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Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Eleven-year path to graduation dream

DREAM COME TRUE: Abongile Ngoma never gave up on his dream to complete his studies in Mechanical Engineering. DREAM COME TRUE: Abongile Ngoma never gave up on his dream to complete his studies in Mechanical Engineering.

It took eleven years of perseverance, but Abongile Ngono never gave up on his studies despite battling a debilitating health condition.

This week he will be among the graduates of the class of 2019 who will receive their qualifications during the university’s first-ever digital graduation ceremony on Thursday.

In 2008, Ngono enrolled for the National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering but in his second year of study, he fell extremely ill and couldn’t finish his exams.

“I got diagnosed with end-stage chronic kidney failure. I had to undergo dialysis, three times a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for four hours on a machine at Groote Schuur Hospital ... it caused a huge change in my studies because I had to take few subjects per semester, sometimes I would feel very ill and didn’t finish the semester,” said the 31-year-old.

To support himself and his young daughter, Ngono started working at a supermarket. In order to juggle all his responsibilities, complete his studies and attend his dialysis treatments, he decided to complete some of his subjects via Unisa.

“Here I am; after 11 years of struggling with a three-year diploma and I finally made it,” said an overjoyed Ngono.

He hopes to encourage students battling to finish their studies to endure.

“Don’t give up. Set your goals and make sure that you reach your goals.”

Ngono says the next dream he hopes to achieve is to find employment in his field.

Written by Ilse Fredericks


Provides coverage for the Health and Wellness Sciences and Informatics and Design Faculties.