Tatum Redmond, 33, is an aspirant teacher. She recently enrolled into Vulamathuba Empumelelo’s Matric programme to improve her results – the first step towards realising her dream. 

“As far as I can remember, my dream was to work with children. I think my love and passion for kids started when I lived in a children’s home with other kids, who came from abusive environments,” said the Drommedaris Complex resident.

Tatum passed some of her matric subjects well, including a distinction in Maths Literacy. However, her scores were not enough for her to pursue tertiary education.

As a nineteen-year-old, with no immediate work prospects, she was determined to make ends meet. She started selling fruit on the side of the road.

More than a decade later, at the end of last year, Tatum saw a glimmer of hope. She received a text message from Vulamathuba Empumelelo, calling tenants and other qualifying individuals in the community to sign up for a matric rewrite programme – she immediately heeded the call.

“I had started to doubt myself and did not know where to start picking up the pieces of my life. But I now realise that God always opens doors and gives us hope, through others.” 

Tatum said that the opportunity did not only enable her to improve her matric results and be eligible for university but also showed the community that everyone’s dreams are valid. 

“This opportunity has had a great impact on me. It really takes off that load and burden as I am not financially stable at the moment. I would love to pay it forward in any way I can.”

Encouraging others to not give up on their dreams, Tatum said: “Now is the time – you are never too old! If the opportunity is there, take it and run with it. You are in charge of changing your own life, bettering your future, and inspiring others!” 

If you, like Tatum, would like to change your future trajectory, learn more about Vulamathuba Empumelelo programmes, which cater for children, youth, adults, and older people at risk, by visiting our website or sending an email to admin@vulamathuba.org.za