Kicking against all odds
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Kicking against all odds

Khabane Zwane, is the living definition of strength and courage.

Duka Namahlathi

At the Vaal University of Technology we have an assortment of people whose lives vary from having an abundance to lacking severely. Some of our students push through the most testing times and make something of their lives against all odds.

This could be said of Khabane Alice Zwane: no one could have guessed that the woman selling amagwinya (fat cakes) at the small gate at VUT, would one day be a student there. While selling her food and attending karate training, she always had hopes of getting an education that would change her life.

“Every morning I would prepare my daughter for school and then I would go to the small gate at VUT and sell there to make money to feed her. When the amagwinya were finished, I would go to work as a caretaker at one of the student accommodations around Bedworth. In the evening I would go to karate classes at VUT. That is where I had the epiphany that I wanted to be a graduate.”

Coming from a needy background is not anything new in South Africa; however, at the age of 33, she decided that she and her daughter were not going to be part of that statistic.

Ms Zwane decided to enrol for a course in fashion at the Sedibeng College in Vereeniging, where she completed her NQF levels 2-4. She then decided that this was not enough as her plan all along was to be a part of the VUT community.

She is now enrolled at VUT as a fashion student and is currently doing her second year. Some of the students who used to attend college in Sedibeng with her have joined her at VUT. They say she has been a woman of great courage and a very positive influence in their lives.

Her own journey is an amazing story. Despite being a victim of rape and emotional abuse, she has never let her trauma deter her from her dreams and aspirations.

Her strength has put her where she currently is and her daughter is very proud to have a mother like her.

NSFAS also has played a remarkable role in ensuring that her dreams have turned into reality.

She urges every person, from all walks of life and especially women, never to look at their current situation and see it as the end. She believes that if one sets one’s mind on whatever one wants to achieve and believes it, then the universe will provide.

“It does not matter how it happens; as long as one has a dream, it can be actualised. Persevere under all circumstances, you are growing,” she said.

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