‘Education is key to a better future’

Amos Mlondo, a 50-year-old security guard, recently graduated at the University of South Africa with a degree in education.
Amos Mlondo, a 50-year-old security guard, recently graduated at the University of South Africa with a degree in education.
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Amos Mlondo, 50, has proven that education has no age limit.

Mlondo, who is from KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal, works as a security guard at one of the private schools in the area.

He holds a Bachelor of Education (senior and further education training phase) which he received in April this year at the University of South Africa (Unisa).

Mlondo always knew that education was the key to success, however, growing up poor meant his family could not afford to pay for his tertiary education after he completed matric.

“Although I have not been employed as an educator yet, I still believe one is never too old to aim high and achieve great things in life. I never planned to be a security guard for the rest of my life.

“When I enrolled with Unisa, people thought I was wasting my time because ‘I was too old to be studying’. It has not been easy but I was determined to succeed,” Mlondo said.

He said he was also lucky that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) paid for his studies because he could have not have managed on his security guard’s salary.

“I am my family’s breadwinner. My children have all passed Grade 12 and are looking to pursue their studies further.

“We have never enjoyed a holiday as a family nor have we ever managed to just spend time together because I spent all my spare time doing assignments and preparing for examinations.

“This meant studying through the night because I was very scared of failing because my children looked up to me as their role model, so I did not want to disappoint them.”

Mlondo said that even though his parents could not afford to pay for his tertiary education, they always emphasised the importance of education.

“There was a time when I had to drop out of school because I was very sick.

“When I recuperated I went back to finish my Grade 12, which I passed with flying colours.

“Even then I had to do piece jobs to be able to pay for my education.”

Mlondo hopes to be employed as an educator as soon as possible so he will be able to pay for his children’s education.

“I have suffered a lot and don’t want my children to experience the same hardship. There are lots of opportunities for them out there to lead a better life,” Mlondo said.

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