Durban - More than 4 100 students at the University of Zululand graduated this week, but one of them, Mondli Fananaye Xulu, used the occasion to plead for a job.
At his graduation ceremony Xulu, 23, arrived in an overall, a reflective jacket and boots donated by a farmer. He carried a placard appealing for someone to use his skills.
Xulu was graduating with his Honours in development studies. He also has a degree in environmental planning and development studies from the same university, which he obtained in 2015, at the age of 20.
“All I want is for someone to help me change my situation,” he said by phone on Friday.
The young graduate hails from Doringkop, KwaDukuza, where he lives with his older sisters and younger siblings.
I was not studying to make education fashionable but my primary aim was to complete my first junior degree and get a job so that I can feed my poor family.here's my number if you wish to help 0630440901 pic.twitter.com/U3GHWGTLQl— Chinaman's (@fananaye1) May 16, 2019
“I sell graduate gear and robes, that’s how I am surviving at the moment,” he said.
Xulu said he had sent out upwards of 200 job and internship applications since he first graduated in 2015 and had only worked once, for four months with the KwaDukuza Municipality.
“I did an internship as a junior project manager. When the internship ended, they told us we are on the database and if anything happens, we will let you know,” he said.
Hence his decision to use his second graduation ceremony to appeal for a job.
“My intention was to show people that this suit that we are supposed to wear, I cannot afford it. Rather than wear a R2 000 suit, I decided that since I want to work, let me buy this overall for R350 and wear it, the boots were donated to me by a farmer who I had worked for,” he said.
He said private companies and government job search portals were constantly looking for people with his skills, but he never got feedback or offers.
“I am willing to work for a R3 000 internship, even R1 500, I am not picky. Every time I apply, I make sure to call the company and check if they have received my application, and they have. Sometimes they tell us to wait because they are still going through the process, and we wait and never hear from them again. I am always grateful for the mere fact that they have received the application,” he said.
My neighbour graduated wearing overalls yesterday🙌said he didn't wanna spend too much on his grad outfit since he is unemployed.He has 3 qualifications.Please RT,his employer could be on your timeline. #UnizuluGrad🎓 @danielmarven pic.twitter.com/3KFjs09Rhn— ♡Thobile👑♡ (@Thobilemthiyane) May 16, 2019
Xulu said he had no criminal record and had been helping poor students at the university as he was part of the Student Representative Committee.
He said he had worked in the past few years as a cashier at a fast food chain and was willing to become a general worker at a mine, because he was so desperate for employment. He has also obtained a certificate to become a security guard, should all else fail.
To help Mondli Xulu, give him a call at 063 044 0901Independent On Saturday