• DUT Alumni

DESPITE GILDEN COMING FROM A COMMUNITY FACED WITH MANY CHALLENGES SHE FOCUSED AND ACCOMPLISHED HER D


“This is for my parents,” said the young and ambitious Medical Laboratory Science student under the Faculty of Health Sciences, Laila Lynise Gilden, who has bagged Cum Laude and a Dean’s Merit Award in her studies.

The 22-year- old from Wentworth, a small community in the South of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal graduated at the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Virtual Autumn graduation on Friday, 13 May 2022.


“When I found out about my accomplishment, I was overwhelmed but I feel blessed and grateful to God, because I would not be where I am today if it was not for him. I definitely think that graduating with Cum Laude and the Dean’s Merit Award adds more merit to my name as it shows my good work ethics and dedication. My grades are a very accurate indication of my success in university,” she added.


Gilden was delighted that her hard work and determination finally paid off. Her parents did not have the opportunity to fulfil their studies, so they wanted the best for her. For them to see her excel in life and reach her goals brought her great joy.

Gilden’s journey at DUT started in 2018 when she was fresh out of matric. She is now a Bachelor of Health Sciences graduate in Medical Laboratory Science in the field of Clinical Pathology. Gilden’s journey at DUT was very challenging but also very rewarding at the same time. Throughout the years she spent at DUT she was involved in a number of activities and that helped her grow as an individual and excel in different areas of her life.


Adding to her list of credentials, Gilden was also a class representative for four years and a student residence committee member for one year which developed her communications skills, problem solving, initiative and time management.

“I live in a community faced with many challenges like poverty, violence, gangsters and drugs. Throughout these years I never let this affect me and I have focused and pushed through with my studies. This course was also challenging and even more so when I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in 2020. Despite all my challenges with regards to my studies I overcame them because of my faith in God, and with the support of my family, the university and last but not least, Ampath Laboratories, who had assisted me to a great extent in my final academic year,” she said.


She is also grateful that she was given the opportunity to spend four years in the department of Biomedical and Clinical Technology. Gilden is thankful to them for all their support and understanding throughout her years in DUT.


Gilden was not aware of this field of study but her passion was to always to contribute to the Healthcare in South Africa. She was introduced to this course by her teacher in High school, Mr Harripersad from Umbilo Secondary School in Wentworth.


“It’s an unknown profession to many individuals but Medical Laboratory Scientists see things beyond the naked eye and are able to know a patient’s condition without even seeing them. Medical Laboratory scientists play an essential role as the backbone of a diagnostic team and I am proud to now be called one,” she said.


Gilden is planning to pursue her Master’s in Medical Laboratory Science next year because this year she is focusing on her health. Currently, she is working as a permanent employee at Ampath Laboratories as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in the department of Microbiology. Gilden’s goal is to open up her own Laboratory.


To all first year students who want to enrol in Medical Laboratory Science, do one’s research, make sure one is passionate about what one plans to study because if one does love what one does there’s a chance one might not make it through.


‘’I would like to thank everyone that has contributed to the success with regards to my academics. I would also like to remind the youth of Wentworth that there is hope for the youth in that community and if I can do it so can you,” said Gilden.


Pictured: Laila Lynise Gilden

Nomvelo Zulu

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