EASTERN Cape Afro-Soul singer Berita Khumalo is hoping her passion for education will inspire matriculants to rise above their challenges.
The Thandolwethu singer wants to help struggling matriculants find direction by giving motivational talks across the province later this year.
The 22-year- old Khumalo, who was born in Zimbabwe and now lives in East London, performed at the Boardwalk and Eyethu Sports Bar at the weekend.
"Education has always been close to my heart.
"I know how it feels when your parents can't afford to pay for your varsity fees.
"I was once in that situation, which was depressing, but through determination and hard work I'm now doing my third year in Financial Information Systems," the Metro FM award-winner said.
She said even though her music paid the bills, she strongly believed in the importance of getting an education.
"There are a lot of pupils who are facing challenges in life. I don't want them to give up because that is not the answer. I'll go to their schools and talk about the difficulties of life and also offer them solutions.
"This is a critical time in their lives and they have to focus on their school work," Khumalo said, just before giving an impromptu performance for school children at a fast-food restaurant yesterday.
The shy Khumalo, who won the Best Afro Album at the Metro FM Awards earlier this year, said even her manager Luyolo Beku knew her studies were a priority.
"Sometimes I have to cancel gigs, especially when I am studying," the Walter Sisulu University student said.
Khumalo is thrilled about her South African Traditional Music Awards nomination in the Best Afro Soul category.
"The Metro FM awards opened many doors for me.
"I've performed in big festivals and I also did a show with American singer Kenny Latimore. My album is also fast approaching gold."