‘I’ll live to honour her’ – Njabulo Ntombela on his graduation with his grandmother

2018-04-24 15:08
(UKZN via Facebook)

(UKZN via Facebook)

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It was a tear-jerking moment when 27-year-old Njabulo Ntombela – all dressed in his traditional Zulu attire – took his gogo on stage at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) graduation ceremony last week.

The video of the young law graduate putting his gown on his 89-year-old gran instantly went viral, with many saying it was the greatest graduation moment of 2018.

Speaking to DRUM, Njabulo said he’d planned that moment for a long time.

"I have always wanted to make my grandmother happy but obviously I never had the resources, so I planned to make that moment about her and make her rise and shine in front of all the people that day," he says.

Having lost both his parents when he was 14, Njabulo was raised by his gogo, who was his breadwinner in rural Nkandla. After matric he moved to Durban then Pietermaritzburg to further his studies at UKZN.

"My grandmother was my foundation. She provided for me and I remained very connected to her even when I left home to study."

On his graduation day, Njabulo says he was nervous his gran wouldn’t allow him to take her on stage as she’s shy.

"I was very surprised and overjoyed when she went with the flow and walked with me as I went up to accept my degree.

"After the ceremony my family and I had a small braai to celebrate and I thanked her for everything she has done for me and she said, ‘No, thank you because you’re the one who has made us proud today’ – this made me even happier," he says.

He’s graduated and made his family proud, so what next? Njabulo says he’s had a few offers from law firms to complete his articles.

"I am happy I have had a few offers and my career can finally begin," Njabulo says.

His plans for his future are also extremely clear.

"I will live to honour her [his gogo]. I do not plan on having any children while my grandmother is alive because I want to provide for her first and for my siblings and all the aunts who were there for me and helped me through," he says confidently.

"At home, we still only have mud houses – I want to change that. Depending on my resources I want to build my family a beautiful home before doing anything of my own. That is the plan."

See the beautiful moment Njabulo shared with his gogo:


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