By: Nosipho Ntombela
Forced by her childhood to be disciplined is 23-year-old Oyama Unathi Botha, a Masters student in Public Policy and Administration at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Born in the Northern Cape, and raised by her grandmother along with her close cousin, Botha told SA Bloggers that she had a lovely childhood that forced her to be disciplined.
“We went to a township school that was just across the road from our house, and for some unknown reason we would always be late. I remember our grandmother insisted that we left her house clean before leaving for school, which was her way of installing discipline” said Botha.
Botha a lover of life, Curvy Model, Body Positivity Blogger and also runs a Fashion Image Consultant freelancing business. Did I mention that she is also an academia? Well this ambitious, hardworking young lady gets inspiration from a lot of things in life, but says knowing that someone is moved and inspired by her existence truly inspires her.
Speaking about her academic journey, and answering what education meant to her, Botha said: “Education can be a book reading process and it can also be experienced outside of the classrooms and lecture halls. Education is more than just studying to get a qualification proving that you can think and capable of working, but it goes beyond that. I may have degrees to prove that I am educated which may give me a chance to be on higher ranks in the career sector, but what gets me there and sustains me is the fact that I have experienced education outside lecture rooms.
Before she met Professor Kgethi Phakeng, Botha said that she didn’t have anyone who inspired her academically.
“She is not only an academic inspiration but she is an all-rounder who is able to make academia fashionable and proving that it does not stop just with the books. She constantly challenges herself. Her energy and tenacity is truly inspiring, “said Botha.
Given an opportunity to change one thing in this world, Botha cried to only one and said (Ahhh there are so many things): “Give young and deserving youth a chance to lead. Fatigue can also come with age, there needs to be strict employment guidelines that will enforce strict rules with retirement, so that we do not find ourselves watching members of parliament playing candy crush games or sleeping during parliamentary sessions.”
“I would also implement programmes that seek to empower those that are empowering the society. For example, aiding programmes that seek to bridge the gap from high school to higher education. Some children do not even get the chance to apply for these opportunities as they do not have the resources to do so,” added Botha.
As a Masters student books are always at her hands and mind, that is why Botha is currently reading; Year of Yes, How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhime
Botha said that the Past failures have taught her that it is okay to experience and dwell in your beliefs.
Botha believes that there are still so many rooms for improvement when it comes to education in South Africa.
“What stands out now is the lack of quality in many teachers who do not have passion for their profession, and not enough recognition for those who do,” said Botha.
‘Cannot be boxed’, are the only three words that Botha said they best described her.
Sending out her advice to the world, Botha said that there is no manual to adulthood transition and that is probably the scariest part as anything you do in your twenties can determine whether you go further in life.