“I thank God for this achievement, and I feel so proud, not just for myself but for every young black student fighting against all odds to graduate,” said an ecstatic Nhlakanipho Mqadi.
This (Monday, 13 May 2019), He graduated Cum laude with a Deans Merit Award for his Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in Information Technology (IT) at the Fred Crookes Sports Centre, Steve Biko Campus in Durban.
The jubilant Mqadi also thanked his family, lecturers and fellow students for their encouragement and for making it look ‘cool’ to pass with distinctions.
Choosing IT was an easy choice for him, as he believes IT has completely changed the world. “I enrolled for a BTech in IT to enrich my understanding and improve my skills so that I can positively contribute and bring changes to this digital world we live in,” he added.
He grew up in Ntuzuma, attending Mandlenkosi High School and matriculating in 2009. In 2010, he could not attend University due to financial constraints. In December 2014, his family relocated from Ntuzuma to KwaMashu which has since been his home. He then spent some time working, gaining some much-needed work skills. “I was also saving up some money for my tertiary studies. I have always been passionate about education and technology and this has helped me not to lose sight of my dream to further my studies,” he said.
In 2015, his dream came true when he enrolled for his IT diploma at DUT. During his time at University, he has also dedicated his time to helping and tutoring students. “I have plans to start a mentorship programme at DUT that will support students before and after their studies,” he said.
For Mqadi, God and his mom have been his source of inspiration.
“She has worked hard in her life and has given me so much with the little that she has. I want her to know that she has inspired me to be where I am today, and that is why I dedicate my every graduation to her. My goal is to change our current situation and provide my family with a better and brighter future,” he stressed.
He is also the first one to attend University in his family, and graduate, setting a standard that he wants the next generation to follow. Mqadi also believes DUT is one the best universities in the country and that DUT students are equipped with the skills needed to compete for positions in companies in the corporate world.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my studies at DUT, as a student you are offered a lot of support and resources to help you with your studies and grow your skills,” he said.
Currently, he is participating in an 18 month IT graduate programme with Old Mutual in Cape Town. He is also working towards his Masters degree in IT at DUT.
His advice to future IT students is that the workforce is very competitive, so never stop learning and create opportunities. “The higher your level of education, the better your chances. There is no such thing as being over-qualified, education is truly the key to your success,” he said.
Pictured: Nhlakanipho Mqadi.
Nomkhuleko Thutshini/Waheeda Peters