By Precious Mupenzi

  • Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s visit to the SASSA Offices in Umnini, KwaZulu-Natal, brought a touching encounter with Owami Hlongwa, a second-year Law student and proud mother seeking a child support grant, highlighting the challenges faced by young mothers balancing education and parenthood.
  • Minister Zulu’s unwavering support and encouragement for Owami to pursue her dreams of becoming a lawyer resonated deeply, reflecting her ongoing advocacy for resilience and perseverance among young women.
  • This encounter underscores Minister Zulu’s commitment to empowering youth and advocating for their rights, embodying the message of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

In a heartening scene at the SASSA Offices within the Umnini Thusong Centre, Minister Lindiwe Zulu found herself in a touching encounter with Owami Hlongwa (20) from Umgababa. Owami, a second-year Law student at the University of Johannesburg and a proud mother to a one-month-old baby, exemplified resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

Having made the courageous decision to take a break from her studies to care for her newborn, Owami arrived at the offices to apply for a child support grant. Amidst the challenges of balancing motherhood and academia, Minister Zulu’s visit became a beacon of encouragement for Owami, offering her a renewed sense of hope and determination.

With unwavering support, Minister Zulu engaged Owami in a heartfelt conversation, listening attentively to her aspirations and concerns. Recognising the importance of education and empowerment, the Minister reassured Owami that her dreams of becoming a lawyer were entirely achievable, despite the obstacles she faced. Minister Zulu shared stories of her own journey, highlighting the resilience and determination required to overcome challenges and achieve success.

Encouraged by the Minister’s words, Owami’s eyes lit up with determination as she shared her vision for justice and advocacy, reaffirming her commitment to her studies and her dreams. Minister Zulu offered practical advice and guidance, encouraging Owami to explore the support systems available to her as a student and young mother, and to seek assistance whenever needed.

Since January, Minister Zulu has been a vocal advocate for young girls like Owami, emphasising the importance of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. Her message resonates deeply with Owami and others, inspiring them to overcome obstacles and pursue their dreams with unwavering determination. As Minister Zulu aptly stated, “We all make mistakes, but dust yourself off and pursue your dreams.”

Moved by the Minister’s visit and inspired by her words of encouragement, Owami left the SASSA Offices with a newfound sense of determination and hope. Armed with the Minister’s support and guidance, she was ready to embark on her journey towards achieving her dreams, confident in her ability to overcome challenges and create a brighter future for herself and her child.


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