Mavimbela’s Childhood Dream to Qualify as a Teacher Finally Fulfilled

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Mavimbela’s Childhood Dream to Qualify as a Teacher Finally Fulfilled

Mavimbela’s Childhood Dream to Qualify as a Teacher Finally Fulfilled

Twenty-one-year-old Nontobeko Mavimbela from Osizweni in Newcastle is beside herself with joy after receiving her Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE [FET Phase]) qualification. She obtained her highly anticipated certificate on Tuesday, 18 April during the fourth session of the 2023 University of Zululand (UNIZULU) graduation season.

She was inspired to study at UNIZULU by her high school teacher and role model, who is a product of this University. She had hoped to receive an offer to study towards a bachelor of education but wound up pursuing a BCom degree in Economics and Business Management. She completed this academic programme in 2021 and immediately enrolled for a PGCE.

“From a young age, teaching has held a special place in my heart,” Mavimbela shared. Giggling, she then added, “I was so sure I would be a science teacher but funny enough I am a commerce teacher. I guess that is how it was meant to be.”

“Why teaching? I love children! You know, the sound of my learners calling me all at once, trying to get my attention brings me so much joy. I love teaching. I love taking something that seems really hard to someone else and unpacking it in a way that completely simplifies it for them. I love being of service to others,” Mavimbela passionately said.

It is little wonder then that she graduated at the top of her faculty, with an aggregate of 78,5%. This outstanding performance saw her receiving a special prize, courtesy of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. “I worked really hard, so I am excited about these results. I was happy when I passed matric but there is something really special about obtaining these marks for this qualification,” she said.  

She admitted that the past academic year was challenging because of the workload. It was even harder for her financially without state funding since NSFAS had already funded her undergraduate degree. From the onset, she had braced herself for what she was sure would be a tough financial year – her only solace being the promise of a brighter future after graduating.

“I had to keep positive and remain motivated for my family’s sake. My mom has a job, but it doesn’t pay much. As the first born, I took it upon myself to make sure I perform well at school so I can find work and provide for my mom and two younger siblings,” she shared.

Mavimbela is currently working as an educator assistant at a school near her home. She is hoping to find permanent employment anywhere around the country.

– Naledi Hlefane

Picture by: James Thwala

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