The young man who grew up an orphan in a child-headed household has successfully completed his degree at the University of Johannesburg, and now has a full-time teaching position at Randfontein High School.
He will formally graduate in May this year.
Tsepo’s story is one of courage and determination.
“In 2004 while living in Winterton in the Northern Cape, my Mom passed away and I had to move to Toekomsrus in Randfontein so my aunt could take care of me,” he says.
“However, two years later, while I was in Grade 9 at school, she too passed away and I was raised by an older cousin. I heard about Carryou Ministry and began going to the Drop In Centre.
“They took me under their wing and helped with a cash grant, used to pay school fees and other essentials, and supplied monthly food parcels. Without them I don’t know how we would have survived.”
It was in Grade 9 that Tsepo decided he wanted to one day become a school teacher.
“I think I was called to teaching. I absolutely love every moment of it,” he says. “In Grade 10 I started helping out at Carryou and it was there that I developed a real understanding of where I wanted to go in life. I worked with children with similar backgrounds to my own and wanted to make a difference.”
In 2009 Tsepo matriculated, ready to set out on the path to pursue his life’s ambition but a number of obstacles cropped up.
“In early 2010 I went to register at Wits University but was turned down because I was a few points short of the number needed,” he says. “That year I started working at Carryou as part of the Extended Public Works Programme and applied for admission to the University of Johannesburg for 2011.”
He was accepted and in January 2011 started his studies but quickly ran out of funds and had to de-register. Many would have given up at that point but Tsepo was determined.
“I continued to work at Carryou and they helped me me financially and emotionally, along with family and friends who supported me, and I was able to go back to university and complete my degree,” he says.
“I could not have done it without the help I received and I plan to continue giving back where ever I can. I would like to help out at Carryou during the school holidays.”
When not teaching Tourism at Randfontein High School, Tsepo enjoys baking and sometimes works at a local events management company on weekends. He also makes time to visit friends.
“I will always be involved in teaching,” he says, “but I am curious about new things and am considering doing a diploma in Event Management in the future.”