She is 31 years old and she is one of the proudest matriculants in the country.
Slindile Cele from Ndwedwe, KZN, has passed her matric with a bachelors pass after being a full-time pupil at the Mzingezwi High School in Ndwedwe. Slindile, the mother of an 18-month-old baby girl, told Daily Sun she had failed matric in 2006 but enrolled for grade 11 in 2020.
She said she went back to school full-time, wore a uniform and sat in class with pupils almost half her age.
“I was even older than some of the teachers,” she said.
“I told myself I must respect them and focus on my goal.”
She said the kids laughing at her didn’t side-track her.
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“I was a laughing stock at school. It was painful but I know how pupils are,” she said.
Her relatives were against her going back to school and she decided to leave her uncle’s house.
“My uncle’s wife said I wouldn’t get accepted at school so I left his house,” she said.
She said in 2019 she worked as a domestic worker.
“I saved money so I could pay for my school fees, uniform and rent. I fell pregnant but I decided to hide my pregnancy because there was no turning back,” she said.
She gave birth in August 2020.
When she started matric she took her baby to creche.
“I paid rent with my child’s support grant because my baby daddy was not supportive.
“Sometimes I went to sleep without food. but later the school arranged for her to get cooked food to take home.”
Now her focus is on becoming a nurse.
“All those that were laughing have been silenced. My uncle’s wife hasn’t said anything. I tried calling her but I think she blocked me.”