NAME ::: Yanga Dudumashe COUNTRY ::: South Africa
I’m Yanga Dudumashe and I was born in 1991 on the 19th of April. I grew up in Kaylitsha, Site B up to the fifth grade. After that I moved to the Eastern Cape for three years. Right now I’m currently at the university of the Western Cape. I’m studying accounting in my third year. I’m finishing next year. I love laughing a lot, I think that is something about myself. What I like most is seeing people happy in their lives and supporting others in their lives.
I have six siblings, I’m the last born. My dad passed away, when I was in third grade, so basically I was raised by my mother. I grew up with her until I was eleven. She was selling alcohol in a bottle store from back home. When I turned eleven I moved to my sister. Things were harder then, but we managed somehow. Life has not been that always easy, but those ups and downs and struggles, financial problems – we managed to get through it all. Life in the townships is also hard. With my brother I was at another place and you have no toilets, when you walk you find some bucket toilets. When it is raining the water comes in the house. It was harder for sure, but it is a lot that you feel people don’t care. When you have neighbors that support each other, this is very important.
What is most important to you?
I think god is very important for me. I’m a believer and I follow christianity. I believe that everything that happens in life, happens for a reason. So god comes first in my life and after that my family. My education is also extremely important. Right now with my studies, I do that to break through this struggles in life and create an opportunity for myself with it. I need to pass all exams and have good grades to keep my scholarship, because otherwise I can’t study for financial reasons. That makes it a very important part of my life right now. So those three things are the most important in my life.
What has influenced you the most in your life?
I think the different struggles have influenced me a lot. I think that when you are struggling, no matter how hard it is, it also makes you realize how strong you are. Struggling in life and not getting everything that I wanted, changed my perception of life a lot and my character as well. I would not know how to have hunger, if I would not have been in that situation. I would not know how it would be like to have pain. It makes me understand, why people feel sad, feel pain, do what they do. It makes me also not to judge other people just from what I see, because I know what all could be behind it that makes them act in a certain way. I think that struggling but being protected by god, that helped me a lot. This has played an important role for me.
What has been an important turning point in your life?
Last year was a bit of a struggle for me. I lost my sister after I stayed with her for a week. She died in an car accident and praying and hoping she would get well again. I went back to campus and the following day I was supposed to visit her in the hospital, but that day I did not call her and the following day I found out that she had passed away. Then I failed a major test and my education was going down a lot. All this personal struggles really had a big affect on my academic life. It was very chaotic and then even my boyfriend dumped me. In that time I felt completely empty, numb, as if I was not excisting. I don’t know how I recovered, I was feeling like that for three months. I did not speak to anyone, I just kept quiet. This was a very hard time. I almost stopped believing in god, stop studying, because you feel not able to do anything, you feel dead.
What makes you happy?
My relationship with god makes me happy. And then being with my family is also what makes me happy. And of course, when I’m successful in my studies, that makes me happy too. And being around of people that take me for who I am and where I don’t have to pretend or be someone else. People that really love me, that makes me happy. In college a lot of people pretend and I don’t see myself being like that. It’s important that I can be how I am. That makes me happy, when I can be myself.
What are you personally proud of?
I think I’m proud of myself. Looking at my peers and my friends that I grew up with, I can say, I’m still the only one that has a career somehow. Most of my girls are pregnant or have kids already and now they have a husband and take care of the kids. Some of them dropped even out of school, before they finished. So I’m proud, when I see that, that I managed to get an education and work hard for that. Sometimes I think, ya, you are actually doing good. It’s hard sometimes to keep the scholarship, but it is also amazing to succeed with it. So I’m very proud of myself. That made me also realize that I can do anything in life, that I can aim high and fight for that. And I stay positive all the time.
What have been the biggest struggles in your life?
I think struggles, ok, I grew up with very ow self estime and few real friends. That was very hard for me and it had a lot of disappointments over time. But maybe my biggest struggle was to get my education. You know, I did not even have the money to register for university, not talking about the fees it would cost. That has been a real struggle to get this scholarship.
What would you change in your life, if you could change something?
I maybe would change my temper a bit. I sometimes feel like that things have to go exactly how I want them to go and I can get very angry when that is not happening. So if I could be more relaxed about that would be great. And also I sometimes feel that I hurt other peoples feelings with that. Also because I’m very direct.
What do you wish for your own future?
I think I wish for a lot of things. I hope to have a nice house, once I start working. And giving back to my mother, giving her the chance to live there, because she raised me, she had such a big influence on my life and giving that a bit badk, would be great. And then I hope to marry one day a good guy. I don’t want to be rich, but I hope to fulfill a lot of my dreams.