LIFE OF A PROVIDER

YOU (South Africa) - - YOU SAY -

I was forced to drop out of school at the age of 16 af­ter my fa­ther suc­cumbed to liver dis­ease in the early ’80s.

I’m the first­born in a fam­ily of six chil­dren. We used to live from hand to mouth. I had to find tem­po­rary jobs to help my un­em­ployed mother who was on TB treat­ment. I played the fa­therly role to my sib­lings when my peers were still en­joy­ing their high school days.

I went from odd jobs to work­ing for a con­struc­tion com­pany at the age of 20. I was the sole bread­win­ner and some­how I man­aged to buy gro­ceries and school uni­forms and pay for school fees with the lit­tle I earned.

Three years later I found a job at a fill­ing sta­tion. When my two sib­lings fin­ished col­lege and found jobs, they took over from me as joint bread­win­ners.

In­stead of hav­ing a small break, my girl­friend be­came preg­nant with our sec­ond child. We sub­se­quently tied the knot. My wife was un­em­ployed and I be­came the sole bread­win­ner for my own fam­ily.

To­day I’m 50 years old and still striv­ing for my chil­dren to get a good ed­u­ca­tion. Al­most all my life I’ve been work­ing hard to make my sib­lings and kids happy. It pleases me to see them happy.

I mea­sure my suc­cess by the dif­fer­ence I make in other peo­ple’s lives, not by my ma­te­rial pos­ses­sions. BREAD­WIN­NER, EMAIL

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