Last month, 15 lucky South African adults received an opportunity to complete their matric after they won the most recent #Matric4Madiba competition, run by leading adult education provider Media Works.

Through Media Works’ Adult Matric programme – Matric Works – these 15 adults will be able to study for free towards their nationally recognised Amended Senior Certificate (ASC), a qualification that is equivalent to a matric.

One of these adults is 55-year-old Cendy Molongoana, from Alexandra in Johannesburg. For most of her life, Cendy has dreamt of finishing her matric and going to university to study to become a doctor.

She now says she has a chance at making that dream a reality after winning the 2019 #Matric4Madiba competition. Here is an inspiring Q&A with Cendy on what winning #Matric4Madiba means to her.

Cendy Molongoana has dreams of becoming a doctor after completing her matric.

How old are you and where are you from?

My name is Cendy Molongoana and I am 55 years old. I live in Alexandra in Johannesburg…I have been living here for over 20 years.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself – what is your background and what led you to this point of wanting to get your matric?

I grew up realising that matric is very important. I grew up in a less fortunate community where there were challenges when it came to money and schooling. But at the same time, the very same issues and challenges made me realise the value of education. Education has no limits when it comes to age: as long as you are able to read and write, you can complete anything. As long as you’ve got a desire in your heart, you can achieve anything in life – especially in education.

That’s why I entered this competition. I wanted to prove that a 55-year-old can achieve and even go beyond. My dream is to become a doctor, even in my old age. This is something I’ve wanted for a long time. In fact, I am determined to become a doctor after completing my matric.

And, how did you feel when you found out that you had won the #Matric4Madiba competition?

I was so excited because I knew that my dream of becoming a doctor is here: the time has come. That door will open to varsity for me to go and study. I’ve even done research that says, yes, you can still become a doctor even if you study medicine in your 50s and 60s. The reason being is that most patients, especially older patients, will open up to you because they can relate to you as an older doctor.

Are you looking forward to studying?

Yes, I’m going to study very hard. I may even get the assistance of a tutor if needed, in order to help me.

What subjects will you be doing as part of your matric?

I’ll be doing Maths, Physical Science, Biology (Life Sciences), Setswana and English.

When you were at school, which grade did you get up too?

I passed my Grade 11, and I was doing the very same subjects. Ever since I was a teenager, it was my dream to become a doctor. Unfortunately, at the time, my father passed away and there was no money and so many issues were at play. I did do the first term of my matric back then, but unfortunately, I then had to drop out. I did pass Grade 11 and I was bright. I was always drawn to medicine.

What is your message for other adults who maybe feel like it’s too late – what would you like to say to them?

To adults out there who think it’s too late to be educated, it’s not too late. Education has no age limits – whether you are 50, 60, 70 – as long as you are able to read your books and write, then there’s nothing difficult in that. So you can still achieve your dream.