“I’m building a mobile application that will work to support the website. The project has been a work in progress and hopefully it will be launched soon. Varsity Market will allow students in the entrepreneur space to trade with other students from the same or different universities,” he says.
Mazibuko recently graduated in absentia on 15 July 2021. He completed his Diploma Cum Laude and is the first in his family to obtain a degree.
“Being the first graduate in my family means the world to me, it’s like breaking a curse and setting a positive standard for my younger siblings. They are witnessing first-hand how much getting an education can transform your life and make a real difference in the family,” he says.
“After my parents separated when I was 10 years old, I was raised by my grandmother. She worked hard as a domestic worker to send my little brother and I to school. I made a promise to myself that I would one day make her proud. This graduation means a lot to my grandmother.”
Mazibuko is currently interning at Boxfusion, an IT company based in Centurion, Gauteng.
“I applied along with 20 other ICT final year students. Only 10 of us were then selected to participate in the assessment session for Boxfusion's Software Developer Graduate Programme, which would then further determine which candidates would qualify for a job interview. Out of the 10 students that participated in the assessment, I was amongst the two that were shortlisted for an online interview. The interview went well and within two weeks I was called with an offer to join the company,” he says.
Though Mazibuko is employed, he has intentions of going back to study and acquire more knowledge. He believes that with enough experience, he will have enough experience to start an IT company.
"I believe entrepreneurship is very important and we need entrepreneurs more than academics in our country because entrepreneurs are the answer to the high unemployment rate in South Africa.”
Making Great Strides
Mazibuko is the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship. He received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Best Graduate and Best First Diploma: Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. He was also awarded the Keni Foundation Award for Academic Excellence in ICT.
“Getting to this point in my life has made a huge difference. Getting the marks that I got has allowed me to stand a great chance of getting employment. Good results do get you noticed by employees. Today I’m able to rent a flat in Centurion, pay my bills, and support my family. The future looks good and I am hoping to gain as much experience as I can so I can take it back home and reinvest it in the place that invested in me," he continues.
“I aspire to have an academic institution that will offer lessons to young people back home, teach them how to code before they get to university and exposing them to the different technologies at an early age. Since I finished my diploma, I have been doing a lot of online courses, learning more industry-based tools and technologies. I have been learning through basic projects, applying the knowledge from the courses I have been doing, and developing the app is one of the projects I’m venturing in,” he adds.
“At the end of the day, you need to stay up to date and relevant as a software developer. The learning never stops, even after completing your diploma. University is necessary though to provide you with the foundation you need to grow in the industry.”
Mazibuko hopes that the e-commerce app will be up and running soon as it will assist students who are in the entrepreneurial space.
@ Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures supplied.