Master of Science Applied Mathematics student, Mr Njabulo Mkhize, was filled with mixed emotions when he graduated cum laude. Mkhize tackled the General Relativity (GR) field under Applied Mathematics.
His research involved finding new exact solutions to the isotropic trace-free Einstein field equations, thus, contributing to the ‘investigations of the trace-free version of Einstein’s theory’, said Mkhize.
‘I have mixed emotions. I reflect on the setbacks and struggles that I had to go through to achieve this. Nevertheless, it always provides some encouragement to attain more good things in the future. Besides, it feels good to see family and friends embracing your successes,’ said Mkhize.
The need for mathematical tools to solve everyday problems, is what motivated Mkhize to pursue his studies in Applied Mathematics.
Mkhize has persevered through plenty of struggles in his journey, ranging from the inability to cope with the university workload that resulted in stress, to financial instability at home which affected his studies and well-being. However, despite all these challenges, Mkhize was able to overcome these struggles and be proud of the achievement he had attained thus far.
‘My way out was to dedicate more time to my books and stay positive. It also helped to have a hard-working and supportive supervisor who helped not only academically but also financially,’ said Mkhize.
Advising undergraduate students, Mkhize said: ‘Don’t limit yourself! When you see the opportunity, cease it because it might not come along again’.
Mkhize plans to complete his PhD in the next few years. ‘This must come with some teaching experience at a tertiary level.’
Mkhize thanked his mother and dear friend, Simo Mthethwa, for their motivational support during the ‘darkest days’ of his life. He further attributed his success to his supervisors, Dr Sudan Hansraj, Dr Sergey Shindin and Professor Sunil Maharaj.
When asked what inspiring greatness means to him, Mkhize said: ‘It is simply, the encouragement or motivation behind excellence.’
Words: Zolile Duma