Meet Gay Sibuyi

This story was written by our very own bursary student, Shearer Ngobeni – read more about Shearer here:


Growing up in rural south Africa can be a daunting task. Dreams and opportunities get crushed and the possibility of moving away from the rural norm is low. The pressure of being the firstborn child is stressful. There are many expectations and you are mostly the only breadwinner for the family. Your siblings, parents and family lay all their hope in your hands. These are the circumstances facing many South African children.

Gay Sibuyi is an individual who walked down this very passage. She is the eldest of six children. Having unemployed parents made for a tough upbringing for Gay and her siblings but they remained strong and hopeful. From a young age Gay helped her mother with selling food at school break times and sacrificed time to help her mother in in her small business.

At the end of her Matric year she became more hands-on in helping her mother in business by going door to door selling vetkoeks, chips, and more – the real township experience. This is when her Church Minister offered her the opportunity to learn about computers. She managed to complete her course and accumulate her International Computer Driving License (ICDL).

Gay worked at a variety of ICDL centre’s where she assisted and trained many students. As a trainee she was offered a job at the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre by the Good Work Foundation. She’s been part of the GWF family seven years now.

Gay expresses that working with people under the Good Work Foundation is a rewarding experience. Apart from just teaching people and guiding them in their learning process, this job is about the people you meet and the different personalities you interact with. As you teach you also learn; and once you start learning you can never stop. Teaching others helps one to grow as an individual, because, as you inspire people, you are also inspired, and nothing can be as rewarding than knowing that you have made a significant impact on somebody else’s life. It is an amazing feeling when someone receives their certificate you were part of that process. You have helped somebody to gain an opportunity to improve their life and one day they shall go out there to get a job. It is exciting to see students graduate and go out there to pave a way to their own futures, and as teacher knowing you did your best.

Being a primary support to family as well as a single mother of one increase Gay’s drive to do better, to never give up, and stay motivated. With a good support base, it makes all the early mornings worth it. Being a graduate does not mean that everything shall be easy, or life is a straight and smooth road; there are challenges along the way. Some things will fail and all you have to do is persevere, hold on, keep pushing, and remember your purpose – and that you are the master of your own success.

“Work hard and follow your heart because life is what you make of it” – Gay Sibuyi