When we met Samkeliso he was 21 and unable to go to 11th grade because his mom could not pay his school fees. He had to stay out of school and/or was told he had to leave school several times over the years. His grades were good considering the sporadic education. Samkeliso’s mother worked in the city at a grocery store, but didn’t make enough money to pay for his school fees and uniform. His father is a policeman, but had deserted Samkeliso and refused to see him or pay anything for him. This put Samkeliso in a more difficult spot because he could not be registered as an OVC (orphaned or vulnerable child) because of his father’s status. Therefore he has to pay double the school fees plus the end of High School exam fee which is half again as much as the tuition is. Without the results from this testing he could not go on for further education or get a decent job in Swaziland. He is a very tall young man and is very quiet. He has a difficult time looking somebody in the eye when he is spoken to because he lacks any self-esteem. He is a faithful member of the Methodist Men’s Guild which is giving him strength.
Samkeliso completed high school in December, 2013. Since then his father has helped him apply for a position with the Swaziland Police. We are not sure if he was accepted. We wish him well and that he remembers several of the conversations we had with him about being a responsible father to his children if he should have any.