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Friday, May 17, 2019


(Qinisela Mbona (graduate’s father), Sthokozile (sister), Simphiwe and Nomathamsanqa Mbona (mother) at the King Bhekuzulu Hall, KwaDlangezwa Campus. Pic courtesy of the UNIZULU website)

Following a horrific car accident which nearly claimed the lives of his whole family, University of Zululand (UNIZULU) graduate Simphiwe Mbona (22) did not  imagine that on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, he would be among the top graduates in the Faculty of Arts.

Ironically, it was on Mother's Day when Mbona, born in Port Shepstone and raised in Phoenix, Durban, received a phone call where he learned that his mother and two other family members had been involved in an accident that left the car beyond repair.

Mbona, in his second year at the time, was preparing for his examinations. He was faced with the dilemma of either completely succumbing to grief or shifting his focus to preparing for exams while his family members were fighting for their lives in hospital.

“When I got the call, it was just panic, panic and more panic! I could not cope, I won’t lie. It was a horrible experience that I wouldn’t wish on anybody else. Examinations were approaching (but) I could not go and visit my family, especially my mother who had suffered a fractured arm injury. Even the whole class could see that I was suffering because, during that period, I was no longer myself. My performance (had also) dropped,” Mbona recalled.

Despite the accident being an unfortunate experience for him, it surprisingly motivated him to “push harder than before” in his studies. He knew then that he had to graduate in record time. He thereafter pulled his socks up and excelled academically like he had done before. “I had a hunger to achieve because (I realised that) God (only) gives us one life (to live),” he said.

When he found out that he was in the top five in the faculty, Mbona kept mum about the news because he wanted it to be a complete surprise to his family. Of his accomplishment, Mbona said it was all thanks to the support of his family, friends, classmates and lecturers from the University’s Department of Creative Arts

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