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Thursday, 01 July 2021

Never too old to learn

SUCCESS: Graduate Nokwanda Popiel SUCCESS: Graduate Nokwanda Popiel

Graduate Nokwanda Popiel was approaching 50 when she enrolled at CPUT and says she felt that her classmates were young enough to be her grandchildren.

Popiel admits that it was intimidating at first to be in a class full of students who were decades younger than her, but she received a warm welcome on her first day from her classmates and senior lecturer, Mandie Richards, in Diversity Management class.

This week she graduated with a National Diploma in Office Management and Technology.

Popiel grew up in Gugulethu and had to drop out of school in Standard 8 (Grade 10) to help her mother to raise her siblings.

“I was working as a domestic worker but I had a dream of finishing my matric.”

 In 1992 she went back to school full-time to repeat Standard 8 and to eventually finish her matric.

She worked as a domestic worker on weekends and after matric volunteered at several Non-Governmental Organisations.

Popiel enrolled at CPUT in 2016 and says her strategy was to be positive and keen to learn.

“I cannot describe how I feel. It's been a long journey but, in the end, I made it.”

Popiel said she was thankful to all her lecturers and plans to complete her Advanced Diploma.

“It’s about finishing what you start, no matter how long it takes.”  

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za