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Photo Credit: On File

A South African man has defied all the odds, worked incredibly hard and risen through both systemic and laissez-faire oppression to attain a degree in Communication Sciences.


Sibusiso Nkosi, a 31 year old single, black male living in Soweto is inspiring South Africans around the globe through his hard work and dedication.

You see, way back in 2011 when #FeesMustFall and other such protests had yet to rear their ugly heads, Nkosi applied for a loan through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

In his own words, “You bring the required documents and wait for an SMS. Get the SMS and you get the funding. No SMS. No funding. You have to wait till next semester to apply again.”

And so he did. Year after painstaking year, the passionate student applied for NSFAS and this is how it went down:

  • 2011 – 1st semester – yes. 2nd semester – no.
  • 2012 – 1st semester – no. 2nd semester – yes.
  • 2013 – Both semesters covered. Had to work piece jobs to afford his living. Not waitering at an upmarket restaurant in Bryanston. We’re talking gardening, painting, building – real handy-work.
  • 2014 – Both semesters covered.
  • 2015 – Neither semesters covered. Began working as a security guard.
  • 2016 – Stayed on as security guard. Final year to complete.

Over the last few months David Shields has had the privilege to get to know Nkosi who works in the complex that he lives in.

Sibu exudes charm and personality, diligently going about his business whilst maintaining a strict work ethic. He arrives everyday at 6pm and works until 6am; doing assignments and essays in-between his job as a security guard.

He then walks to UNISA, in the city centre to check up on emails, do printing, and complete coursework by 7am. At 9am he’s usually done with pre-prep and takes a taxi home to rest before getting back up at 3pm. By 4pm he’s in the city and walking to work.

Ready to sacrifice, hungry to succeed.

“Sibu’s done this for 13 months. 396 days. How’s that holiday job working out for you? So before I get cynical about how shitty this country can sometimes be and how difficult most people have it despite the opportune few closing their eyes and ears to abject poverty, I just wanted to highlight this true and genuine, diamond in the rough.”

Yesterday, Nkosi knocked on Shield’s door, gave him a piece of paper, smiled and said, “You’ve been served.”

And as Shield’s opened the letter, the grinliest grin one could imagine rips across Nkosi’s face.

36 credits. 6 years. 1 degree. Complete.

After a 10 min happy dance, I asked him, “Btw, why did you study communications?”

His reply, “Because there are many great brands out there which have helped to shape this country, to move it forward and to make it laugh when all else seemed lost. It could have fallen apart so easily but it didn’t. I want to tell that story. I know it best.”

Shields has decided to use his social media to try and help share the story and hopefully find him an internship.

Now what kind of horrible, terrible, deceivingly deceptive individual would I be if I didn’t at least play my part in all of this? After 6 years of studying, you know what Sibu asked from me?

“Dave, can you help me get an internship?”

Come on man, that’s enchanted South Africa for you. This festive season, if it’s the only goddamn thing you give, SHARE this post and let’s get this guy an internship at a Marketing or Advertising agency in Jozi.

Be that f*&*^in change people! It starts…right…here.

The post has been shared around social media with many companies offering positions but if you want to get in contact with Nkosi or Shields… click here.

“No one gets very far unless he accomplishes the impossible at least once a day.” – Elbert Hubbard

south african works for his degree

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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