University, Newsletter
29 July 2021


Noncedo Chiloane graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture in Post-Harvest Technology (Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences). Ncedile Chiloane graduated with a Bachelor of Development Studies Honours (Faculty of Economics, Development and Business Sciences).

Originally from KaNyamazane, eNtokozweni, the twins moved to Dayzenza near Hazyview when their parents separated. As a single parent and an educator, it was always their mother’s resolve to make sure her children received an education.

“Our mother has always emphasized the importance of education and that it is the key to success. That we have graduated means more than just the possibility of a bright future. It means the honouring of God’s commandment to make your parents proud.”

Both siblings have always wanted to further their education, and though they took separate journeys along the way, they completed this leg of their academic careers together.

“I have always aspired to receive a degree. In pursuit of my aspirations, I enrolled at UMP in 2017 with the Faculty of Development, Economics and Business Science for the Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies. I completed this in 2019, and in 2020 I enrolled for and completed my Honours degree,” says Ncedile.

“Within those four years, my journey at UMP was filled with many steps taken outside my comfort zone. Each year was inclusive of late nights spent towards my academics, and some dedicated towards my social life. Based on the diverse nature of university, a balance between the two is extremely necessary because the interaction between people of vast backgrounds, cultures, languages, as well as lifestyles is unavoidable,” she adds.

Both twins agree that having someone so close to them on campus as a support system, was pivotal to each of their success.

“Being enrolled at the same university meant a lot for us. Ncedo literally applied on my behalf and saw me through the entire application process. I can still remember how excited I was to be join her at UMP. I automatically had someone to share my university experiences and challenges with. She was my home away from home.”

Noncedo agrees, “With my sister at UMP, I always had a study partner, and someone to pick me up when I was feeling down or overwhelmed. There was always someone by my side to motivate me when I felt unmotivated. Because we were enrolled for different programmes, we also spoke different academic languages, which in itself was enriching.”

Making an Impact
As a single mother to two girls, Noncedo’s journey came with its own particular challenges, but she managed to face and conquer them all.

“Graduating to me means evidence of hard work, perseverance and proof that I can do anything I set my mind to. Being a young single parent and a student at the same time proved to be incredibly challenging but with support and God’s grace I managed to come out victorious. For my family it means setting a standard for our siblings to aspire to.

Our elder brother is also in his final stages of completing his undergraduate degree at UMP and our baby sister is still facing high school. I believe our success will inspire them to persevere. We also hope it will encourage our community and that we will be able to add value to their lives. Additionally, I personally feel that it shows many young girls who are teenage parents that being a mother and pursuing an academic career is very achievable with the right mindset and full family support,” says Noncedo.

Ncedile also hopes to impact those around her. “I hope that through my acquired knowledge and skills, I will add value to my community directly or indirectly by being an exemplary member of society, building and inculcating strong morals, principals and sense of character, especially in young people.”

In the light of their story, these siblings hope to help both current and prospective students to never give up on their dreams and to always strive and propel to reach even greater heights. Their advice to aspiring minds is to find a healthy balance between student and social life, and to learn as much as they can, both academically and socially.

@ Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures supplied.