Twenty-two year old, Lazola Dabula is the first Black female to complete a BTech degree in Video Technology at Durban University of Technology. At 15 years old Dabula moved to Durban from Umtata, a small town in Eastern Cape in pursuit of a better education and completed her secondary schooling at Ridge Park College with an A aggregate. She has lived independently by renting accommodation in the city and undertook several jobs in promotion of goods and as a waitress at restaurants to sustain her education and lifestyle. Dabula is also the youngest of four daughters who were raised by a single parent. From a young age she had her goals set high in hopes of achieving all that she desired but realized it required a lot of work and sacrifice.
She graduated with her National Diploma Cum Laude in 2010 and is currently employed as a Project Administrator at the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Dabula initially set out to study drama. However her mother, Nomsa, had asked her to reconsider her choices. Upon deciding to pursue a career in Video Technology she was told that she would have to get through by the skin of her teeth as the course was expensive and required funding for equipment and facilities.
Dabula said: “My mum is self employed and runs a small business back home, I had to waitress to pay facilities fees and payment of support staff for my projects, hiring of props, costumes, food and transport. For studying I worked extra hard to get a remission of fees during all four years of study. I didn’t want to get financial aid because I didn’t want to pay interest accumulated on a bursary and to pay for fees once I had graduated.
“I had decided to study Video Technology as I thought it allowed me to express my artistic side by playing roles in movies. However, halfway through my first year I realized the course was very technical and that acting was 1% of it. But I couldn’t drop it, I am not a person not to complete projects. The technical aspect involving camera operations and sound engineering were indeed challenging. But Production Management appealed to me more. I realized then, that I had to work just as hard at other aspects to qualify comfortably and keep my grades looking good.”
For more information, please contact Bhekani Dlamini who will facilitate the interview.