Philiswa Dlamini with her supervisor after graduation

Against all odds , DUT’s Philiswa Dlamini graduated cum laude in her Degree of Master of Health Sciences in Dental Technology during the Faculty of Management Sciences session on the 13 September 2017.

The success of the 29-year-old from Inanda could not be determined by her background as she strived for the best in life. “For someone who was raised by a single mom, who had passed away when I was in grade 11, and who comes from one of the most underprivileged of backgrounds, studying this far is a real miracle for me. As much as I have always loved education, none of us in my family thought that I would get this far,” said Dlamini.

She had always been very successful academic from primary school, however, she had experienced a lot of difficulty during her high school years.

“Since the nature of a research project is not only dependent on one’s intellectual abilities, but it is rather influenced by a number of ‘real world’ factors. Graduating with cum laude is a great honour for me, given the fact that this was a long and painful journey,” she added.

Meanwhile, Dlamini believes that her excellent result are a result of  her dedication and love for education.

“I think passion is the driver of excellence, I am very fervent about the area of my research. The same passion enabled me to persist through the roughest of stages during my studies and it kept me focused at all times,” said Dlamini.

With all the challenges faced by the country in the spectrum of higher education, Dlamini believes that it is all up to the young generation to change their lives through education.

“Firstly, I always tell youngsters that finances should not have a significant impact over their education.  The most important thing is good performance, dedication and focus. If one has all these, finances will sort itself out,” said Dlamini.

She also said that her results would not have been achieved without the support and patience of her three supervisors, Mrs R Sunder, Mr G Bass and Professor T Puckree.

“At the very beginning, Professor Sioux Mckenna took us through a short introductory research methodology course. Her passion for research and for developing novice researchers made everything seem doable. Professor Moyo did also always support me when I needed it, I am really blessed to have had them guide me,” she said.

Pictured: Philiswa Dlamini

Mbuso Kunene.