- A young man, Mbekezeli Sibahle Nxumalo, hails from a rural village but he did not allow anything to stand in his way of success
- Nxumalo obtained his Master's degree in Pure Mathematics in Topology and Category Theory from the University of the Western Cape
- He becomes the first student with the degree and managed to graduate with distinctions
Mbekezeli Sibahle Nxumalo is the kind of man other young people should look up to. Nxumalo, who is proud of his Zulu heritage, grew up in a rural area in the North of KwaZulu-Natal.
He attended public school named Bonginhlanhla High School before pursing a degree in physical science at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
"I was raised by unemployed parents. My mom used to gather woods from a mountain and sell them for our survival, and she used to work in other people's maize fields, where they could give her maize in return. We used that maize to make maize meal and sometimes sell maize from our field to get money for other things. My father used to sell snuff (Intsu)," he said.
Nxumalo had the desire to change his home situation and he knew he had to work hard. He obtained his B.Sc degree before completing a Honours degree in Physical Sciences.
The inspiring young man then pursued his Master's degree in Pure Mathematics degree, which he completed with distinctions.
"The degree will be conferred to me with Cum Laude (82%). This follows from the Cum Laude (80%) average I received in 2017 for Bsc (Hons) Physical Sciences," he told Briefly.co.za.
Nxumalo said he's was the first one to switch from physics to mathematics at Master's level and still obtain a distinction from UWC.
Bagging his Master's already opened doors for Nxumalo.
"I have recently been appointed as an associate lecturer at UWC. This will help me change my situation at home while pushing for the highest NQF level (Level 10) which is PhD."
Nxumalo hopes his story will inspire other young people who feel like they can't achieve greatness because of their backgrounds.
"To people who are in my situation, I say, believe in yourself. Your background will always be part of your journey, but it shouldn't define you. Fight against all the negative powers that your background brings to block you. If I could do it, what will stop somebody else?"
On Tuesday, Briefly.co.za reported on a woman, Julia Modise, has inspired South Africans with her academic achievement. On Monday, Modise revealed she landed her PhD degree from the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
Her tweet read:
"Leadership @FabAcademic @SMukwakungu @MondeSoni, time to report PhD pocketed."
She shared a letter by UWC announcing Modise completed her doctorate degree and would graduate on 1 April.
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