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The Faculty of Accounting and Informatics at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) is proud of their master’s student, Thabiso Msomi (23) who has managed to complete his studies in just a year. He is among the DUT graduands who will be graduating at the 2021 Autumn Graduation ceremony to be held on 27-28 May 2021.

Msomi from Mavela at Tongaat has made his faculty and supervisor, Dr Odunayo Magret Olarewaju proud of his academic excellence. Despite working around the clock to complete his master’s in such a short space of time, Msomi also has two published articles in the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) accredited journals and two approved book chapters, to be published next month, in June 2021.

Giving a brief background on himself, Msomi said he comes from a poor background, where he was raised by his late great-grandmother, who never set foot in school, however, she always encouraged him to be educated. He said his mother left him with his grandmother at a very young age, who was always there for him until she died in 2016. Her death reminded him of the significance of education as a pillar of his life.

“In 2015, I enrolled for a National Diploma in Accounting but unfortunately, my journey towards completing my diploma was not a pleasant one, due to lack of funding. I focused all my energy and strength on my education, despite the hardship and struggles of imbalances and abuse of leaving without parents. Passing matric and being admitted at DUT made me happy, it gave me the confidence that my life was about to change. I always had a drive of sharing information and helping our country grow through advancing our societies with information. That also formed part of my inspiration to study until higher degrees to enable me with some abilities of research so I can contribute meaningfully with positive and factual information back to communities of the country for development,” said Msomi.

He said he completed his diploma with very little support from his relatives and was assisted by the money he received from tutorials that he conducted through different departments and the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). Despite facing challenges, Msomi said through God he completed his BTech in 2019. He struggled to register for his master’s degree due to his outstanding debt of R50 000.

Last year, May 2020, Msomi decided to write to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Prof Sibusiso Moyo, seeking her assistance for his registration problem. He has expressed his gratitude to Prof Moyo for her intervention. He said the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics under the Executive Dean, Prof Oludayo Olugbara paid his outstanding debt under the conditions that he completes his studies within the given two years.

“Eventually, I registered on the 12th of June 2020. The senior lecturer and head of the department in Management Accounting, Dr. Odunayo

Dr Odunayo Olarewaju

Dr Odunayo Olarewaju

Magret Olarewaju took me under her supervision the same day. She has been a star from the beginning till the end. She accepted me into her supervision on 12 June 2020 and she dedicated herself to help me. Despite her being a Head of Department in Management Accounting, A committed senior Lecturer to many classes, A supervisor to many masters and PhD Students, an editor to multiple books and publishing companies, and many other academic commitments that she has. I used to send her my work through emails during the lockdown and she did not take long to reply, latest would be two days. She would call every day to check progress and I always ensured to keep to her expectations,” said Msomi.

Msomi had submitted his draft proposal in December 2019 and was accepted in January 2020, but due to financial difficulties he could not register immediately after the acceptance of his draft proposal. After managing to register in July 2020, he submitted his study for marking in December 2020 and his results were received in February 2021.

His supervisor, Dr Olarewaju said she has never seen such a dedicated, humble, grateful, intelligent, outstanding and hardworking young student such as Msomi. She is amazed by his achievement as they have done research in a short while.

“We have published four journal articles together in the DHET accredited list, we have two book chapters accepted to be published in September 2021, three full conference paper. In fact, one of the papers were published in SJR Q1 journal and we have six papers under review with all journals listed in WOS and SCOPUS DHET list, while six are about to be completed. Undoubtedly, Thabiso is an asset to DUT, the entire Republic and academic environment at large. Indeed, if there is a will, there will always be a way. To other students out there who might be struggling financially or otherwise, Thabiso’s story is a confirmation that background or financial disadvantages cannot stop a goal driven-student from achieving his/her goals,” said Dr Olarewaju.

She also expressed her gratitude to Prof Olugbara and Prof Moyo for their unwavering support towards research.

Speaking on behalf of the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics, Prof Olugbara said, Msomi has been an excellent student throughout his research journey and that he was highly impressed and excited by his research contributions to the University.

“I must acknowledge the amount of dedication he has put in to finish the degree with good success stories. I am amused completely by the time management methodology he used to complete his study within record time. I must say that he can help other students to achieve the same feat and expand his story gamut. I find Thabiso highly futuristic, fervent, appreciative, conscientious, and persistent. It is really kind of him to make the faculty proud,” said Prof Olugbara.

Pictured: Thabiso Msomi and his supervisor, Dr Odunayo Olarewaju.

Simangele Zuma

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