“Myself, my 2 sisters and mom live in a township called Mfuleni. Life has been a journey, a sad and exciting journey. Having been brought up in a shack by a self-employed single mother meant that I could not have things that kids my age had. It meant that I had to think and act like a grown-up from a young age.I had to grow up and realize that the world does not owe me anything. I realized that if I wanted to break the cycle of poverty and strive towards a comfortable life I had to put God first. I knew that the only way I would get out of my situation was to educate myself — that would open a window of opportunity for us.
I remember after being enrolled at Manzomthombo back in May of 2008, my only goal was to pass matric and perhaps go to varsity one day. I was not sure what I wanted to study at that time or which university I wanted to go to. But I knew that university would one day be the best thing that could happen in my life.
I cannot say I was always one of the smartest pupils in class, but after falling in love with Medicine in 2010 and discovering my passion for helping people, I knew it was time to quit playing games and put my books first. There were many academic challenges. The fact that I was in a township school meant that we struggled with a shortage of textbooks and stationary. Going to an actual science laboratory was a thing I could only dream of.
In 2011, my grade 11 year, I remember struggling with Science and Mathematics for the whole year. I was not getting good grades in either of the subjects. In 2012 I found myself in matric, worrying over the possibility that I wouldn’t get in for medicine because of my Maths and Science marks. If there is anything I have learned in my 23 year stay on earth is that God works in mysterious ways. I remember my principal coming to my class one morning and he told me I was one of the students who were selected to attend TRAC’s winter vacation school. At that time I did not know what TRAC was. One afternoon the TRAC facilitator came to my school to explain how the programme worked. We were given a STACK of bursary forms to fill in (about 30, not sure, but they were a lot!). I have never liked admin stuff, but the TRAC staff had their way of making you fill in those forms.
I went to TRAC’s winter vacation school during the June vacation and there met with other pupils from other schools who came from similar backgrounds. After experiencing the practical approach to Science my love for Science began to grow. Then I remember how excited I was after being invited to attend the TRAC spring vacation school as well. With my Science grades improving slowly but surely I began to believe that perhaps I had a chance in getting into Medical school. Through TRAC’s practical approach to difficult and challenging scientific concepts my Physical Science grades saw a drastic increase from 66.7% in June to 94% for my finals and I got in for medicine!
Now I’m doing my 5th year in the bachelor of medicine and surgery at the University Stellenbosch. I’m now currently on two bursaries thanks to TRAC for ensuring that I fill in those forms. I have also became good friends with some of the wonderful people I met in the TRAC programme. Once in a while we go to TRAC functions which I always look forward to. Somehow we have become part of the TRAC family.
I know I still have a long way to go. I still live in the same shack but I look to the future with faith, hope and trust that the Lord will carry me through and help me to one day reach my destiny. My name is Mzomhle Kiza – I will be a doctor very soon. That is my dream and everyday I’m grateful because I was given the opportunity to make my dream come true.”