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University Security Guard Who Worked Nights While Attending Classes Finally Earns Degree

Cursory: A determined young man managed to turn his life around despite the financial and situational setbacks he faced. After giving himself some pep talk, he decided to change his life without doing anything illegal. Step by step he saw himself through school all while working as a security man and taking care of a little child.

“It’s never too late to determine your success and change your life.” So says Victor Thambe, who graduated from North West University, South Africa, almost a decade after completing matric in 2014.

The 29-year-old Thambe always envisioned himself working in the information technology sector. He is from the little community of Swartkopfontein in Zeerust.

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Before enrolling in the department he graduated from, the Bachelor of Education Foundation Phase, after finishing high school, he worked as a general worker and security guard. Thambe recalled his path to enrolment, but it wasn’t all easy sailing.

“There came a time when I told myself that I needed to do better. I laid out the three options that would make me successful.” Letting out a laugh, Thambe continued to list his options.

“It was either I cheat life and do illegal things, I own a business, and the third option was to go to school. Which is the option I chose because it was possible to see through,” he said.

Thambe worked as a general worker at a grape farm in 2014. “While at the farm, I saved up money to pay for my fees at the security college I had enrolled at. I completed my Grade E, D, and C between 2015 and 2016.”

He then worked as a security officer for a courier company in Zeerust.

“I was earning R2 500 (~$130) per month, and I used that salary to upgrade my qualifications. I did a Grade B security course, got a driver’s licence, a firearm and a CIT certificate,” he said.

Thambe then obtained employment in 2016 with the Fidelity Security firm as an armed guard at a cash-and-carry supermarket and security officer at the Mafikeng campus of North West University thanks to his security credentials.

He claimed that while working as a security guard at the institution, he learned about opportunities to receive a free education and decided to apply.

“I applied for NSFAS and Funza Lushaka bursary schemes in 2019, and they both admitted me because I have good marks and applied on time.”

However, because he was a security officer when he applied for his studies and couldn’t leave his job because he had a child to support, Thambe asked management to give him night shifts so he could attend his classes in the afternoon.

“The new security company deployed at the university was the Mi7 national group. I asked the company’s management to give me night shifts only so that I could attend my classes during the day. After hassles, they eventually agreed, and I could attend classes in the day and work in the evening.”

Thambe said working and studying at the same time was not easy, but he persevered and made it.

“I would attend classes in the morning and go to work in the evening. As security officers, we are not allowed to sleep at night, so often at times, I’d use that time to complete my readings and assignments.

“It was not easy. I didn’t want to disappoint people who believed in me. I had to do it because I wanted to be successful, I hate failing, so I pushed and finally made it.”

Seeing the joy on his family members’ faces during his graduation ceremony was a full-circle moment for Thambe.

“My family was so happy for me. Their hearts were filled with joy, and I could see they were proud of me. My dad was even confused about how many people wanted to take pictures with me. I had to explain to him that I did what most people are scared to do, and I succeeded in it,” he said.

“It’s never too late to determine your success and change your life. Don’t listen to other people because they will discourage you. You determine your success, and you don’t need anyone else to tell you how to do it.” Thambe adds that, with the assistance of Fundza Lushaka, he’s now working at a small primary school in Dinokana village, where he teaches Grades R and 1.

Source: news24

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