“I would give every child a pen, because with it they could quickly write their story and tell a better story than anyone else. Maybe this could also be a chance for them to actually write down a story that no one has ever written before.” – Zinzi Nsingwane, South Africa

Zinzi Nsingwane’s dream is to become an accountant. And while Zinzi lives in the rural Nkomazi region of South Africa, where educational resources are scarce to non-existent, her dream may become a reality thanks to her involvement in Imagine Scholar. Earlier this year, we featured both Corey Johnson – Executive Director of Imagine Scholar, and Zinzi’s classmate, Elaine Nkosi. Imagine Scholar is aneducational development program for inspired youth from the rural Nkomazi region of South Africa dedicated to cultivating local talent, and empowering those students early on to be the drivers of change in their communities.

Zinzi – who will graduate with the class of 2015 – has stood out amongst her peers as a strong student with a reputation for responsibility beyond her young age. She was the top younger student in the school’s first vocabulary bee, writes her own blog, and taps into her inherent curiosity to push her education forward. “Personally, I believe that technology has hugely impacted my education,” she says, “more especially when it comes to learning more about South African issues, including feminism and female genital cutting, and how these issues affect the world. Access to the Internet has made learning for me more fun, easier and convenient. I can just click any button on my phone and immediately be presented with the relevant information.” 

It is always a pleasure to share the stories of students who are taking their education into their own hands to ensure their future success. Here’s today’s Daily Edventure with Zinzi Nsingwane. 

What drew you to the field of education? Why is it so important to you?

What drew me to the field of education is the passion I have for accounting. I love talking to people who have made it big in life.  I will get more inspired by the people that I will meet.

Can you tell us about a favorite teacher or someone who made a difference in your education?

My favorite teacher is Mr. Nkuna, who always makes sure that each and everyone understands exactly what he is doing in class. He helped me develop a strong bond with mathematics.  

Describe how your professional achievements have advanced your innovations in education. What has changed as a result of your work?

Actually finding passion for what I do and not failing to admit that I cannot be able to do something. So far, I have had opportunities to sit down with people who went into the same educational route as I am taking. I think that I have achieved a lot, not only by doing well in my school work, but also by realizing the areas that I can still improve on. 

How have you applied technology in innovative ways to support you work.

I have been recently using a website called “Goodreads” where I find book reviews, recommendations and also a chance to explore tons and tons of books worldwide. This really helps me to learn new words to improve my grammar and vocabulary.

In your view, what is the most exciting innovation happening in education today?

One thing that I like is that most students are presented with opportunities to use the Internet (laptops or computers) to browse and get more information quickly, rather than carrying a bag full of textbooks that you do not even use. 

Is there a 21st century skill (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration or creativity and innovation) that you most passionate about and why?

Yes, I am more passionate about critical thinking and creativity, because these are the two most crucial skills that allow me to excel where no one is. It gives me the chance to raise my hand with confidence when no one is doing so.

If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be and why?
I would give every child a pen, because with it they could quickly write their story and tell a better story than anyone else. Maybe this could also be a chance for them to actually write down a story that no one has ever written before.

What is your country doing well currently to support education?

My country is trying by all means and making sure that each and every school has a learning facility and proper resources like textbooks and exercise books. 

How must education change in your country to ensure that students are equipped to thrive in the 21st century?

Our country must work with students who lack motivation and inspiration by introducing them to effective and efficient learning.  Additionally, we must provide learners with quicker (and more fun!) ways to obtain information – just like computers and websites such as momaths.com and Khan Academy. 

About Zinzi Nsingwane
Imagine Scholar
South Africa 

  • Birthplace: South Africa, Shongwe hospital.
  • Current residence: SA Mpumalanga
  • Education: Secondary School
  • Website I check everyday: www.worldpulse.com
  • Person who inspires me most: My mother inspires me most, because of her exciting approach to life.
  • Favorite childhood memory: The first time I attended primary school and when I first learned how to write my name.
  • When was the last you laughed? Why?:The last time I laughed was when my dad told me a joke about a girl who hated eating healthy food.
  • Favorite book: The Color Purpleby Alice Walker
  • Favorite music: Rhythm and blues, gospel.
  • What is the advice you have received?: “Always aim higher than lower.”
  • Your favorite quote or motto: “Be the change you seek.”
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