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Dimakatso Makinta

As Dimakatso weaves her tale, you are drawn into what feels like an inspirational movie. Perhaps it's the amazing odds she overcame, or the vivid images she creates, as she recounts hardship with a lightness of touch that leaves you gobsmacked.

Born in a rondavel in Sandsloot near Mokopane, with her great grandmother acting as obstetrician, Dimakatso grew up milking cows before school and living a life she only recognised as hard later on. Whether it was hiding her meagre lunch shamefully behind the school shed or chasing cockroaches out of the only meat of the week, she started to realise there was more that life had to offer. Her belief is that it is each person's responsibility to change their own life.

After her cousin recognised her brilliant mind and told her she could get funding to go to university, Dimakatso entered the university gates with nothing but her grades on paper, a smattering of English and her instinct to bypass administrators and go straight to the HOD.

As tempting as it is to leave you in suspense, like any good film synopsis would, it wouldn't do justice to the amazing work Dimakatso went on to achieve. She now works as a software engineer and started her own "Take a girl child to school" campaign. Her belief in a positive future and her story of how education can take one out of poverty is a must-listen at a time when universities continue to come under scrutiny for their accessibility.

We here at 1001 can't wait to see the film version...


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