Wearing his graduation gown, walking across the stage and being capped have left Kwanele Mlinganiso beaming with pride.
A security guard at Nelson Mandela University (NMU), Mlinganiso graduated with a higher certificate in business studies last month.
He was employed by the university in 2015 as a result of insourced security NMU obtained during the Fees Must Fall movement.
After becoming permanently employed, Mlinganiso was able to procure study benefits.
To obtain his qualification, he basically lived out of his bag. He arranged with his bosses to only work late shifts (6pm to 6am) and would attend classes during the day.
“That year was tough. I only went home on Fridays for the weekend, because there was no time. In my bag I didn’t only have books, but also toiletries and clothes,” he said. He would only return home to Wells Estate on weekends.
“I can’t explain how I’m feeling right now. I’m so happy. I feel like this is a dream, because I never thought that I, Kwanele Mlinganiso, would have an opportunity to cross a university stage wearing a graduation gown,” he said.— #FreshFm1029 (@FreshFMNamibia) December 21, 2019
The same year, Mlinganiso passed nine of his 10 modules, and did the remaining module in 2019, which he passed with distinction.
“The opportunity to study came at a point where I had already lost all hope of tasting a tertiary education. The university was like a parent to me because it made possible things which my mother could not, and the support I get at work is just amazing.”
After passing grade 12 in 2007 with a university pass, he couldn’t carry the financial burden of studies. He tried to secure bursaries, but eventually left his hometown of Takara to find work in PE.
Mlinganiso is a married father of two. His wife also works as a security guard at NMU and she is currently bettering her grade 12 results.
“I don’t take these opportunities for granted and I wish to inspire others, including my colleagues, some of whom may not yet understand the value of furthering their studies.”Kwanele Mlinganiso
“I said to my wife now that there are these opportunities we must grab them. There will be no uneducated person in my home.”
Mlinganiso ultimately wants to have his own business and plans to further his studies by pursuing a Diploma in Business Studies. His dream is to employ people and hopefully change their lives for the better, reported News24.