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Sindiswa Senelisiwe Mbatha from Weenen, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is ecstatic after graduating Cum Laude and obtaining the prestigious Dean’s Merit Award with her National Diploma in Industrial Engineering at the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Virtual Autumn Graduation on Thursday, 27 May 2021.

Mbatha (25) believes she would not have made it if it was not for the support she had received from her ‘cheerleaders’, being her family.

“My parents, two siblings and my 6-year-old son are my biggest cheerleaders. They are always rooting for me and they believe in me more than I believe in myself. So, when I shared the news of my achievement with them, they were so happy and super proud of me,” she said.

Her first month at DUT was not an easy one, after being mugged on her way home, leaving her traumatised.

“My tertiary journey started off on a bad note, I was mugged exactly a month after I started my course when I was walking to my place after my last lecture. That whole experience traumatised me so much that I even ended up moving from my private accommodation to Berea Residence. My move made me more at ease which resulted in making my studying experience a little better,” said Mbatha.

Her gratitude also goes to her class mates whom she said were always there to assist her in times of difficulty.
“I struggled with a module or two in each semester, but I overcame all of those struggles with asking for assistance from my fellow students and lecturers. This meant putting in extra hours. In them I found a support structure and I will forever be grateful to have crossed paths with them. I honestly don’t think I would have made it past my first semester modules if they were not there. The late nights in campus and meeting up during weekends paid off in the end,” she said.

Speaking about her achievement, she said she did not see it coming, however she feels great to see her hard work and dedication being recognised. Mbatha said she is honoured and encouraged to put in the same effort if not more on her next qualification as she plans to further her studies.

“As any other female in a male dominated career path, I am working towards acquiring and mastering all the necessary skills I need to equip myself with to be the best Industrial Engineer. The plan is to use the entry positions to gain the experience so that when the leadership position comes my direction I will be armed with all the must have qualities to be a successful female Industrial Engineer,” said Mbatha.

Her advice to students is that with hard work and dedication anything is possible.

Pictured: Sindiswa Senelisiwe Mbatha

Simangele Zuma

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