Robbery Shooting Survivor Graduates With Degree 14 Years After the Incident That Left Him Partially Paralysed

Robbery Shooting Survivor Graduates With Degree 14 Years After the Incident That Left Him Partially Paralysed

  • Back in 2008, Fikile Ngcani from Comfimvaba in the Eastern Cape was shot in the head during an armed robbery in Johannesburg
  • He graduated with his long-sought-after BA degree exactly 14 years later from the University of Fort Hare
  • After being met with various challenges and hungry to further his studies, he matriculated at the age of 31 and also won R40 000 in an essay-writing competition

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The story of a recent graduate who survived a brazen shooting that left him paralysed has touched the hearts of many South Africans.

Fikile Ngcani from Comfimvaba in the Eastern Cape was shot in the head during an armed robbery in Johannesburg on 18 May 2008. Fourteen years later to the day, he was conferred a Bachelor of Arts Degree during the UFH May graduation. He uses a walking frame to get around.

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Robbery Shooting, Survivor Graduates, Degree 14 Years After, Partially Paralysed
Using only one hand to write, Fikile Ngcani managed to complete his degree in the prescribed three years. Image: University of Fort Hare/Facebook
Source: Facebook

According to the University of Fort Hare, the shooting left the 40-year-old paralysed on the right side of his body, causing damage to his bladder and speech impairment. He uses a walking frame to get around.

He had this to say about his graduation:

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“It is only now that I realise how far I have come from the day of the shooting. I had so many obstacles stacked against me, but I never gave up."

Recalling the incident, Fikile said:

“I went to the local store to buy airtime. When I was about to enter the store, I heard gunshots and an order to lie on the floor, which I did. I was shot while lying on the floor face-down,” he said.

After spending three months recovering in hospital, he decided to move back to the Eastern Cape.

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“I lived with my grandmother, who had no means of income. We only had one meal a day and there was no money for transport to attend physiotherapy sessions. I became hopeless,” he said.

However, a strong desire to go back to school restored his hope for a better life.

Fikile Ngcani matriculated at the age of 31 in 2013.

“I dropped out of school in Grade 11. I knew it would be difficult to get back into the schooling system, but I was determined.”

Fortunately, he was accepted at a local school where he was placed in the Grade 10 class at age 28.

“My matric bachelor pass was my ticket to university,” he said.

He applied to UFH and initially studied towards a BCom Degree in Business Management and Industrial Psychology.

In 2016 while in the second year of his BCom study, Prof Willie Chinyamurindi (Business Management HOD) nominated him for an essay writing competition. The competition sought to recognise students who inspire others despite their struggles.

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One of the professors said the quote Fikile wrote in his essay which was: "My footsteps may be slow but I will get there," applies to of all us in the different types of conditions we struggle with as human beings.

He won the competition and walked away with a R40 000 cash prize.

"Fikile’s story is a testament that with proper guidance, support and understanding, we can all get there," said Prof Chinyamurindi of UFH.

Unfortunately, Fikile was unable to complete his BCom Degree due to some challenges. He then enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2019. Using only one hand to write, he managed to complete his degree in the prescribed three years.

“Currently, my goal is to obtain an Honours Degree, however, I have to settle my student debt first. I am hoping for financial assistance to pay it off in order to reach my goal.”

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Inspired South Africans poured in congratulations in response to Fikile’s story, which was also shared on Facebook by the university.

Tantaswa Sidlai wrote:

“Congratulations bhuti. God is able. Keep on trusting God and He will walk with you.”

Portia Sihawu said:

“God has been good, congratulations bhuti. You are an inspiration to many. Good luck.”

Kelvin B Matoti responded:

“That's my man! Ta fiks Congrats brother. He once said "Patience is everything Kelvin, be patient mfana'kuthi".”

Chikwerem Obi replied:

“Thank God for His enduring mercies.”

Emotional story of perseverant UKZN graduate, 23, moves Durban businessman

In a separate story, Briefly News reported that South Africans were left in awe at the touching story of a young man who couldn’t hold back his tears upon collecting his hard-earned degree despite all the odds stacked against him.

UKZN graduate, Dumisani Ngobese, serves as proof of God’s perfect timing. Despite not being able to afford a suit for the prestigious occasion, Dumisani was conferred with a Bachelor of Arts degree at a ceremony held at UKZN’s Westville Campus on Friday.

This was the ceremony he was not going to miss. “I could not afford to buy a suit but I just had to be there at graduation.”

Source: Briefly News

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