21-year-old Fikile Mukavela from Ivory Park joined over 9400 University of Johannesburg (UJ) 2017 graduates on Wednesday, 3 May 2017, graduating cum laude in Biomedical Technology. At some point in her studies at UJ, Mukavela felt discouraged when some of her friends and fellow students dropped out due to various reasons, but she persevered with her studies with the support of lecturers, family and friends.
Raised in Midrand, Mukavela attended primary school at Bonwelong and completed her secondary school education at Eqinisweni, both of which are government schools. She describes herself as a simple, humble and modest individual who gets along very well with other people.
“I believe I am a hard working young lady and I always strive to do my best in everything. I enjoyed Life Sciences in high school and during practicals we would use microscopes to look through tissue where we saw cells which are invisible to the human eye. That made me eager to learn more about microbiology,” says Mukavela.
She is now an Intern Medical Technologist at a private South African laboratory. Her academic journey at UJ was tough, she says, but through dedication and support from family, friends and lecturers she managed to complete her studies with impressive results. “Through hard work, discipline, dedication and a lot of sleepless nights, I finally reached my dream. Having to see a number of people drop out of university because of different reasons discouraged me at times, but it also made me work harder and be thankful for the opportunity I was given to make a change in my life and that of my family,” explains Mukavela.
Regarding her future career prospects, Mukavela says she wants to expand her knowledge and not just be a qualified Medical Technologist by profession. “I believe that despite your level of education, one must never stop learning in life,” she says.