Ice Cream
Photo Credit: Rhodes University

If you ever bought an ice cream from Sisipho Hamlomo on the East London Esplanade you were part of a group that help him fund his education.


East London, South Africa (10 October 2022)Mr Sisipho Hamlomo is a lecturer in Mathematical statistics at Rhodes University, but before he joined the faculty, he grew up selling ice cream on the East London Esplanade to pay for his school uniform.

The Buffalo City Tourism team took time this weekend to congratulate Mr Hamlomo for his inspiring accomplishment. The inspiring story started when Sisipho needed to fund his new school uniform for Grade 10. He decided to sell ice cream to beachgoers and tourists and did really well. He was able to successfully fund his entire uniform and it set him on a path to greatness.

Sisipho Hamlomo was raised with his brother and three sisters in East London; his family later relocated to Centani in the Eastern Cape where he matriculated from Isolomzi Senior Secondary. He grew up in a home solely reliant on social grants and the family often struggled to make ends meet. In recalling his youth, Mr Hamlomo remembers going to school in clothing that wasn’t weather-appropriate, often with no shoes or warm jacket.

“There were some moments when I felt like going to school was not worth it. My teacher would ask me why I was wearing a shirt when it was that cold, and I would lie and say I did not look at the weather. Mrs Dabula eventually decided to buy me my first school jacket”

Thankfully, Mr Hamlomo pushed through his adversity and went on to thrive in his studies. He used his school holidays to sell ice creams and was finally able to purchase a full school uniform. In grade eleven, Ms Mgudlwa, his mathematics teacher, set him on a path that would forever change his future. Mr Hamlomo hated mathematics; he struggled through it, but when Ms Mgudlwa began teaching his class, it all just clicked.

Mr Hamlomo took a gap year in which he taught mathematics at his old high school before applying to Rhodes University. He was successful and also earned funding through the Rural Education Access Programme.

“Success is always a process, never an event. Live each day proud of all the things you have acquired and remember where you came from”.

Mr Hamlomo joined the Rhodes University faculty in 2022. He studied at Rhodes University obtaining a BSc in Mathematical Statistics and Mathematics in 2019, a BSc (Hons) in Mathematical Statistics and Mathematics in 2020 and his MSc in Mathematical Statistics from Rhodes University in 2022.

Mr Hamlomo teaches undergraduate Statistics and Mathematical Statistics courses and supervises postgraduate students. He isn’t done studying just yet! He is currently reading towards a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Mathematics under the supervision of Dr Atemkeng.

Sources: Buffalo City Tourism. / Rhodes University
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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