My name is Lwandile Zondi (19), a third-year student currently studying Pharmacy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. I am truly happy with the course I am currently enrolled in as it is the career path I have always been passionate about, and with this course I know I could make a direct impact on people’s health.
I was inspired to choose Pharmacy from observations I made in my community and how the medications were poorly accessible, and if they were accessible, it was misused. I was then curious about how I could change that.
From a very young age, I would watch my parents struggle. They would wake up early in the mornings to take any job that came their way, making sure that we went to school to get a good education. I would dream of how I could make it easier for them, and one of the ways they told me was through education.
I then decided to apply for Medicine, Pharmacy and any other degree that falls within the health sector because that is what I had most information on through my mother who was working as a nurse at the time. Although our family had challenges, my parents worked extremely hard to make sure my siblings and I are fed.
My family moved around a lot when I was young; I completed my primary schooling in various schools in and around the KwaZulu-Natal province. Currently, my mother is an Occupational Therapy Technician and my father is in the taxi industry.
I want nothing more than to make my parents proud, and having this great opportunity to further my studies will make me forever grateful to Aspen. With Aspen covering my tuition and accommodation fees, I have peace of mind. My parents do not even have to send me money because I have a monthly allowance that covers all the necessities. I can concentrate on excelling at school to pave the way for those who come after me.
Umthombo feels like a family to me now; I know that I am not alone. We have regular meetings with our mentors to discuss any issues we might be facing in society, emotionally and even issues at home. Our mentors make it very comfortable for us to speak to them.
I could not have asked for better funding and I plan to work hard and make everyone proud. I'm grateful to Umthombo and I appreciate all they have done for me and I wish they could do for others as they did for me.