Sthembile Mngwengwe, a 40-year-old woman, has obtained her degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she worked as a cleaner for 14 years.
South African native Stembile Mngwengwe earned her BA in Social Sciences. She recounted that her journey was difficult as she had to juggle work and studies throughout her academic journey. “Balancing work and studies gave me a lot of stress,” she said.
Stembile Mngwengwe also explained that her motivation was to be on campus and see the famous offices occupied by professors as she cleaned. “I was motivated to be on campus myself, seeing students walking up and down to their lecture theaters to take classes made me want to be them,” he said.
Stembile Mngwengwe, a single mother of a 20-year-old young woman, added that she wanted to set a good example for her daughter by showing her that circumstances should not stop her from getting a degree. She was awarded a scholarship by the university which motivated her further.
Elaborating on her determination to obtain a degree, Sthebile Mngwengwe stated that she always had the desire to become a graduate, but unfortunately she was unable to do so as at the time of university enrollment, her parents could not afford to pay for her her education.
Stembile talked about how her fellow students supported her throughout the program. She said that they didn’t care that she was older, that they treated her as their friend and that they helped and encouraged her.
She has announced that her degree will now allow her to find a better job. His friends, colleagues and family celebrate her success by throwing many parties.