It’s that time of year again, as we reward students who have overcome incredible odds to achieve success. We are proud to share with you the stories of our Succeeding Against the Odds award winners for the first half of 2018!


Simelokuhle Maphosa – Overcoming poverty

Simelokuhle was born into a family of 11 children in Gweru, Zimbabwe. Her family was poor and could only afford to send her to school until Grade 10.

“Our focus was always on meeting basic needs like food and shelter. I had obtained good marks in school, so I passed my Grade 10 with flying colours, but sadly I couldn’t study further due to lack of fees,” Simelokuhle says.

Simelokuhle got a job as a shopkeeper, but fell pregnant with a man who left her to raise her baby as a single mom.

“I managed my expenses through farming and selling vegetables, until the baby was two years old. I then moved to South Africa to work as a nanny, leaving my child with my parents in Zimbabwe,” she explains.

Simelokuhle always had a passion for working with children. She decided to pursue a career in childcare, achieving certificates in Basic Childcare, Cooking, First Aid, and Au Pairing. She is currently in her first year of Early Childhood Development studies at Oxbridge Academy.

“As a live-in nanny, it has been hard for me to balance my work and my studies, but I have completed all my assignments on time. I have enjoyed my course so far and am determined to finish my studies and fulfil my dream of working with children full-time.”


Ivy Nassia – A true star student!

After finishing high school, hard-working Ivy Nassia took up any job she could find – from waitressing to car washing. She is currently a cleaner, working 11 hours a day, six days per week. During her various jobs, she discovered that health and safety procedures were lacking in many of the places where she worked.

“In my experience, all these jobs lacked information and knowledge with regards to health and safety procedures as well as employer/employee duties and rights,” Ivy says.

Although her last formal education was more than 12 years ago, Ivy enrolled for her Occupational Health and Safety for Management course with Oxbridge Academy. She has achieved remarkable results so far, getting 92%, 99% and 100% for the three assignments she has submitted so far.

“Even though at times my basic needs and responsibilities set my education back, my thirst for knowledge and passion for what is right will drive me further to achieve the highest level attainable in OHS,” says Ivy, who plans to enrol for further OHS studies after her course.

“Despite numerous challenges, I can still excel and pursue my lifelong dream. I will further my education, add value to the workplace and share all I will learn with the world. I will get a chance at fulfilling my goal and finally doing the work I would have chosen.”


Kabinde Malindi – Empowering herself

Kabinde is working as a safety representative at City Power in Johannesburg, where she has the distinction of being the only female on her team. Her eyes were opened to the importance of safety in the workplace when one of her friends was electrocuted on the job.

“I always thought bad things happen to other people, until October 2017, when a very close colleague of mine got electrocuted and spent months in ICU. If we were doing maintenance and filling in the risk assessments, this incident could have been prevented,” says Kabinde.

Kabinde wanted to gain more knowledge of the industry so that she could play her role in preventing accidents. She chose to study an OHS course with Oxbridge Academy, and has also committed to constantly improving herself.

“After the course, I am able to play my role in eliminating accidents and incidents. I have now also enrolled for a degree with another college. Every six months, I will be enrolling with Oxbridge Academy, doing different courses to empower myself further.”



Congratulations to our winning students, who have proven that nothing will stand in their way of finding success! Each of them gets 30% off the overall cost of the next course they enrol for with Oxbridge Academy.

The Oxbridge Academy Medals for Succeeding Against the Odds will be awarded again at the end of 2018. Click here to find out more.