Meet Dayalan Pillay: From Boring Retail Job to Top 5 Graduate in Durban

Meet Dayalan Pillay: From Boring Retail Job to Top 5 Graduate in Durban

  • A Durban man, Dayalan Pillay, obtained a tertiary education 22 years after completing matric
  • Losing his mother at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and days before his examinations did not deter Dayalan Pillay from scoring all A symbols in his finals
  • Working in the retail sector had no room for promotion for Dayalan so he decided to change his own future

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By Neesha Maharaj - Freelance Journalist

Dayalan Pillay aspires to be a leader and he is resolute in his goal to secure his dream job despite challenging life encounters.

Meet Dayalan Pillay: From Boring Retail Job to Top 5 for Durban Graduate
Dayalan Pillay studied hard to leave his retail job behind. He also finished top 5 in his class. Image: Supplied
Source: UGC

The A-aggregate graduate at MANCOSA, who graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in IT Management, was a top five student in his class. Pillay completed his degree despite losing his mum at the height of the Covid19 pandemic and cramming for a stressful examination under coronavirus conditions.

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Coming from humble beginnings, tertiary studies were not an option for the 45-year-old Durbanite after he matriculated. Instead, he had to contend with a low-paying job working in the retail sector. He thought he would never realise his dream of obtaining a tertiary education.

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Pillay became lost in his boring yet tough retail job for years. His saving grace was when he was offered a job as a technician for Telkom five years ago. This position offered him a bursary opportunity for tertiary studies and Pillay knew he was back on track to achieving his goal of becoming a manager.

This encouraged Pillay to obtain good marks. According to the father of twin girls, a demanding full-time job, a family and studying simultaneously was tough. The only time he could find to study was on weekends and late nights on weekdays. However, he persevered and scored all A symbols in his final exams.

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Pillay said he had to grapple with the death of his mother during the lockdown last year, just a few days before his examinations.

“Losing my mum due to Covid19 was a great loss. I realised, however, that my mum wanted the best for me in life, which motivated me to do well in my examinations,” he said.
“As you grow older, one appreciates opportunities like the bursary I was given. There is no age restriction to studying.
"You can gain an education at any age. I am thankful that I had this bursary through Telkom. Working in a boring retail job with no prospects was bad. My degree is key to me getting that management job I so desire,” said Pillay.

Dayalan aspires to achieve a management position at a parastatal or a large corporate. According to Dayalan, online studying can be tough and it took some time before he adapted to studying after more than 20 years away from an educational environment.

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“I also wanted to prove to my 15-year-old twin years that working and studying is achievable,“ he said.

He encouraged other students to focus on their goals and study hard to succeed.

“Join the right study groups comprising people who want to work not fool around, and don’t leave work for the last minute, instead work consistently,” he added.

Meet Ntombifuthi Mchunu who worked at KFC for 4 years to fund her nursing studies

Earlier, Briefly News reported that Ntombifuthi Mchunu's grass to grace story is truly an inspiring one. The young woman worked tirelessly at KFC for four years to pay for her studies to become a qualified nurse.

Now, Ntombifuthi has realised her dream after becoming a qualified nurse.

"It is true that in life if you want to achieve something it doesn't matter where you came from," Mchunu told Briefly News in an exclusive interview with Thomo Nkgadima.

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She celebrated her achievement on social media when she posted:

"Four and half years later from KFC team member to a professional nurse. It's possible," Ntombifuthi said:

"It takes hard work and dedication for someone to achieve what I have achieved. I was very consistent. It was not easy to study while I worked but I knew what I wanted to achieve.
"This is a lesson to those who overlook people that work at retail stores and think they are not educated."

Source: Briefly.co.za

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