My story starts when I was 16 years old, when I witnessed my mother being abused right in front of me. It was then I realised that I needed to have an education to use as my key to open any door in life. Since I can remember I have dreamed of becoming an independent woman. One who is there as a helper and mediator for those who cannot protect and stand up for themselves. This dream has led me to find my calling as a Social worker.

It was 2011 when I began my schooling at the University of Fort Hare, I can still remember that day clearly; It was a hot summer day and the January sun shone down on my face. It was my very first time entering a higher institution of learning, and I didn’t know what to expect or who to talk to.

I only had a R100 in my pocket, which was all my mother could afford to give me. I had no money for registration, but I knew deep down I wanted to go to University and become a social worker. Entering the main gate I met a man who was helping students and he showed me where the financial offices were.

Walking down to the offices, a rural girl with no confidence and a dream to be a social worker, I was praying they would allow me to register. As I was standing on the queue, my heart was pumping so fast it almost left my chest. I did not know what to expect and was afraid they would send me home.

To my surprise, when I finally got to the offices, I was told to go and register. I thought they had made a mistake, but nonetheless I was able register as a student. Going to the administration offices, I had a massive grin on my face, I couldn’t believe what my ears were hearing. Then a voice in my ear said, ‘I have always been with you’, that is when I realised that God was watching over me the whole time….

Thank you Lord I said to myself, still smiling.

I pushed so hard that I was awarded a sponsorship, meaning that I was covered for all costs at the University. Getting the sponsorship I was able to bring light to my family as there was no one working, so I was able to buy groceries for them and that made me very happy.

Today I am a qualified Social worker and that means everything to me. I might be unemployed for the moment, but having this degree has shown me that I could become whatever I want to be in life. As long as I still breathe, the skies the limit and I can be anything I wish I can be. My education sisitshixo sam (my key). It’s a key that opens all doors. I know that I am an inspiration to others and that is so special because no one can take it away from me.