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Tshwane University of Technology

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Residence Advisor, Millicent Msibi, HOD Residences, Aaron Mogashoa, take pictures
with alumni, Maria Mahlalela and Phumzile Ndaba after their graduation ceremony
at the Mbombela Campus.
Two admirable ladies who recently graduated from the Tshwane University of Technology despite facing many challenges, shared their remarkable journeys. Phumzile Ndaba (28) and Maria Mahlalela (37) both received National Diplomas in Public Management at the autumn graduation ceremony held at the Mbombela Campus. 

Ndaba and Mahlalela received National Diplomas in Public Management thanks to their perseverance and hard work. Ndaba used to work as a Cleaner at the residences before she became the Cleaning Supervisor. Before that, she worked as a cashier at a filling station. In 2013, she enrolled for a National Diploma, something she had wished to do since she finished Matric in 2006.

“Millicent Msibi, a colleague and close friend, helped me shape my future. She encouraged me to further my studies. “When I told her that I wish to graduate, she came back the next day with a student number and said the rest is up to me. I knew then that I couldn’t let her down. She believed in me. When I visited her office, she would ask me about my progress in class before she enquired about my kids,” said Ndaba.
Mahlalela, who used to work as a Security Guard at the University, also shared how she decided to change her life. “I never wanted to be a Security Guard. Each year, I watched students graduate in front of me,” she said. “The little profit I made from selling vegetables helped me make ends meet because I had to quit my job to continue with my studies. I worked odd hours and it was getting in the way. Later, in my first-year I received financial aid and that made things better. Now I’m qualified. The hard work paid off. I wouldn’t trade that for anything else. I am definitely going to continue with my studies. My journey is only halfway,” Mahlalela added.

Millicent, Residence Advisor: Mebala Residence, and friend to both Ndaba and Mahlalela, said, “I love seeing other women succeed in life. It gives me great pleasure to lend a helping hand where I can. Knowing their backgrounds compelled me to help change their situations. Sometimes, I would go to the extent of checking if they were really going to class. I am grateful to see them receiving their qualifications. This means that they can now make their lives better and provide for their children.”

Ndaba and Mahlalela agree that the journey was not easy. At times they would go to the residences to seek assistance from other students who were more than willing to help. It’s through their perseverance and hard work that they have succeeded. They both plan to take their studies even further to unlock windows of opportunities.

“We are proud to exist in an environment that has such great opportunities for anyone who is ready and willing to work hard. I am proud of Millicent, who offered the kind of support that our Department is known to provide. We wish to congratulate both Mahlalela and Ndaba on their achievements, this goes to prove the old saying that, it is better to be prepared for opportunities and not have them, than to have opportunities and not be prepared to exploit them” said Aaron Mogashoa HOD: Accommodation Residence Life and Catering.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to