Ms Mafahla Hlongwane obtained her National Diploma in 2013; in 2015, she obtained a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Biotechnology from Vaal University of Technology (VUT). Ms Mafahla matriculated in 2010, where she decided to change her life by enrolling at VUT.
She said that during her matric times, she was an 18-year girl filled with big dreams and attended a few open day programs at different universities, and VUT came out to be the most convenient for her as it offers the course she was willing to pursue in her dreams.
Due to financial situations at home, Ms Mafahla perceived that VUT fees and registrations fee were affordable for her. She said that she aimed to work hard and enable bursary, which she did through the assistance of the Director of Marketing and PR, Ms Kediemetse Mokotsi.
Her experience with VUT during her first years was overwhelming. The first semester was the hardest, “having to adapt from the secondary school environment to the university life remains to be the biggest challenge. I will forever remain grateful for choosing VUT as I found the environment to be less stressful for a teenage girl, “said Ms Mafahla how she settled with VUT.
Ms Mafahla’s career choice set herself a ball high as she currently works at Tetra Pak South Africa as a Cluster Food Protection Support Laboratory Associate. Her work scope includes laboratory analyses of food-related products, with the focus, among others, being more on the microbiological aspect of the products.
She said that during the beginning of her career as a work-integrated learning (WIL) program, she could execute tasks applying the knowledge she has obtained from VUT practical sessions, which contributed to excel in her current post.
Ms Mafahla believes that her success can be a motivation to other as she said that shortly after national diploma, she was invited to motivate grade 10-12 learners of Khula Weekend School, “it was exciting to share my experience with the learners, and I owe my gratitude to Ms Mokotsi for allowing me to share my experience with those learners. It is these kinds of sessions that profusely motivate and inspire young individuals to be better beings in society,” said Ms Mafahla.
Enclosure, she said through the bursary she obtained from VUT, she managed to finish her studies and wishes to see VUT giving more financial support to students who cannot afford it. She stated that no amount of words could describe the pain of not pursuing one’s dream due to lack of funds.
Article by: Puleng Maphisa