In 2010 I was determined to stay in Welkom after graduating High School. I had researched local College programs and entry into the local radio station — my mind was made up. I carried this decision into the 3rd school quarter, growing more determined by the day until I was convinced to apply to at least a single university by my mentor and English teacher.
I was tasked with finding out how much the application fee would be for my chosen university, and so I set out to find out just that for the only university I’d heard in conversation — The University of Cape Town. While attending Math and Science Olympiads throughout the year I learned just how difficult it would be to gain admission; the minuscule likelihood gave me hope that I’d be able to stay in my hometown.
Once the time came to get our end of year results, I was at the upper limit of the top 10 results at my school — nothing special — and yet to my surprise, I was accepted. I wasn’t the highest performing, nor the second or third, but within a month of receiving that green and white piece of paper, I found myself boarding a 14-hour bus to Cape Town.
University gave me many soul-wrenching memories, but it’s also where I met friends that helped me through the most depressive periods of my life and where I met the love of my life.
There is a general acceleration of life and opportunity that came with being in Cape Town. If I wasn’t here I wouldn’t have met a startup recruiter that got me an interview with one of South Africa’s most successful startups, where I was interviewed by the future CTO of the company I now work for. A job whose offer I received after a single day of searching and interviewing, during a global health crisis.
My current journey started with a R100 that helped me escape an environment that would have stifled my dreams and ambitions. Your environment can push you closer to opportunity or be the leading cause of the demise of your dreams. The environment always wins — is your environment aligned with your dreams?