Archbishop Denis E. Hurley Scholarship to Transform Student’s Life
KwaMashu Township born and bred Mr Bayabonga Zulu is on a path to realise his dream of becoming an academic.
Zulu is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree in the area of marketing management which is funded through the Archbishop Denis Hurley Scholarship that is awarded to academically excellent students reading for their Honours at UKZN.
Unlike many graduates coming from disadvantaged backgrounds who have to find employment immediately after completing their first degree, this scholarship has enabled Zulu to further his studies and he is grateful to the University for the financial support which his mother, Ms Fikile Ngcamu, would not have been in a position to fund. ‘My mother is the backbone to my life,’ he said. ‘Without her effort, I wouldn’t be where I am at today. She does not have a permanent job but works a vendor at KwaMashu Station and supports me and the entire family,’ added Zulu.
The various scholarships awarded by the University have transformed the lives of many students and their families. ‘My first career goal is to become a lecturer in the area of marketing and related fields because I was immensely influenced by my lecturer and current dissertation supervisor, Professor Maxwell Phiri,’ commented Zulu on the significance of the scholarship in his life.
His Honours dissertation looks at consumer behaviour in the automotive industry and he seeks to understand the characteristics and attributes that influence a consumer to purchase a particular car brand.
Commenting on the performance of his student Phiri said: ‘I have taught Bayabonga since his third-year on the Bachelor of Social Science programme (majoring in Marketing Management). He is passionate about his studies and is currently collecting data for his dissertation and attending lectures with a desire to graduate in April, 2019. He is progressing very well and will achieve his goal.’ The next goal for Zulu is to pursue a Masters degree after his honours and Phiri believes he has the potential to achieve this as his performance shows determination and academic capability.
Expressing how he felt about the scholarship, he said, ‘Getting this scholarship is a great honour and distinction for me. Out of all the young people, I was selected as one of the greatest and deserving recipients. Furthermore, receiving the scholarship says that I am seen as having potential for the future of our society and world at large,’ he said.
Zulu is not an average performer, having received three merit certificates from the Disciplines of Political science, Marketing Management and Education and Professional Studies. He holds a Postgraduate Certificate in education (PGCE-FET) and was nominated by his peers to be part of 2017 Top 40 Inspiring Students; an initiative of the Corporate Relations Division at UKZN.
His academic achievements are celebrated by his entire family, especially his mother who often calls him saying how happy and proud she is of him and reassures him that he is always in her prayers. Zulu hopes to assist his mother and family financially once he has completed his studies.
Words: Hazel Langa
Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal