A young mother of two, Londiwe Malimela (29) from KwaMashu graduated Cum Laude with her Degree of Bachelor of the Built Environment in Urban and Regional Planning at the opening of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Celebratory Autumn Graduation Ceremony held this morning at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre on Monday, 11 July 2022.
She enrolled at the DUT after realising that she needed to go back to school in order to support her two children.
“Prior to DUT, I was working in a call centre where young people were so unfairly treated. This made me realise that I needed to go back to school with the hope of making my life better and provide a good life for my kids,” said Malimela.
Speaking about her interest in Urban Planning, she developed a passion for this field after realising she had never known or heard of African female who is a Town Planner. This bothered her as she felt that young African female must be represented in such a dynamic field.
“I don’t believe people are aware of the important role Town Planners play in their everyday lives. From the homes we live in and communities we come from, to the places we work and to how our cities grow and how politics influence where we live, work and play. Town Planners play a major role in all of these things. These are just some of the reasons I enrolled into the Bachelor of the Built Environment in Urban and Regional Planning,” said Malimela.
Getting to walk on the graduation stage was a dream come true for her. The elated Malimela was extremely humbled at receiving the Dean’s Merit award and to be graduating Cum Laude. She believes her academic performance is only a small reflection of the passion she has for this field.
Her gratitude goes to her parents, uncle and friends for their unfailing support. Her father also being an academic was also one of the things that pushed her to excel in her studies. She plans to continue making him proud.
She also expressed her gratitude to her lecturers for their guidance and support, while studying during the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic. She plans to use the skills she acquired to be involved within the development of impoverished communities.
Malimela encouraged the first-year students embarking in the same career path, especially females, to set their goals high and focus.
Pictured: Londiwe Malimela with her DUT lecturers.