An Empangeni woman who returned to high school to complete matric at the age of 31, recently graduated with a BA degree and also a post-graduate certificate in education (PGCE)
Nobuhle Nunu Mpanza, who is married with two children, tells The Witness that she fell pregnant at the age of 18 and dropped out of high school.
Mpanza says when she went back to school she was the joke of the community, with relatives and her neighbours telling her she was crazy and a disgrace to society.
“When I fell pregnant, my parents and myself were heartbroken because life was tough at home. In the same year, I attempted to write my Grade 12 final exams but unfortunately failed and my results were very bad.
“You know it is a disgrace and against our culture to fall pregnant before marriage. You can imagine what I went through with the family, church and community. After more than 10 years of sitting and hustling around, I decided to go back to school full-time,” explains Mpanza.
She says the school she had registered at did not call her to confirm if she had been accepted. Not letting that deter her, she dressed up as a learner and went to the school and explained her situation.
The staff had a small meeting and told her she could attend classes.
After she successfully passed her matric, she enrolled at university.
Mpanza says she is grateful to her husband Njabulo Mpanza, who encouraged her and supported her all the way.
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