College of Economic & Management Sciences

Undaunted by lockdown and homelessness, he targets a bright tomorrow

Shaping futures in the service of humanity through accessible open distance learning is what Unisa is all about, and Sakhile Nsibande is determined to change the fortunes of his family with a qualification from the institution.

Image credit: IOL

As reported by eNCA and IOL, Nsibande has used the last of his money to register at Unisa for a Higher Certificate in Economic and Management Sciences. Hailing from Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal, breadwinner Nsibande says that he realised the only way to break the cycle of unemployment in between brief odd jobs was to gain skills and knowledge through a formal qualification.

Initially paying his own way, Nsibande relocated to Durban to utilise the computers and internet access at Unisa’s KwaZulu-Natal Regional Centre last year. Mindful that not all of its students have computer equipment and internet connectivity, Unisa provides these facilities free of charge at its six regional centres countrywide.

Nsibande applied for and received National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding this year which covers tuition and study material, but not accommodation and other costs. Initially sleeping in a shelter he built in the veld and relying on the Salvation Army for two meals a day, Nsibande now stays in a municipal shelter. With visits to the Unisa regional centre not being possible during the current lockdown stage, he accesses the internet at the Dennis Hurley Centre.

Image credit: eNCA

Nsibande says his dream is to ultimately complete a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and become an accountant. He certainly has the perseverance and single-minded focus to achieve his goals, and it is more than likely that this admirable young man will turn the opportunity offered by Unisa into a bright tomorrow for both himself and his family.

* Compiled by Philip van der Merwe, Editor, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2020/05/08