Twenty-two-year-old Minah Zanele Dludla from eNgwelezane Township in Empangeni describes herself as a friendly and compassionate individual who loves interacting with people. It is these traits that led her to enrol for a Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of Zululand (UNIZULU) in 2015.
Dludla was conferred with her degree on Wednesday, 15 May 2019 at the King Bhekuzulu Hall, KwaDlangezwa Campus.
Like most of her peers, Dludla’s journey was not without challenges. “I had to study hard and make compromises such as not having too much fun,” she recalled. Living outside of campus saw her living in constant fear of being attacked by thugs in her township. Fortunately, she completed her degree unharmed. The countrywide electricity crisis also took its toll on Dludla, forcing her to study with a torch in hand at times. However, the biggest blow was losing her uncle and grandmother.
Having gone through such challenges, Dludla was somewhat sceptical of her results. She was pleasantly surprised though when she learned that she was among the five top achievers in the Faculty of Arts. She attributes her academic excellence to prayer, studying very hard- even late at night at times- and dedicating time to her school work. Having the strong support of her family, church members, friends and field work supervisor during her practicals played a vital role in her achievement as well.
Obtaining her degree will have a great impact on her life and that of her family, the graduate said. “I am currently unemployed but I know that I have something that one day can change my life and that of my family for the better. It’s all just a matter of God’s timing,” she said.
A firm believer of “working hard and playing hard”, Dludla said she enjoys watching movies, listening to music and reading novels in her spare time.
Asked what advice she would give to current students, Dludla said studying hard and believing in oneself is key. In addition to this, she said students need to set goals and “visualise the things that they want to achieve so that they are always motivated to work hard”. Lastly, they must strive to do their best regardless of their backgrounds and hardships, because only they can change what they don’t like into something that they love and cherish.
– Naledi Hlefane
Minah Zanele Dludla is now a qualified social worker. She received her Bachelor of Social Work degree on Wednesday, 15 May 2019.