College of Human Sciences

Thanks, NSFAS!

Isaac Mpho Mothiba is pursuing his Honours studies in Information Science after graduating in 2018.

Isaac Mpho Mothiba is supremely grateful for the contribution that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) made towards his studies at Unisa.

He now joins the 700 000-strong cohort of proud Unisa alumni. He enrolled for a Bachelor of Information Science degree in 2016, which he completed in 2018. The degree has 17 modules and he received distinctions for all them.

The news team caught up with Mothiba and chatted to him about his achievement.

It was all possible because of wanting to achieve more in life. The dream I had was to become an information specialist, librarian, cataloguer and classifier. I trekked my way from Limpopo to Pretoria, Gauteng, wanting to be closer to more opportunities offered by the city of lights. I admit that it was never an easy move. Growing up in rural Madiga, Limpopo Province, I knew to savour every opportunity I got.

Salome Suzan Mothiba with her grandson at the graduation ceremony

The immense sacrifice of being away from home worked out for the better for me. This was while I made the Unisa Sunnyside Campus in Pretoria my permanent study base. I was there every day because I was hungry for education. Moreover, to achieve my goal of distinctions, I would sit down for five to seven hours uninterrupted, studying and doing assignments without going for lunch. My friends would enquire why I did not have lunch; I would just tell them a full belly puts me to sleep. As it turned out, hunger kept me going.

I am ever grateful to my loving grandmother, Salome Suzan Mothiba, whom I was dependent upon for everything. With her meagre pension, she tried to make sure that I received the things I needed for my school life. She understood the demands of tertiary life. During the times she could not provide for me, it did not matter.

The open, distance, and e-learning (ODeL) journey requires someone who works hard and has resilience and discipline. I was dedicated to my studies. I learnt early on that procrastination and negativity are destiny killers, and I did not need them to be in the way of my dream.

My lecturer, Phila Sibiya, was always there to guide and mentor me. I cannot thank him enough for being my ear and sounding board whenever I need him. I would send him e-mails late into the night with regards to my module. He always answered. He was my lecturer for AIS3701 (Descriptive Cataloguing) housed in the Department of Information Science.

Future prospects are looking good. I am currently pursuing my Honours studies in Information Science while I am looking for work. I believe I will be gainfully employed soon.

Phila Sibiya (Lecturer: Department of Information Science, Unisa) considers Isaac Mothiba to be well on his way to great success as he believes his amazing character got him to where he is today. "I only did my part as a lecturer, which is to support students in all possible ways. Isaac opted to be the best out of all my students."

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* By Busisiwe Mahlangu, Communications Coordinator, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2019-05-07 00:00:00.0