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Sunday, May 26, 2024

23-year-old African student sponsored by poor grandmother fights to make her proud, graduates university with honors and scholarship award

A 23-year-old man named Dumisani Ngobese who was raised by his poor grandmother has defied all odds to graduate from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He was awarded a scholarship and full-time employment for his determination.

Ngobese felt emotional when he received his Bachelor’s degree in Arts from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He was overwhelmed as he thought about his academic journey which he described a long and difficult journey,

He was raised by his maternal grandmother in Ba rural area where she is a street vendor and sole breadwinner for a house where there were over 10 children. Ngobese said his grandmother could not make the trip to see him graduate due to poor health.

”It was going to be difficult for her because she is not well and she would have had to take about three taxis to get here. But my mother and aunt were present at the graduation,” he said.


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Ngobese mentioned that though he could not afford to buy a suit for graduation, as many of his peers did, missing his graduation ceremony was not an option.

‘‘I could not afford to buy a suit but I just had to be there at graduation,” he said. Pictures of an emotional Ngobese in tears on stage were shared on the university’s social media platforms which went viral.

The post garnered attention with thousands of South Africans offering words of encouragement and some pledging various donations. The CEO of Calvin and Family Group of companies, Mr Calvin Mathibeli was so moved by his story that he decided to create a permanent post for Ngobese.


Mr Calvin also awarded Ngobese a scholarship for him to study for his honors degree. ”I was so moved by his story because of his resilience but also because of the similarities that we have in terms of background,” Calvin said.

”I had other vacancies but I thought let me create one, especially for Dumisani. He will be starting work on Monday, it will be a good position and a permanent one. He said he is studying online and we will also be paying for his studies,” he added.

Mr. Calvin stated that he would also groom Ngobese in business should he also want to pursue the same path. ”Of course, business is not for everyone. What we will do is to find out what his dreams are and we will complement them,” he said.


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