Bachelor of Nursing Graduate Ms Philile Mhlanga was awarded a certificate and trophy for Best Achievement, 4th Year Nursing: Midwifery-BN.
‘This is a surprise, the feeling is totally surreal,’ said Mhlangu. ‘I didn’t expect to be one of the top students. It feels great knowing that sleepless nights, hard work and consistency pay off in the end.
‘I am very thankful to God for blessing me with my wonderful family who supported and encouraged me all along the way. God has also been with me during the four years of this degree because with everything I commit myself to, I call upon God and seek his wisdom and guidance,’ she said.
Mhlanga hopes to grow in the health discipline. ‘I plan to come back after my community service and further my studies but most importantly I plan to wear that red gown soon. It has been my biggest motivation to work hard and focus at all times so that one day I get to wear it.’
She has this advice for students: ‘Hard work can only come from one person and that’s you. Some people are okay with an average pass but you must be determined and motivated to do better and achieve top marks.’
Mhlanga, who lives with her mother and six siblings in Adams Mission, south of Durban, matriculated in 2009 and got a bursary to study Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) at the FET Collage in KwaMkhutha. After obtaining her BPO diploma she got a learnership position at the Mediterranean Shipping Company, where she worked as a creditor’s clerk and also studied international trade.
She was later offered a permanent job there but declined and instead registered for a Nursing degree.
‘Declining the offer at MSC was a difficult decision as my family was financially dependent on me. Thankfully, through God’s grace, I managed to secure a bursary in my second year at UKZN and the money I had for the remainder of my varsity years was sufficient to see my family and I through.
‘I am a go-getter, a risk taker and ambitious – for me this is only the beginning.’
Words: Nombuso Dlamini