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Third year, Accounting student at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Riverside Campus, Mduduzi Gabela was recently appointed as the Google Developer Student Club Lead at DUT.

The 22-year-old from Swayimane, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands describes himself as a technology and artificial intelligence enthusiast who has always had an idea of starting or running an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) club within the University’s Midlands Campuses. He said it worried him that there were no such clubs for students in the Midlands campuses. This then led him to apply for being a Google Developer Student Club Lead.

Giving insight on the GDSC Lead, Gabela said he applied in March 2021 and followed the two-step process, where he first filled in a form and then attached a short video stating the reasons behind his application. He said he was shortlisted and invited to an interview which he passed, leading to him being appointed as the new GDSC Lead for the year 2021/22.

“As a GDSC Lead, I will be creating and then leading the Developer Student Club for the year 2021/22. For making this community a success, I will be organising workshops, teaching web and mobile application development, enabling more students to become trainers and supporting them in conducting sessions. I will also make sure that any student who has a passion for becoming a developer can join this community despite his discipline,” said Gabela

He added that this acknowledgement from Google means alot to him as Google is more than a search engine that one visits to find answers to his/her questions. He described Google as a global leader in innovation, saying being appointed as a GDSC Lead, gives him and DUT a chance to be part of that community.

“We have the opportunity to work with them to solve the real problems in our communities. By joining a GDSC, students will build their professional and personal networks, get access to Google developer resources, work together to build solutions for local problems in a peer-to-peer learning environment and build solutions for local businesses and our community. Students from all undergraduate or graduate programmes with an interest in growing as a developer are welcome,” he said.

Earlier this year, his dream became a reality and he was able to start an ICT Club, to encourage ICT activities and field classes and bridging theory into practical. His aim was to foster campus growth in ICT through student knowledge and contribute in technological advancement. He made a call to undergraduate students to join the club despite their different departments and faculties.

Some of his achievements include being a member of the Enactus DUT in 2019, during the first year of his studies. He believes that his Enactus experience was one of the reasons he was appointed as a GDSC Lead. Gabela expressed his gratitude for this opportunity, saying he gained amazing leadership skills and had a chance to attend prestigious events and workshops such as the MTN ICT Competitions. He was also offered a chance to travel abroad, visiting places such as United States of America and United Arab Emirates.

Furthermore, he expressed his gratitude to his IT lecturer and mentor, Mr Kevin Igwe for the great skills and knowledge he has imparted to him. He greatly appreciates his (Mr Igwe) contribution to his GDSC Lead success.

Gabela believes once passion finds a person, that person becomes unstoppable, which are the words he hopes will encourage DUT students to never give up on their dreams.

Pictured: Mduduzi Gabela

Simangele Zuma

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