18 January 2016 at 12:24pm
By: Robin Henney
Cape Town – It’s a fitting start to the year for Anushqah van der Ventel.
The matriculant, who achieved six out of seven distinctions, has been inundated with support and
pledges of financial assistance after the Cape Argus reported that she would
not be able to afford her studies after being accepted at Rhodes University.
A seamstress in Elsies River contacted the Cape Argus, saying while she was unable to offer
financial support, she would make Anushqah some outfits for her to look her
best when she heads to Grahamstown.
Aaisha Hendricks, a single mother, was inspired by Anushqah’s success story, having
also struggled to further her own studies. Hendricks’s motto: “Looking good is
the key to feeling good”.
“When you wake up in the morning and you look in your closet and you have to decide what to
wear before you start your day?
“This will help Anushqah feel good about what she’ll be wearing” she said.
Hendricks studied fashion design at Northlink College, completing her course in 2014. She
creates couture garments, focusing on quality and custom design.
“I was moved and inspired by Anushqah’s story of success… I wish so much good for her.”
Opening her home and design studio to the Cape Argus, Hendricks said she was excited for
Immediately after the two met, they shared each other’s desire for knowledge and an
appreciation of hard work.
No stranger to hardships and long nights, Hendricks was often forced to bring her
four-year-old daughter, Raghma, to lectures when she couldn’t find a babysitter.
Her persistence and drive paid off when she won the design competition at her college for her
Byzantine-inspired evening wear.
Anushqah was overwhelmed by Hendricks’s offer to create garments for her. She also expressed
her frustrations at living in Manenberg, where gang violence was rife.
Anushqah told the Cape Argus on Sunday that she often felt “held back intellectually” and
that people’s perceptions of Manenberg frustrated her.
“Manenberg has a set of expectations; if you’re a girl here you’re expected to be a statistic.
“I wouldn’t change my circumstances, though. My challenges gave me the drive to succeed and
without it, I wouldn’t have all the opportunities I have now.”