Thutwane had matriculated only but a year ago. It had always been her dream to study aviation and become a pilot. Sadly, things didn’t turn out the way she had hoped. She didn’t pass her matric with a university exemption and this meant she couldn’t study aviation.

She was a resilient person and though her hopes and dreams seemed far to reach, she never gave any of them up. She had a thoughtful and caring mother who bought her a puppy, Rex, after realising that her child didn’t have any friends she could confide in.

Right in the beginning of the year, Thutwane had let her mother know that she was thinking of going to college instead. At first her mother didn’t understand her decision as she too wanted her daughter to study aviation, preferably at university.

“And what are you going to study at college?” her mother asked, sounding quite incredulous.

“I don’t know Ma, but I think I should opt for Mechatronics, it is almost similar to aviation in the sense that I would be studying robotics and how they operate. I think I am going to like it,” she said cheerfully.

“OK baby girl, no problem then,” her mother agreed, “but promise me one thing,”

“Yes Ma, what is it?”

“Be sure to make some friends.”

“OK… I will try Ma,” she agreed, though her voice lacked conviction.

“Don’t try baby, just make them; it can’t be that hard,” her mother persisted.

“But Ma… I’m not that desperate for friends. I have Rex, don’t I?” she said.

“But Rex is just a dog, you need a human friend baby,”

“OK Ma,”

On the 5th of January 2019, Thutwane was one of many recently matriculated students who sought admission at the community college of Sedibeng. The registration week took a toll on most of them, especially when it came to applying for a bursary funding. It almost felt as though the finance personnel made it deliberately hard for the students to get funding.

There was so much paperwork that needed to be done, so many copies that needed to be certified and commissioned, so many affidavits that needed to be made. And so many bureaucratic hurdles to contend with along the way. It really wasn’t easy for any of them.

Eventually, after all the muss and fuss, those who persisted had to begin their studies.

As an ice-breaker activity, Thutwane’s English lecturer decided to give his new students an assignment to prepare a speech with the tittle ‘Life after matric’. Thutwane had always loathed public speaking. What worsened her fear this time was the fact that she had to do it in front of 75 strangers.

“Just imagine me delivering a speech in front of all those students,” she said to silent Rex. “What if they hate me? What will I do then?”

The dog kept on staring at her without a sound.

“Do you think I can do this?” the dog silently nodded and left Thutwane’s room, almost as if giving her the space to write down her speech.

“Good day all, my name is Thutwane and today I am going talk about life after matric. I guess it is true that life not only is about change but is change itself. I believe that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution can be taken as a clear example of the constant change we find ourselves in, which we must adapt to or perish.

For most of us, fresh from high school, the drastic change of our lives happened just a year or two ago…

No matter when it was, we all have gone through the inevitable change we encounter just after matriculating. No one amongst you here I am sure can deny how easier and more bearable life was while we were still in high school. Every big or little dream our childish minds conceived seemed easily attainable then. We all thought that immediately after matric, our paths would be clear and that we will do whatever we intended to do with no problems whatsoever.

But that’s not how life is. In all honesty, life is quite hard and often too hard for some people to bear. This fact became apparent to us after completing high school and had to face life head on. No matter how hard you think your life is, if you still have it, there is still hope for you to achieve all your goals, dreams and aspirations.

Do not despair, just remember that a dream delayed is not a dream denied. You can still achieve whatever you want to achieve, all you have to do is to stay focused and never concentrate on anything bogus.

God must have known that as humanity we’ll encounter hardships along the way, hence He made so many non-human things for us to all to learn from.

We can all learn a valuable lesson from an ant as it never wastes any time. Every waking moment it spends accumulating food for the rainy days. Let us all learn from the little ant and never waste anymore of the limited time we are given.

Another lesson we can learn is from the most common thing we all use and consume on a daily basis: water! Yes, you heard me right, I said water.

If you think about it, you will begin to notice that there is nothing more flexible than water. If you pour water into a cup it assumes the shape of a cup and if you pour it in a bottle it takes the shape of a bottle. Water can flow into any space you pour it in.

So be like water my friends… Adapt, overcome and move on.


Tell us: What do you think of Thutwane’s speech?