When Ntombi Mathe was hired as a security guard at the University of Zululand in 2007 she wasted no time and registered for a degree the following year. Seven years later her hard work is paying off.
Not only is Mathe, who obtained her first degree in 2011, graduating this week but she is doing so twice in different disciplines.
Yesterday (Monday 11 May 2015) she received her Higher Diploma in Community Work and on Friday she will be back at the King Bhekuzulu Hall to receive her honours degree in Public Administration.
“It is only after that Friday graduation that that the celebrations will begin,” she said.
While she will savour the moment, she believes there is still a long way to go having currently enrolled for a Master’s Degree in Community Work.
“My goal is to have a doctorate and to be an academic. It is all about bettering my life and I would also like to work at the University of Zululand in another capacity, maybe in Human Resources because I have a passion for that”.
Studying while also working as a security guard has not been easy as it meant she had to study between her shifts. “Sometimes I would attend classes after working the night shift. I would be very tired but because of the drive that I have I knew I had to do it”.
She has also had to juggle her studies with her duties as a mother.
The mother of four thanked her family for being very supportive of her. “My mother and sisters always make sure the children were taken care of when I couldn’t find the time”.
Her dedication has inspired her oldest son who is also a student at UNIZULU. “He has a BSC degree from UNIZULU and has now enrolled for a degree in computer science. I think I have inspired my children. I know they are proud of me”.
She also thanked fellow students. “While there were those who were not so nice, most of them are very supportive in that even when I cannot attend lectures due to work commitments they would take notes for me and bring me up to speed with the lectures”.
*Ntombi can be reached on 0737830280