One could say that when Albert Einstein indicated that “intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”, he had 43-year-old Ntokozo Bhengu in mind.
Bhengu was conferred with an Honours degree in Public Administration at the University of Zululand (UNIZULU), KwaDlangezwa Campus on Thursday, 16 May 2019.
In 1995, shortly after matriculating, Bhengu joined the working class for 20 years before registering as a UNIZULU student in the Faculty of Commerce, Administration and Law in 2015. She also holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering which she obtained from Umfolozi TVET College.
Although she furthered her studies in order to broaden her career prospects and support her children and extended family members, Bhengu admits the road to academic excellence came with its challenges.
“It was difficult attending lectures with classmates who could not relate to me. I also struggled to keep up because I did not know certain field related terminology and concepts. However, my lecturers were very empathetic to my situation and really assisted me in grasping the programme,” said Bhengu.
As a result of the assistance she received from lecturers as well as her determination, she completed her undergraduate degree with merit in 2017.
Bhengu’s honours research topic was entitled “The perceptions of disabled students on effectiveness of facilities at the University of Zululand”. This topic stemmed from her observation of the challenges students with disabilities faced when it came to attending their lectures, especially those who were using wheelchairs. Her study revealed that students with disabilities felt their needs were not adequately dealt with which limited their movement and ultimately led them to deregister.
Bhengu is currently registered for a master’s degree in Development Studies. She hopes her qualifications will impact the community and provide solutions to the problems that people with disabilities face.
– Hlumelo Nyikana
University of Zululand graduate Ntokozo Bhengu as she was about to be conferred with an Honours degree in Public Administration .