Dumisani Ngobese, a University of KwaZulu-Natal graduate has had a happy ending after his graduation photos went viral on Friday 13 May.
The young man touched many hearts when he could not hold back his tears as he walked off stage during the joyous graduation ceremony at the university’s Durban Westville Campus. Among those moved is businessman Calvin Mathibeli who has offered him employment and a bursary.
Ngobese, a Bachelor of Arts graduate, was moved to tears during his graduation as he reflected on his “long and difficult journey” as a student.
The 23-year-old graduate was raised by his maternal grandmother in a rural area in KZN with over 10 children in one home.
“My grandmother was a street vendor and the sole breadwinner in the house where there were over 10 children,” UKZN quoted him as saying.
While his grandmother would have loved to see him graduate, she could not be present due to ill health.
“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,” he explained.
What also touched many about the young graduate’s story, was that he could not afford a suit for the occasion. Ngobese wore a black golf t-shirt and black jeans on the day.
You have seen the picture now know the story behind it
23-year-old Dumisani Ngobese could not hold back tears after he was conferred with a Bachelor of Arts degree at a ceremony held at the UKZN’s Westville Campus on Friday.
— University of KZN (@UKZN) May 13, 2022
Following the young graduate’s story, thousands of messages poured in across different social media platforms. These included congratulatory messages, well wishes, and pledges from South Africans who wanted to donate to him.
Calvin Mathibeli, a Durban businessman, also reached out to Ngobese and offered him permanent employment.
“I was so moved by his story because of his resilience but also because of the similarities that we have in terms of background. I spoke to him yesterday and I was very moved by his story,” said Mathibeli the owner of Calvin and Family Group of companies.
In addition, he explain that he created a vacancy for the resilient graduate and he will start his job on Monday 16 May. The businessman has also pledged to pay for Ngobese’s honours degree studies which he is currently pursuing at UKZN.
Durban businessman, Calvin Mathibeli was so moved by Ngobese’s story that he decided to create a permanent post for the young graduate.
In addition to that, has undertaken to pay for Ngobese’s Honours degree studies which he is currently pursuing at UKZN.
— University of KZN (@UKZN) May 14, 2022
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