BSc Graduate’s Knowledge of the World Advanced through Physics
Mr Njabulo Mbanjwa, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Applied Mathematics, has been named as the top third-year student in Physics on the Pietermaritzburg campus.
Matriculating from Injoloba Secondary School in his home town of Howick in 2013, Mbanjwa went on to enrol at UKZN to study Mathematics on the advice of his high school Mathematics and Physical Science Teacher, the late Mr Themba Russel Xulu.
Mbanjwa credits Xulu for encouraging him and his friends to enrol at UKZN and assisting them to get financial aid.
Mbanjwa began his BSc in the Mathematics stream. After meeting Physicist Dr Giuseppe Pellicane at a UKZN Careers Day, he decided to major in Physics and has not looked back since.
‘Physics has helped me gain an understanding of the world around me, the world inside me and the world beyond me,’ said Mbanjwa.
Mbanjwa earned six merit certificates during his undergraduate studies and has advanced to Honours studies through the UKZN Westville node of the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP). His research project, under the supervision of Dr Zolile Mtumela and Dr Judy Stephenson, is titled: “An Investigation of Pc5 Oscillations During TRINNI Events”. He plans to go on to do research in Space Weather.
Mbanjwa aimed to succeed in order to make his mother proud of him and was also inspired to do well after attending a previous College Awards ceremony as a guest. He advised other students working for success never to look down on themselves, but to believe and put in the effort to be the best. He also noted that working together as students and sharing ideas helped with gaining understanding of the work being covered.
Mbanjwa thanked his mother Ellina for her support, and his aunt and uncle Mr and Mrs OT Mabaso for being his “second parents”. In addition to the late Mr Xulu, he thanked his high school Life Sciences teacher Mrs Nomusa Gladys Mazibuko, who he said was like a second mother to him.