Planting seeds for success in Joe Slovo

Athina May

Senior pupils from Sinenjongo High School attended a careers expo in Joe Slovo last week where they looked at some of the opportunities waiting for them after they leave school.

The expo on Thursday May 5 and Friday May 6 was organised by the Pillars of Glory International church with sponsorship from the City of Cape Town and the Department of Correctional Services.

The school’s grade 12 pupils attended the Thursday session while about 160 Grade 9s were there on Friday, when Tabletalk visited.

Led by guest speaker Pastor Luvuyo Dwaba, the pupils vowed to work hard at their studies so they could choose the career that they felt was right for them.

“I will study; I will become something in this world; I want to make a change in Joe Slovo; I want to make a change in the Western Cape; I want to make a change in South Africa,” they chanted.

In their bright blue blazers with white rolled socks and neatly tied hair, the pupils were optimistic about their future and clearly intrigued by what they found at the various information stands inside the Joe Slovo community hall.

“The expo will help these children to make the right choice when choosing a career,” said Xolani Gobelo, who was representing the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

“The expo provides information on institutions and those that give bursaries. The NSFAS is here, as well as Parliament and Correctional Services to give insight.

“For Correctional Services, there are bursaries with no pay-back fee, but basically you have to work for them after you study, for the amount of years you have studied, receiving a full salary,” said Mr Gobelo.

False Bay College, College of Cape Town and Silulo Ulutho Technologies had stands showing possible study options, while NSFAS representatives explained how pupils might fund these.

Old Mutual, the Department of Higher Education, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPESA) were also there.

Pupil Tammy Chibhotso said the exhibition had helped her narrow down her career options because she had struggled to decide whether to go into tourism or become an advocate, but now she had decided to become an advocate.

Esona Paca said she wanted to become a doctor or a lawyer, while her friends chimed in saying they wanted to become social workers.

Mr Dwaba encouraged the youth, saying:

“When you leave this hall, I want to see a change in your life. Education is very important.

“The fact that you’re living in a shack shouldn’t deter you. Your future is in your hands, you define your future.”