Teboho Joseph Khohlokoane (45) graduated at UCT on 7 June, 17 years after completing a Bachelor of Social Science. Without a degree the only work he could initially find was as a petrol attendant. He later became a cleaner at the Breedevallei Shell Ultra City outside his home town, Worcester.
Q: Why did you study social science?
A: I wanted to become a social worker because I wanted to help people help themselves. Two years into the course I was told that because I stuttered I couldn't be a social worker. I then changed my course to social science.
Q: How did it come about that your debt was paid and the way cleared for you to graduate?
A: About two months ago one of the cashiers at the filling station told the son of Clarence Johnson, a former mayor of the Winelands (District) Municipality, that I was educated. I was mopping the floor at the time. He told his father, who then spoke to someone in the office of the director-general of the department of higher education.
A month later, I got the news that I would graduate. I was very excited about it.
Q: What do you hope to achieve now that you have graduated?
A: I would like to work where I am able to help people, perhaps in development. I'm also planning to do my honours and master's.
Q: What's your message to people who find themselves in the same situation as you?
A: Be patient, persevere, hope and have some faith. You must pray hard.
Q: What are your memories of your life as a student at UCT?
A: It was a great privilege to study here. I was in res at Liesbeeck Gardens. We knew how to party.
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