After months of secretly studying until the early hours of the morning, Steven Arendse obtained his N2 certificate in Mechanical Engineering. The 27-year-old former trolley attendant at a supermarket in Epping, decided that he would do what it takes to reach his dreams.

“I didn’t care that people might look down on me,” Arendse told News24.

A frequent shopper at the supermarket, Jasmine Arnold posted his inspirational story on popular Facebook group #ImStaying:

“A Feel Good Story. I never profile people I meet, however, this made me feel sooo warm and fuzzy. I often shop at Giants in Epping and came across this young man (a few times nogal). He gathers trolleys. Always very friendly. This morning he told me he found a permanent job and I will not see him here anymore. He is…….wait for it, a qualified Mechanical Engineer, studied online at night and now he’s qualified. He got himself a job in Stikland. He stood there telling me that he never wants to do this again, but he will never forget it as God has shown him that “hard work pays off” …… Amazing to say the least. You can, he did…..collecting trolleys and just added value to his own life by improving himself. I am sooo proud of him, I could not contain myself when he told me this. Congratulations Steven Arendse from Mitchells Plain, you are a true example of ‘YOU CAN'”

He was happy to get the job at the supermarket in a time where work is scarce, as he has a partner and two boys to care for. He didn’t tell his family about his ambitions, partly for fear the whole thing might be an online scam and partly to surprise them with the good news. His girlfriend, mother and sister couldn’t believe their ears when he finally told them. “They were so shocked when they found out,” he laughs.

What makes his endeavour even more admirable, is the fact that he did it all on his cellphone. “I would stay up every night till 12am, 1am, 2am to work on my course on my cellphone. I must admit my eyes did burn [looking at the small screen],” he adds.

When the time finally came for him to fetch his certificate form Northlink College, he was relieved. Not one to wait around, he has already gone for an interview and secured a permanent position at a company in Stikland. He also has bigger plans yet, aiming for a further N3 certificate as well in the future. For now, he is excited for the new adventure that is ahead and we can’t help but feel inspired by his unwavering determination.

Picture: Facebook/Jasmine Arnold

Article written by

Anita Froneman