Three Naidu sisters to graduate together

From left: Bianca, Andrea and Desiree Naidu. l SUPPLIED

From left: Bianca, Andrea and Desiree Naidu. l SUPPLIED

Published May 27, 2024


Durban — Sisters Desiree, Andrea and Bianca Naidu believe that they have made their late dad proud by graduating as a trio in this year’s Durban University of Technology Autumn graduation.

The sisters who have taken different career paths, graduated in their different fields on Monday.

Desiree, 26, graduates with her Bachelor’s in Built Environment Honours in quantity surveying and is currently registered as a candidate quantity surveyor.

Andrea, 24, graduates with her postgraduate Diploma in Management Sciences, specialising in business law.

She is currently working at MANCOSA in the curriculum development department.

The youngest, Bianca, 20, graduated with a national diploma in accounting and is a junior accountant.

The trio will all graduate cum laude with dean's merit.

The Durban-born sisters are from Woodlands.

Desiree said she chose construction as it was a personal passion and a desire for meaningful impact, while Andrea chose law because she hopes to stand out as a beacon of excellence and innovation in the field; and the youngest, Bianca, always had a passion for accounting from her school days.

“Pursuing a career in construction allows me the opportunity to make a significant impact on my local community and even beyond. I may contribute to the costing, design, planning, and development of initiatives that will benefit many people.

“In the construction sector, it doesn’t matter whether you work in an office, behind the scenes, or on-site to make these goals a reality, you are helping to build a better environment for all individuals who will benefit from the projects you will be working on,” said Desiree.

The sisters faced many obstacles in their studies, the hardest being losing their dad in 2017 and not knowing how to pay for their studies.

“A common obstacle we all faced was losing our dad, which brought about significant financial challenges for our family. Suddenly finding ourselves without his income meant grappling with uncertainties about how to cover expenses such as our education.

“Although we were just children, we did not want to add another financial burden to our newly single mother. All three of us worked extremely hard at university so that our fees were reduced as well. We (also) received bursaries. Even when we didn’t manage to cover all our fees, our mother did it for us.

“I can proudly say our mothers’ sacrifices made us the people we are today. We owe her the world because she truly did it on her own without the help of anyone,” said Desiree.

These sisters had to work together to make university work and despite being in different years, they always helped each other.

Desiree said: “As sisters with different academic backgrounds, there were countless occasions when we supported and assisted each other. Our bond went beyond just being siblings; it was a partnership built on mutual trust and collaboration. We were each other’s study buddies.

“My sisters were always there for me with regards to emotional support, motivation and holding me accountable when it came to my academic goals. As the oldest, I sort of just became the other parent.”

“Travelling together to campus meant we basically spent most of our free time on campus together when we weren’t in lectures. Bianca even came to university and spent the day with us when schools were closed for little excursions.

“And during the pandemic, we had the opportunity to study at home together. This will be the first time we have the opportunity to walk the graduation stage together,” said Andrea.

From left: Bianca, Andrea and Desiree Naidu. l SUPPLIED

They are excited to finally have a graduation together.

“It's an incredible feeling to graduate together as sisters. We've been through so much together and reaching this milestone side by side is truly special. Knowing that we've supported each other every step of the way and now get to celebrate this achievement together fills us with immense pride and gratitude.

“As sisters, we have a special bond that is now further strengthened by reaching such a big milestone together. It’s a great accomplishment that we owe to our parents. I’m excited to see how much more we will achieve in life.

“It was a joyful moment for our family, and our single mother was quite proud. I am looking forward to sharing this success with my sisters again, as this year I will be joining them and the three of us are now graduating together,” said Bianca.

They said that this graduation was a testament to their strong upbringing and a gift that they wished their dad could have seen.

“It has been seven years since our dad passed away. Losing our dad was undoubtedly a profound and difficult experience for all of us. His passing brought about a range of emotions and challenges that naturally impacted our studies. I was in my first year of studying at DUT, Andrea was in her matric year in high school and Bianca was in Grade 9. As the oldest, I had to be the strong one and be there for my mom and sisters.

“It took us a while to get used to the concept of not having our dad. Losing him meant he wouldn't be there when we graduated. Since then, we have adapted and each of us has grown to be much stronger than before.

“However, we learned to lean on each other for support, to prioritise self-care, and to communicate our needs effectively. Ultimately, while his loss presented significant challenges, it also taught us resilience, empathy, and the importance of cherishing every moment,” said Bianca.

Even though the sisters won’t have their dad present, they have their supportive mum.

“A mother’s sacrifice is displayed in the life her children live. These sacrifices have been displayed in Desiree and me completing three qualifications each and Bianca completing her first qualification and is currently planning to study further. She has not only sacrificed financially but also in various other aspects. Juggling her stress while managing our anxieties must have not been easy.

“She has constantly motivated us to do better and be better. The “Naidu trio” graduating is a testament that single mothers can truly do anything. The pride she feels can only be described as the first ray of sunshine after a storm. She has weathered many storms, and this is a testament of her faith, prayer and support,” said Andrea.

The sisters have a passion for learning and they want to honour their father's legacy by excelling further.

Desiree and Andrea are currently pursuing their master’s degree and Bianca is completing her degree at the Durban University of Technology.

Sunday Tribune