A few years back, the future looked bleak for Shudufhadzo Nemufulwi. In 2012, Nemufulwi, now 25, dropped out of Grade 10 at Phophi Secondary School in Guyuni village.
At the time, Nemufulwi, who was staying with her siblings as head of the family, was expecting her first child. As a teenage single mother who did not have anyone to look after her baby or money to send the child to a crèche, Nemufulwi was forced to stay away from school until in 2017, when she went back to continue with her Grade 10.
“Life was not easy for me. I learnt my lesson the hard way. As a young girl who was staying alone with no one to restrict me, I became irresponsible and started dating boys until when I fell pregnant in 2010.”
She said that the pregnancy dealt her a big blow as she had to leave school. “This was the most difficult time for me, because my peers were continuing with their studies while I was staying home.”
She added that, at that time, she did not see a future for herself. She then realized that it would be the same for her child. “The thought of seeing myself and my child facing a bleak future forced me to stand up and do something to change our fate.”
Since she resumed school in 2017, she has never failed a single subject. “Since I came back, I am always in the top five. Today I am happy that I am in Grade 12 and I am looking forward to passing with university exemption, so that I can further my studies in astronomy.”
Nemufulwi is one of the 39 matric pupils at Phophi Secondary.
Speaking on behalf of the learners at the school during a visit by the mayor of Thulamela, Cllr Avhashoni Tshifhango, Nemufulwi said they were going to produce a 100% pass rate in this year’s matric results.
The school had once produced a 100% pass rate before embarrassing itself by producing a 48% pass rate by the 2018 matric class.
Nemufulwi said she wanted other youths to learn from her experience and make sure that they did not give up on their future, no matter what challenges they faced.