Orphaned at 16, Zanele Kalane left school to take care of her younger brother and two young cousins. They all lived in one room while she worked as a domestic worker.
In 2008, aged 24, she enrolled at uMfolozi College to study towards a National Certificate in Electrical Infrastructure Construction NC(V) EIC. She struggled with English and was relentlessly mocked by her younger classmates, but she never gave up.
Eventually she completed NC(V) and moved on to N4, N5 and N6. It took her 10 long, hard years to become an electrician, but she finally took her trade test this year and passed on the first try.
“Zanele is the true embodiment of resilience. I know no other person who has shown as much persistence to achieve their dreams as she has,â€ her nominator Liza Wiid said.
Nominated in category: Resilience