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Sarah Kazembe’s inspiring journey to cum laude graduate

Sarah Kazembe’s journey to graduating cum laude with a degree in Strategic Communication from the University of Johannesburg is a story of perseverance, determination, and faith. In her own words, Sarah describes the experience as “a dream come true” and a testament to the power of hard work and a steadfast belief in oneself.

Philippians 4: 11-13 has been my mantra, and it reads “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Finally graduating with distinction, also known as “Cum Laude”, was one of my biggest goals on my vision board, and on March 7, 2023, it became a reality. It was a day of great joy and a dream come true after three years of hard work and perseverance at UJ in the field of Strategic Communication. I firmly believe that this is just the beginning of my journey, and God has been faithful to me.

Sarah Kazembe (middle) and Family

As a person from an underprivileged background, I know the saying “Dear black child, your dreams are valid” is now unapologetically applicable to me. I feel blessed to have received support and prayers from my family, who have been with me throughout my journey. I am a living testimony to the fact that “anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it”.

One thing that will always remain with me till the end of time are my mother’s prayers and her wise words on education saying, “Mwanami dinza, ifuku ikwinza ukuzangalala mulonga wakudinza” which translates to, “My child study hard, a day will come on which you will celebrate because of education”.

Her words have ignited my passion for education, and I believe it is one of the keys to success.

During my time at UJ in the department of Strategic Communication, I received many blessings and lessons. My lecturers, such as Miss Seriane Morapeli, were amazing and understanding, and they wanted to see us achieve above average. Miss Morapeli ensured that we experienced being great strategists by developing a campaign that landed us as finalists in the New Generation Awards.

Despite spending the first two years in lockdown, I was able to achieve the following during my three years at UJ:

  • An overall average of 78% in my final year
  • Obtained a degree with distinction, also known as Cum Laude
  • Received 15 distinctions
  • Became a finalist in the New Generation Awards
  • Received 2x Dean’s list awards
  • Received 1x UJenius award
  • Received an African insights certificate

I am looking forward to adding more achievements to this list in my honours year, God willing.

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