From street boy to computer programming student
Tendai Simon is the remarkable boy who ran away from Zimbabwe when he was 13 years old in search of a better future, and was fortunate enough to receive the full Sumbandila Scholarship to live and school in South Africa.
On his journey from a small village in Zimbabwe, stowed away in a broken toilet on a train, he went days without food or shelter. He was driven by what he calls “the smell of freedom”. He wanted to escape the crippling poverty of his home village and the oppression of his abusive father.
After being rescued from the streets, it was Father Frank at the Catholic shelter for boys in Louis Trichardt who recognized Tendai's potential and referred him to a teacher at Ridgeway College who referred him to the Sumbandila Scholarship Trust. Despite having missed two years of school, Tendai did well in the English and Maths test and was awarded the bursary and his life changed forever.
At Ridgeway College Tendai used a computer for the first time, and soon found a passion for this new-found world of technology.
“When I started in form one I knew nothing about computers... I just couldn’t get my head around how much computers can do for you” said Tendai.
Having now graduated from Ridgeway with Cambridge AS levels, Tendai is excited to be doing a software development course at CTI in Pretoria with a loan made available by Sumbandila. His aim is to become a professional software programmer and develop educational applications for disadvantaged communities.
Tendai says he has not looked back since the day he fled his home for a better life, and that he has Sumbandila to thank for that. We look forward to seeing what this dynamic young man accomplishes in the future!
Read Tendai's full story on our blog!