Chandre Jade Snyders is a 23 year old UCT graduate who has completed her Honours and is busy with her Articles to become a Chartered Accountant. She grew up always knowing what she wanted out of life and always believed that there was a cause much greater.

“When I was younger my parents raised me up to be a very independent person, and my mom always encouraged me to make my own decisions.”

Chandre was trained early to make wise choices that would affect her future. At a young age she had to learn discernment, not knowing it would be a trade tool to use in the field of her study.

“My mom had set up three interviews for me with different schools. She told me I had to choose one and be aware of the environment around me, before I made a decision.”

She chose to attend Shiloah Christian School. She chose it because it gave her a peaceful feeling inside and she had felt comfortable.

“It really developed me as a person not just academically but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually. There were so many opportunities to be involved in extra-curricula activities. I was very happy with my choice.”

She excelled in all her school years and was described by her family and friends as very smart and intelligent. But there came a time where she did not know what to do. Even though she was the girl who had smart choices, this time she had no clue what the future had in store and where she wanted to go.

“When I was younger I was always top of the class, but there came a point in my life when I was grade 8 and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I didn’t know what I wanted to become. I know it’s an early age, but because of the uncertainty, I started doing research.

“One day we had a career fair, there were different options. I remember a representative from PriceWaterhouseCoopers was there as well. She spoke to me about the career of an accountant. The characteristics suited my personality and it linked to the subjects I was currently doing and they were my favourite subjects as well.”

Chandre then put her mind to it and decided she wanted to be a Chartered Accountant. But the road along high school wasn’t perfect as she had imagined.

“I kind of drifted in the direction I was in, I did my own thing, I was doing things I wasn’t supposed to do. But yet, I always knew God had a plan for my life.”

Chandre reflects how school teachers and her parents played a huge role in keeping her on track, with words of encouragement and affirmation.

“They [School and my parents] are a very big influence and a very big part of where I am today.”

She then had a change of heart.

“In grade 11 I had an encounter with God and from that point in time, I asked God for direction. I believe God has instilled the potential inside of me to be a light to this nation and to assist small businesses and to assist other people where they might not be able to assist themselves.”

With this discovery, she remained focused, but matric proved challenging.

“I remember looking at my report card and thinking, ‘oh my word, are my grades even good enough?’ I delayed applying for UCT but I applied at all universities before the closing date. I told myself in my head, ‘With my report card what’s the chance of them accepting me?’” So she did not apply for bursaries.

Although she faced a lot of self-doubt, she kept it to herself, and in the meantime remained confident with her words. “I would always say, ‘there’s my future university’ when I drove past UCT.”

But then she got accepted into UCT and thankfully her parents had made provision for her first year, and after that she applied for bursaries.

University was challenging but she sees it all in a positive light.

“Each year is a progression. From matric to varsity years. It seems like each year gets more and more difficult but you still made it through, it shows how you’ve grown as an individual.”

She has a sense of contentment as she goes on to say,

“For me personally it’s an opportunity to rely on the grace of God, it humbles me. The size of the clients I’m working on or the risk that I take. You just realise it’s not all you, you’ve got to rely on God cause you can’t make it by yourself.”

“I believe each and every day I’m living out that purpose that was predestined for me. Personally, I get so much strength from that to persevere and not give up when things get tough. It’s a cause much bigger than yourself that kind of keeps you going.”

She ends of with saying these profound words:

“Always have a cause bigger than yourself. It’s important to know the vision, the bigger vision.”