Change the world


“I am grateful to NSFAS and Nelson Mandela University for this opportunity to have a qualification that no one can take away from me and to Student Counselling for making sure that I kept my sanity” says Nomsa Gida, 35, who graduated with a Diploma in Building, 15 years after she first started at the University.

“I might not have money now to celebrate this great achievement, but in my heart I am proud of myself and sure now that nothing is impossible and I can achieve more. I was being prepared, skilled and equipped to take over my world”, she says.

Nomsa is planning to further her studies in the Advanced Diploma in Quantity Surveying and finish off her Environmental Health Diploma.

“I have a very inspiring story to tell.  I believe it will help someone to take a step in achieving and believing in their dreams. I grew up without both my parents, I knew my Mother but never met my Father, so I grew up a very angry, disappointed child with low self-esteem and always felt rejected.”

In 2006 she started with a Diploma in Environmental Health but did not feel challenged and changed to the Diploma in Building in 2008. Her family did not support that decision, she failed her first year and became depressed and even suicidal.

“The Student Development programmes and the society I was involved in equipped me and kept me alive as I felt that I belonged. Yet I failed to achieve and dropped out in 2009 to look for a job” she says.

Nomsa married, had two girls and stayed at home as her job did not pay well. In 2016 she felt she owed it to herself to apply again and finish her studies. She had no income and had to apply for NSFAS funding. 

She started her first-year in 2017 at the age of 31. 

“I passed, although it was not easy at all as I felt very old among young kids, but I had to put my feelings aside and all the challenges I was going through including not being able to pay rent, but I kept my focus”, says Nomsa.

“And now I have graduated, because I kept my focus. Not in the absence of doubting, wanting to give up, challenges or disappointment, they were all there, but I kept on. I kept trusting God and those He brought into my life to strengthen me.”



Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160