Not only did she graduate with her PhD in nursing from Durban University of Technology (DUT), but her son Shivaan and daughter Veantha also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in technology and diploma in journalism respectively, from DUT this week.
Naidoo, who lectures nursing at DUT, put the occurrence down to coincidence because she missed the graduation ceremony in September, but said it worked to her family’s advantage.
“I was unable to attend last year’s graduation due to family responsibilities, but DUT rescheduled and it coincided with the children’s graduation,” she said.
The 49-year-old, who graduated on Thursday, said she owed her success to being able to balance her priorities and their strong family support system.
“Studying, working and caring for my family was challenging, but my children and husband provided the necessary strength and inspiration,” she said.
“Waking up each morning to embrace new challenges, while understanding that life has its good and bad moments, helped me juggle my responsibilities.”
Spiritual and cultural activities gave her inner strength and a foundation for success, she said.
Although there was a good support structure at home, Naidoo said there were a few “mad moments” during exam time. She said cooking and baking helped to ease the tension.
Her proudest moment was seeing her children graduate. “Nothing can replace the feeling of seeing my children receive their accolades. It is a moment I will never forget,” she said.
Naidoo’s advice to fellow working and studying mothers is to never give up, even at times of perceived failure. Soldier on and never lose sight of your goals.
Shivaan Naidoo, 25, said they studied well together, but it was more difficult for his mother because she had multiple roles, including a full-time job.
Veantha Naidoo, 22, the journalist in the family, said she was happy to be a part of such a rare and exciting occurrence.
“Throughout my time studying, I knew I could always rely on my family for help, and the support I got from them will always be remembered and appreciated.”