“I’m over the moon, and very excited. Obtaining a BTech is a dream come true, passing with cum laude is just an additional spice which makes it taste exceptionally good, said an elated Ndebele.
The Pietermaritzburg mother of two, Ivory Velephi Ndebele, obtained her Bachelor of Technology in Office Management and Technology, at the Midlands Graduation ceremony held at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Indumiso Campus, last Thursday, 26 April 2018.
For Ndebele, it was quite a long journey, a long walk to brighten her future. After graduating for her Diploma in 2008, she had this desire to further her studies but circumstances did not allow her to. “My mother being a single parent couldn’t afford to make it happen for me. My father passed away while we were still young. We grew up without him and with only a mother working at Kwazibambele, in the road earning less than a R500 per month and working for people as a general worker. So, I only depended on her and the funds from NSFAS. In time I got an internship from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (known as Cogta). I worked hard and I was put on contract. By that time, I was paying back the NSFAS money. The desire was still burning, I was still dreaming of studying,” she said.
She then got married and became a mother. She also obtained a permanent post of chief admin clerk at the Department of Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA). She then applied for a bursary within the Department and managed to work on furthering her studies. “I wasn’t sure if I will still make it or not. My concern was that I am now old and I will be studying with students still fresh from High Schools. I encouraged myself by saying commitment and dedication will help me achieve my dream. I thank God it happened,” she said jubilantly.
For Ndebele, balancing family, work and studies was yet another challenge. She had to sacrifice some of her family time in order to do her studies and having an understanding family also helped her a lot.
Her strong belief in God has been her strong tower and her hope in times of difficulties. She also thanks her husband, Evangelist Blessing Ndebele for supporting her both physically and spiritually.
Her self-motivation has seen her through from the lowest level to the highest level. She believes that she can achieve whatever she wants regardless of the circumstances in front of her. “If I wasn’t a self-motivator, I would not have achieved this Btech. Furthermore, I wanted to set a good example for my kids. I just want them to achieve more and do much better than me while they can,” she added.
Ndebele credits also having a role model like her mother as her inspiration. She is uneducated but made her realize that perseverance and focusing on the good things can make one a better person in future.
She is currently in the process of studying towards her Master of Management Sciences in Administration and Information Management.
“One can go a long way with studying depending on how far you want to reach. If you study just focus on studying, only do things that add value to your life or future, if it doesn’t why do it. Choose friends that add value to your life or future, if they don’t who will kill you for not associating yourself with them. Just do the good and leave the bad,” she said.
Pictured: Ivory Velephi Ndebele
By Waheeda Peters