By Staff Reporter
Azael Nhlapo recently reaped the fruits of his persistence when he graduated from Eastern Caped based Fort Hare University.
Nhlapo, who is a member of the Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality mayoral committee responsible for the finance portfolio, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in local government law and administration last month.
Nhlapo never had it easy in life, having grown up in poverty like many black South Africans. However, after putting his studies on hold due to financial constraints after high school, he sought employment but he remained motivated to pursue his dreams.
In an interview with this publication after his graduation, Nhlapo said when an opportunity presented itself in 2017, he grabbed it with both hands and enrolled with the university and started with his certificate in 2018, proceeded to diploma until he completed in 2021.
“While working I decided to go back to a certain college here in Qwaqwa. I worked hard and obtained my first national diploma in public administration and thereafter that alone stimulated my hunger for education. Initially i had qualified to study a degree with University of South Africa UNISA but had to boycott when opportunity from Fort Hare with presented itself . TVET qualification was not recognised by universities. But that did not demoralise me; I started afresh for the same qualification and this time I qualified for a degree.”
Although he had a bursary, Nhlapo said the journey was not easy as he already had two children at university who depended on him.
“I had to make lot of sacrifices, balancing family responsibilities with my studies.
Nhlapo is proud of having studied at the university where political leaders, in particular former President Nelson Mandela, studied.