Proserpina Dhlamini-Fisher attended Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa from 1979 – 1983. A Swazi national, Proserpina was a student at Waterford Kamhlaba when it first became a UWC in 1981. Currently, she lives in Geneva, Switzerland, where she works for the IB Diploma Programme as the Regional Manager for schools in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Proserpina believes that her UWC education gave her the confidence to succeed in life:
“Not only was I learning, but I also got a better and somewhat more realistic view of the world, concluding that it is big and yet so small and that we are all different as individuals and so much the same too. It also gave me the ability to dream and hope and take control of my future with my education.”
Due to what she describes as “an endless, insatiable desire to learn and better myself”, Proserpina went on to do a BA in Social Sciences from UNISWA in Swaziland, a BA in Humanities from Université de Stendahl – Grenoble, France and Université de la Sorbonne, and a Masters in International Education from the College of New Jersey –USA. She is currently in the process of studying for an MBA from Edinburgh Business School, UK.
In terms of her earlier career, Proserpina worked as a language teacher and an external examiner in Swaziland and South Africa, spearheaded a powerful outreach programme in a Johannesburg school, and Founded Humusha Languages- a translation and events management company.
“I have aspired to make a difference to all that I touch and come across in my work experience as well as finding an amazing passion for community service. I have many a time found myself as the minority person, and saw that as a way to share who I am and where I come from. I represent not only Swaziland, but Africa as a whole in many areas of my work life. I now understand that helping others is not about shouting from a mountain top, but rather that all efforts do make a small dent for the better. Whilst working at the American School of Johannesburg I spearheaded the school outreach programme working with students in townships, mainly Diepsloot and Mabopane (tutoring, feeding schemes, Art, Sport, sponsoring students, Habitat for Humanity, orphanages and other activities).”
“My UWC experience taught me that we have choices that we can make from an early age, and that we do not have to follow the crowd in any way! We are responsible for the decisions we make and it makes one a stronger person when one is confronted with situations out of one’s comfort zone. Also with education, every day is another learning day and it never stops! You can choose how you act, react and interact with others around you and there is goodness in all of us!”
Proserpina describes her favourite UWC memory as “Existing on this mountain (Waterford Kamhlaba) at the heart of apartheid and not seeing any segregation throughout my high school life, and laughing that the odd couples at the College were those that had the same ethnic background!”