A south African woman, Sthembile, recently made the news for her inspiring growth. According to many, her academic excellence recently achieved through sheer determination is proof that anything is possible.
After graduating from high school in 1998, she lacked the necessary support to continue her studies.
So she decided to take jobs so she could save enough to pay the bills and help around the house.
One of those jobs was as a cleaner at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where she worked for about a decade.
Unlike many who would be naturally comfortable with such a situation, the then-young woman remained determined to change her story.
She revealed to local media that she was inspired by her daily observation of student life on campus. When she finally got the chance to study for free, she didn’t hesitate.
“I was also excited to be on campus and seeing students going back and forth to their classrooms for classes made me wish I could be them,” she told News24. But she revealed that her academic life wasn’t that easy.
Her challenges came from two angles: catching up after so many years without school and combining her regular cleaning job with class work.
Still, she didn’t give up. She studied hard and got my degree in Social Sciences from the same school where I cleaned for 14 years.
She inspired others by saying, “No matter how old you are, you can still achieve your dreams. Age is just a number – watch me graduating from college at 40. It’s a blessing and I’m so proud of myself.”