“A major challenge that I faced as a matric learner was finding a place to study,” said Sibongile.
“I live in a flat in Yeoville. The area gets too noisy for anyone to focus on their work, especially at night, because there is loud music playing outside. There are also people partying through the night.”
To add to her stress, Sibongile and her four family members share their three-bedroom flat with four other people.
“It has always been like this and it was so hard to focus with all the other people living in one small space,”she said.
But this didn’t stop her from trying to slot in as much study time as possible.
“I took any opportunity I could to study somewhere else where I could focus. The library was very helpful, and that is where I spent most of my time.”
She said she also attended extra lessons at Roedean School four times a week. She not only managed to get a bachelor pass, but distinctions in isiZulu, life orientation, accounting and history.
Top of Sibongile’s worries were her plans for this year.
“I had the same stresses as any other matric candidate: piling-up work, going to school - Monday to Sunday some weeks - and applying to university and worrying about how I will pay for the fees,” Sibongile said.
She has applied for funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and private companies that fund accounting students, as she plans to become a chartered accountant.
“I have always wanted to become a chartered accountant. I fell in love with the career when I met my mother’s boss,” she said.
Her mother, Susan, works as a domestic worker.
“I have always known what I wanted to do and I was ready to fight for my dream. There were some days that I would have bad marks because of everything I was going through, and that made me stress more about plans for this year. But the passion I had for my dream career kept me going,” she said.