Shining at Madlala

We’ve been itching to tell the story of Thulani Sibiya. For two reasons. First – he’s done well and he deserves it. Second, many visitors want a bit of context. They ask “what’s it like living in Madlala (a small village in rural Mpumalanga)?” or “how do people who live in rural parts of South Africa go about building a career path for themselves?”

Good Work Foundation bursaries

Before I introduce Thulani, let me give you some background. Each year Good Work Foundation (GWF) sponsors learners who have graduated from local high schools (and shown dedication and commitment to their studies) to study for the International Computer Drivers License (ICDL).

This year GWF has sponsored five students. Thulani Sibiya is one of them. Our Facebook fans might recognise him as the “guy” with the “You know you wanna scan me” t-shirt. That was a hit, so I’ve included the photo in this story!

Thulani Sibiya’s story

Like most children and young adults in our country, Thulani is raised by a single parent except that in this case, the parent is his father. He has four siblings and he is the second-born.

At 20 years of age, Thulani’s sister is already “married” which is not uncommon in our part of the world. But (and this is a great “but”) Thulani wants a better life for himself and his younger siblings.

Thulani stood out at Madlala High School as a student with a vision and – upon hearing about the bursaries that GWF offers – Thulani’s teacher approached GWF and sang Thulani’s praises. And today Thulani is one of our ICDL sponsored learners at Madlala Digital Learning Centre.

Even better: Thulani is “paying it forward” so to speak, by assisting in digital literacy classes for the current Grade 12 learners at Madlala High School.

A couple of questions for Thulani

I asked Thulani what and where he would like to study if there were NO limitations. “I would love to study to become a teacher at Durban University of Technology” was the reply.

“I love helping young people at home. I want to give back to our community and I think being a teacher will be the best way to do so. I want to be involved in the development of our community through education” says Thulani.

One last thing. I asked Thulani if he has a favourite Shangaan quote. Once again, the answer came fast: “Munhu I munhu van’wana van’hu.” For our non-Shangaan speaking readers, the quote is translated to:

“I am because you are, you are because we are.”

There are people in our community who shine. Thulani is one of them, and we hope we can help him to fulfil his dream of developing his community through education!