Student engineers a brighter future
TO live a mediocre life or move across the globe to build a better future for her family was the heart-wrenching decision one mother was forced to make.
The most heartbreaking part for Zimbabwe-born Boiketo Mazibeli was having to leave her six-year-old daughter behind.
In July 2013, the 26-year-old made the gutsy move to Bentley to pursue her dream of studying mining engineering at Curtin University.
“I thought there were better opportunities for me here because at home, in terms of mining, there are lots of challenges,” she said.
“As a female figure in the industry, it’s really hard to get where you want.
“Having to move away by myself and having no one to depend on is really hard – we are in totally two different worlds.”
Ms Mazibeli has not seen her daughter, who is attending boarding school in Zimbabwe, since she left.
She said they talk on the phone, but it is not the same as being able to watch her daughter grow up.
“It's really hard to be so far away from her,” Ms Mazineli said. “I talk to her every weekend.”
Growing up, Ms Mazibeli and her family faced hardships, which have given her coping mechanisms for the financial struggle she now faces. “I come from a pretty big family – five kids,” she said.
“It had its ups and downs. The most enjoyable part was that as a family we were almost always together.
“We did have challenges in terms of having to pay school fees because my dad was on and off work. My mum was a teacher and in terms of the economy it wasn't too favourable.”
While in Perth, Ms Mazibeli received financial support from her sister in Zimbabwe.
But her sister found herself without a job, which meant she was no longer able to keep sending money.
Ms Mazibeli took up part-time work at Vickery House on the Bentley campus as a housing assistant where she resides.
Struggling to make ends meet, she was fortunate to receive financial assistance through the Sally Webster Hardship Fund.
“I don't think I'd be able to finish paying off my fees for this semester without it,” Ms Mazibeli said. “Now it's definitely certainthat I will be able to sit down for all four exams, which is a big relief.”
Settling into Perth, the student hopes to stay here a bit longer.
“I'd love to gain experience here and move my daughter here to be with me and get a quality education that is being offered here,” Ms Mazibeli said. ........... Natalie Nazzari