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Viral UKZN graduate’s gogo thanks God for his success

Proud grandmother, Sindisiwe Khoza, battles to hold back her tears when she speaks about Dumisani Ngobese, her first grandchild to obtain a university degree.

UNIVERSITY of KwaZulu-Natal graduate Dumisani Ngobese, 23, could not hold back the tears as he walked across the stage to be conferred with a Bachelor of Arts degree at a ceremony held at UKZN’s Westville Campus on Friday. Picture: UKZN. INSET: Sindisiwe Khoza says she is proud of how far her grandson, Dumisani Ngobese has come.

Published May 17, 2022


DURBAN - PROUD grandmother, Sindisiwe Khoza, battles to hold back her tears when she speaks about Dumisani Ngobese, her first grandchild to obtain a university degree.

Ngobese recently went viral on various social media platforms with images of him bursting into tears on stage during his graduation ceremony at University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville Campus on Friday.

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“When I heard that he cried I got emotional and asked him what was going through his head at the time. He said ‘gogo I just remembered how difficult it was for you to raise all of us and what a journey it has been’, that made me proud,” said Khoza.

Khoza, who has raised 11 grandchildren, seven of whom are still in school in Bhukhanana, a rural area outside Empangeni, said Ngobese was a pleasant and well-disciplined child growing up.

“I can’t even express how I truly feel, I get teary-eyed every time I think about him, I just think ‘God is good’.”

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Khoza was a street vendor and the sole breadwinner for her family when Ngobese first spoke about his desires of pursuing a university degree.

“He started talking about applying for university when he was still in high school, we had no money so I started to worry about how it was all going to be possible,” she said.

The 64-year-old, who retired from her street selling business venture two years ago when she started experiencing issues with her knees, said to have her grandson graduate was all God’s doing.

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She recalls all the trips they had to make to the police station and government departments in order for Ngobese to successfully apply for funding.

Last week, Ngobese was conferred with a Bachelor of Arts degree and his mother, Gugu, and aunt, Makhosi, witnessed him graduate. Khoza could not attend due to ill health.

“I was very anxious when they travelled to Durban with all the accidents I hear about, I kept calling them, but God is good – they returned safely,” said Khoza.

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Since the graduation, Ngobese said he was overwhelmed by the number of calls he was getting.

“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.

Alongside congratulatory messages, Ngobese was also offered a job.

Durban businessman Calvin Mathibeli, also raised by his grandmother, was one of many moved by Ngobese’s story and decided to create a permanent position for him in his company.

“I was so moved by his story because of his resilience but also because of the similarities that we have in terms of background,” he said.

UKZN said the businessman had also offered to pay for Ngobese’s honours degree studies.