Teboho Mashapa couldn’t complete writing her final exams in 2009 due to the fact that she had TB but will have a second chance to do so thanks to #Matric4Madiba initiative.

Everyone deserves a second chance and #Matric4Madiba competition is doing exactly that by providing an opportunity to those who couldn’t complete their matric.

Tebogo Lenah Mashapa, 30,  is one of the 15 adult South Africans who participated in the competition, which was run through Facebook by Media Works, a provider of adult education and training.

Participants had to leave a comment on the Facebook page and explain how completing their matric would change their lives.

Mashapa, from Soshanguve in Tshwane, couldn’t complete writing her final exams in 2009 due to the fact that she had TB.

"At school, they said I must stop coming to classes because I was coughing and sick. So I stopped and I didn't get a chance to go back. After completing my Matric, I'm planning to go to tertiary. I'm not sure what I want to do yet,” she said.

Mashapa currently works as a petrol attendant.

* Sharon, a 32-year-old woman from Soweto, will also be writing her matric next year. Sharon suffered a kidney infection while she as in matric. She was only able to write three subjects before being hospitalised..

“Not having a matric makes life very difficult. When you are looking for a job, employers need that certificate,” she said.

The mother of two said she always wanted to complete her matric so that she could be able to further her studies and get a degree in psychology.

“Growing up, I wanted to be the first at home to go to university. Now that I am doing my matric and will be able to write next year June, that dream is going to come true soon. I want to give my kids the best education.” she said.

For Letitia Redlinghuis, dropping out of school to help her sister get her education is the reason she never completed school. The 33-year-old woman from Bethelsdorp in Port Elizabeth is currently unemployed.  

"I never matriculated. I had to work and help my sister complete her matric. So, I had to drop out of school and work for her so that she can have a Matric. So, I feel very excited and I can't wait that now I can finally have a Matric and have that on my certificate. I want to do a welding course after finishing this process.”

Media Works’ CEO and co-founder, Jackie Carroll, said the  #Matric4Madiba initiative was inspired by former president Nelson Mandela’s belief in the power of education to transform the lives of individuals, families, communities and societies.

She said the winners range from 22 to 40 years of age and span the length and breadth of South Africa from Morokweng in the North West, Bethelsdorp in the Eastern Cape, Botha’s Hill in KwaZulu-Natal to Soshanguve in Gauteng.

A total of 15 winners will get an opportunity to complete their Amended Senior Certificate (ASC) for free she said, adding that a matric certificate was a passport to a better future.

“It’s what you need to gain access to improved employment opportunities, and it’s the basic qualification you need to study further. We are excited to be able to change lives through this competition,” Carroll said.

The winners will have access to all the subjects of their choice, whether they need to complete just one or all six subjects. They will also be supplied with course material.

They will have access to the study material for three years and will, therefore, have three opportunities to write their ASC exams, which take place between May and July every year.

The cost of the exams at a registered exam centre will be sponsored by Star Schools, a supplementary education service provider that Media Works has partnered with to bring #Matric4Madiba to life.

* Not her real name.

The Star