They’re mother and daughter – and although they are years apart, they were both studying towards a degree in Pharmacy at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
Daughter Nolindo Mpanga obtained her degree at this week’s Autumn Graduation ceremonies; her mom, Nozibele Mpanga, who was 56 years young when she started her studies four years ago, will be receiving her degree during the September graduation.
When Nolindo started her studies, she was expecting her first born. It took quite a balancing act, but she says she is used to tackling her studies, even with a baby on the way.
“Despite all her challenges with motherhood, my daughter told herself if her mother could make it through the first year, so could she – and she did”, mom Nozibele says. “And it’s funny, because now that she is ending off her studies, she is expecting her second child.”
Nolindo completed a B.Sc. in Medical Biosciences before she decided to pursue her pharmaceutical studies in 2012. She says her mother was an inspiration, but her desire to want to study Pharmacy wasn’t entirely motivated by that.
“After I received my B.Sc. degree in Medical Biosciences, I started searching for jobs, and I noticed that there is a real demand for pharmacists,” she says. “I was confident that, should I pursue Pharmacy, I would be able to find a job the minute I qualify.”
In February, that confidence proved to be well-placed, when Nolindo started a job at a pharmacy in a popular chainstore supermarket. She believes from here it will be a prosperous future for her.
Nozibele says she’s proud of and inspired by her daughter.
“Thanks to my God and my ancestors for giving me this gift, and for guiding me until now,” she says. “I look forward to successfully completing my degree in September.”
The Mpangas’ story shows that families that study together can achieve together – and also encourages other mature people to follow their example in seeking education. It’s never too late to learn, after all.
Did you know?
UWC’s School of Pharmacy is one of 700 institutes in over 80 countries supporting WHO programmes under the banner of the United Nations – two more of which are at UWC, including the School of Public Health and the Faculty of Dentistry.
UWC believes in supporting graduates who have the will and the skills to complete their studies, but may struggle with the financial aspect. Help support them by getting involved with the SRC Ikamva Lethu Campaign.