“I don’t consider myself as smart, but rather a hard worker,” says Sibahle Shandu who hails from Mpumalanga province.
Shandu is currently registered for her Postgraduate Diploma in Management Sciences specialising in Operations and Quality Management at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), and counts her merit triumphs of passing both her Diploma in 2019 and Advance Diploma in 2020 with cum laude as her greatest achievements of her academic life.
“I remember how excited I was when I received the news of those successes, my family too! I remember they even slaughtered a whole chicken to celebrate my achievements,” she said.
The determined young lass is also aiming to continue on this path of academic success and also excel in her current Postgraduate studies.
Shandu describes herself as a confident and very determined young woman who commits herself in everything she does. “I am confident but I know how and when to humble myself. I think one of the factors that got me this far is knowing who I am and what I want in life. Someone might think I’m super smart but no, I work extra hard that is who I am as a person. I always strive to leave a mark in whatever I engage in,” she said.
Reflecting back on the challenges that she had faced in her journey when she was living in Umlazi township with her relatives, Shandu said: “In my first year of study, I had no sponsor until November which made studying and completing assignments hard. I struggled with transport money since I was staying at home and money for data, and I am not from a privileged background. I would sometimes travel to campus just for wi-fi,” she stressed.
Shandu praises DUT for helping her in her ‘academic drive’ in her securing an internship, which opened doors for her to push-start her new journey as an employee. “After passing my Diploma so well, I was offered an internship. I worked as an intern and project coordinator (working with Productivity South Africa) at Angela Footwear Manufacturers, Coca Cola Beverages South Africa as an intern and I then served as a student tutor at DUT. What I would say to someone doing their first year of studies at DUT is that it is very important to ask for help, just humble yourself and seek out for assistance. Believe in yourself and know what you want in life,” said Shandu.
Pictured: Sibahle Shandu