Byline: Levhuwani Matumba
7 September 2021
The Leandra born Njabulo Mngoma break boundaries irrespective of his challenging home background.
Being raised by his late grandmother whom he respects so much, Njabulo set goals for himself and did not allow anything to deter him.
“While I was in secondary school, I will wake up as early as 3am with my grandmother and collect bottles for recycling,” said Njabulo who immediately became emotional when narrating his upbringing, also thinking that if his grandmother was still alive, she would have been very excited for him.
“My matric results were not that good considering that my grandmother started to get sick, and I had to rush from school every day so that I am able to cook for her.”
After matric he registered at Gert Sibande TVET College, Evander Campus for Mechanical Engineering.
“Luckily I was the last person to be registered at ERD.
I forced because they said there is no space and when the lady asked me whether I am on the waiting list, I responded ‘yes’.
I was referred to Mr Taylor and on arrival he said he cannot help me, but I did not move as I quickly remembered where I come from.
I just stood there and look at him,” said Njabulo explaining how he finally got to register.
Since he arrived at the GS TVET College, he was exposed to so many things and began to be active in politics.
Besides being in politics as a Sasco member, Njabulo dedicate his time by teaching other learners during extra classes.
“Njabulo is a selfless young man who always avail himself to assist other learners and he also groom them to continue with what he is doing,” said Ms Ncumisa Mdlankomo who is a lecturer at Gert Sibande TVET College.
According to him, being in politics helped him to realize that he is not the only one who is coming from disadvantaged background.
When asked whether the government is doing enough to assist students, Njabulo said “I think the government is doing a lot because I am also a beneficiary of NSFAS and with the money I receive, I am able to take care of my siblings at home.”
By representing the province during the national debate, Njabulo explained that it was also a turning point in his life since he learned a lot from it.
The debate covered topics in quality education, improved health services, child support grant and the gender-based violence.
Njabulo earned his space at the national competition as he started by competing at the campus, two of them proceeded to the inter college in Ermelo where he competed with students from other six campuses.
From the inter college, only two of them proceeded to the national competing with students from fifty colleges in the country.
“Competing at a national level was not easy because I competed with students who went to better schools and are also in better colleges than us.
We were only given twenty minutes to prepare for a topic.”
The two from Gert Sibande TVET College and others from Ehlanzeni and Nkangala were integrated with students from North West Province.
“I first thought our group did not make it during the first round and when our name was announced, I jumped with excitement.
In our group I was the first speaker and that put pressure in me because should I mess up, it will also affect other members.
Even the lady who won the best female speaker came and thanked me for my contribution on the group.”
Njabulo said the encouragement he received from his lecturers and mentors made him believe in himself.
He further mentioned that while they were waiting for the final day, one of his lecturers sent him a prank message that he should get someone to collect his food parcels and that reminded him of where he comes from.
“I immediately woke up and started to prepare for the next day.”
What he brought back from the competition was the words of encouragement he received from other students, his mentor and one of the adjudicators who kept on telling him he is the best speaker who is also able to attract audience and make them believe in what he is saying.
His group won the National Champion Debate 2021.
In Closure Seskhona Media reporter Ms Levhuwani Matumba asked him where he wants to see himself in future.
“I would like to touch as many lives as possible and be a lecture before I embark on my journey to be in parliament so that I can serve the country.
The reason I want to touch as many lives as I can before I go to parliament is because I do not know how my life will turn into while I am in parliament.”