Graduate writes e-book to raise money

Published Aug 5, 2015


Johannesburg - A Wits University graduate has come up with an ingenious way to raise funds so she can pay for her university transcript.

Thobeka Sinxo, 25, studied for a BA honours and was supposed to graduate at the end of June, but was unable to attend the ceremony because she couldn’t afford to. She returned home to Motherwell in the Eastern Cape last year after finishing her studies.

Now, Sinxo has written a book to try to raise funds and get her university transcript. “When I realised I couldn’t afford to attend the ceremony, I applied and notified the university that I would be absent. But now I need to get my transcript so I can get on with my life,” she said.

Sinxo wants to apply for jobs and also do a master’s degree, but she can’t do that without her transcript.

“The university told me I need to send someone I trust to pick up the transcript, but I don’t know anyone because I’m not from Joburg. To courier it will cost about R250, but I can’t afford that. Right now I’m blocked from doing anything.”

A round trip from the Eastern Cape to Joburg by train will cost her about R1 000. “It is even more expensive by bus. No one in my family can afford it because no one is employed,” Sinxo said.

She said she desperately needs her transcript because she wants to apply to do a masters in creative writing or applied drama and theatre before the application period closes next month.

Sinxo financed her studies through a partial scholarship last year. “The scholarship paid for my fees and I had to sort out the accommodation.

“I had financial problems last year, and I came home because I could not afford the accommodation,” Sinxo added.

Instead of being despondent at home, she decided to publish an e-book.

“I reached out to people but they can’t afford to help me. My family also don’t have money. So I decided to publish my childhood diaries and poems.”

She self-published the e-book, called Ezintakeni – A Literary Rite of Passage, last week. The book has eight short stories, and 13 poems from journals that document her life in the Motherwell community.

It costs R50.

Sinxo uses her cellphone to send the book to those interested in it. “I buy R5 airtime and log on to my e-mails. I have downloaded the book onto Dropbox, and once someone pays, I send them the link,” she said.

She said one of the hardest things was that she was unable to produce theatre plays.

In 2013 and 2014, she produced and performed a one-woman show called uNomsa, based on her late grandfather Sir Guybon Sinxo’s 1922 Xhosa novel of the same name. She used her stipend to produce the show.

“At this point in my life, my chances of going back to academia are bleak. It is disheartening to depend on scholarships, and I am fatigued. I wish to bring back home what I have worked for by overcoming socio-economic odds against me. I have looked for a job for five years since my last graduation,” Sinxo said.

* E-mail Thobeka Sinxo at [email protected].

[email protected]

The Star

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