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The cry of many

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'I am one of the top (matric) achievers in the Province but I cannot get a bursary to study further.'

Rudi Venter obtained third place in the top 20 in the Northern Cape.

I ALWAYS thought I would one day be a married woman with a family. Growing up we always used to play “house, house” which entailed us being married moms with dozens of children – our dolls of course.

I remember years back there was a Sterns jewellery catalogue. In it were pictures of obviously engaged couples with their rings. We as kids used to choose someone in the catalogue and that is who we used to be, with their partners as our husband.

I remember some of the women’s names, but with age the memories of the men’s names have faded. Even the names of our “babies” are a distant blur.

I had my fair share of boyfriends, but none that I would really consider possible marriage material or the father of my children.

During this time, I remember my gran telling my mother that she needs to watch me as I would probably be the first one in the family to have children.

Matriculating at the age of 17, the last thing on my mind was marriage and children. All I wanted to do was “jol” and enjoy my life. I wanted to be independent and get out of the house to enjoy the things I was not allowed to do while at home.

I was young, carefree and thought I still had many years ahead of me to even start thinking about “getting in the family way”.

But, as you know, life does not stand still and when I wiped my eyes out I was in my early 40s.

That’s fine, I thought, look at Madonna, she had kids way into her 40s and she was OK.

Then reality hit and was told I had to have a hysterectomy. I would never have the children I had dreamed about.

I was semi-OK with that because I had all my nieces and nephews. It was, however, extremely devastating at the time.

However, I just need to look back at Wednesday’s matric awards ceremony and realise I am not wallowing in self-pity any longer.

Here children, despite their remarkable achievements, would still battle to continue their studies.

I just look at my family who are working their butts off just to pay for nieces and nephews to attend university.

One of the top three achievers in the Northern Cape also highlighted this fact.

“I am one of the top (matric) achievers in the Province but I cannot get a bursary to study further.

“I am going to study electrical engineering at Stellenbosch University, but at this stage I do not have a bursary to study and my father has to fund me.

“I have to get a 90% average to get 40% off my studies,” he said.

“I cannot move forward on my own. I need support.”

This is the cry of many.

So while you are working your fingers to the bone, you can’t even enjoy your child’s success.

How much of your child’s achievements have you been able to enjoy over the years?

How much quality time have you actually spent with your child?

That is why in some respects I really am glad I didn’t have children. I am already working my butt off just to be able to survive as a single person.

I will continue to enjoy my nieces and nephews and my already growing extended family.