A new lease of life for graduate who waited years to secure a teaching post

20 January 2020 - 06:30 By Naledi Shange
Sandile Nsibande at the Tendela Combined School in Mooi River where he was officially welcomed as a teacher on Monday.
Sandile Nsibande at the Tendela Combined School in Mooi River where he was officially welcomed as a teacher on Monday.
Image: Facebook / Sandile Nsibande

As thousands of nervous grade 1 pupils embarked on their schooling journey last week, an excited KwaZulu-Natal graduate was finally starting his career as a teacher after waiting years to secure a post.  

In November, Sandile Nsibande took to Facebook to confess that he was unemployed, broke and suffering.

He secured a job shortly after his social media confession went viral and TimesLIVE wrote about his anguish.

On Thursday, two days after welcoming pupils into his classroom, he said he had a new lease on life.

“I started work on Monday the 13th at a small school serving a small community in a predominately farm area that is far from the town,” he said.

The name of the school is Tendela Combined School, which is in Mooi River.

“Being in a classroom after such a long wait was such a life-changing experience for me. The learners were seeing a new teacher, they were happy.  I introduced myself to them and they did the same.  We got to know each other so that they can be ready to study once we get the ball rolling,” Nsibande said.

“For me, it was emotional because I know what I have been through. It brings me joy knowing that I am permanent. I am happy,” he added.

Nsibande confessed that when he penned the social media post last year he was desperate for change and on the brink of suicide.

“It's been hard for me to get a job that I am qualified for. I have tried business space, got kicked out by lack of capital. I have tried looking for a job in other provinces, got stuck because of lack of money to cover job hunting costs. I tried network marketing but I was too broke to even ‘fake it till you make it’. I have been in and out of call centres,” his post had read.

One of the hardest pills to swallow was that his father had quit his job to cash in his pension to pay for Nsibande’s schooling. The father’s resignation resulted in the family being without a breadwinner and his diabetic mother forfeiting her medical aid cover.

He said this new path would definitely turn the life of his parents around.

“At home, they are so happy and you can see that they are relieved. This thing of me getting a job made them at ease.  They are breathing and no longer tense,” he said.

Nsibande said he planned to use his salary to do a few touch-ups at his parents' home.

“I want to change their ceiling and windows. I want to build my mom a kitchen,” he said.

Nsibande acknowledges that social media helped change his fate.

“Social media is a very powerful tool. [When I turned to Facebook] it was a matter of life and death for me. It was my last resort, 'cause I had tried everything and doors had closed on me,” he said.

“I remember going to some offices in Durban and I wanted to speak to someone. The lady I was there to see said she was busy and referred me to her assistant. After speaking to her, I sat outside on the steps, contemplating whether I should take my life,” Nsibande added.

Nsibande has gone from being unemployed graduate to a teacher of English, maths literacy and social sciences.