she remains positive.

zama, enemplyment
26-year-old Zama has single-handedly built her parents a home.
building, constructing, zama
Zama Zungi has single-handedly built her parents a home.
zama, building, construction, renovating
26-year-old Zama Zungi has single-handedly built her parents a home.
building, constructing, zama
Zama, home, renovation, building, constructing

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