Zandile Dumakude wanted to be a nurse but she never made it to high school. Her parents were against girls going to school and she was forced to leave in grade 7.
Married with four children, Zandile (47) lives in Msinga and works as a cleaner, earning R1 500 a month. Her husband receives a government pension and they also receive a grant for one child.
Because of her thwarted dream, her main goal when she joined a savings group at the beginning of 2018 was to save for her daughter Nokuphila’s university education.
“I wanted her to be able to go to university after matric, unlike me,” she says.
After a year of disciplined saving where she put away R12 000, Zandile received a shareout of R18 000. Although Nokuphila is receiving a government loan for her studies, it doesn’t cover the full amount needed, so this lump sum of cash has been a huge help.
Zandile has used the money to pay for registration fees at the University of KwaZulu-Natal plus rent and groceries for Nokuphila, who is studying to become a teacher.
“If I’m short I’ll take out a loan from the group,” she says.
“I’m happy that I was able to do better than some people in my group, who are working for the government but didn’t have money to pay for their children’s registration at university.
“Some of them even came to ask me for a loan to pay these fees, and I helped them.”