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LOOK: Graduation is not only about the graduates, it’s about family too

Nontokozo Ntuli and her mom Doris Sebenzile Ntuli embrace moments after graduation. Picture: DUT/Supplied

Nontokozo Ntuli and her mom Doris Sebenzile Ntuli embrace moments after graduation. Picture: DUT/Supplied

Published Jul 26, 2022


Durban - It's graduation season at the Durban University of Technology. While hundreds of graduates are excited about their future prospects, others are taking time to pay homage to those who have stood beside them, supporting them through the long nights, the anxiety, the exams and the stress along this journey.

One such student is Sthokozo Mpisane.

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Mpisane, 28, dedicated her second qualification, a Degree of Bachelor of Technology in Engineering: Electrical (Heavy Current) to her grandmother who had raised her since she was 11-years-old, after her mother had passed away.

Sthokozo Mpisane and her gogo, Bathini Danca. Picture: DUT/Supplied

"The reason I decided to let my granny wear my graduation gown and hood is that in 2018, I graduated for my Diploma which I had dedicated to myself. It then pushed me to get the second qualification for my gogo because my mother passed away when I was 11-years-old. My granny raised me through many hardships, it was not easy but we are here today," she said.

Meanwhile, Doris Sebenzile Ntuli could not hold back her tears when her daughter, Nontokozo, was conferred with her Bachelor's Degree in Education.

“I had to borrow money in order for my child to be registered at DUT because she did not have any funding. Her journey was extremely tough, I remember the time she got sick, she also had to drop out from her studies because she could not take it anymore. She could not even focus on her studies, I even lost count on how many years it took her to finish this degree,” she explained.

Ntuli’ s journey at DUT was faced with a lot of difficulties, the situation back home was extremely bad to a point that she had to drop out of her studies and look for a job. Despite everything that was happening in her life, she had this vision that always pushed her to achieve her dreams, she wanted to make her mother proud, and to wipe all the tears that she has been shedding for all these years.

Nontokozo Ntuli and her mum Doris Sebenzile Ntuli. Picture: DUT/Supplied

She expressed that in her final year God came through for her as she obtained funding from the SETA bursaries. Ntuli thanked her mother, the whole Ntuli family for their support that they gave her throughout her studies.

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"I also want to pass my gratitude to my husband who helped me with my studies whenever I struggled. I will also want to thank my late father who would be so proud of me today if he was still alive," Ntuli said.

Deneeka Vinay Ramgoolam, from Phoenix, graduated Cum Laude and obtained a Dean’s Merit Award in the Bachelor of the Built Environment Honours in Quantity Surveying. Ramgoolam’s family members were overjoyed with the news because they knew how much effort and hard work had gone into finishing the course.

Deneeka Vinay Ramgoolam with her parents. Picture: DUT/Supplied

Economic Freedom Fighters secretary general, Marshall Dlamini, has expressed his excitement following his daughter's graduation.

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Sinazo Mbele obtained her National Diploma in Management Sciences: Marketing.

Sinazo Mbele with her family. Picture: DUT/Supplied

Dlamini expressed his gratitude to his daughter for her perseverance through hardships and for making the family proud. He revealed that when his daughter started studying at DUT, he made it clear that she needed to make a name for herself and not hide behind his name.

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Between July 11 and 27, DUT held graduations in Durban and Pietermaritzburg for 9 081 graduates from the Class of 2021.