Grad­u­ate mom, 44, says never give up

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SOYISO MALITI

ZEENATUNISA Sy­dow’s re­fusal to al­low her cir­cum­stances to get in the way of a bright fu­ture, is an in­spir­ing story for moth­ers.

The sin­gle mother of four has just grad­u­ated cum laude in psy­chol­ogy at UWC, where she was ac­cepted with only a Grade 10 qual­i­fi­ca­tion three years ago.

Sy­dow, 44, of Montrose Park in Mitchells Plain, hopes her story in­spires women who are car­ry­ing heavy bur­dens.

She is cur­rently en­rolled at the univer­sity’s ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment for a post-grad­u­ate diploma.

Sy­dow, who qual­i­fied to en­ter the univer­sity as a recog­ni­tion of prior learn­ing stu­dent, made the dean’s merit list and was awarded the golden key award.

As a teenager, Sy­dow dropped out of high school and then worked in a fac­tory and ad­min of­fices and free­lanced as an IT tech­ni­cian for 10 years.

While at the hos­pi­tal dur­ing the birth of her last child, Sy­dow “de­cided to do some­thing more con­struc­tive with my life and I fo­cused on aca­demics”.

On what it takes to be a good mom, Sy­dow said: “Be­ing a mother means ev­ery­thing to me. It means be­ing strong for my chil­dren and be­ing able to pro­vide for them. Chil­dren have to be able to look up to their moth­ers.”

Sy­dow said moth­ers could do so much with their lives.

“They should never give up… You just need to be­lieve in your­self. I never let go of my dream. I was al­ways fo­cused on my goal. We can do bet­ter in life,” she said.

She said money was the Achilles heel for most sin­gle moth­ers but with dreams and hard work they could over­come any chal­lenge.

A vol­un­teer vic­tim sup­port coun­sel­lor at the Len­tegeur po­lice sta­tion, Sy­dow said time man­age­ment was crit­i­cal. In the long term, Sy­dow wants to pur­sue a ca­reer and PhD in psy­chol­ogy.

PIC­TURE: SUP­PLIED

Sin­gle mother of four, Zeenatunisa Sy­dow, achieved her psy­chol­ogy de­gree cum laude from UWC.

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