The quote above by Jean-Jacques Rousseau is a favourite quotes of Patience Moyo. It is one of two she gave me when I asked her for her favourite quote as a way of starting this post, and it was followed by:

“How cool is this quote, it’s my name!” 🙂

Who is Patience you may ask?

Well, it is with great pride and privilege that we are able to introduce you to and share the story of one of Mam’ Khanyi’s girls, the truly inspirational Patience Moyo. Patience who has just completed her LLB at Wits and is now working at Alexander Forbes, allowed us to ask her a few questions and tell her story.

Life is hard enough as it is, especially for those of us who are just trying to get through it one day at time. Patience came to Home of Hope when she was sixteen years old, as Patience puts it:

“When I got here l was a high school dropout, l was working as a maid trying to support my family until I was brought to Home of Hope in 2008. I eventually went back to high school to do my matric in 2010. I did Education for a year at Wits University and changed to LLB (Law) In 2012. I have been blessed to have people like Mama K, Rachel, my sister Cynthia and The Tomorrow Trust who have believed in me and are always willing to support me and push me in the right direction when I’m slacking. I completed my LLB last year and l’m currently on an internship at Alexander Forbes.”

For those in the know, an LLB is nothing to be sniffed at, and the fact that Patience has been able to achieve this in light of the challenges that she faced are nothing short of inspirational. It brings to mind the story of Dr. Tererai Trent who commenced her journey of success when she was told by Jo Luck, president and CEO of Heifer International, “If you believe in your dreams, they are achievable.” But in this case, Patience is a daughter of South Africa, like so many, and her Jo Luck is Mam’ Khanyi’s Home of Hope and a team of support that it has brought into her life to support her on the journey. In her own words:

“Home of Hope gave me a home, family and friends, a direction in life and hope that l can be whoever I want to be.”

And when we speak of Home of Hope it is always attached to the person from whose vision it has sprung. Mam’ Khanyi is a formidable force who is an inspiration to all she meets, but volunteers like me obviously have a very different relationship with this amazing woman who quite literally has taken on the role of mother to the girls within her care:

“Mam Khanyi is that selfless woman that l want to be like when l grow up. She’s a sweet, but also a tough, cookie; (She) stands up for whatever she believes is right. She’s strict, and as kids sometimes we feel like she’s not a cool mom but its all because she wants the best for us… and she’s a hustler lol.”

But it was not always an easy journey for Patience, Mam’ Khanyi and the Home; those worth taking rarely are!

Every day at Home of Hope seeks to ensure that while we are focussing on the day to day operations of sustainability, we are also hoping to provide the brightest possible opportunities and future for the girls and ladies within her care.

I asked Patience what the most difficult part of her journey on the road to success was:

“My greatest challenge at Home of Hope was when mom couldn’t pay for my tuition and NSFAS had put me on the waiting list, l remember l was always in mom’s face asking if she had found anything.

We were even thinking of getting a study loan ( l can be pushy sometimes until I get what I want, l believe that when you want something soo badly you gotta fight for it). l couldn’t bear the thought of taking another gap year. Eventually I met Kalim who helped me out and l also got a bursary from Tomorrow Trust later on.”

And for Patience that remains an aspect of her journey within Home of Hope’s walls that she wants to ensure none of her “sisters” ever have to endure. I asked her what her hope for Home of Hope’s future was:

“My immediate Hope for Home of Hope is that the girls get funding for tertiary studies. l think the current girls need more tutors/mentors…”

Kalim and his wife Robyn, Ayanda, these are all names that are entrenched in Patience’ journey. These are all individuals who have stepped up to the proverbial plate and via an introduction, have supported Patience along her journey, through varsity, not only financially but as tutors, friends and mentors as well.

“Robyn used to be my maths tutor when l was still doing teaching and we used to meet and catch up on the weekends, we still keep in touch. Ayanda used to tutor me in Economics in my 1st year and we still hangout even now.

I think we need more people like them, people who not only support you financially, but people who make time to meet up with you and just see how you doing, who get to know who “Pesh” is and the other way round, instead of seeing you as a charity case, and vice versa, me seeing you as my ATM or whatever.”

Apart from the support which is so important in each girls lives, Patience also hopes that Home of Hope will be able to get a bigger house. It’s an amazing piece of the Home of Hope story that having started out of Mam’ Khanyi’s own apartment, moving to an establishment in Berea, that Home of Hope now has two bases delivering the work of its mission, with the second being in Kensington, Johannesburg. The dream keeps getting bigger because the need is there, there are many girls, full of potential just like Patience, who need a Home full of Hope, and Mam’ Khanyi’s mission to restore dignity to these daughters of Africa will continuously grow to meet the need.

As I approach the end of my (way too short) interview back down to the basics. I asked Patience what the words Home, Family and Hope mean to her personally:

“For me “Home” is a place where one is Loved for who they are, where one finds comfort and support.

“Family” means people are always there for you, people that you love, people that will drive you crazy and make you feel like strangling them for a moment and at the same time make you wonder how you would live without them.

I’m one of the oldest girls now even though almost all the girls are way taller than me and l still look like a high school kid (which l love by the way). I love that l can chill with them and have our girl talks, they are funny and very talented. l get to be my random and silly self around and still get respected by them. There are times we annoy each other and minutes later we are laughing about it. I really hope that I’m a good role model for them and they learn from me to be patient, determined and hardworking.

“Hope”… It’s an assurance that even if you going through a difficult time now, it won’t be like this forever there are good times ahead. All you can do for now and keep going, push yourself until you get to the good times.”

In closing, I would like to thank Patience for her time and Mam’ Khanyi for her vision (there is a possibility of this Thank You being issued a lot on this blog) which fostered the potential of a Home in which so many girls like Patience can find Hope, where future potential can be fostered to realisation.

I was wondering what the future has in store for Patience as she continues on this road of success (and inspiration for those of us who get to have but a glimpse):

“What’s next for me? I would like to do my articles so I can be admitted as an attorney and do post grad (overseas hopefully) and travel across AFRICA…”

And as for that second quote…