Today, we bring you an inspiring story about Edith Hlongwane, a woman who worked as a security officer for the South African Police Services for many years. The situation of the bubbly woman had no effect on her desire to succeed academically.
In her exclusive interview with Briefly News, Hlongwane said that she received an S on her Grade 12 exam in 1994 but she pushed herself to the top. She also claims that she registered with Unisa in order to boost her grades and receive an exemption.
The 45-year-old woman, who is originally from Tzaneen in Limpopo but now lives in Tshwane in Atteridgeville, says she has obtained a BA in Criminology.
The proud lady says that got her degree in three years and received a distinction, Cum Laude. Her story proves that anything is possible in life.
“To me, achieving this qualification is a blessing and I feel so blessed and thank God for his Grace. My family supported me so much through this journey, my husband is the one who encouraged me to register with Unisa, saying I am very much intelligent when it comes to education. He said that because I helped him to complete his matric certificate in 2011.
When I first registered with Unisa, I was thinking of studying social work but after completing my matric exemption with Unisa. I had access to study for a degree as I passed my matric 1994 with the S symbol. I stayed for many years without registering again as we were paying fees for our daughter at the University of Johannesburg. And those times we were not earning much with my husband. We were working for Protea Coin security company. I worked at private security companies for more than 10 years before being employed by SAPS as a security officer.”
Hlongwane explains her decision to continue to work as a security officer.
“After joining SAPS, I thought of perusing careers at SAPS, thinking that studying about the crime is something needed in this department, then I registered for criminology where I majored in criminology and psychology. I saw that working in this department you really need psychological support. I am already accepted by Unisa for honours in Criminology which I will be doing in the next semester. For now, I am still working as a security officer and I believe that the God whom I trust will make it possible for me. To be honest, I am tired of working as a security officer.”
While admitting that life is full of challenges, she also encourages ordinary women out there that it is possible to balance work and studies.
“I would like to say to all women out there, including men and especially security officers that we always complain that we are mistreated and disrespected in our working environment. This is up to us guys, we can change our lives. Let us further our studies and become better and work where we can be appreciated. While on night shift instead of being happy that you have time to sleep, let’s use that time to study.”