Editor’s Note: Help yourself, and help will come
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It's a huge pity that Thethwayo Meluleki's incredible story comes at the end of the year instead of the beginning of an academic term, when it might provide inspiration to those needing it.
Nevertheless his journey from school to graduating cum laude with a Master’s degree in physiotherapy is worthy and deserving of celebration.
Not to diminish the efforts and successes of other graduates, but it always does the heart good to learn of triumph in the face of adversity.
Despairing of his condition, but fuelled by the need to improve his circumstances and the knowledge that he was solely responsible for changing those circumstances, Meluleki put in four times the effort of other students to cover the same material.
Some credit must, of course, also go to those who encouraged and helped him on his journey to success, from the primary school teacher who realised he had a problem and alerted his parents to the University of KwaZulu-Natal and its lecturers, and his family and friends.
More inspiration for the youth comes in the form of Durban University of Technology student Ntokozo Mafu, a broiler poultry farmer and entrepreneur at the age of 20.
Mafu learnt some skills from her dad and is taking these to the next level with help from the DUT and US Consulate.
I guess the lesson from Meluleki and Mafu is that help will come, but you need to put in the effort first.
The Independent on Saturday