Declerk Khwazi Magubane, a former street kid will be graduating this Friday from UKZN. Picture: Supplied (UKZN)
Declerk Khwazi Magubane, a former street kid will be graduating this Friday from UKZN. Picture: Supplied (UKZN)

Former street kid graduates with Master’s degree in commerce

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Oct 29, 2020

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Durban - A former street kid who will graduate with a Master’s of Commerce in Economics from UKZN said he hoped his story would inspire disadvantaged children.

Declerk Khwazi Magubane will be among 1 781 graduands to be honoured at UKZN’s virtual Spring Graduation ceremony this Friday.

Magubane, who began living on the street from the age of 14, will graduate cum laude.

He said in December 2006, he decided to become a street kid.

“This was due to abuse I was suffering at the hand of my caregivers and I was becoming a thief.

“However, after a year on the streets begging at the robots, puffing on glue to numb myself and hustling to survive, I took a decision to get off the streets.

“A local preacher took me in and Ms Zinhle Hadebe, who I met on the streets motivated and supported me to go back to school.

“I have never looked back,” said Magubane.

While acclimatising to life off the streets and letting go of bad habits proved difficult, Magubane remained determined and went on to matriculate and enrol for a Bachelor of Commerce foundation programme at UKZN.

“I registered for a BA in International Studies and went back to do my BCom honours.

“During the first three years at UKZN, I had no bursary or NSFAS funding and was supported financially by Hadebe until receiving NSFAS support in my final year.

“I was able to do my honours through securing a bursary from the National Research Foundation and my Master’s through fee remission in between working as an Academic Development Officer to sustain myself,” said Magubane.

With aspirations to become an economist, Magubane is proud that he fulfilled his dream of graduating with his Master’s cum laude and is excited about the future.

“I was motivated to pursue a Master’s of Commerce degree because I wanted to show other street kids, and all the disadvantaged children of the world that it is possible to change your circumstances.

“I came to university because I wanted to improve my circumstances and this is what keeps me going.

“Obtaining this qualification cum laude is life changing for me as it affirms that if you concentrate on achieving your dreams, they will eventually materialise.

“I am blessed to have people supporting me; they are all part of my success and I am very grateful.”


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