By KAMVALETU BOOI
Her school teachers told her she would never make it to university – yet here she is, a third-year student at Rhodes University.
Lusanda Precious Shezi studies legal theory and psychology. Now 20 years old, she was born and raised in Tembisa, Gauteng. Like many Black South Africans, her background was disadvantaged. She was raised by a single parent (her mother) and is the first of three children. She attended Tembisa West Secondary School, where some of her teachers had little faith in her success. “I was discouraged; I could not see myself going to university. I think that was because no one in my family had gone to university,” she says.
“I had the best time in high school. I enjoyed my teenage days. However, I never saw myself going beyond high school.”
She passed Matric with excellence but later discovered she was expecting a baby. “One would think that was a train smash for me, but it was a blessing in disguise.” A baby was the motivation she needed to further her studies because she wanted to give her son the world.
Also, as an older sister, she felt her responsibilities. This is why she continued with her studies after giving birth. She wanted to show her siblings that having a baby does not mean one will never achieve anything and that each person is responsible for their choices. “Be you,” she says, “because we only get one life.”
Her mother is her best friend. “My mother has been my mother and father; I will always be loyal and grateful to her. She taught me the important value of family. The first thing I will do for her is to buy her a house,” she says. She aspires to be a business mogul, but for now, she is working on getting her degree.
Meanwhile, those who thought Shezi would not make it here are swallowing their words.