Nomvano Jim

This is my story: Nomvano Jim

I was born in Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa, but I stayed in the Eastern Cape with my grandfather’s sister whom I referred to as “makhulu” until I was 9 years old. I then came to Cape Town to live with my mother and seven siblings in Khayelitsha. I attended Ikhusi Public Primary School and Luhlaza Senior Secondary School.

I did extremely well at school and received several awards for academic excellence. I fell pregnant in Grade 11 as I knew very little about love and boys. Through peer pressure and naivety, I ended up having a baby at the age of 19.

I was determined that a baby was not going to stop me from finishing school and realising my dream of becoming an independent business woman. Despite missing the first couple of months of my Matric year, I returned to school at the end of the first term to write my exams and worked hard towards finishing my Matric in 2013.

My interest in attending university began when two people from the University of Cape Town (UCT) came to my school to identify 10 students who had excelled in their studies, so that they could become involved with a project called Wannabe at Humanities. The focus of this initiative was to encourage learners from townships to apply to study at UCT. I was chosen to be part of the project and I submitted my application to study Humanities. My application was accepted, and I enrolled at UCT in 2014 and graduated on the 6th April 2018 with a Bachelor of Social Sciences with three majors: Industrial Sociology, Gender Studies and Social Development. I was the first person in my family to both pass Matric and to attend university!

After my studies I decided I needed to gain work experience and to spend some time with my young daughter who I had seen very little of whilst studying. I sent my CV to many organisations but had very little response back from them. I could not sit around doing nothing and I needed to earn some money, so I started teaching English to foreigners. I was excited when Mthente called me and invited me for an interview and offered me the position as a workplace intern. This is the beginning of the next chapter of my life and the next step towards realising my dream. My story shows that through hard work, patience, knowing what you want in life and through perseverance anything is possible.