Despite making the tiresome trek from Cato Ridge to the Durban University of Technology (DUT) every day, this did not deter Sfiso Thabethe, in fact, he was motivated by ‘the fear of being average’, and aimed to excel academically.
This morning Thabede graduated Cum laude for his National Diploma in Taxation during the first session of day two of the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics graduation ceremony held at the Fred Crookes Sports Centre, Steve Biko Campus in Durban.
He added that if one wants to achieve something in life, one has to sacrifice some things which formed part of one’s ordinary life. Some people called him a nerd because he was always focusing on his books.
“To be honest, graduating Cum laude and be top of your class is not easy, especially in the Accounting stream. Some things were tougher than expected along the way and I have experienced moments of self-doubt, but graduating with high grades, I get to look back on those tough times and say to myself, ‘I did it’. And that is certainly something to be proud of,” he said gleefully.
Thabethe did confess that Taxation was not his first choice of study. He always wanted to study Bcom Accounting and ultimately qualify as a Chartered Accountant (CA). However, due to lack of career guidance he did not apply for bursaries and that prevented him from studying Bcom Accounting. In 2016, he then decided to come to DUT because he was promised his tuition fees would be paid by the institution.
The 25 – year – old said the three-year course had a massive workload, especially in Auditing, but he does not believe in failing in anything he does. “I don’t have the word failure in my vocabulary. I strongly believe that every problem has a solution and every obstacle can be overcome,” he said.
Thabethe is doing Btech in Taxation and wishes to accomplish his dream of becoming a CA and establishing his own accounting firm which will create jobs and eradicate poverty in South Africa.
The advice he would give to other inspiring first year students is that the Accounting route is very challenging and difficult on others. “You need to devote all your time and effort and make sure that you work hard from the very first day because once you lose focus, it is very difficult to catch up. Also, study hard and smart. Accounting is more of a practical course therefore, you have to do questions, questions and more questions rather than focusing on the theory,” he said.
For the future, Thabethe also hopes to see more women do Taxation. “I strongly believe more women should enrol in this course due to the low statistics rates of African females who are CA (SA)’s,” he said.
Pictured: Sfiso Thabethe.