Bursary recipient Kauthar Salie (right) with her proud mom, Reyhana.

Vulamathuba Empumelelo’s primary objective is to create an enabling environment for economic growth by fostering the principle of Economic Mobility through skills, training and development for tenants and non-tenants – this includes Communicare staff.

Reyhana Salie has been a dedicated and passionate staff member of Communicare and a proud mother to Kauthar Salie (22), who is completing her final year of a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Economics and Management at the University of the Western Cape.

Despite changing interests over time, Kauthar always wanted to pursue higher education. “I always knew I wanted to study further but had no idea what I wanted to study. I was going back and forth between courses I had no interest in until I learned about the BCom General course and the number of subjects I could branch into. It allowed me to determine where my interests lie, which turned out to be my current majors, Economics and Management”.

“Everybody dreams of something they want to achieve in life, but often don’t get the opportunity to achieve it. With this bursary, I was allowed to chase my dreams without concentrating on anything else. The Vulamathuba Empumelelo bursary helped me tremendously, enabling me to concentrate on my final year of studies and not have to worry about the finances”.

Her journey has seen obstacles as she experienced difficulty transitioning from high school to university in 2018, resulting in a failure in her first year. Not long after making the decision to pick herself up and move forward, she experienced her most significant achievement – receiving her first A.

“I would say that was the greatest achievement as I was never a top student in high school or university. This showed how well I picked myself up after failing and made me realise what I could be capable of if I put my mind to it”.

To Kauthar, her biggest inspiration to study further came from her parents. “I‘ve seen my parents get through the toughest of times with a smile on their face. They have always wanted me to have a better life than they had. From a young age, they taught me to be independent and told me that I shouldn’t have to rely on anyone else but myself to give me a good life”.

Furthermore, Reyhana notes the impact of the funding opportunity on her given their single-income household. “Our current financial state is challenging. As a parent, I always tried to make my kids as comfortable as possible and wanted to give them a stable home without them having to worry about everyday life. When we were awarded this bursary, it lightened my financial burden immensely. It was a huge relief and enabled me to focus on my next financial strain. It also made Kauthar focus on what is important, finishing her studies and reaching her goal. I want to thank Vulamathuba for choosing us as candidates and making our daily life less stressful”.

In addition, Kauthar has been able to focus on her career plans after university, “My short-term plans after university would be to get an internship or be part of a graduate programme, where I’m able to learn more skills and receive work experience. In the medium term, I want a permanent position in a job I’m passionate about and enjoy doing. In the long term, I see myself in a managerial position,” she says.

She ends by sharing her sentiments with those considering studying further, “Only you have the power to change your life. Studying further opens you up to a world of opportunities. Find your passion and explore it, and never take time for granted. Be persistent and patient, and don’t give up at the slightest inconvenience, as nothing worth having comes easy”.

Furthermore, “Focus on yourself. Build your self-confidence. Better your own life. Be independent. Never give anybody the power to control you and make decisions for you – you should control your own life”.