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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to commend all its essential workers for their dedication and commitment in providing services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. DUT’s Communications team’s Waheeda Peters spoke to Fanie Ndlovu, Engagement Web Developer working under the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement (DVC: RIE) Community Engagement Office.

Q: Kindly tell me about your role at DUT?

A: “I am an Engagement Web Developer working under DVC: RIE, Community Engagement office. My duty at the moment is developing an application that is used by staff and students involved in community engagement to record engagement projects so they can build partnerships with the DUT community and get support from management. In addition, I train users (staff and students) to adopt the Engagement application.”

Q: How long have you been in that role?

A: “I have been in this role for almost six months.”

Q: Please describe yourself in a few words

A: “I was born, raised, and schooled in Qwaqwa, Free State. I have a Zulu surname, but my home language is Sesotho which always surprises people in KwaZulu-Natal. I have one big brother. I love businesses, community and youth development. I am always striving to address disadvantaged communities’ issues by gathering people, set a vision and rallying everyone towards building sustainable solutions.”

Q: How has it been like working during COVID-19?

A: “In beginning it was very difficult as I was at home, the electricity and network was unreal. To attend the meetings sometimes I had to go outside and move around to find a perfect spot with better network. Things became better when I returned to Durban and campus as my work just required a computer and strong internet.”

Q: How do you deal with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and losing loved ones due to this virus?

A: “Before I got fully vaccinated I was travelling less, if I travelled locally, I was using an Uber or walking instead of using taxis, luckily and by the mercy of God I didn’t lose any close friends or family members.”

Q: What is your daily motivation?

A: “My mother has scarified a lot for me to be where I am today, When I was in matric, she used to walk 10 kilometres while she was sick to buy stock (sweets and snacks) and sell them at schools for me to have transport money and food when I come back from school. Every day, I think of those sacrifices and work hard for her to have the best life.”

Q: Please take me through a normal day in your life?

A: “When I wake up, I read books at 4:00 am for 30 minutes, write a gratitude journal for 20 minutes as this help me to set a good mood for the day. From 5:00 am I am preparing myself for work and leave home at 7:00 am, At 8:00 am my work starts until around 16:00 pm. At 17:00 pm I am off to gym, 19:00 pm is time to sleep until 22:00 pm and 22:00 pm to 01: 00 am I am doing my research work for my Masters.”

Q: What are your thoughts about the vaccine and its importance to students and staff?

A: “Reality is virtually teaching, and learning has lots of challenges, most of students are not on campus, they are at home where electricity and networks are bad which affects teaching and learning, with load shedding sometimes lectures are affected in terms of teaching. When students and staff get vaccinated it will help us to get to campus as soon as possible.”

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: “In my spare time I read alot of books around business, technology, leadership, and history. If I am not reading, I am watching documentaries around same topic.”

Q: If you had one wish what would it be?

A: “Building my mother a big house.”

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