Graduate gets last laugh after Professor dismissed him as a failure

Graduate gets last laugh after Professor dismissed him as a failure

- UKZN medical science masters student Ndumiso Buthelezi graduated last week

- Buthelezi decided to make a statement at his graduation by wearing an orange overall emblazoned with the words of his former professor

- The professor unleashed tirade after tirade against Buthelezi and eventually dismissed him from the chemistry lab, but Buthelezi did not give up on his dream

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Ndumiso Buthelezi graduated from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) last week. Buthelezi had been a medical science master’s student and decided to use his graduation as a statement after being mistreated by one of his professors.

Buthelezi decided to wear an orange emblazoned with the words: “You’re useless, you’re wasting My Time, get the f*** out my lab." Those are the words Buthelezi claims the professor said to him before dismissing him from the chemistry laboratory.

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Buthelezi said the orange overalls signified him being an intellectual prisoner and victim of the professor’s verbal tirades. gathered that the graduation stunt attracted a lot of attention on campus, with scores of people wanting to look at what was written on the orange overalls.

“For my graduation, I wished to make a statement so that all supervisors stop mistreating students who are under their supervision. The university management needs to know what we as students go through while we are under the people they hired to mentor and harness our skills to become future researchers. Some supervisors think we belong to them. Like we are their property,” Buthelezi said.

He successfully completed his BSc Chemistry (Honours) in 2014 and in 2016 Buthelezi he started on his master’s in Medical Sciences Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Buthelezi says while doing lab research he was often mistreated and the subject of verbal tirades from the professor, who is reportedly on suspension. He said in the insults led to a noticeable drop in his academic performance.

He said he considered dropping out, but his friends convinced him not to give up on his dream. Buthelezi changes professors and he successfully completed his degree.

Normah Zondo, acting Executive Director for Corporate Relations at UKZN said the matter had been brought to the attention of the university’s management.

“This unfortunate matter has been brought to the attention of the university and is currently under investigation. The university condemns any action that compromises its core purpose of serving and supporting and providing a conducive learning environment for its students,” she said.

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