A young woman’s triumph over adversity

JUNE 15, 2016

Volkswagen Group South Africa’s (VWSA) CSI initiatives continue to make a positive and tangible impact on the youth in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro.

United Through Sport (UTS), which is supported by Volkswagen, uses sport as a medium to promote child and youth development in disadvantaged communities. UTS impacts the lives of over 30 000 children from disadvantaged townships in the Metro annually.

“The education and development of young people in our communities is a strong focus for Volkswagen and Lindiwe Cezula’s encouraging story motivates us a company. That is why this year alone VWSA will invest close to R15-million on CSI initiatives,” said Thomas Schaefer, VWSA Chairman and Managing Director.

Hailing from New Brighton, 19-year old Lindiwe grew up under tough conditions with an illiterate mother who never had formal employment and her father having died when she was only two.

UTS came across Lindiwe at Inqkubela Primary School in KwaZakhele through the Mass Participation Programme in 2009, where she immediately stood out as a talented netball player.

“I didn’t even know there were netball trials on that day and I think this was a matter of being at the right place at the right time,” recounts Lindiwe.

Due to her impressive sport skills and academics, she was offered a full bursary which would see her attending Pearson High School in Summerstrand.

When Lindiwe first joined Pearson High School for Grade 9 in 2011, through the UTS Bursary programme, she only scored 11% in English and 13% in Maths in her first exams.

“Pearson High School was a completely different world for me and I have to admit initially I was incredibly overwhelmed – I went from being the top student in my previous school to being at the bottom of the class,” says Lindiwe.

Lindiwe was determined to succeed, “every Friday I would take a book from the school library and read it over the weekend returning it on Monday and every night I would study for four hours to try and catch-up on my work - gradually term by term my marks started to improve,” she said.

She finished her four years at Pearson High School having represented the school in netball, debating and Eistedfodd. Lindiwe also received the prize for the top isiXhosa student and the ‘Donovan Rabbie’ Award for Perseverance.

Lindiwe got a Bachelors Pass matriculation and is now studying towards a BA Administration and Politics degree at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University – Lindiwe is the first person in her family to go to university.