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Agent of Change (and Currency)

Zinzo Tebe has juggled his passions for inspiring young people in his community and numbers since graduating from high school in 2012. He’s also one of those guys that “figures things out” and never shirks from a challenge.  Over the past decade, he has flexed his entrepreneurial energy in many directions including managing one of Khayelitsha’s first café’s, starting a Saturday school to tutor 5th, 6th, and 7th grades in math, science and English, then running an online literacy program in local schools – and becoming the local “IT guy” after teaching himself how to keep the administrators’ office printers and other equipment online and running strong.

The only thing it seemed he couldn’t achieve, was advancing in his formal education. It’s not that he didn’t want to. In fact, he completed two short adult development courses in Leadership and Education, but obtaining the qualifications that would allow him to really advance his career remained out of reach. Then Covid hit. The uncertainty and job losses all around him only strengthened his resolve to keep working to help support his family. Stopping work to attend college away from home just wasn’t a practical choice. Rather than waking up brimming with opportunity, Zinzo was starting to feel his world, and future beginning to shrink.

That is, until Infinite Family invited him to be part of their online university pilot program this year. Now, Zinzo is working diligently, after work, to complete his first official accounting course online. By the middle of next year, he will have his bookkeeping qualifications and be firmly on track to achieve his goal of becoming a Financial Expert who can assist individuals and business to also achieve their financial goals via investment opportunities tailored to their needs.

Zinzo distinguished himself as a good candidate for Infinite Family’s online education pilot by demonstrating a passion for numbers and details and through his ability to focus despite distractions all around. While he is happy not to have to travel away from home and his community, he does admit that online learning has its challenges, “I am required to be disciplined, make reading every day a normal part of my routine, and focus even more intently on how I communicate via email and written documents.”

He has, however, surprised himself in finding new strengths within himself including persistence, self-confidence and an even stronger streak of independence. He is thankful to our Infinite Family for giving him the opportunity to study online as it has, “allowed me to refine my critical thinking skills, while adding flexibility and self-paced learning that I would not be able to do otherwise.” You can be sure we are watching Zinzo closely – every NGO needs a good bookkeeper!

 

#firststep #highereducation #college #learnsomethingnew #alwayslearning #skillsdevelopment

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