Imizamo Yethu youth with big dreams

Imizamo Yethu youth with big dreams

Edson dreams of becoming a financial accountant. This is partly in memory of his dad, who died while the family was living in Zimbabwe with his accountancy studies partially complete. More importantly though, Edson was one of those kids who has always loved figures and doing well at maths came naturally.

Spurred on by his mother, who has urged her twin sons to study as a means of improving their lives, Edson applied for, and was granted, a bursary by the South African College of Business (SACOB). The business school awarded 67 bursaries to deserving students in honour of Mandela Day this year.

The bursary covers the costs of all study material including textbooks, study guides, CDs, revision videos on DVD as well as full access to The Online Classroom, SACOB’s online learning resource.

SACOB suits working students such as Edison as it enables them to study at home or wherever it is convenient, across a variety of media. However, sometimes a book or DVD or online video is not enough, and in these cases SACOB has qualified personnel available to answer student’s questions.

Edson has been studying for three months and is currently completing his second course of the ICB Accounting Certification Programme. He plans to complete the full qualification. This includes subjects like bookkeeping, payroll and financial statements. “Each module in the programme takes three months to complete, and then I move on to the next one,” he says. “I could stop at bookkeeping and look for a job, but I would like to study to the end. I will be finished next June.”

He lives with his mother, girlfriend and five-month old daughter in Imizamo Yethu, the informal settlement in Hout Bay. His twin brother is studying metrology in Zimbabwe. “Studying is important to me,” he says. “I want to make my mom proud, and I hope one day that I can get a job using my financial skills.”

At Vida e Caffe he works a six-to-six shift, but has a two-hour lunch break. This has become his study time. He has a laptop and uses Vida e’s Wi-Fi network when he needs internet access. The company’s staff has taken an interest in his study and he receives support and encouragement from the likes of the regional manager to many of Vida e’s clients. “They ask me what I am doing and sometimes they help me. I’ve told them one day I will be looking for a job. If necessary I will work for free – just to get experience.”

The online tutorials are comprehensive, but Edson admits that he gets stuck from time to time. “When I get stuck I call SACOB. They will call me back on my cell phone and then they teach me.”

“I am very happy,” he says, “because I am doing the thing I love.”