The thought of a Chartered Accountant taking on a master’s degree part-time is daunting considering the huge amount of hard work involved, but for Ms Zama Gumede, it was a challenge she welcomed when she changed careers.
Moving from the corporate world into academia, and with her Master’s in Accountancy degree complete, Gumede now plans to become a highly achieving academic. ‘I want to be a creator of information in the Accounting profession,’ said Gumede.
‘I have a passion for education, its enhancement and its effect on young people. It changed my life and I am always looking for opportunities to enable access to resources and share my knowledge,’ she added.
Gumede is the co-ordinator of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance’s (SAEF) intervention programme aimed at assisting African students currently pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting.
In her other life, Gumede is the Co-founder of 1Woman1Girl, an organisation involved in mentoring girls in school, while she also serves as Chairperson of the Southern African Accounting Association and as an Executive Committee Member in the African Women Chartered Accountants in the KwaZulu-Natal region.
Her master’s research focused on a management tool, cash flow forecast analysis, used by multinational companies. ‘The same way large multinationals use cash flow forecast analysis to operate effectively and make sound strategic decisions for the direction of the company, so should non-profit organisations.’
Gumede came across many hurdles during her studies, the biggest being losing her grandmother at the conclusion stage of her thesis. ‘It really took a lot to reignite my drive but I soldiered on and turned the pain into motivation to complete.’
Gumede is a lecturer for Advanced Taxation; Acting Academic Leader (Taxation), and Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting Co-ordinator at SAEF on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus.
Words: Lungile Ngubelanga
Photograph: Rogan Ward