Despite being from a family of 24 members, Sbusiso Mpashe has not allowed the challenges of his upbringing and home environment to get in the way of his dreams.
The Meadowlands-born lad is one of Forte Secondary School’s leading class of 2023 matriculants whose performance throughout the year has left teachers impressed.
The master strategist, who plays the game of chess in his spare time, has his eyes set on becoming a tech wizard as he plans to study computer science through the University of the Witwatersrand.
“I am from a big family of 24. Even though my mother is unemployed and my father is a general worker who makes his living as a window cleaner, I have not let that get in my way.
“I even have hobbies, and one of the hobbies is playing chess, which helps me relax my mind.
“I play other sports as well. I am a person who has passion and who is self-driven as I never allow my family situation to bring me down. I always strive for the best, and never giving up serves as my motto,” he says.
Sbusiso, whose favourite subjects were maths, physical sciences, life sciences, accounting and business studies, says he has fallen in love with computer science because it allows him to be analytic.
“I chose to study computer science because analysing the current situation in the world will allow me to impact the world positively as we now live in the digital world driven by technology and its advances.
“I want to inspire the world and those who are not technology-inclined to take advantage of the opportunities brought on by technology. So I chose the course firstly because I have a passion for programming and coding.
“I hope through my path that I’ll be able to design and make technology accessible and user-friendly to the elderly and young people alike,” he says.
Sbusiso faced numerous challenges in his final year in high school. However, he says he has been able to overcome these challenges which include falling ill and being absent from class.
“I got sick a lot and my number of days away from school grew to about 50. So I was behind with my school work as my treatment did not allow me time to study ... I’m grateful that through the help and support of my teachers, I was able to overcome this challenge and catch up with my work.”
Sbusiso adds that he had to find ways to overcome the challenge of being from a big family, which required him to move his study time to the early hours of the morning.
“Another challenge I had was studying. At home, studying in the afternoon was a real challenge because of the level of noise and activities taking place, so I would have to make the sacrifice of waking up at 2am to study, and never sleep and go to school just like that,” he says.