South Africa News

Heartbreaking scenes: UKZN student Dumisani Ngobese could not afford to buy suit for his graduation

People on social media have been left teary-eyed by the heartbreaking story of a University of KwaZulu-Natal student Dumisani Ngobese who graduated yesterday and could not afford a suit.

The 23-year-old student graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the institution’s Westville Campus on Friday.

Dumisani’s case is a story of a young man who conquered the drawbacks of poverty and lack to rise to great honours.

Dumisani Ngobese

He did not let his inability to get a suit deter him from experiencing the best day of his life. On his graduation, Dumisani wore a black golf t-shirt and black skinny jeans.

I could not afford to buy a suit, but I just had to be there at the graduation.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal Facebook page shared images of Dumisani, overwhelmed by deep waves of emotion, wailing as he took to the podium to be conferred with his degree.

Dumisani Ngobese

Dumisani was crying as he reflected on the “long and difficult journey” that culminated in the glorious day.

UKZN said the student was raised by his grandmother under harsh conditions in Bhukanana, a rural tract outside eMpangeni.

My grandmother was a street vendor and the sole breadwinner in the house with over ten children.

It would be expected that Dumisani’s granny would want to witness her grandson’s big day, having played a significant role in it becoming a reality. She, however, could not make it due to bad health.

Dumisani Ngobese

It was going to be difficult for her because she is not well and she would have had to take about three taxis to get here. But my mother and my aunt were present at the graduation.

Dumisani’s graduation pictures deeply moved South Africans, and they are now getting in touch with him to see how they can elevate him.

I am overwhelmed by the number of calls. I have been getting so much such that I cannot respond to all of them. People have been phoning to wish me well, while some have even pledged donations. I am grateful to all the people showing me love.

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