Hearing Impairment – a Blessing in Disguise for Graduate!
Masters in Medical Science (Medical Microbiology) graduate, Mr Mlungisi Thabiso Dlamini says his hearing impairment has been a blessing in disguise as it forced him to be attentive in class and maintain a 110% focus at all times!
Dlamini lost hearing partially in his right ear after an infection in primary school. The hearing loss has made studying difficult to some extent but he has come out of the university experience very motivated.
The 26-year-old is currently a PhD Research Fellow at UKZN’s Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), under the mentorship of Professor Tulio de Oliveira. With South Africa having such a high HIV and TB prevalence, he aspires to be one of the contributors and a researcher in the field of HIV/TB treatment and prevention in the future.
‘I don’t have words to explain my excitement about this accomplishment. It was not easy at all, research is very challenging and requires your entire commitment and focus,’ said Dlamini. ‘With that said, all the sacrifices I made paid off at the end and I would not have done it without the Almighty God and the support from my family, my supervisor, colleagues and friends.
‘The reason I went for a Master’s degree in Medical Science was mainly because of the high prevalence of HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths and TB infections in South Africa, especially in KwaZulu-Natal. I feel like our people, especially in rural areas, are not educated enough about these diseases. I strongly believe that through education, we’ll be able to generate and impart more knowledge to our communities about these two diseases and thus save more lives.’
He says his study experience at UKZN has been very good. ‘The transition from a high school setting to a university environment is always a huge challenge, especially to someone like me who grew up in rural areas. Everything moves at a very fast pace at the beginning but you eventually get used to it, thanks to UKZN’s friendly environment.’
Dlamini says he draws his strength from God through prayer, and from his family, friends and colleagues.
Born and raised in Esikhawini and Ingwavuma, he later moved to Durban where he started university and currently stays with his mother, stepfather and two siblings in KwaMashu, Durban. Dlamini loves music, soccer and enjoys any chicken dish.