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The Nobalisa team's Bongeka Silatyu has successfully navigated the often difficult road that is applying for NSFAS funding to pursue her dreams of studying this year. Bongeka has been working as a Nobalisa, drawing on her love for music and singing to enrich the work she does with children, since 2016. Before beginning here, she completed a short computer literacy course then worked casually as a cashier at a supermarket in Mqanduli. She took a few minutes out of the busy Nobalisa reading clinic to speak about the journey she's embarked on since securing her bursary.

Congratulations on securing your NSFAS funding this year Bongeka. Can you please tell me about your application process?

I got a lot of help from Sis Thuli. When I was applying at Unisa and also when I was applying at NSFAS, she was helping.

How did you feel when you heard you got funding?

I heard from Mich and Sis Thuli. I received a letter, the proof of funding. I was feeling happy, but not fully yet because still my credit hasn’t come through. That is normal, it takes quite a long time, but it is stressful.

What degree are you studying?

I am studying for my ABET Certificate. It is studying education. It is a higher certificate then after that I will do the B.Ed degree.

What has made you want to study teaching?

First of all, my first choice wasn’t teaching. My first choice was nursing. But when I am working at Axium, we’re dealing with teaching so in the time, as I go, I came to love teaching and that is why I am choosing education. I have experience now teaching.

What age would you like to teach?

From Grade R up to Grade 3.

Other than studies, what do you enjoy doing?

Singing and music. I love that I can do these in my work too.

What is your personal dream for this year?

I wish I will pass and I wish I can have a licence. I have a learners already and I am trying to have a driver’s licence. But I’m afraid! (laughs)

What is your message?

I am happy about my work because when I am staying at home…in my life, I don’t have people to encourage me. But then, when I’m coming at Axium, I have help. More and more people are helping me at Axium, like Sis Thuli, always encouraging us everytime. Guys, masifundeni, kubalulekile ukufunda, it is important.

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