Man who completed degree after 17 years hopes to motivate others

Benson Ntlemo

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A Limpopo man is the toast of the town after attaining his degree after 17 years of study. He says he hopes his story will inspire others and shows that anything is possible if one perseveres.

Ndivhuwo Isaac Muthivhi, 38, on Thursday graduated with a Bachelor of International Relations at the University of Venda and was tapped by Chancellor, former president Kgalema Motlanthe for his achievement.

He first registered for the degree in 2002.

“For years I was under pressure from friends and family who were asking me when I was going to complete my degree and finally that question is answered,” said Muthivhi who was receiving many phone calls from people congratulating him.

“After registering and picking up a few courses, I left my degree in 2010 and registered a company. I started to hustle because some of my friends who had no education were apparently making it in business and I too tried my luck,” he said.


Ndivhwo Isaac Mthivhi. Photo: Mukurukuru Media

But he did not make it and enrolled full time at the university in 2014.

“I selected the courses I had left unfinished until I completed the last course in 2018 and graduated this week,” he said.

Muthivhi says that what perhaps took his focus from his education was his over indulgence with non-academic life on campus.

A year after he joined the university, he was elected into the student representative council and became a parliamentarian (this is how Univen refers to the SRC) from 2003 to 2004. From 2004 to 2005 he became a deputy speaker of parliament.

From 2005 to 2006 he was the education and transformation officer, and from 2008 to 2010 he was the secretary of the School of Human Science.

“I am the founder of the rugby club at the university and most of the time until I left, I was the chairperson of the ANC branch on campus,” he said.

”There are activities that derailed me and made me lose focus. Sometimes I would have to go to parliament to observe parliament and when I came back I was to write examinations. I became tired and did not write the final examinations at times,” he said.

Asked what he was going to do with his degree, he said he will use the knowledge he gained to improve his business.

”The focus now is to grow my company, Matiosi, which is doing social consultancy and the training of steering committees and labour training,  

But he says this is not the end of his education pursuit.

“I am going to register for my honours degree and will not rest until I reach doctorate in philosophy. My story will motivate those who dropped out to go back to school because they can make it,” he said.

His story has excited many people in Limpopo.

A local artist Obedient Nekhofhe, aka Stapura, recorded a song dedicated to Muthivhi’s story.

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