Meet Thandile Bob, a DUT Bachelor of Technology (BTech) student, who graduated with top marks for her National Diploma in Public Management despite her tough background.
The graduate, who is one of three siblings raised by a single mother who sells flowers on the streets of Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, as the only way of putting food on the table, graduated cum laude and received the prestigious Dean’s Merit Award for academic excellence yesterday, 23 April 2015, at the Fred Crookes Sport Centre, DUT Steve Biko Campus.
“I am very excited and grateful that my hard work and sleepless nights of studying are widely recognised not only by my lecturers, but by the academic institution as well,” said Bob.
She regards her mother, Nosabatha Bob, as the reason for her success and a role model who constantly encourages her and her siblings to never give up and grab opportunities granted to them with both hands. Without her mother, said Bob, focussing on her studies was not at all challenging.
“In the second semester of my first year class ,my lecturer Dr Dorasamy, once mentioned that if a student had already obtained straight A’s in their first semester, they should continue doing so because there were awards given to the best performers. So from then on, my aim was to be one of the highly recognised academic achievers in DUT but without knowing what awards would be given,” said Bob.
Although she had no idea what award she would be receiving during graduation, the news of her academic success came as no surprise to her as she had been made aware of the fact that she had achieved 18 distinction passes out of the 19 modules she was studying towards obtaining her Diploma.
Bob took her studies seriously; following her own time table, going the extra mile by doing additional research to what was taught in class and ensuring that no one disrupted her academic routine by adding unnecessary pressure on her. Her day would start off with attending lectures and immediately after lunch, would go to the library with her Mechanical Engineering study buddy, Siyasanga Ncwana, to study until midnight. She admits that Ncwana was a great influence on her.
“People would tease me for not having a fun and being a nerd but those words meant nothing to me because at the back of my mind, I knew what I was aiming for, which is being a top achiever. My way of having fun was when I picked up my hockey stick bag to play hockey or when I went jogging. Coming to Durban with no financial assistance was one of the most challenging things I have had to encounter but with the strong encouragement from my friend Siyasanga, I never gave up in the long queues for NSFAS funding after weeks of waking up early to be the first in line.
Everyone must always have a positive attitude towards their studies because that determines your altitude. Plan and stick to your study time table because procrastination never worked for anyone. Always see every challenge as a building block through your personal growth and being. Lastly, consider every encounter as a learning experience. Take it as lesson as it all aims to build your character,” said Bob.
– Thobele Nzama
Pictured: Thandile Bob, DUT Bachelor of Technology (BTech) student, graduates with top marks for her National Diploma in Public Management.