In 2009 I was in Grade 12 at Oakdale Secondary School. It was my last year of schooling and also my first time hearing about a matric dance. Funnily enough, being at school for all those years, I never really minded what was going on in Grade 12 until I reached it.

They announced the matric dance in assembly during March and we were told that it would be around September. The entrance ticket was R480 per person. From the moment I learned about the price, I knew that I wasn’t going. It was too expensive for me, my parents couldn’t afford to pay for it, plus I would still have to buy a dress, shoes and accessories.

March holidays came and school closed and re-opened just as fast. Many matric learners where busy preparing for their matric dance, and mina, I had already told everyone that I wasn’t going because I couldn’t afford it.

My former Grade 11 teacher, Mrs Botes, saw me during breaktime and asked, “Have you started preparing for your matric night?”

I told her, “I won’t be going because I can’t afford it.”

Then she gave me an idea of finding people who would be willing to sponsor me, and I did that.

I firstly approached Mrs Gouws, who spoke to her sister, Janine Gouws, may her lovely soul rest in peace, who bought me a dress. Then Mr Capede, who bought me shoes, and Mrs Siwela, who did my hair.

I also approached a local business, G&M Funeral Minstries. Pastor Mando and his wife Glynis Gouws paid for my ticket, makeup, nails, accessories and organised my transport. Bless that family for me because it didn’t end there, they also got me a partner from their church and paid for his expenses too. They even took me to my matric dance venue, where I had the best night of my life. I felt like a princess and enjoyed my day just like any other learner.

This goes out to all Grade 12 learners, this is to encourage you all to never give up on everything you wish for, find ways to make your dream a reality.

To all the people who played their roles just to make my matric dance a success, thank you. I will always be grateful to you. I love you all.

There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.


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