Waterford Kamhlaba United World College Southern Africa - (WKUWCSA)

Senele Mdluli (Swaziland, WK 01-04)

What years did you attend Waterford Kamhlaba? (What forms/year group?)

I attended Waterford from 2001 until 2004, Form 2 until Form 5.

 

Please tell us what you have done or are doing at the moment? (e.g.. what you studied and what field you are currently working in)

I hold a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology. I currently work as a lecturer at Swaziland Christian University, I run a part-time practice as a therapist and I have also recently founded (with three other women) an organization called Kushamiri Human Capital and Wellness, which aims to provide comprehensive psychological and human capital services by integrating various spheres of psychology.

 

 Could you tell us what inspired you to pursue your career path.

From as far back as I was at Waterford, I have always wanted to become a Psychologist. It was, and probably in some ways in Swaziland still is a novel profession. But I think, judging from the perception of what I saw on TV and what it looked like the people were doing, it seemed like such a caring, helping others, filled with wisdom kind of job, and I think that appealed to me. Not that I have achieved all those qualities fully myself, but those are certainly characteristics that are worth admiring and thriving towards. I think I made the right choice because I find my work very internally rewarding.

 

  Did Waterford in any way play a role in your career path choice?

Yes

a.    If yes: then what has that role been.

I think being at WK opened me up to the fact that there was so much diversity in the world, so many ways of being and existing, and that I need not follow a path of a “typical” or more well known (at the time) profession. It made me bolder about my convictions. Certainly also, my interests in psychology have been partially influenced by my WK.. I use my work for social justice, increasing access to mental health care and challenging power and inequality in society (my academic interests are centred around Africanizing Psychology, feminist psychology and community interventions), so I can definitely see a UWC values streak there!


 

   What advice would you have for aspiring students who would want to be involved in
similar areas of expertise?

I would encourage them to be prepared to go to school for a long time. (It took me 7 years of training to become a psychologist), so patience matters. On the plus side, 7 years does not feel that long when you are studying what you actually enjoy. I’d encourage them to also start reading up on the various different specializations within psychology so that they identify their potential area of interest. Psychology is such a broad profession and having people who diversify their interests and hopefully some of them come back to work in Swaziland will certainly enhance and enrich our field.

   Do you have any fond memories of Waterford? Could you possibly share one with us and could we also ask you to send us one or two pictures of your time at WK?


Unfortunately it has been such a long time so I don’t have any pictures I can access immediately.

In terms of fond memories, I am very grateful for the long friendships I formed at WK. I met my best friend in Form 2, back in 2001 at WK and she has never stopped being by my side ever since. Thank you WK for that gift of a beautiful friendship.

It used to be fun sitting outside the tuck-shop during break or after school and hustling for a Jelly Blaster (that was an ice lolly that was a hit back in the early 00s) and of course, the socials were fun!

 

  1. Most embarrassing moment at Waterford?

  2. Coming down the steps from esiveni common room and falling bum first on to the steps and sliding down during lunch at the peak of busy is probably about as embarrassing as it got for me.

 

  1. WK crush?

  2. No comment! LOL All I can say is new year, new people, new crush!
  1. What’s your favorite ’90s jam?

  2. TLC – No Scrubs
  1. Who was in your WK #squad (friend group)?

 

Nontokozo Lanwenya, Mangaliso Mohamed, Nontie Vilakazi (May she rest in power), Xoliswa Ndzimandze

 

  1. Favourite teacher/Most hilarious teacher?

Everywhere I go, my heart still has a soft spot for Mrs. Donkoh, BOC and Mrs. Earnshaw. 

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