The eighth born of nine siblings, Sikhumbuzo lost his mother at the age of four and six years later he lost his father as well. From then on, his older brothers shouldered the DSC_0013(Sikhumbuzo sharing a light moment cake with one of his colleagues)

responsibility of raising him and his three sisters, the youngest of which was orphaned at birth. The children’s subsequent admission into the hostel at Cabrini Ministries came as a welcome relief to the family whose economic strength was nothing to write home about.

The boy started school in the same year he came to live at St Philip’s Mission and went to perform steadily well through primary school. At first he did not stand out as a high academic achiever but was notably a dedicated pupil and it was collectively decided by staff working with him that he be sent to a more competitive boarding school environment. It was a decision that he was involved in making and one that would turn out to be the best boost to his academic prowess. He exceeded everyone’s expectations when he passed his JC exams with a merit, scoring an A in four subjects and going on to ace his SGCSE exams two years later by obtaining seven credits, qualifying for enrolment in the highest learning institution in the country if offered a place.

DSC_0012(Sikhumbuso Sharing a light moment with Simo)

Sikhumbuzo’s present character reflects a well-groomed young man who has emerged from shell of soft-spoken shyness of earlier years. During his high school career he developed impressive life skills that include public speaking, a far cry from what he was as a primary school. He started to take part in debate sessions at camps hosted by Cabrini every term break, eloquently presenting on behalf of his team. At a party held in his honor in February this year he confidently stood in front of the other hostel residents and shared his intended career path. There he was, disadvantaged as the rest of them in home background but also as privileged with opportunity, telling of his success and encouraging all to use every resource at their disposal in pursuit of their goals.

For the duration of his stay at the local hostel and boarding school, Sikhumbuzo, affectionately called Mphungane(a Fly), was the epitome of respect and good manners. Not a single instance of outright disobedience or major conflict has been reported and in cases of a disagreement he would articulate his case politely and arrive at an amicable resolution with the second party.    Though his life circumstances might have looked like a recipe for a bleak future, this young man certainly has the wherewithal to turn his fortunes around.