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Zimbabwean girl who aced 7 distinctions fails to get South African bursary because she is a foreigner

A Zimbabwean who arrived in South Africa with her family when she was just five years old is in tears. 

Despite having seven distinctions in her academia, she is unable to get a bursary because she is a foreigner. 

Eighteen-year-old Lineo Mapulanga's dream of becoming a successful chartered account started when she was 15 years old as she had a keen interest in working with numbers.

Her dream remains one as acquiring a bursary or scholarship as a Zimbabwean national has proved almost impossible.

Lineo’s mother, Espina Chiremba, said she left Zimbabwe with her husband and two daughters years ago in search of work and a better life.

Chiremba had two more daughters after moving to South Africa.

“We could not continue living in Zimbabwe. There was no work and we were struggling to feed ourselves and the children. Moving to South Africa was a must for us,” said Chiremba.

“Lineo is the oldest of my daughters and has worked so hard in school. She received seven distinctions. It cannot be that she cannot acquire a bursary due to her nationality,” she said.

Lineo completed her matric at Khutsalani Secondary School in 2021.

“I was a foreigner and was given the opportunity by my parents to start a new life in South Africa, which gave me the determination to work ten times harder in order to be recognised.

“I would study every weekend, late at night and get up early in the mornings,” she said.

Chiremba said she was very proud of her daughter.

“Lineo studied every chance she got. I would wake up in the morning and she would be studying. When I came home from work she would be studying and even when I went to bed, I would see her studying.”

“I remember always crying when universities and businesses offering bursaries came to my school. I did not qualify as I am Zimbabwean. It broke my heart,” said Lineo.

“My love for accounting would explain my 97% on my certificate. My goal one day is to be a chartered accountant.

“My wish is that I will get the opportunity to study in South Africa and become a charted accountant.”

Helen Slabbert, who has been the employer of and a friend to Chiremba and her children for the past seven years, said she was disappointed that Lineo does not have the opportunity to study further.

Source: The Lowvelder Thu, Jan 27, 2022

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Chiremba Espina Chiremba Lineo South Africa Zimbabwe


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