by Siyabonga Ndwandwe
I am Kwanda Siyabonga Ndwandwe from Bulandzeni, St Peregrines Parish, where I discovered I had a vocation in Priesthood. I attended my primary at St Peregrines then progressed to Piggs Peak Central High School(PCH).
Through the exposure to the Catholic church, at the tender age of 8 years I first confessed I have a vocation, my parents said. Well, they thought I was joking as always. I saw myself in a chasuble. I imagined myself being present to the troubled and poor, that was as I grew up.
When I got to high school I became ignorant towards this calling due to the influence of friends and that I didn’t want to be the topic of gossip at school. Basically, my former schoolmates were shocked that I chose the seminary over varsity because they thought I was completely diverging from church affairs. Surprisingly I did accept my vocation.
To witness I have a vocation, I had to stay at home after finishing my primary school. Why? Our income at home was only enough for us to survive at home and to cater for my older brother’s school fees whoup was in Form 4 that time. So I had to wait for him to finish then resume high school. Fortunately, a man from the neighbourhood,a cop who resided or worked in Piggs Peak that time came with news that there is a sponsor from Canada (Hampton) who is so desperate to spend his pension to pay one’s school fees only at PCH. That Canadian catered for my fees up to my last day in high school. Isn’t that wonderful?
It didn’t end there. Apparently, the sponsor needed to pay fees to only that high school, which means I had to migrate to Piggs Peak at 13years of age. I had never been there, and none of my relatives has ever resided that side. Amazingly, I took all the staff I might need and travelled to the small town. I can vividly recall that I knocked at one door, a stone’s throw away from PCH, the stranger had my concerns and nodded yes. That stranger turned out to play the role of a Father to me for 5 years. They way we created a bond, it was even difficult for me to leave after finishing high school. He is still a Father to me today since he has an impact to what I am today.
It’s also surprising that I never submitted my scholarship forms or tried applying for varsity. I still wonder why? When all my classmates were busy going up and down applying, the calling in me dominated my mind and I didn’t want anything else besides Priesthood.
I want acknowledge that the priests of the diocese did help me to accept this vocation, Fr Zweli Ngwenya , Fr Wiseman Nkomo to name a few. To wrap up, a vocation lives, through all the circumstances I’ve been through, it’s clear that I was being driven to a certain somebody’s desire. Here I am now, happy as if I have done everything that a man on earth should do. A vocation lives, it’s real.