It was the late Dr Nelson Mandela who famously said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Since inception in 2009, the Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) has been focusing on empowering previously disadvantaged young people across KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) with learning and studying opportunities not only to better their backgrounds but to also contribute positively towards our economic growth.
Jabulani Madondo is one of numerous students and learners that have benefited from MKI interventions that are aimed at supporting rurally based yet academically deserving youth with opportunities to shine and prove that even if you are from dusty streets of KZN it is possible to accomplish all your goals. Madondo has recently completed his Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Applied Chemistry majoring in Applied Chemistry and Pure Chemistry from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).
He proudly shared with us that his background inspired him to work hard as he hails from a financially insecure family where he had less financial support. “I grew up in Lidgetton which is situated in uMngeni Local Municipality, I heard about MKI when I was doing a foundation programme in 2013 at UKZN Scottsville Campus located in Pietermaritzburg, where we were told by the MKI associates that they are willing to help any student who shall perform very well on their studies, this opportunity came at the right time as my mother had started being ill and she couldn’t support me throughout my studies,” he said.
Madondo also stressed out that he encountered many challenges during his studies, “looking at social challenge aspect there were times in the year 2014-2015 where I would try to study as I was residing in a private accommodation as my roommates would make lot of noise when I was studying, I overcome this challenge by being a morning student by using the library and computer labs so that I could progress with my studies,” Madondo said. He further alluded that the qualifications that he has obtained, will remove financial crises that they have in his home, “Once I get a job, I will achieve the dream of building my uncles and granny a big house as means of appreciation for believing in me throughput my studies,” he said.
In his attempt to encourage other students to value education and to choose Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related fields as their preferred careers, he said “there is only one way to be independent and to have all of your dreams come true is by stopping judging yourself because of your background. You have to always believe that everything is achievable and with STEM opportunities you’ll find various of careers to pursue such as Engineering, Computer Science, Analytical Chemistry and many other STEM careers which are one of the most paying jobs in South Africa,”