Former Port Shepstone High School pupil Phumla Shinga is among the students who passed their matric exceptionally well in 2015.
The school is one of the top schools in the lower South Coast region in KwaZulu-Natal and has a good reputation for producing a high matric pass rate over the years. The 24-year-old proved this to be true when she passed her matric with a bachelor pass, obtaining distinctions in Afrikaans, business studies and history.
Shinga said she truly believes she gave it her all during her matric year but does, however, regret having a negative attitude towards maths, which she believes counted against her in achieving better marks for the subject.
Shinga furthered her studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2016, but unfortunately had to drop out the following year due to finances. Shinga landed a job as a call centre adviser in 2017 and was recently promoted to team manager. She added that she is not where she thought she would be in life at this point.
“We make plans on how we want our life to be, but life has a way of throwing you off. However, I believe I can still get to where I always thought I would be.”
She is also completing her BCom Financial Management degree part time through Unisa and should be done in the next two and a half years.
“The one thing I wish I could have done after my matric year was take a gap year, just to figure out exactly what I wanted to do in life.”
She says the matric class of 2021 should avoid any pressure. They should not let the pressure of wanting their lives to be a certain way by a certain age force them into doing something they are not sure they want to do for the rest of their lives.
“If you are not sure what it is you want to do, it is fine. Take a gap year and look into trying out different things and volunteer at different types of workplaces to see what suits you best. That way, when you find out what it is you want, you will really enjoy it.”
Shinga emphasised that this year's matriculants should not study something for the sake of it.
Shinga's mother, Tholakele Shinga, 56, said that it was very difficult after Shinga’s matric year because they couldn’t afford to pay her fees, which made it impossible for her to carry on with her studies. She was then forced to work full-time while studying part time.
“She’s not where we thought she would be by now, but we are very proud of how far she’s come and we trust God’s timing that everything will fall into place eventually,” said Tholakele.