What do these teens think?
Tadiwa Tine (13), who is in Grade 8 at Johannesburg’s Greenside High School, says her parents push her to do well without a “pot of gold” waiting for her. “My parents are studying themselves. My dad is a lecturer and my mum is a teacher to special-needs children, so it’s been instilled in me to work hard because I see my parents doing that,” she says. “But when it comes to doing chores, I try to help out when I can, even if I don’t enjoy it. “I remember when I was in Grade 6, my dad told me that if I got 80% and above I would get an iPad and he really did get me one. But since then, nothing like that has really happened.” Her mother, Mavis, spoke about Tadiwa’s work ethic, adding they don’t need to bribe her to get her homework done. “You know, she gets a lot of homework; it’s so unreal. She works until 11pm and is usually up at three or four in the morning to carry on with her studies. She is so dedicated and that’s why I don’t force her to do any chores because she has to see to her studies,” she says. “As a parent, I would like to provide her with other things because she works so hard, but things are expensive and we have other priorities.” Tadiwa’s classmate, Ayanda Mavimbela (13), travels to school from Soweto and is usually out of the house by 6am. “I work hard because not everything in my family is free and I know that my education will help me in the future,” she says. “Sometimes my mum will tell me that if I work hard and get high grades, I’ll get a phone or do something with my friends or cousin. So I’m working towards getting a phone. I don’t feel like it’s a must to get stuff, though, because I have to do things for my own betterment.”
– Avantika Seeth