Zim student sets example of fortitude and focus

2012-04-18 00:00

THIS week marks the end of a long road for Zimbabwean Hloniphani Ndebele.

He arrived in Pietermaritzburg in 2009 to study for a Master’s Degree with tuition fees covered but nothing else.

Luckily, he picked up work on campus as a research assistant and as a tutor.

Tomorrow, he’ll finally be capped with a master’s degree in Zulu from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

“This is such a good feeling for me because it took some time to get to where I am.

“I never thought I would get such an achievement,” he told The Witness. Ndebele became interested in studying at UKZN after finding out that they offer free tuition for students wanting to enrol for a full-time master’s degree.

“This was a great opportunity and I couldn’t let it go,” he said.

When he moved to South Africa he was determined to make his dreams come true.

The road wasn’t easy for him as he encountered challenges that made him doubt if he would ever finish his studies.

He told The Witness: “While I was studying I had financial problems and I didn’t have funding for my research. I thought that this would affect my studies, and was very surprised and happy when I got my results.”

His troubles were over when he was appointed as a tutor and a research assistant at his department.

“I got very lucky and the money really helped me. It contributed to my studies and my rent,” he said.

There were distractions and a lot of temptations, but that didn’t make Ndebele lose focus.

He kept reminding himself of why he moved to SA.

“I was very lucky because I am not a socialite. I always knew what I wanted when I got here. For me, it was more than just about getting a degree, it was about economic freedom,” Ndebele said.

Now, he has enrolled for PhD at UKZN and is dermined to excel.

• Siyathemba.Ben@media24.com

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