Natasha Dietrich
Natasha Dietrich

From cleaner to teacher – mum of two never gave up

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Apr 16, 2021

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LOCAL inspiration Natasha Dietrich, who went from scrubbing floors as a cleaner to marking papers as a primary school teacher, says she is glad she never gave up.

From Belhar, Dietrich, 47, was a former cleaner at the University of the Western Cape and now teaches Mathematics and Social Sciences at the Dr Van der Ross Primary School.

Dietrich celebrated the achievement on Thursday with her former colleagues at Bidvest Prestige.

“I worked as a cleaner for three years as a casual worker, and for six years as a permanent worker. I attended classes during the day. My shift as cleaner started from 3pm till midnight. I was doing both at the same time. I worked weekends as well,” she said.

The mother of two said although her journey was not easy, she was driven by her dream of being an inspiration in her community.

“I'm so happy that I never gave up. I'm honoured to be an inspiration for others. Through my journey I have learnt that nothing is impossible, and it does not matter where you come from or your background. There are too many young people without a vision. Teaching is the best and greatest manner to make a difference in the lives of young children. My children and my mother, who has been there for me since day one, are my biggest inspiration,” Dietrich said.

She was afforded an opportunity to pursue her studies by UWC, which also paid her tuition fees.

The university’s dean of the Faculty of Education, Professor Rajendran Govender, said they were delighted with her achievement.

“Natasha has exhibited good character, industriousness and dedication to her undergraduate studies. She was always brimming with ideas that helped to resolve problems and promote collaboration among her peers,” Govender said.

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