My Name is Harrington Dzunisani Chauke. I was born in Mbokota Village, Limpopo. I lived with my granny from my mother's side, while she was still living in Pretoria. We only got to see her during school holidays when we visited her in the city, or during the festive season, when she was able to get leave from work. I hardly saw her growing up, until 2006 when she got a job as a teacher, which allowed her to move back home. I was 13 years old at the time. We were then able to get our own place in Waterval, and were now living as a family: with my father and brother and sister. But my father and I could not live under the same roof. He was too abusive and I was tired of seeing my mother in pain. So my mother decided to send me to live with my uncle in Pretoria. My uncle was drinking every weekend – I had to drop out of high school. It was the hardest thing because it was not by choice. I was only 17, feeling like I had been left to deal with the world all alone.
The education system failed me
Eventually, with the help of another uncle, I started schooling at Tshwane North College. I enrolled to study travel and tourism. Registration was only R600 at the time, and the bursary I got covered the rest, including travel allowance when possible.
Most of the students at the college were on financial aid, so it seemed like we were all going through the same struggle. We all treated each other the same. Travelling to school was the hard part. I had to walk a long distance to the train station – about 30 minutes from where I stayed.
Getting results at the college was also stressful. It took forever to get our statements of results printed out.
I was only 17, feeling like I had been left to deal with the world all alone.
After completing a course, we would sometimes be told that our statements were lost, and that we had to apply directly to the Department of Basic Education for their release! That also takes forever – till this day I am awaiting my statement of results.
My future will be different
I hope my clothing brand (JuJu Wethu) grows to the point where it can enter the retail market, or even better – having my own store. I also took a short DJ 101 course at Boston Media House. I want to be one of the biggest DJs or producers in the world. I am inspired by Black Coffee, and have my own record label so I can inspire other upcoming artists.
Failure has made me a better person. I can now make calculated decisions. I've also learnt that every action or move I make is gonna come with responsibilities. I have learnt that I should invest in myself.
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