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  • DUT Alumni


The overachiever, Adele Govender was awarded with a Cum Laude and the Dean’s Merit Award at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, ICC, for her Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Communications at the 2022 DUT Autumn Graduation Ceremony, on Friday 16 July 2022.

“I must first give all glory and thanks to God for seeing me through all my endeavours. Without him, none of this would be possible. To be awarded Cum Laude and the Dean’s Merit Award is a great honour and affirms all the hard work, time, energy and dedication that went into achieving my final results,” said Govender.

The 35-year-old resides in the Bluff area, south of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, she began her academic journey with Durban University of Technology (DUT) in 2005 when she enrolled for the National Diploma in Public Relations Management and completed her qualification in 2008. She saw the fruits of her success and was awarded with Cum Laude and the Dean’s Merit Award.

She initially could not further her studies to a Bachelor of Technology level when she had lost her father to suicide and had to step up to be the sole bread winner of the family as her mother was unemployed.

After taking a seven year break, she then decided to resume her studies and fulfill her initial goal by enrolling for the Bachelor of Technology in Public Relations Management. She faced some few challenges after taking such a big break from studying as she realised a lot has changed from the time she first began studying. Govender had to adjust to the new, online learning and teaching methods and her unfailing perseverance led her to another Cum Laude and the Dean’s Merit Award.

“I was quite unfamiliar with the platforms, however, after frequent use, perseverance and much support from my lecturers, I must admit that it is an exceptional educational resource that I hope all students appreciate and value,” added Govender.

During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown she registered for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Communication Management. She was challenged again to adapt and adjust to her studies and her full-time job as a Marketing Manager for the largest private radiology group in KZN. Planning and prioritising her tasks was her strategic tactic to balance her studies and work duties, and it once again led her to achieving excellence.

Govender was admitted as a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society for Academic Excellence in 2021.

Her mother had always instilled the importance of education from a very young age. “She has been my greatest supporter since I was in primary school and was present for all my awards days and graduations, she was over the moon when she heard of my results,” she said ecstatically.

She also spoke highly of her husband who has been her pillar of strength and encouraged her to pursue her academic goal. Her sister has been her little cheerleader, celebrating her achievements as her own which also explains how close they are. Govender does not consider herself a gifted student but just an academically, passionate one.

Initially she wanted to study Civil Engineering as she enjoyed technical drawing in high school. However, she was not convinced that it would fit her personality , so she conducted in-depth research in terms of career choices and decided to select Public Relations as her choice of study. Her ultimate academic goal is to complete her MBA.

Govender advises first-year students to have an immense passion and drive for everything and a creative and inquiring mind.

“Remember that academic content and application go hand-in-hand,” she said.

Pictured: Adele Govender

Picture Credit: Sandile Nkosi

Nonkululeko Ngcobo

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