“I can’t say I did anything different; I just did what was expected of me and went an extra mile by putting extra time towards my studies. Truth is, I wasn’t even aware of the Cum Laude until the day a friend showed me the graduation Pdf that was sent by the University because of COVID-19,” says Collen Matimele, graduating with a Cum Laude in Fine Arts at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) graduations in the Faculty of Human Sciences.
Collen Bongani Matimele was born and bred in De Deur, Gauteng, not very far from where VUT is situated in Vanderbijlpark.
As much as the news came as a surprise to Bongani, his family is proud of him, more so his mom who could not finish matric in her time because she fell pregnant with him and had to drop out. “Seeing me reaching my goals makes her truly happy and proud of the man I am becoming,” says Bongani.
Graduating with a Cum Laude for Bongani means he’s achieved one of his milestones, reaching his greatest achievements. However, he must work harder than he did before, he adds: “find even more ways to outdo and better myself.”
“My future is built on a set milestone I’ve set for myself that I am slowly achieving. One of my biggest dreams is successfully building one of Africa’s biggest production houses that will specialize in telling African stories the African perspective ways,” he says.
He advises fellow students and first years to focus on their goals, even if it means losing some of their friends along the way, never let anyone distract them, create a dream, chase it and don’t look back, and do not seek anyone’s approval.
Article by: Qhawekazi Memani