‘I decided to go for my dream’

28 December 2023 | Story Kamva Somdyala. Photo Supplied. Read time 4 min.
Tatenda Nyamutamba.
Tatenda Nyamutamba.

Tatenda Nyamutamba arrived at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2021, ready to begin her master’s degree in financial reporting analysis and governance.

What happened next had the hallmarks of a potential dream delayed as her funding was withdrawn close to the start of the academic year, and, with that, put paid to weeks of applications and satisfying the requirements to join the programme.

Tatenda took the time to reflect, and then plotted her next move: funding herself for the next academic year. So, again, she went through the application process and began her master’s in 2022, determined to complete it in a year.

“Funding was the last thing on my mind. The withdrawal of the funding happened last minute too. When it was withdrawn, there was little time to come up with a Plan B. It was a major set-back as the entry requirements for the programme are quite rigorous and the programme is in high demand,” she said.

“It felt like a shattered dream as it has been a long dream for me to study at UCT because it is such a prestigious university. I dusted myself up again to try and get into the 2022 cohort. I had a back-up plan, which was to cover the costs of the study. Circumstances have as much power over you as you allow them to. I took it upon myself to see my studies through, financially.”


“Funding myself was a challenge, of course, because as a family woman, there are obviously competing priorities.”

She added: “At that moment I realised that you cannot allow anything or anyone … to be a stumbling block towards your dream. Funding myself was a challenge, of course, because as a family woman, there are obviously competing priorities you need to look out for. I decided to go for my dream.

“The moment you are confronted with such a situation, you find your inner strength. I am a Christian and I believed that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

It’s been 10 years since Tatenda qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CA) and her decision to further her studies were down to the amount of time which had passed post-qualification and the desire for personal upskilling.


Her research examines sustainability practices in Namibia. She has sought to capture current thinking, priorities and practices of Namibian public interest entities.

“I had to make sure I completed the degree within the set time, lest my own funds dry up without completing the degree. I decided to complete it in one year, even though there was an option for over two years.

“The topic of my research dealt with a lot of topical matters in financial discourse nowadays, namely, sustainability reporting and environmental, social and governance (ESG. Financial reporting looks at things as they happened in the past. With sustainability, you are looking at the future and how to best run businesses in a sustainable manner.

“Achieving this master’s degree would not have been possible without the companies who agreed to participate in the research and an appropriate support structure. My supervisor, Professor Shelly Herbert, was instrumental to my success as we shared the same vision, and she provided immense guidance and support throughout the whole process. My family’s support was also key throughout the whole process as they understood the vision of what I wanted to achieve.”

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