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  • Writer's pictureSAEP

Buhle's story

Hello, my name is Buhle Bonke Sawuli, and I live in Belhar, Cape Town. I graduated from the University of the Western Cape with a bachelor's degree in Environmental and Water Science. I am currently studying at the University of the Western Cape for a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Water Resource Management.

I chose this field of study because I am passionate about water and the environment's protection and sustainability. This passion stems from my upbringing in the Eastern Cape, where there is plenty of land. My late mother, who worked as a cleaner for Jet Clothing Store, reared me n Ginsberg township, King William's Town. My mother and I were destitute while I was growing up, so I have been working to be where I am today, my entire life. There were evenings when there was absolutely no food left. I would hear her praying and sobbing herself to sleep. Since that day, I have known that education is the sole key to unlocking doors for me and making my mother proud. Continuously, I was relocated to rural areas and live with my grandmother, where we relied on subsistence farming for a living. On top of that, I had to walk approximately +/- 5 kilometers to Gasela High School in inclement weather with my peers. My grandmother needed my assistance in preparing the soil, planting the seeds, and maintaining the plants for future use. As a result, I was taught the value of education and the importance of preserving these natural resources, which were and continue to be vital to my life.

When I get to speak about South African Education Project in relation to my life I get emotional because they are like my second family with regards to my personal development and career goals. I will always recommend this organisation to any youngster out there that wants to succeed in life, because it has transformed my life in so many ways. Additionally, the bridging year program (BYP) prepared me for Tertiary education and assisted me in achieving success in my academic pursuits. Through exciting expeditions, I attained skills in critical thinking, leadership, interpersonal communication, resilience, self-motivation, a healthier lifestyle, and I was trained by SAEP to view the world in a positive way. I recently established my own small business as a co-founder to fight the high rate of unemployment in South Africa. I am a bridging year program (BYP) mentor as well as Graduate Advisor for Tertiary Support Program (TSP) students doing first year in University. I was able to complete all the aforementioned activities as a result of the trainings I obtained from the South African Education (SAEP) staff for the past five years.

It is sometimes important to look back and see how far you have come in order to be motivated to continue on your path. As a result, I did not allow my background to define who I am; instead, I used it as a steppingstone to get to where I am now. I always tell myself that there will always be something positive in every unpleasant situation in life, so I must keep on believing in myself. I am grateful to God, my family, and, most importantly, SAEP for their assistance in getting me where I am today.


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