BA Graduate Overcome with Joy at Graduation
Bachelor of Arts student Mr Michael Nyawose was overjoyed after being capped at the College of Humanities Graduation ceremony, saying he saw his degree as an instrument to break a cycle of poverty that has dogged his life.
‘I am thrilled to be graduating. I thank God and my ancestors for constantly protecting me. Thanks also to Dr Makhosazane Nkosi for her support,’ said Nyawose.
‘This degree is everything to me. I come from a very poor background and I worked hard for this. I want to make something of myself and education is the key to that success,’ he said.
Orphaned at a young age, Nyawose grew up in Umlazi with his two sisters. ‘We relied on income from rooms we rented out but it was not enough. If we ran out of margarine or other food items we couldn’t buy anymore because we didn’t have the cash.
‘I decided I didn’t want to live below the breadline anymore so I worked hard at school and matriculated with an exemption,’ said Nyawose.
He was accepted into UKZN but was unable to secure funding until through help from a relative, he paid his registration fees, later receiving financial support from the Duduzile Zuma Foundation Trust.
‘I found it difficult to adjust to the University environment but soon learned how to adapt academically and socially. It was challenging at times but I managed to get through. Being at UKZN opened my mind to so many possibilities and opportunities. I became more knowledgeable and disciplined and I joined various student organisations where I learned a lot about social issues and the global world,’ he said.
To earn money, Nyawose became a mentor to high school learners in rural areas. ‘Education is key to making a difference in the world; it starts with a small gesture.’
He advised other students to never give up. ‘When times are tough, remember that you can do it.’
Nyawose is currently a contract staff member at the Howard College student residences and is studying towards a postgraduate finance degree with the aim of becoming either a stockbroker or an asset manager.
‘At the moment, I don’t have funding to pay for my postgraduate studies. I had three jobs in December and January just to pay the registration fees,’ he said.