Juggling Academia, Poetry and Aviation Studies, UFH Super-achiever does it all

Read time: 2 mins

If you can dream it, you can achieve it!

When she is not attending classes, 2nd year UFH Speech Therapy student, Ms Tsatsawani Renee Makamu flies aircraft as a part-time aviation trainee. She is also an award-winning Xitshonga poet.

The 21-year-old was born and raised in Xibangwa Village outside Malamulele in Limpopo. In an interview with This Week@FortHare,  Makamu said being a pilot has always been her life-long dream. “I was six-years old when I decided I wanted to be a pilot,” she said.

In 2018, after completing Matric,  Makamu enrolled at the Madiba Bay School of Flight in Port Elizabeth,  where she is currently doing her practical training for a Private Pilot License course.

The following year,   in 2019,  she registered for a BSc in Speech Therapy at the University of Fort Hare and is still pursuing the programme.

“During the week I attend classes,  and on the days I don’t have classes including weekends, I book my flights.  So there are no resting days for me,” she said.

In addition to juggling her studies, she also makes time to feed her other passion – writing poetry. “This is a gift  I uncovered in Grade 9 when I was selected to recite a poem for our school principal. Since that day,  I never stopped writing and reciting. It does not consume much of my time because it is  something I do in my spare time to entertain people.”

To date,  she has written 25 poems.  In 2019 she was crowned winner of the Xitshonga Poetry competition.  She draws her inspiration from multi-award winning South African poet, Gcina Mhlophe.

Ms Makamu is living proof that no dream is out of reach. With the right attitude, it is possible to achieve anything and everything.