Zimbabwean-born Godfrey Sithole came to South Africa in 2010 to provide better opportunities for his family and had a desire to further the Forestry Diploma he obtained in Zimbabwe, where he worked as a Forestry Plantation Manager.
In 2012, Godfrey started his BTech Forestry at George Campus. His employer at the time, agreed to give him time off work to attend block releases. However, during his second block release, his employer reneged on their agreement and forced him to choose between his studies and his job. Godfrey chose to learn and was subsequently fired.
“I knew I needed to continue to upskill myself. I understand in life one’s level of success rarely exceeds one’s level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become. I chose to be either the first, the best or different,” said Godfrey.
He passed his first-year modules very well, irrespective of the temporary setback, but could not continue as he struggled to raise fees for the following year’s registration.
“I did part-time jobs in-between just to keep my family afloat. I was not earning enough to register and continue with my studies. Eventually, in 2015, I was employed in a full-time job and in 2016 I applied to resume my degree.
Godfrey enrolled for Silviculture and Applied Biometry, a combination many criticised because of its demanding nature.
His current employer Sutherland Seedlings, in Kwa-Zulu Natal, assisted him throughout the study year and he eventually completed the degree programme with three distinctions.
“At the same time, Nelson Mandela University identified me as one of the best-achieving students in my degree programme and consequently Golden Key South Africa invited me to be a member of the prestigious Golden Key International Honour Society,” said Godfrey.
Godfrey, who works as an Assistant Nursery Manager, graduated with his BTech Forestry qualification on 13 April and looks forward to continuing with his Masters next year.
“I thank God who always causes us to triumph through Christ Jesus, for taking me this far. Also much appreciation for my beautiful wife, Faith, and my lovely daughters Shekinah and Shalom, for all their support”.
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