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Graduates From UKZN Are Not Deterred by Disability



Graduates From UKZN Are Not Deterred by Disability

Graduates From UKZN Are Not Deterred by Disability. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) recently celebrated the exceptional accomplishments of Kgosatsana Sithole, a 23-year-old graduate who was born with phocomelia, a rare condition characterized by shortened or missing upper or lower limbs.

Her extraordinary journey culminated in a standing ovation from fellow graduates, academics, and guests at the UKZN Graduation Ceremony held on Monday, May 13, 2024.

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Triumph Over Adversity

Kgosatsana Sithole graduation cum laude with a Bachelor of Social Science degree is a testament to her unwavering determination and resilience. Despite the physical challenges posed by her condition, Sithole has consistently refused to let phocomelia hinder her ambitions.

Her remarkable achievement places her among the 414 students receiving cum laude distinctions at UKZN Autumn Graduation this year, which concludes on Tuesday, May 14.

Overcoming Challenges with Confidence

Throughout her academic journey, Sithole embraced her uniqueness and remained steadfast in her purpose. She navigated the challenges of being different in her class by proactively communicating her limitations to her lecturers at the beginning of each semester.

Her proactive approach and unwavering confidence played a crucial role in her success.

A Mother Pride and Joy

Sithole proud mother, Nonkululeko Sithole, was overwhelmed with emotion as she watched her daughter graduate. Tears of joy streamed down her face as she rushed to embrace Kgosatsana shortly after witnessing the crowning moment. “Kgosatsana accomplished the seemingly impossible by earning her degree cum laude and in record time.

Despite the physical strain on her back, pursuing her studies caused, she remained resolute and focused. Our family is immensely proud of her,” said Nonkululeko Sithole.

Gratitude and Future Aspirations

Reflecting on her achievement, Kgosatsana Sithole, who hails from Esikhawini in northern KZN, expressed deep gratitude for the honor bestowed upon her. She acknowledged the invaluable support of her family and credited her faith, emphasizing that her success “would not have been possible without my Lord and Saviour.”

Looking ahead, Sithole dreams of delving into film and television studies. She aspires to create African-centric narratives revolving around politics and crime, showcasing her passion for storytelling and her desire to contribute to the media landscape.


Kgosatsana Sithole journey is an inspiring testament to the power of determination and resilience. Her achievement underscores that physical limitations need not define one potential. Sithole story will undoubtedly inspire many, proving that with confidence, support, and unwavering faith, anything is possible

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