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A Master’s degree, 30 job applications but Manenberg woman can’t find a job


‘It’s been so hard, I did not expect it to be this difficult.’

Cape Town – Not even a Master’s degree from a prestigious university has enabled a young woman from Manenberg to find a job.

Twenty-nine-year-old Cameron Cupido has completed more than 30 job applications over the past two years.

About 8.2 million, or 40.1% of South Africa’s 20.4 million young people aged 15 to 34, are not in employment, education or training of any sort, according to the latest figures released recently by Stats SA in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey.

At the same time, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 29.1% in Q4:2019 compared with Q3:2019.

Cupido has fought her way through a tough life to complete her studies. Her academic prowess earned her a full scholarship to St Cyprian’s School, an independent, private girls school in Cape Town.

She then went on to land more bursaries to complete an undergraduate degree in Visual Communication at Stellenbosch University, followed by an Honours degree, and, finally, a Master’s degree in Visual Studies at the same university.

“It’s been so hard, I did not expect it to be this difficult. I did part-time graphic design work while I was study­ing. I’ve done countless internships, and I still volunteer with an NGO called Art with Heart Africa, doing their design work to keep active professionally.

“But all I’ve gotten so far in terms of permanent employment are countless interviews that have led nowhere. Constantly having to get to an interview, printing documents, and using the internet costs money that my family does not have,” she said. 

“My passion is to draw, paint, illustrate and design things. I just want to live that passion. I want to get out of my current situation and live a better life.”

Cupido has illustrated two children’s books so far, one called Lucy’s Dream and one called Celebrating Omar.

Her mom, Althea, said: “There were days she had to study under the table, on the floor, because of gangs shooting around us. It was not easy.”

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke had said that no change had been recorded in the unemployment rate between Q3:2019 and Q4:2019.

“This is the first time since 2008 that the unemployment rate has not decreased in the fourth quarter,” Maluleke said.

To assist Cupido, contact her at [email protected] or

071 101 3839.

Cape Times

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