My name is Ntombifuthi Khoza and I am 23 years old. My dad named me Ntombifuthi which means “girl again” because I am the youngest of three sisters. Growing up I was more of a tomboy; I played soccer and all of my friends were boys. Apparently when I was a toddler whenever someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d give one of the following three answers: “I want to be a dad”, or, “I want to be a taxi driver,” or finally, “I want to be Okpara,” (Orlando Pirates goalkeeper 1990-2002).
Some kids know from an early age what they want to be when they grow up. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but life took me on a different path. After matric I planned to go to varsity, get my law degree, and slay in this life thing. But my problem was I felt I would never be good enough at anything and that the world was laughing at me.
I always knew I had a problem in the way I read and how I struggled with spelling all my life. I managed to hide my problem from everyone else throughout my primary and high-school years but I always had that one friend I trusted with my writing. I loved writing poems and short stories so whenever I wrote something I would ask that friend to proofread it for me. In 2016 a lecturer advised me to see the campus physiologist whom I was able to talk to about my reading and writing problems. He referred me to a specialist who finally gave me a medical diagnosis.
I am dyslexic.
Even with this problem I still wanted to make something out of myself. I studied BA Communication at North-West University and have recently completed a High Certificate in Television and Screen Media at The Academy of Sound Engineering. I could have dropped out of varsity and given up on education, but I didn’t. I was called different names by family members and people I called friends, and even lecturers told me to drop out because all they could see was money being wasted with every year I went back to school. A lecturer once said to me that if she were my mother she wouldn’t be wasting her money on someone like me.
In life we get the opportunity to learn every day and the opportunity to grow with every experience and situation we go through. I had created a box and a safe zone around myself filled with fear and self-pity, and depended on other people’s approval for my happiness. I have learned that this is no way to live. I have so much to offer and I can’t carry on keeping this bag of awesomeness locked up in a box somewhere! Yes, I am awesome and am creative; I have a kind heart and love with no reservations and with no regret.
Being a woman to me means being able to fall and pick yourself up again, understanding who you are, and what completes you. As an inspiring film-maker I’d one day like to make a movie on dyslexia and hate crimes. I also want to compile a book of successes where young achievers come together to write short stories about their successes that can inspire others to change their lives.