Lisa Nqala

The blog is about being optimistic and being happy with what you have already achieved.

Monday 22 November 2021

My journey to the 30th Birthday - Trauma after Trauma (Part 1)

I was raised by my grandmother while my mother was working at Spur and studying part-time. I came from a disadvantage background, poverty and limited resources. I lost my mother when I was only seven years old in 1997.  In 1998 I lost my grandmother. At that time death was not as popular as today. I was lost and hopeless. It was trauma after trauma. My cousin Ncumisa came to stay with me and my aunty in 1998. I got a new friend, we were like twins. I also become too close to my father who was also staying in Durban. He would travel from Durban to Bizana after a week or three weeks or a month to come see me after my mother and grandmother passed away.

 In 2008 I went through the trauma again when my father got sick and pass away, and that time I just completed my matric and looking for a school to study further. I officially become an orphan. I was completely broken again and feeling hopeless. It was too dark in my life I could not understand what was going on. 

 In 2016 when I just applied for my Master’s degree in internal Auditing at Cput. My cousin Ncumisa got sick. I begged her to fight and not allow what I went through to happen again. I trusted God that He would heal her. I was the one who was telling my family members that she would get better. I really believed that she would get better, until on a Friday afternoon when I got a phone call from home and was told that she passed away. I was in my room at rez (student residence) just got back from work.

I hit a rock bottom. I went home for her funeral and when I came back I was not myself. I was completely broken again, I could not put myself together. I lost weight, I lost faith in God. I couldn't even pray, every time I tried to pray I would break down and cry, I just did not know what to say to God. I was sad, disappointed and lost hope in God. Nothing was going well. I then decided to resign at work, I pause my research, at that time I was still busy with my research proposal, I could not focus because I was not myself. I packed my bags and went home in November and came back in January 2017 to start over. What I have learned that time was that you can die inside in front of everyone and not even one person could notice. When I came back from home I started over, got a new job and continued with my thesis and became optimistic again but I lost trust in the lord. My relationship with God lack faith and it was so bad and it broke me. I could pray but in my prayer faith was lacking.

Written by Lisa Nqala


Sunday 21 November 2021

My journey to the 30th Birthday (Part 2)

Got accepted at CPUT.

The letter that changed everything.

After Matric, I worked at the laundry as a laundry assistant and as a domestic worker in Margate, KZN. It was hard and I felt hopeless, watching my peers going to varsity. I was surrounded by negativity and discouraged, I felt like my life was a joke.  I used the money that I got from my job to phone the universities and request for application forms and to send them back to the universities.

Got accepted at CPUT for NHC: Accountancy and that was the biggest turnaround of my life. I prayed to God for school (University) every day from the day I left high school. When I got an acceptance letter from CPUT I just did not know what to do, I was so emotional and thankful to God. Education was my silent prayer even when I was just walking to the shop or to home or church I would ask God to give me chance to go to varsity in order for me to change my life and rebuild my dignity. 

Going to varsity was not just anything for me, it was everything that is the reason why I never wasted time or took the opportunity for granted. I wanted to make myself and God proud. I got accepted by three institutions, two for education and one for accounting so I decided to go with CPUT because I love accounting and auditing, I have always wanted to be an Auditor. Although I was advised to choose education (teachers course) because it’s easy to finish and to get a job once you finish. And also because of my background, people feared that I would not survive if I choose accounting and auditing because I could not speak English properly. 

From primary school till high school, English was our second language, and in rural areas, we were taught in Xhosa even English.  Even in class when you ask a question, you ask it in Xhosa and the Teacher would respond in Xhosa, so at varsity, it was going to be hard for me to adapt. That was the risk I was willing to take. Most people did not believe that I would survive at the varsity and in a big city.  

I was also surrounded by negativity people, telling me that many people in my village who did Auditing course but could not get an Auditing job and end up working as admin clerk, and why am I doing a course that won’t get me a job? That also put pressure on me. 

Another struggle was that my classmates were two years younger than me, I was old so I struggle to find friends that were in my age. My peers were doing their third years already because after matric they went straight to varsity. I just decided to accept that my life is different and it’s my story and it does not have to be the same as other people, and after that, I owned my story, I found peace and I focus on the reason why I was there.

Written by Lisa Nqala


Saturday 20 November 2021

My journey to the 30th Birthday (Part 3)

Certificate of Service as the student assistant at the computer lab 2013.

In 2012 I was so concerned about my shyness. I was so shy and insecure because of where I come from and my previous experience and body shaming I had to go through during my junior and high school years.

 I decided to apply for a part-time job at the Computer lab as a student assistant on campus. I submitted my curriculum vitae and they phone me and ask for my time table I submitted it and I got the job. I was so excited and scared. I was excited that I finally took an action about my problem and that I got a job, I would get an extra income and at the same time, I was not sure what I was getting myself into. Bear in mind that I was extremely shy plus I am from rural areas and cannot communicate properly in English. But I had to face my fear and I hate limiting myself. 

I am a firm believer that they will never be a perfect time for anything because the word perfect does not really exist in real life. At the computer lab, I had to stand in front of the students and walk around the lab attending to students query and make sure that the students adhere to the rules and regulations of the lab. On the first day, I did well and was excited about the next day and the students I was working with were so helpful and that made things so easy and exciting for me. After that I became a new person, I became better and more confident in my own skin. I was awarded a certificate of service. I was so happy, proud and inspired by myself.

Written by Lisa Nqala


Friday 19 November 2021

My journey to the 30th Birthday (Part 4)

First Graduation 2014

Graduated for Diploma in Internal Auditing

In 2014 I graduated for my Diploma in internal Auditing, I felt like I have proved to myself, the people who doubted me and others that I could do it.  I remember when I started at varsity, I promised myself that I would not date or be in a real relationship until I graduate. I did not want any complications. I did not want to disappoint myself and people who believed in me. I did not want anything to go wrong. It was my first graduation, I was so proud of myself. I made my mother and my family proud. People could celebrate me now in my village not to feel sorry for me because of my early childhood trauma. I was so inspired by myself, I wanted more so I applied for BTech in Internal Auditing.

Written by Lisa Nqala


Wednesday 17 November 2021

My journey to the 30th Birthday (Part 5)

Graduated for BTech in Internal Auditing

I applied for BTech in Internal Auditing and got accepted. Again I was alone with no friends, I had to make new friends for BTech since my friends did not continue after their Diploma graduation that year.

The biggest problem was that I did not have money for registration for Btech and I did not have anyone to pay for my BTech fees since NSFAS did not fund BTech students. During the holidays I worked in the laundry so that I could pay for my travelling expenses back to school. I decided to return to school early so that I could look for a job as a student assistant during registration so that I could get money for my registration including accommodation. 
I arrived at CPUT student resident and I had to provide the reason for occupying the resident early.  I told them that I will be assisting with the registration and I was asked to provide a letter that says I am employed as the student assistant during the registration. I was so stressed because I have not got the job yet, I was still going to beg the following day to work during registration. I woke up early the following day and went to campus fortunately for me, I got the job, I signed the contract and got the letter from our supervisor and that time I was able to register and continue with my studies. 

Our course moved to the other campus, still, when I got there I looked for a job at the library to assist after my classes and I got the job. My classes during the day were between 8:30 to 16:00 pm and usually, end around 15:30.

 At 16:00 I would start working at the library lab and finish at 22:00 when the library closes and on Saturdays. It was tough but I was so grateful about the opportunity to register, get the accommodation on campus and for my BTech and still get a job at the library for some extra cash. 
Towards the end of the year, my friends and I were so worried about what we were going to do after the BTech. We applied for internships and I got accepted as a finance intern at the Department of correction services. I failed one module for Btech that year. I was doing more than 5 module full time and working after hours and on weekends. I was surprised because I thought I was going to fail more than one module because of the pressure and the time. I was so scared. But I manage to pass most of my modules, the following year I was doing my internship and repeating the module I failed. Still, my BTech fee for the previous year was not paid so I struggled to register the module and I couldn't just let it go after all my hard work I had to register that module and pass it so that I could get my BTech.

 I had to make an arrangement and pay a certain percentage at school. I asked my family member to take a loan under her name and pay her direct to her bank account the monthly instalment. I was only getting less than R5000 a month for my internship and had to pay R2 200 every month for my education loan for two years. I passed my module and I qualified for graduation. I graduated for my BTech in Internal Auditing. I was so inspired by myself I fought for my dreams and worked hard. I wanted more.  I applied for Masters in Internal Auditing. I was also discouraged by people and had to deal with negativity because some people thought Masters are not for people like me, considering my disadvantage background.

Written by Lisa Nqala


Monday 15 November 2021

My journey to the 30th Birthday (Part 6)

Masters internal Auditing 2016

I applied for Masters in Internal Auditing in 2016, I had to write a research proposal and submit it to my department and I had to register only if my proposal gets accepted. I struggled and it was so stressful because I had to wait for three months for the research proposal feedback before I register. It was hectic and I was vulnerable, I had to encourage myself. I told myself that it was a risk worth taking. I knew deep down in my heart that this is what I wanted and there is no turning back. I had to finish my proposal and make sure that it’s properly done and it gets accepted. I got the feedback and I was accepted for Masters in internal auditing. I had to register, still, I had an outstanding fees for my BTech, and I had to take another loan at least at that time I was permanently employed so I took it under my name. 

Written by Lisa Nqala


Saturday 13 November 2021

My journey to the 30th Birthday (Part 7)

My first publication in the peer-reviewed international journal         

My research supervisor asked me to write a research paper and submit the abstract to him and he submitted it to the conference. 

I did that I submitted my abstract and it got accepted for the presentation at the conference. I could not go to the conference to present it but my supervisor went to present it on my behalf. We submitted the final paper and it was reviewed and accepted for publication. It was published in 2017.

In 2018 my thesis chapters were all finished but I struggled to get them reviewed. I felt stuck and hopeless but I told myself I will never give up I just have to find ways to get my research moving. I got myself a co-supervisor in 2019. I started to see progress and felt more in love again with my research. I wrote a research paper and attended two research conferences and presented my papers myself. Lamapisa conference 2019 and Essa conference 2019. It was my first time to present a research paper at the conference. I felt grateful, motivated and inspired again.

Written by Lisa Nqala


Tuesday 9 November 2021

My journey to the 30th Birthday (Part 8)

Essa conference 2019

I wrote a paper myself and submitted it to the Essa. I got feedback after a month that my paper was accepted for the presentation at the conference. I was so happy, motivated and inspired. I did everything myself, wrote the paper myself, presented the paper myself, paid for the registration, accommodation, travelling cost, food and language editing. I wanted to prove that it is possible, your future is in your hand. You do not have to be stuck just because someone decided to hinder your success. You do not have to waste your energy blaming, arguing and fighting with people because that energy is not good for you and you need to be surrounded with the good and positive energy. 

Written by Lisa Nqala


Friday 5 November 2021

My journey to the 30th Birthday (Part 9)

Lisa Nqala blog spot

I started my blog in 2015. I worked on it over the four years and I decided to buy a domain name in 2018. I also decided to take it seriously and do professional photoshoot now and then. I don’t want it to be perfect and I don’t expect people to expect it to be perfect because it represents me. I am not perfect.  I don’t want it to be something I am not. It represents the person I was before and the person I am now. The aim of my blog is to inspire and influence my audience through my journey. To connect with people through my experiences and encourage vulnerability and not be ashamed of who you are or what you are going through. To share my experiences, to tell my stories of victories and my lessons.

Written by Lisa Nqala

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