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Don’t judge a book by its cover

Growing  up  in  a  patriarchal  society  was  not  a  so  good  experience  for  Nosipho.  All  she  had  was  her mother  who  cared  enough  to  understand  her  dreams.  Being  underrated  gave  her  the  zeal  to conquer  the  world.

Nosipho  knew  no  peace  back  home.  All  boys  saw  no  excellence  in  her  and  always  discouraged  her when  she  showed  interest  in  education.  None  ever  thought  a  girl  would  become  an  academic champion  and  walk  tall.

At  school,  Nosipho  was  always  lonely  by  default  in  terms  of  social  class.  Characterised  by  a  poor background,  none  of  the  girls  wanted  to  befriend  her.  The  fact  of  the  matter  is  that  she  had  landed at  this  school  by  mistake  as  a  result  of  the  scholarship.

As  a  black poor  girl  Nosipho  had  to  suffer  the  triple  struggle  against  race,  class  and  gender.  There was  nothing  to  envy  about  her  growing  up,  except  her  intelligence.

Nosipho  made  the  best  efforts  to  achieve  what  she  has  today  against  all  odds.  As  a  single  mother, Nosipho’s  mother  struggled  to  see  her  through  life.  Whatever  the  matter, she  was  determined  to  see her  daughter  live  her  dreams.  She  had  to  scrounge  everyday  to  make  ends  meet  and  fund  her daughter  in  school  during  her  primary.  Nosipho  gave  her  studies  total  efforts  and  passed  grade  7  with distinctions.

With  the  result,  she  got  a  scholarship  from  one  of  the  local  girls  only  boarding  school.  The unfortunate  part  was  that  the  rest  of  the  students were  from  rich  families  and  discriminated  Nosipho. This  made  Nosipho’s  life  a  misery.  Humiliation  and  embarrassment  characterised  her  days.  However, this  was  only  until  the  janitor  foresaw  potentials in  Nosipho.

In  vain,  the  janitor  tried  to  convince  other  girls  that  Nosipho  might  be  a  blessing  to  them  if  they accepted  her  as  a  friend.  The  girls  took  the  janitor’s  word  for  granted  and  continued  with  their  evil towards  Nosipho; this  did  not  do  away  with  the  janitor’s  foresight.  She  began  to  meet  secretly  with Nosipho, inspiring  her  never  to  give  up  hope.  She  told  her  stories  of  great  public  figures  who struggled  to  be  who  they  are  today.  Practically, Aunty  Dorcas,  the  janitor,  became  Nosipho’s  second mother.  With  her  advice, Nosipho  grew  to  be  a  more  intelligent  lady.

The  two  became  a  great  team.  With  Dorcas  being  the  mentor  and  Nosipho  the  goal  achiever, everything  was  perfect.  High  school  came  to  pass  and  yet  another  scholarship  for  brilliant  Misss Nosipho.  University  was  not  much  of  a  struggle,  only  distance  was  the  factor  between  her  mentor and  herself.  However,  the  words  she  pierced  into  her  ears  back  in  high  school  were  inspiring  enough to  see  her  through  the  four  years.

There  came  a  time  again  when  frustration  became  the  order  of  the  day  again  for  Nosipho.  Engaging into  workforce  was  another  struggle  because  of  one  limitation.  Nosipho  was  a  lady  and  it  was  not  fit for  her  to  be  a  doctor.  The  only  luck  that  came  her  way  was  to  get  admitted  as  a  part-time  nurse  at  a local  clinic.  Here,  all  the  male  staff  ill-treated  her  disregarding  her  hard  earned  degree.

Time  passed  and  Nosipho  kept  on  pressing  to  become  a  doctor  but  to  no  avail.  Then  came  a  time when  the  rejected  stone  was  to  become  the  headstone  of  the  building.  A  plague  struck  and  all  the head  doctors  had  no  idea  on  how  to  handle  it.  Fortunately but to everyone’s  amusement, the  University of  Oxford  made  a  call  to  the  South  African  Health  Authorities  alerting  them  that  Miss  Nosipho  had carried  a  research  on  the  disease  during  her  study  at  the  university  and  was  the  best recommendation.  The  same  Nosipho  they  had  despised  from  kindergarten  was  to  be  the  one  to  save the  whole  community.

Funding  was  put  in  place  and  Nosipho  stood  up  to  fight  the  plague  and  no  symptom  of  the  plague has  been  recorded  since  that  time.  Following  this  heroic  act  of  saving the community,  Nosipho  has received  endless  awards  as  Doctor Nosipho  and  after  6  months, she  was  promoted  to  be  head  of  all Health  institutions  in  the  Western  Cape.  To  these  achievements,  Nosipho  always  publicly  relates  her  two  mothers  who  believed  her  dreams  and  helped  her  through  the  triple  struggle.

Living up to your dreams and passion can be so frustrating, but this should not be a setback. Do not be controlled by mediocrity in this global village.


Jurgen Namupira – Zimbabwe


Watch the audiovisual of this story here. 





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