- The life of the popular UKZN graduate Dumisani Ngobese who trended on social media after being overcome with emotion on stage has progressed amazingly
- His images went viral online, compelling a Durban businessman to create a permanent post for the young graduate who now works as an acting chairman
- The 23-year-old has since been thrown a graduation party and is pursuing his honours degree as he seeks to grow and become independent
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After experiencing an unkind upbringing marked by a disadvantaged background as his mother and grandmother did the best they could to make ends meet, the turnaround story of UKZN graduate, Dumisani Ngobese overcoming the odds, has touched many South Africans.
The 23-year-old spoke to Briefly News about how his life changed overnight after going viral when he attended his graduation despite not being to afford a suit for the event.
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Dumisani grew up in Bhukhanana, a rural area outside eMpangeni raised by his mother and grandmother. His grandmother was a street vendor and the sole breadwinner in the house where there were more than 10 children.
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He shared that he wanted his gogo to be present as he was conferred with his BA Bachelor’s degree but due to health issues, she couldn’t make it.
“My family is so proud of me. They are so thrilled that they can finally say there is a graduate in the family. Even to this day they still talk about my accomplishment.
“When I cried on that graduation stage, a lot of things were going through my mind. My childhood, difficult background, and hard journey up until that point just came to me all at once at that very moment as I stepped onto the stage. I was feeling so proud.”
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He says he studied a Bachelor of Arts because it is broad and allows him to branch out into different industries and professions. He majored in English and Tourism and is looking to do his honours in Tourism which he says has been his passion for the longest time.
A viral sensation
Dumisani says he couldn’t believe the popularity he gained after his graduation images were shared on social media by the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
“I thought I’d just attend my graduation and go back to rest in the afternoon. I expected life to just carry on as normal. Next thing, people are talking about me on Facebook and re-sharing my photos. Nothing could have prepared me for the influx of comments, messages, calls, and DMs I received from people I didn’t even know congratulating me. I became a celebrity overnight. I was shocked, even now I still am.”
Less than 24 hours after his emotional graduation, one of the people who reached out to Dumisani in hopes to improve his situation and secure a bright future was Durban businessman, Calvin Mathibeli owner of Calvin and Family Group of companies.
He was so moved by Ngobese’s story that he decided to create a permanent post for the young graduate. In addition to that, he has undertaken to pay for Ngobese’s Honours degree studies which he is currently pursuing at UKZN.
The 34-year-old businessman said Ngobese’s story resonated with him because he was also raised by his grandmother in a big family.
“I’ll be acting chairman for Calvin as he is always away on business. It is all very exciting and still feels like a dream. This is so big,” Dumisani said.
He was also thrown an amazing graduation party by Vuma FM radio personality Jacinta Ngobese recently at the Hilton Hotel in Umhlanga, where she made sure the graduate’s grandmother and the rest of the family were present.
Looking onto the future
Dumisani shared that he has many goals but the main one is to be his own man and thrive in the industry of tourism.
He hopes to inspire a sense of pride in all things that make Africa the vibrant and diverse country it is.
His advice to other youngsters on a similar path as his:
“People should be positive and focus on their studies. Despite life’s challenges, they are capable and can do anything they put their minds to.”
Emotional story of perseverant UKZN graduate moves Durban businessman
In a related 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