By: Themba Nyovane – 13 September 2023

Talk about leading by example! The Deputy President of the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Student Representative Committee (SRC), Sithembele Dlepu has graduated for his Diploma in Information Technology (IT). This, during the University’s Spring Graduations which got underway at Desmond Tutu Great Hall this morning where the unwavering dedication of both staff and students within the Faculty of Applied & Computer Sciences were celebrated.

Born in Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape province, Sithembele’s academic journey at VUT began in 2018 when he enrolled for an extended program in IT. Like many students, he faced typical highs and lows of an academic, but his persistence and resilience shone through.

In celebration of his achievement, the aspirant politician who also holds the position of Deputy President of the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) at the VUT Branch, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity and of being a part of the MaVUTi Family, which he says made his dream come true.  In his own words “Leaders are born and not made,”, adding that his experiences and education undoubtedly contributed to his personal growth and capacity to positively impact the MaVUTi Community and align his political aspirations. He says his roles as an SRC delegate and later as the Deputy President of EFFSC in 2022 showcased his unwavering dedication to representing the student body and advocating for their interests. His focus on challenging the use of technology within the student experience underscores the importance of adapting to the evolving educational landscape, ensuring technology serves the students’ best interests.

Furthermore, Sithembele emphasized the significance of leadership, particularly for students involved in affiliated structures within the University which he says encompasses being pioneers of social change within the institution and promoting sustainable development. “My journey serves as a reminder that with dedication, hard work, and a commitment to one’s goals and ideals, individuals can achieve success and make a meaningful difference in their communities and institutions,” Sithembele asserted.

Sithembele is not the first SRC member to ascend the graduation stage this year – earlier in April during the Autumn Graduations, his colleague and president, Masendi Maanda graduated for his Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting. This is testament of the many available programs and interventions in place at VUT to support student leaders to flourish both in their leadership roles and academic commitment.