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Home » Student Zone » The Oxbridge Academy Medal for Succeeding Against the Odds » Succeeding against the odds 2017



2017 Winners

We are proud to share with you the stories of our Succeeding Against the Odds award winners for 2017. Congratulations to them all!

Innocentia Mahlabegwane

Khuzi InnocentiaInnocentia is an OHS student at Oxbridge Academy, who recently ventured into a mining consulting company and needed to learn the relevant skills to ensure the health and safety of the employees. She says:

My company is still at baby crawling stage and not generating too much yet, but with the few rands that I make for profit I’m able to afford my OHS studies. The assignments and study materials are easy and accommodating and the service for queries and questions helps me to walk this journey very easily.
I was able to achieve my first assignment with an A symbol and I’m aiming to complete my overall certificate with distinction. I’m all about willingness to learn and the tutor tips are very helpful for me. Big up!

Starting up your own venture is a big challenge, and we are proud of Innocentia’s initiative in this regard. Studying while starting up a business shows great commitment and determination, and we are therefore proud to name Innocentia as a recipient of the Succeeding Against the Odds Award for November 2017.

Janae Lewis

JanaeJanae was a general worker when she started studying her beauty therapy course with Oxbridge Academy. She suffered from depression due to her work environment, and she says:

My parents are deceased and I’m doing this all on my own.

Despite her circumstances, Janae has achieved 92% in both of the assignments that she has submitted thus far, and we are eager to see what she will achieve in the remainder of her course. Janae’s results show that she is committed to working hard to change her current situation and to create a better future for herself. We are therefore pleased to name her as a recipient of the Succeeding Against the Odds Award for November 2017.


Azola Dlanjwa

AzolaAzola’s dream is to become a marketing manager. Unfortunately, she grew up in difficult circumstances, and she could not study towards her dream. Her whole family, including her three siblings, was dependent on her mother’s salary of R5000 a month.

While Azola matriculated in 2008, she was only able to go study in 2010, due to her family’s financial constraints. And when she did go study, she had to settle for something that she describes as “a good course that will help me find work easily”, even though it was not what she really wanted to do. She studied education, and graduated in 2013. Despite her qualification, she could still not find a job. She says:

I didn’t get any job, I stayed home and … it was really sad to know that I put my dreams on hold just to satisfy other people.

Azola had almost given up on her dream when, in 2016, she finally secured a job as an educator. She then decided that it was time to go back to pursuing her childhood dream, and she started studying marketing via distance learning with Oxbridge Academy. She says:

I am now married, I have children, and I am a full-time educator and also an Oxbridge Academy marketing student. I am not done with my studies yet, but I will finish before December ends. I have lived for people but now I am striving for my dreams. I have succeeded against all odds, I will finish my course and by next year I believe that I will be a marketing consultant of a big company and in 5 years a well-known businesswoman owning my own marketing agency.

We are proud of Azola for not giving up on her dream, for persisting despite the obstacles she faced, and for approaching her studies with such a positive attitude. For this reason, we are happy to name her as a recipient of the Succeeding Against the Odds Award for 2017.

Mahani Mavhungu

MavhunguMavhungu tells us that she succeeded against the odds despite being without a stable job and despite receiving no financial assistance from her family after Matric.

She says:

“I grew up in a normal family, with a bright future and support. Things started to change when I finished my Matric. My father refused to pay my school fees to further my studies as I was his stepdaughter.”

While she was researching the costs of studying at university, Mavhungu met a lady wearing an Oxbridge Academy T-shirt, and asked her about the college and how it works. She then started working as a domestic worker to raise funds for her studies at Oxbridge Academy. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan:

“By the time my stepfather passed away, I was the only one left to help as I had my younger brothers and my mother’s health is unstable. It delayed me from studying, as I was only earning R600.”

Her situation worsened when she unexpectedly fell pregnant. However, she did not give up hope:

“I went home for labour and asked my mom to take care of my son, as I got a call that I must come work at a filling station. I was earning per week, so with the first payment I made sure I registered with Oxbridge… I’m happy that I’m studying and with my studies I will get a proper job and make a better future for my son and help my two brothers to study… Although I had all these challenges, all thanks to Oxbridge because I have hope for my life again and I can encourage others to never give up on their dreams despite the situation. And Oxbridge will always be my advice to anyone wishing to study.”

Mavhungu has shown courage and determination in overcoming a very difficult set of circumstances, and for this reason, we are proud to name her as a recipient of the Succeeding Against the Odds Award.

Sunette Hoffman

After working for 17 years, Sunette made a big decision to resign from her job to spend more time with her daughters and to support them in their extramural activities. She also made the decision to further her studies, and she enrolled for the N4 Tourism course with Oxbridge Academy in January 2016.

“I was extremely excited when I received my books and student card. I was so proud of myself.”

On 2 February 2016, however, everything changed: “I had a routine check-up with my gynaecologist. On this day, my life came to a standstill. The doctor suspected that I had cancer. I clearly remember the doctor holding my hand whilst explaining the following steps to me. This day my husband was at work and my daughters at school. I left the doctors rooms and I sat in my car in tears afraid of the unknown and afraid of dying.”

A short while later, Sunette was diagnosed with stage 2B cervical cancer, which had already spread to her lymph nodes. Her only treatment options were radiation and chemotherapy.

“I had a total of 6 chemo sessions, 35 radiation sessions and 5 brachytherapy sessions. On a Wednesday morning, I would go in to the oncologist to receive my chemotherapy… I would sit between very ill patients, but who had such positive mind sets. Directly after the chemotherapy, I had to walk down the passage for my radiation treatment, feeling weak and tired. By Wednesday evening I would be very ill, vomiting, having cold fever, my body shaking, and eventually I would be picked up from the bathroom floor. Each and every day was a struggle. Mondays and Tuesdays were my best days; I would live them to the fullest. On my best days, I would sit or lie on my bed and I would do my assignments. Some assignments took up to 3 weeks, but, bit by bit, I managed to submit them. I wanted to make a success out of my life and that meant that I had to do all possible to succeed in my course.”

Sunette says that the positivity of her fellow patients rubbed off on her, giving her the will to live life to the fullest, to be a super mom, and to make every day count. Through all her treatments, she successfully completed her N4, and she is determined to continue with her studies until she earns her diploma.

“I am pleased to say that God gave me a second chance and I recently started working again. I am working as an Outbound Travel Consultant. My N4 qualification opened a door for me for which I am extremely grateful and very proud. I am living my dream and I am loving life. Thanks to all at Oxbridge Academy who played a role in each and every step I took to succeed.”

Sunette has shown great willpower and strength of character throughout her journey, and we are proud to name her as a recipient of the Succeeding Against the Odds Award. 

Mohlaba Maria Selokela

Maria SelokelaMohlaba grew up as an orphan and only child, and she was raised by her grandmother. She says:

“I was 6 years old, so I went to school and it was not nice at all, going to school without food and uniform, it’s like a shamble, but I never give up. I told myself that I want to pass and be a professional doctor. Unfortunately after my Matric I didn’t get enough marks to get a bursary and from my grandmother’s side also there was no money. I started looking for piece jobs to get money, hoping that one day I will be able to pay school fees with the money I worked for.”

She did not give up on the idea of studying, and she has encouraging words for others in a similar situation:

“I came across the Jet Club Magazine and I saw Oxbridge Academy. I took the numbers and I registered. This year it’s my last one… and I am enjoying what I am doing. To all people out there, don’t give up on your dreams, never allow any challenge to change your mind, stick to your words, and you’ll end up getting what your heart desires.”

Despite her circumstances, Mohlaba has stayed positive and committed to her goals, and we are pleased to congratulate her on being named as a recipient of the Succeeding Against the Odds Award.

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