Ntokozo Zulu, a first-year Experience and Residence Education Programme Co-ordinator at the University’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) graduated with his Master’s degree in Language Practice this morning (9H00) during the faculty of Arts and Design’s graduation ceremony.
Zulu and his five siblings were raised by his single unemployed mother in Empangeni, Northern KwaZulu-Natal. “I am the first in my family to matriculate and I am also the first one to graduate and obtain a Master’s degree,” he said proudly.
Growing up he idolised criminals and shortly after Matric he was mixed up with the wrong crowd until he was woken up by the death and arrest of two good friends. Although he was engaged in crime, Zulu loved poetry and from his love for poetry, he became curious about other indigenous languages in Africa. “Looking at the responsibility I had to look after my family, I had to think out of the box and that was when I took my love for poetry and interest in languages into the classroom,” said Zulu.
He then enrolled for a National Diploma in Language Practice and for both his Diploma and Bachelor of Technology Degree he was awarded Cum laude and a Deans Merit award. When he completed his undergraduate, he realised it was not enough, he then decided to pursue his Master’s degree.
“My Master’s degree research was on languages used in advertising and marketing strategies used by TVET colleges. I became interested in this particular subject because of the misconceptions about TVET colleges for higher education training. My research aimed to understand reasons behind students not considering TVET colleges and I wanted to find out whether the issue was due to lack of resources, information, marketing strategies or the language used,” he explained.
Zulu’s interests also rise from his experience as a part-time lecturer and feedback he received from students whenever he engaged on the topic with them.
Pictured: Ntokozo Zulu