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BCom Honours Cum Laude Degree for Aspirant Economist

April 18, 2017


Ms Nolwazi Biyela (left) with her friend Ms Mathapelo Ngcobo on campus.

Born and bred in Durban’s Umlazi Township, Ms Nolwazi Biyela is a step closer to realising her life-long dream of becoming an academic specialising in economics after achieving her Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree cum laude.

Biyela is studying on a UKZN Talent Excellence and Equity Scholarship awarded to top Black African students who intend to pursue an academic career at UKZN.

From an early age the workings of the Rand/US Dollar exchange rate intrigued Biyela and this motivated her to do her honours thesis on: “The Determinants of Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) in South Africa”.

She is currently reading for a masters degree examining: “Economic Factors that Influence the Demand for Sleep in South Africa”.

Biyela was raised by a single mother, Ms Philisile Biyela, who instilled in her that education is the key to success.

Her mother and other members of the family were her pillars of support when she gave birth to a daughter during the second year of her studies.

Biyela says she will never forget how a close friend, Ms Mathapelo Ngcobo, gave her a wake-up call to pull up her socks and focus on her studies!

Her mentor, Ms Ralitza Dobreva, and supervisor, Dr Harold Ngalawa, of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, guided her throughout her studies.

Nolwazi enjoys tutoring her peers and believes that her interaction with other students helped her to excel academically.

Her recipe for success includes working in a consistent manner while attending all lectures and taking advantage of consultations with lecturers.


Hazel Langa

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