The story of Michael Nzuza


It’s a good time to take a few minutes at the end of our day to think of what we accomplish with our work in Zululand. Let’s think about Michael.

When Michael (here on the right, with Peter West on the left) was born, his mother died. From the age of a toddler, he needed to help his father and brother work in the field. He couldn’t go to school, because his family didn’t have the money for school fees, and they needed his labor. But he always wanted to learn. When he was fifteen, Michael was able to start first grade! Imagine a guy about 5’8″ sitting in those miniature chairs that little kids use in first grade.

Michael didn’t have money for school fees, so the school overlooked that. He didn’t have money for the mandatory school uniform, so the principal at Thembelasizwe Primary School allowed him to attend anyway. When he started high school, one of the teachers fed him and gave him a place to sleep. Michael graduated from high school in Mtubatuba when he was 26 years old.  (The schools he attended were built by our project in the 1980’s.) Now he has a great job, as the project manager for a civil engineering company; he’s the man that supervises construction of our classrooms to make sure they are high quality and safe for the learners.

Michael Nzuza with his son Awande

Michael Nzuza with his son Awande

Today our trip leader Henry introduced Michael to the grade 12 learners at Nogabisela Secondary School and told them Michael’s story. They broke out into applause.

It just goes to show you that education is valued, and education makes a difference.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Cindy on August 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    This is a great story illustrating the importance of education for everyone. Glad you are having a good trip! Can’t wait to see all of your photos!

    Reply

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