Puleng Serame had to overcome tuberculosis (TB) before writing her matric exams, which affected her results. However, despite this, the 25-year-old from Bothaville recovered and registered for university, where she graduated with a diploma in software development (IT) last month.
Her graduation picture, together with six other young women from Welkom, went viral on social media last week, serving as a source of inspiration.
The graduate from the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein, posing in cap and gown with a smile on her face was shared with Dumelang News via email.
Bothaville, is an area rife with youth unemployment and gangsterism.
Serame was raised by a single parent and said she was proud to be an inspiration for black youth throughout South Africa.“The conditions in my hometown are not nice, we get mugged on our way to school and that is the norm. It is the greatest feeling ever, especially to inspire other young women in Free State, showing the black child that it is possible no matter the challenges,” she said.
Like many young graduates in the country, Puleng has struggled to find work since October. She is currently enrolled for a postgraduate certificate in education because she is passionate about teaching.Another graduate who appeared alongside Serame, Refilwe Mofokeng, had to juggle her day job and being a mother to her seven-year-old son.
“It is challenging doing it all at once. I live alone and I have to do everything for myself and my son,” said Mofokeng.Mofokeng, who graduated with a BTech degree in language practices, is currently enrolled for a master’s degree at CUT. She told Dumelang News that since she started working as a part-time lecturer at her university, her life has changed for the better.