From the very first time I was introduced to accounting back in high school in 1998, I knew then that I wanted to pursue a career as an Accountant. But I couldn’t further my studies due to financial reasons. The fact that we weren’t allowed to take mathematics together with accounting didn’t help me much either.
South Africa has one messed up public education system. A shortage of books is one of the many problems our education system is facing. Teachers have to make do with using a single copy to teach overcrowded classes. Some teachers get tired of this so they skip classes to hide in the teachers lounge while learners get bored, fall asleep, and drool on their desks. Some of the pupils pass the time by exchanging notes and gossiping about which schoolgirls are dating which teachers. But at the end of the year the students are the ones who suffer from the setbacks as many of them end up under performing. And now I have been given a second chance to do damage control.
Seven years after completing Grade12, I now have a chance to finally make my dream of becoming an Accountant come true. This is all thanks to Kate, a lady who was born in the US but is currently living in Switzerland. She is a musician, a writer and she also works at a bank.
I first met Kate last year while I was still working as a journalist for The Amazwi Villager, a non-profit organization and the first and only newspaper in Acornhoek. She came to visit us at Amazwi to hold a writing workshop. It was quite fun having her around. And to be honest, out of all the visitors that came for a visit to hold workshops, Kate was the only person who made an effort to connect with us on a personal level rather than just seeing us as journalists.
We got on well like paraffin and matches. She shared her interests with me. And I in turn shared my interests with her, among other things. But I guess it was my high school dream of becoming an accountant that stood out to her. A couple of months after she went back home I received an email from her saying that she would like to help me finally achieve that dream. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I emailed her back to ask her what she meant when she said she would like to help me achieve my accounting dream. She replied that she would like to sponsor me to go to college.
I was really excited to receive the news. However, my lack of skills in mathematics and a grade problem for one of my grade 12 subjects still stood in the way of me getting into the accounting programme. For months I researched on the Internet, looking for another alternative that would allow me to enroll in the programme. Finally, I managed to find out that I could do a bridging program for a year at The University of Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After that I will be able to finally enroll for BCOM Accounting at any university. I applied for the programme in October and later I received a letter from the school saying that I’ve been accepted.
It was the happiest time of my life. And what made me even happier is the fact that Kate came down here again this week so we could finalize things for my schooling. I have been given a second chance in life to fulfill my dream of one day becoming an Accountant. Now all I have to do is work hard and get good grades, which is exactly what I intend on doing next year if everything goes according to plan. And I have Kate to thank for that.