Just 20 years old and already a University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) graduate – Mr Sifundo Mthembu is the youngest of his peers, graduating with a Bachelor of Social Science degree.
Mthembu recalls being the youngest in his class during his high school days and constantly working hard. “I was taught to love my books from a tender age. I was also the youngest learner in Grade 12 and always produced great marks.”
Mthembu was inspired by his aunt who raised him with the living she made working for crop farmers in the Jozini area. “My aunt is a firm believer in young people getting a good education and that had an enormous impact on how seriously I took my studies. She taught me to experience reality by interacting authentically with the environment and others,” he said.
“Even during hard times, she had a way of being able to put food on the table,” he added.
Mthembu says graduating felt surreal and rewarding for the hardships he endured and the hard work he put in.
His advice to the youth is to continuously set goals, “After achieving a goal it is vital to set new ones. There is no easy street to success – it all comes from challenging work and learning from failure. Let us continue chasing our dreams.”