Namibian UCT student graduates after going to SA with only N$500

15 July 2021 | Education

WEEKEND ARGUS



CAPE TOWN

A University of Cape Town (UCT) student from Namibia will graduate this week after she went to that country with only N$500.

Aune Angobe will graduate with an MSc Molecular and Cell Biology degree after achieving over 95% for her course.

She was raised by her grandparents in Ongongo village.

She said she was privileged to have grandparents who had always known the value of education.

“I attended primary and secondary school in the northern part of Namibia under their tender care. Throughout my schooling journey, I’d always enjoyed science subjects, and I have no doubt that I was a scientist from birth.

“Despite my poor family background, I studied hard and matriculated with good grades. In 2013, I was granted admission to the University of Namibia [Unam] for an honours degree programme in science (microbiology), which was funded by a government loan,” she said.

After completing her undergraduate studies in 2017, she didn’t have plans to study further, but that all changed in 2018.

Funding challenge

Angobe said she started growing a strong feeling for furthering her studies and searched for opportunities at numerous universities in Namibia and South Africa.

She was admitted at UCT; however, funding was her biggest obstacle.

“I remember clearly that when I arrived in Cape Town, I did not have funds for my accommodation and living expenses. I had only R500.

“I was accommodated by a friend where I stayed for about two weeks. During this period, my supervisor, my friend and I were constantly worried about how I was going to survive,” she said.

Angobe said she then decided to approach student housing where she cried her heart out to get her plea across, and was eventually given accommodation.

She, however, added that she always felt like an outsider, coming from a different country, and struggled with the language barrier and being away from her support system.

Angobe added: “My advice to others going through the same experience is that persistence is key. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way. So don’t give up. To current students, self-confidence is key. Always believe in yourself and keep pushing, no matter the circumstances.”

Go-getter

Associate Professor Inga Hitzeroth, Angobe’s supervisor, said she is an amazing student who is a go-getter.

“What stood out for me was how organised she was. She did not wait for you to organise stuff for her, she was very proactive.

“She is very positive with a lovely personality,” Hitzeroth said.

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