Solomon Mahlangu’s Blood Nourished My Tree Of Freedom Through Education

PICTURE: Supplied

Since NYDA crossed her path, favour and success have become evident in her life that it has become tangible through being granted a scholarship and also receiving expert tuition from technically gifted staff compliment at the North West University.

The self- driven and resilient Malebo Kekana (20) hails from Pretoria in a township called Soshanguve and is known as an inspiration to many. She is a daughter of a hard working mother who strives to provide for her family from the little that she earns at Shoprite and father who is unemployed yet constantly supportive.”My childhood was fairly normal because my parents tried by all means to provide essentials for the whole family,” she passionately stated.

Malebo completed her high school in 2014 at Reitumetse High School. During her school days, Malebo had great dreams and hopes for the future. However, coming from such a township and also considering her background and how expensive university was, was too much of a difference to match. She got to a point in her life where she heavily contemplated about herself and her dreams, whether they would come into fruition.

In December 2014 she received admission letters from various universities but fear raced after her desire as tuition fees were in tensely high that it blurred her dreams as a young individual. She decided to take a step of faith in January 2015 to search and apply for bursaries and came across NYDA. 

Since NYDA crossed her path, favour and success have become evident in her life that it has become tangible through  being granted a scholarship and also receiving expert tuition from technically gifted staff compliment at the North West University.

“Being a student in the financial field has allowed me to meet captains of the industry and employees of huge financial institutions, something that I only dreamt of,” she said. Through the course of her studies she is privileged enough to attend various networking events such as the Future Women in Financial Services Conference in Sandton which was hosted by Rand Merchant Bank in 2017.

Together with her peers she took social responsibility and had themselves involved with an organization called Versatile Mentorship programme which the main objective was to mentor and unlock potential in high school scholars. The highlight of the opportunities was meeting the Deputy President David Mabuza, Minister Naledi Pandor, Minister Malusi Gigaba and other prominent figures who attended the Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu Gala Dinner in Pretoria on the 5 April 2018.

One of the biggest challenges she came across was adapting to the financial challenges that she was faced with and she refused to allow that reality to be part of her. However, her pursuing spirit kept her focused that she had seen something greater laying ahead of her.

“Being black and being a woman is a double jeopardy as many people see us as child bearers and house wives, but the great Nelson Mandela said education has the power to break various boundaries. I want to break the mind-set of people thinking that women are child bearers and house wives through education.

The opportunity to being educated has helped not only me but young girls from my community to believe that it can be done and it will be done. I want to be the reason why they believe in education again,” Malebo says.

To many others that are facing difficulties or financial difficulties, she expresses “[o]ur deepest fear is not that we are inadequate but our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Those who dare to rise, rise horizons as education is a poverty alleviation mechanism and has the power to break social boundaries. “Don’t quit and don’t lose hope black child, strive to make your life and the lives of people around you better, if you don’t achieve and conquer, who will!?,” she concluded.