Phumlile Snethemba Nkwanyana, 24, had no money to register for her Batchelor of Education (B. Ed) degree when she came to the University of Zululand to register as a first-year student in 2013 after being accepted to study at the University. All she knew was that she wanted to get an education- and work hard at it- in order to better her life and that of her underprivileged family.
“I actually finished my matric in 2011 but because I did not have money to register for a degree in Pharmacology which was my first choice, I ended up taking a gap year in 2012. I come from a poor family so they couldn’t provide the funds needed for me to register or pursue my studies. In 2013, I headed to the University of Zululand to register for a degree in Teaching, which was my second choice, after a friend advised me that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) would help pay for my studies. NSFAS paid for my registration and the rest is history,” she said.
Nkwanyana’s hard work and perseverance paid off as on Tuesday, 9 May 2017, at 9h00, she will graduate as a Top Achiever in her respective Faculty (Faculty of Education) after achieving a pass average of 77% in her degree studies.
Nkwanyana will graduate with thousands of other graduands at the University of Zululand’s Graduation Ceremonies set to start on Monday, 8 May 2017, ending on Friday, 12 May 2017. The ceremonies will be held at the University’s King Bhekuzulu Hall, KwaDlangezwa Campus.
“I’m happy that I was able to achieve such good marks. It wasn’t easy. Some of the modules were very difficult but I’m happy that I managed to do so well,” she said excitedly.
This is not the first time Nkwanyana has managed to obtain top marks in her studies. Throughout her four-year degree studies, she has been awarded bursary-after-bursary for her outstanding academic performance.
The Mahlabathini, Ulundi, native who was raised by a single mother in a household shared by herself, single mother, siblings and grandparents remembers how the passing away of her grandmother just before she was scheduled to write one of her first year modules almost “crushed” her. However, she managed to beat those odds and passed that module with flying colours. “I was very close to my grandmother so her passing away really hit me hard. She was like a mother to me,” she said.
As of January 2017, Nkwanyana is employed as a teacher in Soweto, Gauteng.
For interviews with Nkwanyana, she is on 072 757 0127.
A high resolution of Nkwanyana will be available shortly after her graduation scheduled on Tuesday, 9 May 2017, at 9h00.
Public Relations Manager
University of Zululand
035 902 6665