Born in Bothas Hill, a small town out of Durban in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, Victoria Gasa comes from a Christian home. She is second out of three sisters. Her grandfather was a school principal who educated his children quite well. Growing up in a family where education has always been valued, Victoria always looked up to her uncles and aunts who were teachers, engineers or employed in public sector at good positions.
While the situation was slightly different for Victoria’s mother..
During the late 80s and early 90s, South Africa was operating under the apartheid regime. This meant that there were limited opportunities for the black community at the time. Victoria’s mother was a single parent when she was born and later got married.
During Victoria’s kindergarten level, she went to pursue an undergraduate degree from the University of Natal and continued working in the mid 90s. She further pursued her postgraduate degree whilst having to juggle work, family and school at the same time.
Having a highly demanding and stressful job, being a wife and a mother to three daughters all of whom were studying at tertiary level, the time was a serious challenge where discipline and determination had to prevail.
The motive was to encourage her 3 daughters to have the desire to learn more and study further in a country where there is high youth unemployment and lack of skills in the workplace. She also wanted her daughters to work towards growing the family business which she started in 2006 so that they can create further opportunities for growth and play their part in alleviating poverty within their community.
And then this happened..
Victoria’s mother decided to join her daughter for master’s degree at University of Kwazulu-Natal. But the road ahead wasn’t easy, especially when she had to struggle with back pain in January 2019. She also had to undergo a spine surgery. This surgery was inevitable to make sure she is able to walk in future. This was during the research phase of her master’s program where she had to stay in bed for weeks before she could start physiotherapy. However, that did not stop her as she soldiered on and led by example that even if it gets tough and sometimes even physically painful, you must pick yourself up and finish what you started.
Marching ahead with her undying spirit, Victoria’s mother is a source of motivation for her daughters as well as her peers. In her words- “it is never too late to start something and that there is value in educating your mind with new ideas even if you are approaching retirement.”
While we all want our parents by our side on our convocations, it was a bit different for Victoria. Her mother aged 56 was also receiving her master’s degree by her side. While the mother was conferred with a Master’s degree in Public Administration, Victoria received her degree for Master of Business Administration. What a special moment for mother daughter duo.
In Victoria’s words, “my mother is my role model and for us to achieve this at the same time meant that she was able to impart some of her remarkable values and gifts to me, that will also help me to lead by example in everything I do.”
This is not the end..
With the slogan in mind “Nothing is Impossible with God”, they are now planning to start their PhD’s together as well. They are still investigating research topics that will enable them to make a meaningful impact in business as well as in community development.
IshkiMishki wishes this powerful duo great success in future and fulfillment of their objectives towards upliftment of their community. You go girls!