- Xolani Mzileni obtained 27 distinctions at varsity but what makes his story more inspirational is that he failed Grade 11
- He never gave up on his dream of attending university and once there he was able to realise his true potential and excelled
- He hopes to inspire other young people to pursue their dreams and never give up
Xolani Mzileni, 26, from Katlehong has an amazing story of how he struggled in school, failing at one point, to eventually end up with 27 distinctions from varsity.
He is currently attending a masters student course in Operations Management at the University of Johannesburg.
His childhood was not easy, growing up in a township with very little in the way of services, no running water, healthcare facilities, proper housing and other essential services.
He began to realise his academic potential in Grade 11, which he failed,
Briefly.co.za learned that instead of giving up, Xolani repeated Grade 11 and eventually matriculated in 2013. He took a gap year from studying to sort out an issue with his ID book and worked as a day labourer.
His dream was to attend university and help the community, he joined a tutoring programme in his community and taught life sciences and geography.
He decided to try applying for university and was successful and got a spot at the University of Johannesburg and enrolled in a diploma in a Management Services course.
Things were not easy, with no funding he was forced to sleep in lecture halls for three months and was lucky enough to get food from the Gift of the Givers (GOG).
For his 2016 semester, he maintained an 85% average and went on to rack up a number of significant awards such as the diploma in Management Services and the Golden Key International Honour Society for being amongst the top 15% students in the University of Johannesburg.
He didn't stop there are founded the South African Renewers of Hope (SARH) non-profit corporation. He is the president of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM) UJ Society. Xolani is the current co-vice President for Golden Key International Honour Society UJ Chapter and we have been awarded Gold Status and Key Chapter award.
Recently he was appointed as the Influencer and Mentorship Manager a new App which is in development which aims to bring influencers and brands together.
With all his hard work and sacrifices, Xolani obtained 27 distinctions, graduated in record time for my diploma in Management Services with 83% overall average and also graduated with Distinction for my Honours/B-Tech in Quality.
He has also taken part in an international student exchange programme where he studied at the Appalachian State University, North Carolina in the United States of America.
His story is an inspirational one and he hopes to become a role model for youth in South Africa and help them realise that they can achieve their dreams.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Henlo Swart, who goes by the handle @henlo_swart on social media, has posted a moving story of how he became the first person in his family to graduate university and by doing so fulfilled his late father's dream.
He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Stellenbosch.
"Finally received my graduation certificate! A big deal to me as I'm the first person in my family to graduate from university!"
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that a young woman, Lindeni Lekhuleni, has proven that one can succeed even if you struggle at first.
The stunning graduate revealed she used to hate doing mathematics because like many other SA pupils, she had a tough time comprehending it. However, instead of Lekhuleni giving up, she joined a maths programme in Grade 10 and has never looked back.
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