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It was a proud moment for Nonsindiso Mkhize and her family as she graduated Cum Laude and obtained the prestigious Dean’s Merit Award for her Degree of Master of Engineering at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) 2023 Spring Graduation ceremony at the Olive Convention Centre, Durban, this afternoon, Monday, 18 September 2023.

Mkhize (30) was born in the deep rural area of Hlokozi, Highflats but is now based in Yellowwood Park in Durban. The title of her dissertation is: “Performance analyses of wastewater treatment plant: A case of Hazelmere water treatment plant” In this study, the Hazelmere Wastewater Treatment System’s performance was evaluated from 1999 to 2018. The study’s principal objective was to evaluate the exhibition of the treatment plant in terms of the expulsion of microbial and chemical contaminations.

Mkhize revealed that she registered for her Master of Engineering (Civil) in Water Engineering in 2019 but she spent the rest of the year working on a topic with her supervisor.

“I started the journey in 2020 and completed it in 2022 with the assistance from her supervisor, Dr S Mohamed and co-supervisor, Dr J Bwapwa. Support staff members like Olusegun Ayodeji Olagunju made my journey easier. Of course, the journey was bumpy, and there were days when I felt like giving up, but I kept reminding myself of the bigger picture,” shared Mkhize.

Speaking about being honoured for academic excellence, Mkhize said she was very proud of herself as she had worked tirelessly throughout her academic journey. She described her accolade as tangible proof of her dedication and commitment to excellence. Mkhize expressed her gratitude to her family and supervisors for the support and guidance. She believes many people have played a role in her success.

“Graduating Cum Laude boosted my confidence not only academically but also in other aspects of my life. It’s a reminder that I have the skills and determination to achieve my goals. It was not easy. Time management was a big issue; balancing my academic and personal life was challenging. Academic pressure was another challenge whereby I had to meet high academic expectations. Lack of Motivation at times because the journey is very lonely but challenging. Technical issues with technology, such as specific computer functions or internet connectivity issues, disrupted my studies. Difficulty accessing university resources like laboratories or libraries also complicated the journey,” added Mkhize.

She has always been passionate about Civil Engineering as she believes it’s a profession that allows one to contribute to the betterment of the society. Currently, she is a Civil Engineering lecturer at a private institution. Next year, she plans to pursue her PhD and she revealed that she has already started brainstorming her topic.
She dedicated her master’s degree to her late grandfather, Mr Simon Ndlondlo Mkhize whom she described as her pillar of strength.

Pictured: Nonsindiso Mkhize

Simangele Zuma

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