San girl defies all odds to graduate

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John Muyamba

Rundu

The graduation of Rosalia Sindimba, 24, who hails from the marginalised San community, was one of the highlights at the University of Namibia (Unam)’s Rundu campus graduation ceremony yesterday when she was awarded a higher diploma in accounting and auditing.

Rosalia hails from Kahenge in the Kavango West Region, where she spent her childhood days and where she still lives.

“I was schooling at Kahenge Combined School from Grade 1 to 10 and then I moved to Leevy Hakusembe Secondary School, where I completed my Grade 12. In 2014 I joined Unam as a student and here I am graduating today,” she told New Era.

Rosalia is a beneficiary of the government’s educational support programme for students from marginalised communities to enable them to access tertiary education and she has used the opportunity well. At Unam she majored in accounting and auditing.

As she relates her story to this reporter Rosalia looks up at a woman she calls her aunt, who is sheeding tears of joy. This Kwangali woman took her in as a kid, raised her together with her own children and later sent her to school.

“My aunt inspired me a lot with encouragement, telling me to focus in school. There was also a policewoman, who is from my tribe who used to work at Kahenge police station. Looking at her I got inspired to want to work like her, but in a better position,” she said.
Rosalia urged other young men and women from the marginalised San community to stay in school and become someone in life.

“They must follow my footsteps for us to develop our community and they should not be scared to be discriminated against. They must put their heads up and achieve the best. We can do it and that is what I just proved. I’m so happy and speechless,” Rosalia added.

“I took her when she was five years old to come and play with my kids and together with my kids I took them to school. Since the beginning she has shown me that she was destined to graduate. She was and still is a clever girl. She didn’t fail since Grade 1,” said her guardian Meriam Sikwaya from Kahenge.

It is not common to see a San woman graduate and thus Rosalia’s achievement is seen unique and inspiring and was most celebrated at yesterday’s graduation. “I hope to one day work for the government, especially in Kavango West Regional Council, or just anywhere,” Rosalia said.

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