Tracking Our Alumni: Rifiloe Mokoena

‘A wise man I know once said, ‘‘chase a vision, and the rest will follow because the value of an idea lies in the use of it.” These words are responsible for having created a dreamer in me that is now two years away from completing an LLB degree. My story is a common South African story I share with many young people living in the rural areas of Mpumalanga and possibly beyond. But that does not make it any less important than it is.

I grew up in a small rural village not far from Hayzview in a house headed by my mom on her own. I turned out pretty well given the circumstances and managed to graduate high school with outstanding results that allowed me entrance into a university for further studying, but I was at home watching time pass me by without any control or plan for my future. You might be wondering why I was then not at university if I qualified to.

Well I did say the results allowed me entrance and that was it. I had no access to information regarding anything more than that. My mother could not afford the fees that were needed for the four yearlong degree. At that point, my dream was nothing but a vision hanging somewhere between tomorrow and the unknown future.

It was when my friends were all packing and moving to the different cities in South Africa for university that I felt I needed to get up and make something of myself too. Little did I know that hope was less than 15km away from home. I then learned about Good Work Foundation (GWF) and their programmes and I Knocked at their door so loudly because I was desperate for education and a decent job in the future.

I was later enrolled as an Absa Bridging Year student and learned more than I had anticipated. There I also met Mercyful Mathebula, a Career Counsellor at GWF who helped me apply and was accepted to study LLB (Bachelor of Laws) at the University of Venda, which had always been my dream. GWF helped me walk away with knowledge of the languages of access; English and digital, an admission to study my desired career as well as information on how student financial loan application processes work. All of this was achieved in just one year!

The thought of being a student at university tuned my stomach with mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety at the same time, none the less; my vision was now becoming a reality.

I had my first law class in 2016 and it was nothing close to what I had expected, it was so much more than I ever imagined and I love every part of it as challenging as it is 99% of the time.

I am happy to say that I am now just two more years from wearing a graduation gown for the second time, and this time for my desired career which is Law. Access to information, mentors, and facilitators as well as an excellent world class learning model for adults in rural areas were the recipe in creating this future rural lawyer! GWF may be creating one rural professional in whatever field they desire at a time but at the same time, they are changing an entire community of people.

Ed note: Rifiloe graduated top student in Business Communication English from GWF and was one of the most dedicated Media students with a very promising future. We hope her story inspires not just more young rural women, but every single person out there, to wait for no one to present opportunities but go out there and claim them.


Rifilioe Mokoena at the Hazyview Digital Learning Campus in October 2016 on the day she received news of her acceptance to study LLB with the University of Venda.


Rfifiloe graduated from Hazyview Digital Learning Campus with the languages of access and as top student in Business Communication English.


Rifiloe is now doing her second year of LLB and says it is 99% challenging but 100% fun for her.


Written by Hazyview Media Agency.