From very early in his life, Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship holder Mr Cebelihle Zwane has had to face challenges such as the death of his father and the absence of his mother.
Fortunately, his cousin, Mr Sibonakaliso Innocent Sithole, took care of him. ‘My cousin’s love and sacrifices allowed me to devote the time and energy necessary to perform at my best and achieve academic excellence,’ said Zwane.
‘Growing up with him made me understand and appreciate the value of an education.’
Zwane matriculated at Umlazi Comtech in 2013 obtaining six distinctions and registered at UKZN to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree (Mathematics stream).
Zwane sailed through the first and second year of studies earning four Dean’s Commendations. Within these two years, he achieved 14 distinctions and eight merit certificates.
These outstanding results earned him the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship which is awarded to three top-ranked undergraduates advancing from second year to proceeding years of study.
‘It is an honour and a privilege to be considered worthy of this scholarship which has provided me with much needed financial assistance, enabling me to focus on my studies this year,’ he said.
Currently Zwane is in his third year with Pure Mathematics and Statistics as his majors. ‘I was also voted the best second year Statistics student in South Africa,’ he said.
Lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Mr Knowledge Chifurira, said: ‘Cebelihle is a well organised and hardworking student. He sets high goals and achieves them. Even the sky is not a limit for this dedicated young man. I wish him well in all his studies.’
Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Dr Paranjothi Pillay, said: ‘It was my pleasure and privilege to have taught Cebelihle Zwane in both his second and third years of study in Mathematics. Cebelihle is a hardworking and dedicated student and this is borne out by the outstanding results he has obtained. It is so pleasing to see him being recognised for his exceptional academic performance. I am sure he will do exceptionally well in any field that he pursues and will be an asset to anyone who employs him.’
Zwane’s main short-term goal is to graduate summa cum laude and to later qualify as a Chartered Biostatistician, working to eradicate infectious diseases in communities.