Graduate mom, 44, says never give up
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.
Single mother of four, Zeenatunisa Sydow, achieved her psychology degree cum laude from UWC.