by Dumezweni-Ndweni

A lot has been said about education and furthering up studies, people going after PhDs are starting to trend and all other academic trends as well which is good for our society as more and more people recognize the value and importance of education. However there still is negative talk and false myths and opinions about education. You will hear people saying people who study too much will end up going crazy and some say education does not get you anywhere as many graduates are at home with their qualifications, that is true graduates are unemployed but they stand a better chance of employment than those sitting at home without even matric. We have people who live by these words ‘education is the key to success,’ and those who say the streets and the world are the University of life and best teachers.

The same with everything else public figures are used by society to measure the goodness and badness of something as they are role models to society and have a lot influence on the public. A question is education really that good and does it actually guarantee a path to success? I believe yes but first we need to discuss what kind of success we are talking about and what does it bring?



Here we are talking success in terms of personal freedom, career wise,  living your dreams and fulfilling the wishes of that young kid you once were, being what you wanted to be as a young boy or girl before life got really tough and hard. The success brought by education is simple, comfortable and to be honest comes slowly and requires to work hard and stay focused.

The reason I say the success brought by education is simple and comfortable, let’s look at this as an example, you are a teacher or a nurse you have a house, car and taking your kids to school and your job is fulfilling and important to society, as you see that is not flashy and does not sound expensive. But it is still success nonetheless because it is what you wanted. Then we have another version of success which is associated with lots of money, expensive cars, luxury houses and all the things rich people do.

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And this kind of success at times it is not associated with education or the people are not educated themselves. The second version of success is nice and sounds like a dream but to be realistic we need to be honest and admit that not all of us will be your Kagiso Rabada, Caster Semenya, keagan Dolly or Trevor Noah of this world. Not all of us will win the lotto jackpot, so we have to do it the hard way which is education plain and simple. Once you are educated no one can strip it off you no one can take it off you unless you forged documents or in future suffer from memory loss, education is everlasting.

Education is timeless

So the previous point was highlighting the fact that education is timeless, it does not run out. To make an example using sports: your career can be cut short with injuries and all that but I am not saying people should not play sports I am saying having a plan B, even if you are a business man or in entertainment have a qualification to fall back on. How many cases of former football stars in this country that after their stardom and riches move back to their family homes broke? How many musicians have been buried with nothing left in their accounts and the public have to donate in order to give them a dignified send off?

Now let’s talk about successful role models, and the part they play in our lives directly and indirectly let’s examine people who are role models and made it in life and gained riches without education, first we have your “Mr fill up FNB” Casper Nyovest, the guy is successful and a true testimony of hard work, then the former chief of SABC Hlaudi Motsoeng and lastly Kenny Kunene these three men are role models to different people and yes Kenny Kunene is a role model, the man came from prison and hustled his way up to become a successful business man and millionaire.

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Public figures with less or no education

The public figures are living their best life with everything they desire and want at their disposal and an example that it does not matter where you come from or who you are and what your previous situation was. Their success is unrelated to education. But being fairly honest not every child who drops out of school will be the famous rapper and the same with the other men mentioned. They have made it, well you can say luck or connections or anything but they did. However ask yourself this, how many people from your township or place you are living at right now made it without education and how many millionaires come from where you grew up and they did not have education? Then ask yourself how many are successful professionals in fields like nursing, teaching, policing and etc?

You can be somebody with university education but that is not always the case. I believe that as you work hard in life then things become a bit easier but that does not make them not difficult it is just that when you work hard you adapted quickly to environments and situations and you can turn what is complicated into something easy as you are used to working hard. So young people strive for education strive to be the master of your own fate.

Role Models with education

Now let us look at educated role models, we have in politics the intellect himself the Economic Freedom Fighter’s spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, the outspoken creative soul sister Ntsiki Mazwai, kwaito star Mzambiya and lastly the former Yo Tv presenter Musa Mthombeni who is now a qualified doctor.

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These people are famous and educated some more than others but that is not the point, Ndlozi has a PhD from Wits, Ntsiki graduated cum laude on her master’s degree and Mzambiya did something most people  in entertainment would not do, he took a break and went back to finish his matric. So we have these people who are in the spotlight in their respective fields, they are young but they do not have the riches Casper has or Kenny. They are not leading lavish lifestyles or drive a series of cars, but they are successful and educated. They are positive role models to the youth and should be cherished for their work, however people would look at them and say but they do not drive a Bentley or Lamborghini.

In conclusion

Do not get this wrong education does not guarantee you fame and riches but it offers you sustainable wealth and knowledge. Education is an escape route from poverty and other social ills that have plagued our great country.

Yes education is a long gruelling process but it is worth it, the blood that you sweat is worth it in the end and it will not end. Lastly we need educated public figures so that many more people are inspired to be educated, which then produces a free thinking society that can solve problems and be innovative. No one was born to suffer and no one was born to be dumb. Education is oxygen, breathe it and you will live comfortable for a long time.