College of Humanities

Meet this Seasons Youngest Graduate

Just 20 years old and already a UKZN graduate – that’s what Mr Sifundo Mthembu can boast after being awarded a Bachelor of Social Science degree.

Mthembu was raised by an aunt who works for crop farmers in the Jozini area. ‘My aunt is a firm believer in young people getting a good education and that had an enormous impact on how seriously I took my studies,’ he said.

She taught him to experience reality by interacting authentically with the environment and others. ‘Even during hard times, she had a way of being able to put food on the table,’ he said.

Mthembu recalls being the youngest in his class during his high school days and constantly working hard. ‘I was taught to love my books from a tender age. I was also the youngest learner in Grade 12 and always produced great marks.

‘Studying at UKZN was interesting and challenging at the same time. I love challenges and that is what made it more interesting – studying at a higher institution one wants to embark on an interesting new journey,’ he said.

Getting his degree felt surreal but was a reward for the hardships he endured and the hard work he put in.

Encouraging his peers, he said after achieving a goal it was vital to set new ones. ‘I want to let them know there is no easy street to success – it all comes from challenging work and learning from failure. Let us continue chasing our dreams.’