Bonisiwe Dube will graduate with a Cum Laude, as well as receive the Deans Merit Award for her outstanding academic performance and it took her eight years to get there.
Dube, 30, from KwaDlangezwa in Zululand will receive her National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting when she graduates at the Durban University of Technology (Steve Biko Campus) on Wednesday next week (18 April).
Dube completed her matric in 2000. Her journey was littered with many challenges that at times, she thought that she would never conquer. As her family could not afford to pay for her university fees and she was not confused about government financial aid for struggling students, she was forced to give up her dreams of becoming an Accountant.
“I worked at a garage as a petrol attendant and also worked at a supermarket at some stage after finishing high school because of financial constraints and my lack of knowledge about NASFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme of South Africa). I come from a very rural area, where information about higher education is not freely available. Even my high school teachers told us that bursaries were only for students who received exemptions in grade 12, they didn’t tell us about financial aid. I ended up losing hope,” she said.
Another challenge that she would struggle with is that she had failed Maths. She tried to rewrite it but failed the subject twice. However, it was in 2008 when her life would change for the better.
“In 2008, I decided that it was time to have another go at passing my Maths. I registered to do the subject at Intec College which is a distance learning college. I practically taught myself and I managed to get a B. Till this day I don’t understand how I had failed the subject in the first place; it was the first time I failed a subject. I then went to DUT and received distinctions from there,” she said.
Dube said while she did not face challenges academically, she first struggled to find her feet because she had gone so long without studying. “I had saved money to buy textbooks, so my studies weren’t challenging. The other challenge was that I was much older than my classmates. But that made me more determined to succeed. Because of my age, I was more focused and I knew what I came to DUT for. My life experience was an advantage. Younger people don’t know about life’s challenges,” she said.
Dube said her mother and sister are excited about her academic achievement. She said her mother is a supportive woman who always prays for her success. The three (Dube, her mother and sister) would celebrate by dining out after her graduation.
She advised other students to never give up when faced with adversity. “Never give up; that’s life’s biggest secret. A path with no obstacles leads to nowhere. And have a dream because without it, you won’t get anywhere,” said Dube.
Durban University of Technology
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