It’s Not About Where You Were Born, or How You Were Raised By Patricia Mataga
At the age of 20 and a second year student of political science, Taylor’s mother was raped and became pregnant. Accepting these difficult circumstances given her parents had died in a road accident, Taylor’s mum had no one to turn to and her only consolation was drugs and alcohol. She even forgot about her own child, Taylor.
With the help of their neighbour, Taylor was able to enrol in primary school but suffered another tragedy when this good Samaritan neighbour, succumbed to cancer when Taylor was just 6 years old. Then one day, aged seven, Taylor came home from school only to find the dead body of her mother in the bath tub. That’s where her life took the turn she never expected and she started collecting plastics and bottles from dustbins to sell to enable her to get something to eat.
This is a girl who never celebrated her birthday, never received any presents, nobody wanted her to be near their kids, and she was in this world alone. Sometimes she went for days without food, her only saving grace being that the school allowed her to continue her primary education. After primary school, she passed well yet the question remained: how could she even consider high school when she had no money? Her options were: to help people with their laundry or do some housework to help her eat. She never gave up and after being at home for two years, she was offered help by a church which agreed to pay ¾ of her school fees and she had to find a way to pay the balance.
Taylor took on a job as a nanny, a duty she undertook after school and this is how she went through high school. Through the help of a friend she met in high school, Taylor applied for a bursary and was accepted. This covered all her school fees and upkeep at Georgetown University, USA where she studied Law. She is the Regional Representative of The UNHCR in South Africa.
It is not about where you come from, it’s not about having good parents, it is not about money. For if you want to fulfill your dreams, nothing will stop you if you decide to pursue these passionately and, with determination. You can go as far as you want to go, if you put your mind to it.