School of Economics, Accounting and Finance (SAEF) lecturer Mr Ntokozo Nzimande who graduated with his PhD in Economics, dedicated the doctorate to his community situated in a rural area near Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.
A good education has always been a priority for Nzimande, but he never saw himself going as far as a PhD.
‘With our economy struggling and the high rate of unemployment, many of the young people where I come from have given up and are taking drugs as a coping mechanism for the things happening around them. That would have been me if I did not make a choice to never give up,’ said Nzimande.
‘To me it’s not just a qualification. It is motivation for others that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to.’
His thesis examined the feasibility of a monetary union or single currency in the SADC region and the goal was to stimulate the discussion in the academic and policy-making arenas.
The thesis is making an impact already, having been cited and receiving positive feedback from examiners. It has been suggested, says Nzimande, that he should upgrade it into a bigger project as it contributes a lot to the ongoing debate about the possibility of a monetary union in SADC.
Moreover, the findings of the study have been presented at several conferences both locally and internationally in countries such as Japan, China, Hungary, and Cyprus.
Nzimande is grateful to his supervisor, Professor Harold Ngalawa, for his expertise and guidance and also acknowledged SAEF for making sure his workload was kept to a minimum.
‘I’m also very grateful to my family, especially my dad and late mom. They both never finished school but they instilled in me the importance of education. And to my children, Lulonke and Lonwabo who have seen very little of me during this time – I want this to be an inspiration to them, that even when challenges arise, they can achieve anything they set their minds on,’ said Nzimande.
Words: Lungile Ngubelanga
Photograph: Rogan Ward