Can you tell us how long have you been in teaching and was this your profession your childhood dream?

I have 16 years teaching experience as I completed matric at the age of 15 and I was a professional teacher at the age of 21.  Before I went to tertiary institution ( Indumiso College of Education ) I have done so many teaching activities in my community (Clermont ).  Absolutely, teaching has been my  childhood passion as I conducted matric afternoon classes in my own home where  I assisted matric students who were struggling and needed assistance in different subjects.  Immediately after  I passed my Teaching Diploma (PTD) I struggled to get  a job , but because of love  I have for learers and teaching I volunteered in different schools up until  I was hired as a permanent teacher in  year 2000  at  Kwa Cutshwayo Primary School and that is when my love, enthusiasm and passion flourished. I was extremely creative, innovative and energetic young teacher at school. The ex-principal of my current school Mr  KAM Ndhlovu was impressed and very appreciative in such a way that he gave me an opportunity to display my  capabilities by asking me to conducting in-school workshop within first month of my employment where I cascaded all the relevant information to my colleagues. The uniqueness of my teaching stood out because I was the first teacher who studied during the times of Outcomes Based Education (OBE ) implementation when most of the teachers were still attending  workshops  to enlighten them about curriculum changes and I was clear about everything.

Teaching has been and always my love of my life. Since I was young I use to emulate my school teacher by teaching everyone near me;  my mom, grandmother,  aunts and uncles because I didn’t have siblings by then I’m the first  born. I use to write with coals on walls because I was passionate about teaching. As I was doing grade 4 (standard 2) I decided to ask my teacher to help her with below average learners during reading period and that is where I felt that teaching is my life because all the learners who were struggling  mastered some the lessons I assisted them with. And my class teacher was impressed and praised me for improvement and I was highly motivated to go for teaching profession.

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Tell us a bit more about your academic history (what have you studied and your qualifications)

I have studied and successfully completed  Primary Teachers Diploma (PTD) at Indumiso College of Education, Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) at UKZN , Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) at UNISA, BEd Hons at UKZN and  Masters in Education at UKZN.  These certificates are relevant to my teaching career as I will always strive for excellence as far as teaching career is concerned. With all the skills and information I obtained during these studies they led to greener pastures.  I was energetic  and I used to help teachers who needed my assistance and as the time went on teachers from different neighbouring schools in Pinetown District  selected me to become their cluster coordinator and later on I was chosen to become  the lead teacher/ facilitator . The Department of Education official s ( Pinetown District Languages Department) gave me an opportunity to be trained  and become a facilitator where I conduct English workshops for Intermediate and Senior phase teacher’s workshops  during winter holidays . Therefore, I would like to pass my greatest appreciation to the following people for conceding me this opportunity namely : Mrs ND Sithole, Ms DQ Mthembu, Mr.  S Moloi , Mrs P Xaba and the rest of the team. Thank you for believing in me and to see potential of working with my colleagues to build this nation.

Tell us about your acting career, how did that come about and was it something you always dreamed of?

I have done so many things that I sometimes I asked myself how did I cope. The secret is that when I want or need something I do it no matter what it takes even sleepless nights 24/7. I am a go getter therefore acting started when people around me appreciated my looks, resemble of some celebs and even approached by other race groups and encourage me to go for TV. One of the ladies who tried her best to connect me into entertainment industry was Mrs Marina Van Rooyen. She took me to different auditions but unfortunately my mom didn’t allow me to relocate although she gave me permission to do  beauty cosmetics ramp shows only. Subsequently, I had to focus on my career and teaching profession as I obtained the abovementioned certificates but when I completed Master’s Degree I was content and my passion of being an actress divulged and was so powerful. I googgled everything about acting up until I met a lady who took me to the high level  of acting Mrs Angela  Valverde -Riekert  (for OCA acting studio) who is originally from USA California. She taught me almost everything about acting; she introduced me to different agencies, producers and directors. She also led me to act in different TV commercials, music videos and short films and up until today she connects me and also invites me to numerous auditions…I’m proud of her. I also met other local directors and producers and we are currently busy shooting movies for South African Screens this time…yeeepeee.

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What inspires you to achieve what you have achieved?

Being a teacher is a full time commitment and a sacrifice on so many levels because teachers have the potential to interact with students at all stages of development and from all walks of life. As a teacher, you are more than just an educator: you are a mentor, a friend, caregiver and parent. Thus, love, passion, enthusiasm inspires me every day and this is one the reasons for becoming a teacher are to contribute to my community in a meaningful way. Teaching is one of the most direct ways to make an impact to young ones and I am driven by the desire to help those around me.  Being is a teacher is an invaluable contribution in   inspired every time to know that I help students along their path and to play a part in shaping their future. Being a teacher helped me to impart life lessons that they will never forget. Essentially, becoming a teacher led me to take part in shaping the next generation.

And what would you say to other colleagues in your profession?

Love your work and reap the fruit, I’m saying this because I feel good to see or meet my successful ex-student whom I groomed and cooked with my own hands and that particular student appreciates and praise my work on him or her. That makes walk tall and be proud, it inspires me to do more and upsurge the levels.  I’ll tell them knowledge is a powerful weapon to every life experiences so make to that every day you learn something new, help some to learn something new and always eager to learner more everyday by upgrading yourselves professionally. Today im happy to say I have took my school KwaCutshwayo Primary School to the highest level of education together with all my colleagues and the principal Mr Nzuza who is very supportive as he gives permission us as teachers to enter as many educational activities and competition and our school is known as one of the best school ever in both co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. I and my colleague Mrs RK Mkhize went as far as provincial level with Readathon activities where our learners were given an opportunity to co-host the kids show (Ukhozi Lodado) in Ukhozi FM where they raising awareness  about water shortage in our country after they won first prize in eThekwini Municipality competitions in 2016. So, love and passion are the key to  a healthy teaching and learning situation.

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And what advice would you give a 15 year old Nombuso?

Time waits for no man, sky is the limit, education is the key to success therefore education first   and everything else will follow eventually because we need to weight the options in life for example I appreciate my mother for disapproving acting by then because today I have something tangible, real, genuine, resilient and resolute for life which I will always fall back on comfortably because teaching is my life and other activities are like my hobbies. So, in short I would say Nombuso my girl stand out from the crowd and make sure that you aspire to inspire before you expire.