Selina and Jazz – a REAL South African Story


This is the story of Selina who was, at the time our tea lady, and how her sisters child became a Doctor.  These stories give me hope for our country.

In the words of Selina  ……..

“It is 1993, and I work at Pennypinchers Humansdorp as a tea girl.  I get paid weekly, life is very easy for me as I have 1 child.  Because my life is so easy I decided to help my sister because she has three boys not working and a husband that is gone.  I take 1 boy from Queenstown to study here in Humansdorp from std 6.  The following year, I take the other child and send him to Vista University to study law – we were then very lucky and he got a bursary to study journalism at Rhodes University.

Then Jazz finished matric and I sent him to PE Technikon to study IT, but unfortunately things were not well and I did not have enough money for both of them to study.  So, I told Jazz he must come home for a year and let his brother finish University first and then he can go and study.

On 01 July 2005,I was coming home from work and I hear on the radio they are looking for children from rural areas who have got matric maths and science and had a wish to become a doctor.  The only problem would be that he would have to live in Cuba.

I sent him to Queenstown Department of Health, and they did not know about the scholarship, so I tell them that I heard it on the radio.  They then phoned Bisho and the person in Bisho said that he must get forms.

Jazz was the first child to get granted the scholarship to study as a Doctor in Cuba.

On the 30 September 2005, Jazz left for Cuba.  We had to provide the children with clothes,  toiletries and other stuff.  Imagine me a Tea Girl, and I couldn’t afford to buy the stuff Jazz needed.  I thank my employer  for assisting me over this time, and giving me the opportunity to buy Jazz all the things he needed to go to Cuba.

It was very sad when my sister died in January 2006 and never got to see Jazz as a Doctor.  Her first child also graduated from Rhodes University on April 2006.

I then took the third child and he was then in Std 8.  He finished Matric and I have sent him to the University of the Western Cape to study Dental Mecanism.  He is busy with his third year.

Now with Gods help I manage.  I was a tea girl but I made a success in life.  I am proud of myself and my family and the opportunities which I have given them.

Education is the key of Life.”

Jazz is now working as a fully fledged Doctor at Klerksdorp Hospital.

Selina is now the Administration/reception person at Pennypinchers St Francis Bay.

11 thoughts on “Selina and Jazz – a REAL South African Story

  1. Now that is an inspirational story that needs to be told to a lot of South Africans. I Love it and Thanks for sharing. 😀

  2. very encouraging, no matter what your position in life if you are determined you will succeed…well done Selina!

  3. Selina, you are an amazing woman! Through you, these youngsters have a chance to serve South Africa. You have reached far beyond your limits and you have made a difference.

    • I agree, Deborah. Positive stories are so inspiring to us all, showing us what is possible, even with very little. I’ve started a non-profit milk bank in the Boland, and every day I’m humbled by the mothers who donate milk for the sick babies, and by the mothers of the prems who strive against all odds to build up their own supplies to heal their babies. For more positivity, read our blog on , particularly the posts from July 14. and March 8. There is so much love and kindness around; let’s harness it!

  4. A bit about Jazz. A very pleasant chap. He came to visit me a couple of times at Pennypinchers. After leaving for Cuba, he first had to do a Spanish course because that is the lingo for their varsity lectures in Cuba. After completing his studies and getting back to SA he had to do a conversion course for medical back to English and then a re-entrance exam again. What a journey from rural Ciskei to Humies, to Cuba to graduating at Tukkies.

  5. Absolute inspiration! Those boys must be so grateful to have such a wonderful & giving relative. God has placed you on their path, Selina. It was meant to be!

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