A House Full of Graduates
‘The reason I pursued my PhD was because I wanted to inspire my children and encourage them to follow in my footsteps. It makes me feel fulfilled and so proud now knowing I have a house full of graduates!’
Those were the words of Dr Rita Chikoko, after she graduated from UKZN with a PhD in Education, while her two daughters also graduated - Vimbai, with a Bachelor of Law degree and Nyaradzo with a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health.
Her husband, UKZN academic. Professor Vitallis Chikoko, said cultivating a reading culture within the family helped them obtain the goal of having an educated household.
‘We have developed a culture at home that everyone must be studying. Investing in my children's education was my main goal as when I die I may not have a lot to leave behind but my desire is that I will have made sure that everybody in my family received a good education,’ he said.
Chikoko strongly believes in the importance of educating daughters to enable them to make good decisions that will have a positive impact on their future.
While the journey to graduation was not easy, he is proud of his wife and daughters.
Vimbai, who said she was proud of herself for attaining her degree, had some words of encouragement for students.
‘The Law field can be very demanding. It requires an individual to be very committed. I found myself sacrificing my social life and rather spending a lot of my time reading and working towards completing this degree.
‘I was greatly challenged by Admin-Law. I am glad I dedicated a lot of time to the subject because now I have succeeded in getting the degree.’
She thanked her parents for encouraging and providing for her during her studies. ‘I am doing my master’s now and my parents are still providing for me and for that I would like to thank them very much. I also want to thank my elder sister for paving the way for me. I learnt a great deal from her experiences and taking heed of her advice.’
Nyaradzo also thanked her parents for their encouragement and support.
'This is my third qualification from UKZN and I am so proud to have reached where I am today. Having completed a Bachelor’s degree in Community and Development Studies and an Honours degree in Community Development, I have now added a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Health.'
‘I have always been interested in health issues and because I am passionate about helping people and seeing communities develop in every aspect of life including health, I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health.