Sipho Mabena

By Sipho Mabena

Premium Journalist

I’m fascinated by dead people, says #Matric4Madiba participant

'My fascination with the human body is not like that of being a doctor,' the mother of one says, only waiting for her matric certificate to become a mortuarist.

Sibongile Mbatha was shattered when it dawned on her that she wouldn’t be able to pursue her dream career of handling and preparing corpses, due to her lack of a matric certificate.

That was the moment the 30-year-old from Katlehong, on the East Rand, regretted the whole year she wasted at Germiston High School.

Mbatha was supposed to have completed her matric in 2006, but failed because she was not serious about her studies.

“I was just not serious about my work and never thought it would be a stumbling block in achieving my goal of working with dead bodies at a mortuary. I was broken.”

Her efforts of completing her matric, that she now desperately needed, collapsed once more when she gave it another shot two years later.

Mbatha has been given another chance to complete her studies, thanks to a progressive competition, #Matric4Madiba, that gives 15 adult South Africans the opportunity to complete the amended senior certificate (ASC), equivalent to a matric, for free.

A beneficiary from last year’s inaugural competition, she wrote her matric exams this month and though she said the papers were a breeze, she remains anxious about the results as a gateway to her mortuary job.

“My fascination with the human body is not like that of being a doctor,” the mother of one said. “I am fascinated by dead people and cannot wait to get my matric.”

The #Matric4Madiba competition, with the total value of over R101,000, is part of the Nelson Mandela Month initiatives.

It was launched last year to honour 100 years since the birth of Mandela.

Jackie Carroll, chief executive of Media Works who pioneered the initiative, said Mandela believed in the transformative power of education, not only for an individual, but also for families, communities and the country as a whole.

“In light of this, we give 15 South Africans, who have not been able to complete their matric, the chance to do so free of charge,” said Carroll.

  • The 2019 #Matric4Madiba will run until the end of Nelson Mandela Month – July 31. The competition is open to all South African citizens over the age of 21. Winners will be announced in August 2019 and each winner will have access to the study material for three years, giving them three chances to write exams.

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