What was your education like?
I was born in Marapyane, a village in Mpumalanga. I was raised by a single mother, grandmother and aunt. All these female figures in my life ensured that I made the right choices and went to school: I started at Patrick Mankolane Primary School, then continued to Mmasekaseka Secondary School and then went to Khamane High School.
What made you want to become a teacher?
I was inspired by my Grade 11 Maths teacher, Mr Wunyala, who would leave me with the class whenever he had to attend workshops, giving me responsibility because he knew that he could trust me. As I got older, I realised that I had knowledge that I wanted to impart to others, and I also wanted to create leaders.
How did you come to join SAMSTIP?
One day in 2013 I was browsing through Facebook and came across the ISASA Maths & English intern programme (now SAMSTIP)
and decided to try my luck, so I followed the link and applied. SAMSTIP, Investec and the Department of Basic Education offer prospective teachers specialising in Maths and the Sciences the chance to win bursaries. Fortunately, I got called for a placement test, which I passed and was then called for an interview which was also successful. All of this happened at a very difficult time, as my mom and stepdad had just been retrenched. Luckily, my mom was able to give me some money to go for the interview.
What were some of the biggest lessons you learned through the programme?
The greatest contribution I got from the programme was the continued support and motivation. It also helped me to develop more self-confidence.
The SAMSTIP programme
has identified the gaps in the teaching profession in South Africa and is doing its best to fill those gaps. I also like the way it combines studying with real life experience so that when teachers finally get their qualification, they are able to stand in front of the class and teach. This reduces the rate of teachers leaving the profession in their first year because they never got enough classroom experience. I believe that SAMSTIP is the best programme of its type in the country, because it only recruits the best people.