All good things come to those who wait and after 23 years of looking after her family, Adiela Regaldien of Wynberg started her own journey in education, inspiring and motivating others along the way.
After raising five children, she completed her matric at the age of 41, in 2013.
“Agter os kom ook in die kraal,” is how Ms Regaldien describes the way her life turned out.
Her mission did not end there and she studied further, completing a BEd to become a teacher. She is currently teaching Grade 2s at Douglas Road Primary School, in Wynberg, while tackling her BEd Honours degree.
Ms Regaldien had been a pupil at Wynberg High School and had applied at a college to study teaching, but when she failed matric in 1990 she never went back to finish it.
A year and a half later, she got married to her husband Mahdie, and after her first child was born, she got side-tracked, raising her family and forgetting about studying, until now.
Her proud husband, also a teacher, who is her biggest supporter and inspiration, called Southern Mail to write her story.
“My mother, who raised 10 children, said to me ‘marry a woman several years younger than you, and see that she never ever works’. I followed her advice and asked my wife to stay at home to look after the family.”
Ms Regaldien said she does not regret staying at home and her husband said he didn’t understand what his mother meant until their first baby was born. “Unfortunately, we had to be patient as I was the only one working in the house and after 23 years my wife had a chance to shine,” he said proudly.
But while raising a family is not easy, Ms Regaldien could not sit still. “I was selling pies and samoosas, then I started a lift club when two of my children were in high school. I also managed to do that for 15 years.
“I first had four children and my fifth one came later at the age of 36. He went to crèche when I was 39 years old and then only I decided to do my matric. It was also a year after my eldest daughter completed her matric.”
She graduated from Southern Suburbs Youth Academy in Parkwood two years later in 2013.
She didn’t stop there and decided to follow her lifelong dream – to teach.
“I still had my house to run so I applied at UNISA part-time.”
She said going back to school after all those years, plus running the house and taking care of five children was not easy. But faith and passion for teaching kept her going. She did 10 subjects a year and in her first year she obtained seven distinctions.
She said she didn’t want to just pass but do very well. “I surprised my own kids,” said MsRegaldien.
With her determination to succeed, she could see her children’s transformation. “When I started studying, all my children’s results improved.”
Looking back she said there were times when the whole family were studying in the dark during load shedding.
She said her eldest daughter Aneeqah, 25, got married last year. The second eldest is Ilhaam, 21, followed by Mushfiqah, 17, Ebrahim, 16, and the “laat lammetjie” Mogamad Zain, 10.
Being the inspiration in the family, Ms Regaldien said she also inspired two of her nieces who are now also studying teaching.
“Two of my Grade 2 pupils’ parents are also going into teaching.”
Ms Regaldien’s new life definitely began at 41, and it will not stop there, she said.