Husband and wife, Sanele and Phetsile Gamede graduated with degrees in social sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Sanele obtained his master’s while Phetsile a Bachelor of Social Sciences in geography and environmental management.
The happily married couple were thrilled to be graduating, owing much of their success to steely determination and hard work.
The young couple got married in 2013 while studying at the university. At the time, Sanele was in his final year, aged 23, and is wife, three years younger.
‘Our living and education expenses were paid from the money we made selling fruits at the University. Challenges of getting married at a very young age, still at university and financial problems didn’t stop us from reaching our dreams. We soon had a baby girl but were kicked out of university residence and had to rent. I had to drop out during my honours degree because I had to find a job to support my wife, her studies and the baby,’ said Sanele.
The couple thanked UKZN’s vice chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, for offering assistance after hearing about their financial woes. ‘We have survived the worst together but we managed to continue studying. I had a tuck-shop in my university residence which we both ran against the rule of the university but we had to find ways to survive. Having a baby, both working and studying was not easy but we want to encourage young people out there that it’s possible,’ said Sanele.
He is now the founder and CEO of Ilada Holdings, an educational motivational speaker, a life and a career coach, an entrepreneur, and a radio presenter at Highway Radio. He is also currently a part-time lecturer at Westville Correctional Services and is an author of his first book titled: “The Graduate Pack”.
The book is a guide for job seekers; written mainly for graduates or anyone who is looking for a job, preparing a CV, or going for their interview. ‘It is written in a period where job opportunities are scarce across the globe, and the only way for one to scoop their desired job is to ensure they are ready enough. The key to all this is to understand yourself as a brand, a well-sought brand,’ said Sanele.
His book was on sale during the UKZN graduation ceremonies and was well-received by graduates and their families.
Sanele’s research for his master’s explored the political coverage in the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) weekday news programme, Abasiki Bebunda in July 2016, the month that preceded the 2016 local government elections.
The study revealed that the show was made up of different themes and different types of news, including local, national and international news. The research revealed that the show was well-structured, especially as it’s’ timeslot during the ‘drive time’ or late afternoon primetime made it very attractive to the listeners.
It also revealed that there was more political coverage given to certain political parties, particularly, the ANC. This indicated that the show was biased against other political parties, as there were a number of political parties that were not covered in the show, or that received very little coverage. The data revealed that the public broadcaster allowed public participation and it created an active ‘public sphere’ in which the public was able to participate during the show.
‘The show was still a vehicle for news reporting, and on balance, it had not been hijacked by political parties although the data reveals more coverage of the ANC,’ said Sanele.
He and his wife are currently seeking employment.
Photographer: Melissa Mungroo