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  • DUT Alumni


Graduating Cum Laude with the prestigious Dean’s Merit Award for academic excellence for the Degree of Bachelor of Education has given Sinegugu Magutshwa hope for a bright future ahead. She is extremely proud of herself for obtaining 21 distinctions out of her 29 modules.

Magutshwa (23) from Ilovu, Durban was among the School of Education graduates under the Faculty of Arts and Design who were honoured for successfully completing their qualifications at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Celebratory Autumn Graduation ceremony held at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg on Monday, 25 July 2022.

As her name was called on the graduation stage, she became emotional as she is the first person in her family to study at a university and to graduate.

“It has been a long journey which has been worth the wait. I’m happy that I was able to finish my undergraduate degree in record time with not only a Cum Laude but also the Dean’s Merit award. A Dean’s Merit Award is afforded to the best student in a qualification and I am honoured to have been recognised as the best student,” said Magutshwa.

Looking back in her education journey, Magutshwa said she nearly gave up on studying in 2016 after she was expelled from school due to her pregnancy. The following year, 2017 she said she went back to school complete her matric.

“Life has never been easy on me. In my matric year, my father lost his job due to epilepsy. Things changed drastically at home especially financially as we depended on my mother who was a domestic worker working two days in a week. In 2017 towards the end of the year I received admission to DUT (Midlands Campus) to pursue the Bachelor of Education. In January 2018, the registration money was hard to raise, some of the money had to be borrowed because I had no funding. The NSFAS status was still pending and the money saved by my mother was not enough for depositing tuition registration and residence,” explained Magutshwa.

Her father passed away when she was in her first year of study, however as broken as she was, life had to go on. She said receiving the NSFAS funding was her breakthrough and life became much better.

“I was appointed as a tutor, both at DUT School of Education and Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CELT) in the Residence Education Programme. I was tutoring and mentoring students who came after me, first and second-year students. I used to stay at the library day and night. Some students used to tease me and call me ‘Inkosi Yabafundi’ which means ‘King of Students)’ because each and every time there was a book next to me,” said Magutshwa.

She is hopeful that she will soon find a job in order to assist her mother who is a domestic worker.

Pictured: Sinegugu Magutshwa

Photographer: Vusi Dlamini

Simangele Zuma

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