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Local Samaritan offers to pay for UKZN graduate’s studies and gives him a job

Dumisani Ngobese’s story has touched the hearts of many around KZN. Picture: UKZN

Dumisani Ngobese’s story has touched the hearts of many around KZN. Picture: UKZN

Published May 16, 2022


Dumisani Ngobese’s journey to graduation has touched many hearts around the province. Last week, the 23-year-old was conferred with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Westville Campus. He is now pursuing an Honours degree.

Pictures of an emotional Ngubane in tears on stage were shared on UKZN’s social media platforms on Friday. The posts went viral with thousands of South Africans offering words of encouragement and some pledging various donations.

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Unfortunately for Dumisani, his grandmother could not make the trip to see him graduate due to ill health.

“It was going to be difficult for her because she is not well and she would have had to take about three taxis to get here. But my mother and my aunt were present at the graduation”.

While he could not afford to buy a suit for graduation, as many of his peers did, this was the ceremony he was not going to miss.

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“I could not afford to buy a suit but I just had to be there at graduation,” he said.

DUMISANI at his graduation. | UKZN

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EVER since his picture was published on UKZN social media platforms, Dumisani has received many calls from well-wishers.

“I am overwhelmed by the number of calls I have been getting so much so that I cannot respond to all of them. People have been phoning to wish me well while some have even pledged donations. I am grateful to all the people showing me love,” he said.

But, his story does not end there. Local businessman, Calvin Mathibeli was so moved by Ngobese’s story that he offered to pay for his studies and offered him a job.

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In addition to that, he has undertaken to pay for Ngobese’s Honours degree studies which he is currently pursuing at UKZN.

Ngobese raised by his maternal grandmother in Bhukhanana, a rural area outside eMpangeni. She was a street vendor and the sole breadwinner in the house where there were over 10 children.

“I was so moved by his story because of his resilience but also because of the similarities that we have in terms of background. I spoke to him yesterday and I was very moved by his story,” said Mathibeli, the owner of Calvin and Family Group of companies.

According to the 34-year-old businessman, the group of companies has interests in agriculture and minerals and has 12 subsidiaries with offices in seven provinces and a presence in Namibia and Lesotho.

“I had other vacancies but I thought let me create one, especially for Dumisani. He will be starting work on Monday. It will be a good position and a permanent one. He said he studying online and we will also be paying for his studies,” he said.

Ngobese and Mathibeli met to conclude the offer.

DUMISANI Ngobese and Calvin Mathibeli. | UKZN

Mathibeli said he will also groom in business if this is the path that Ngobese also wants to explore.

“Of course, business is not for everyone. What we will do is to find out what his dreams are and we will complement them,” he said.

“I was also raised by my grandmother in a big family but our resilience has made us who we are. I want to ensure that Ngobese is able to earn a living so that he can also contribute to his family. All I need from him is to respect the job,” he said.