'My education taught me to communicate with others'

When and where were you born?

I was born in 1980 in a small village in Butterworth, Eastern Cape.

Where did you go to school?

I matriculated from Vela Private School in Umtata. From Standard 1 to 7, I was at Tsolo Residency and from Standard 8 I was at Inanda Girls High.

What were you thinking on your first day of school?

At first I was so excited. I saw all the other kids and I really loved playing.
I soon found it wasn’t really fun and that it was more than just playing.

How would you compare the education you received then to the education of today?

I don’t know much about education today. But the way of teaching when I was at school wasn’t efficient. Teachers never really made us understand the work. The most important thing is that we have subjects that develop skills. I would have loved to learn how to play an instrument.

Did you ever skip classes? If so, which ones and why?

I didn’t miss classes at school, but definitely while at technikon. I had an inferiority complex because I couldn’t understand the terminology. Coming from a poor background, people didn’t understand that I did not have access to things most white students had and they therefore branded me as dumb.

Would you describe your matric farewell as a ‘fairytale fantasy” or a ‘matric nightmare”?

Definitely a nightmare. I couldn’t get the dress I wanted because my mother had no money and I understood that. My cousin’s friend was a dressmaker so she made a dress for me. I was big and my dress was horrible. And my date didn’t pitch!

What impact did school have on you?

I love reading and school provided me with that platform to escape into books.

Time to confess: did you ever have a crush on a teacher?

Not on teachers, actually, but on older men. I don’t know if I was trying to find my father in that or what. But there was one teacher in Standard 5. He was there just for a month, but he was such a dynamic person. He made learning fun and that’s why I liked him.

How has your education helped to shape the person you are today?

In terms of etiquette, I have really learnt how to carry myself when I’m with people. I know how to communicate with people.

Where do you draw your inspiration from in life?

My biggest inspiration is God. When I was young I had this mission to find Him. I am still on that mission. To find God you have to find yourself. The second inspiration is my mother. She is such a strong, resilient and calm person.

Words of wisdom?

Accept when you make mistakes that you are human. Making mistakes is part of growing up, so don’t beat yourself up. But remember, with every mistake you make, there must be a lesson learnt.

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