“My thoughts are simply that God listened to all my prayers when I was writing exams and it is by his grace that I am receiving such an honour,” said the jubilant Nomcebo Xulu.
She will be graduating for her National Diploma in Shipping and Logistics, at the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Virtual Graduation ceremony on 10 June 2020.
Xulu’s mum has also been her source of support as well as part of the reason she saw herself becoming a graduate as her mum is also studying. “In my mind I was like if a mother of three can do all means to try and reach her dreams, nothing stops me from doing the same,” she said.
However, she is disappointed there is no physical graduation ceremony.
“Honestly, I am disappointed but I also understand that given the pandemic nothing can be done to change the situation as all that is being done is for the best interest of the students. My mum was heartbroken that she will not get a chance to cheer and see me in a graduation gown,” said Xulu sadly.
Interestingly, this was not her first choice of study, she always saw herself as an accountant and looked up to Trevor Manuel, but unfortunately that did not happen. “My matric points did not allow me to study in that field, so instead of sitting at home and doing nothing a friend of my mother suggested shipping and logistics, so I went there not knowing that I will end up falling in love with it,” she said.
Despite her facing challenges of trying to provide for her family whilst studying there were fun times she had experienced as a student. “The fun part was when doing presentations – my team and I always wanted perfection so we would work hard, shout at each other, get angry, give up on each other, but once the presentation was done we would pat each other on the back,” she added.
Even though Xulu has had her fair share of not always having everything she wanted because of the situation at home, and even though she received NSFAS and a tutoring income, she still dreams of achieving a stable job so that she can continue providing for her family and make sure that her siblings do not go through the same difficulties she has. “It might sound naïve but I still want to be a role model to every South African teenager that thinks of giving up in life just because of family difficulties,” she stressed.
Her advice to students wanting to study Shipping and Logistics is to keep in mind that they are the key to their own success and it is up to them on how they use that key.
“We (students) all come from different backgrounds so for some of us studying is not just about obtaining a qualification, but for others its hope of possibly taking your family out of poverty and difficult circumstances, so keep that in mind when you lose track of yourself,” she said.
Xulu is currently doing her internship with DAL (Deutsche Afrika-Linien) Agency which ends on 31 July 2020. Going forward, she aims to further her studies, build her own company and become one of the experts in the shipping and logistics field.
Pictured: Nomcebo Xulu