“The news of my achievements came as a great honour to me. I know I had worked hard for it. The first person I told was my mum, seeing her feeling so proud of me made me even happier,” said Thembeka Cele ecstatically.
The 22-year-old Cele graduated cum laude with a National Diploma in Office Management and Technology at the FJ Sithole Hall, Indumiso Campus on this morning (Thursday, 26 April 2018).
For Cele, being an inspiration to others was always her wish. “This is like fulfilling a goal that I had set for myself, to be something that other people look up to or aspire to be. I am grateful, it’s a motivation to me that everything is possible and that my hard work is recognised,” she said elatedly.
Ever since Cele was a child she had this fascination of working in an office, so when she had to make choices towards what she wanted to study, administration was always one of the options. “I am an organised person, I like being in control of my own work, and leading people, so I wanted to look into fields that related to that,” she said.
Obtaining excellent academic marks was no easy feat for her, as she had to stay on campus, and surround herself with people that had the same vision as her. “I had this goal that I had set for myself that I would do outstandingly well at tertiary level, so to me it was like making up for what I failed to do back in matric, because I knew I could. I wanted it bad enough and I got it. It took self-discipline, responsibility and time management,” she said.
Cele loved the subject, Legal Practice, which she found exciting as it was empowering for her to understand more about her rights and other laws that she didn’t know that had existed.
The difficult path she had faced in her studies was trying to study for multiple tests a day, plus handing in assignments which all had close dates, and also trying to maintain a social life. In the long run, she would like to put her knowledge to practice, study further and work for the biggest companies in the world.
Cele professed that none of her achievements would have been possible without her role model, her mum. “She is a woman of strength, dignity and love. But all in all, an iconic powerful woman who inspires me every day to be the best that I can be,” she said.
In five years’ time, Cele sees herself with possibly a PhD qualification and perhaps opening an NGO, to help find graduates jobs and assist them to obtain bursaries.
Her advice to first-year Office Management and Technology students is to first understand the course and what it entails. “It takes a focused mind and determination and hard work, and the results will reflect on that. Last but not least everything is possible if you believe,” she said.
Cele is currently studying towards a Btech in Office Management and Technology at DUT.
Pictured: Thembeka Cele