Leenane Tinashe Makurumure receives his award from UKZN Chief Financial Officer, Ms Nontuthuko Mbhele.

Chitungwiza- colloquially known as Chi Town is a Zimbabwean township where Mr Leenane Tinashe Makurumure was born and raised.

In 2004, Makurumure’s life drastically changed after having to relocate to a rural part of South Africa in a small town of Mkhambathini, UMgungundlovu District, where the main medium of instruction was isiZulu which was unfamiliar to him. He however managed to pass through that language barrier and made friends. He went to Alexandra High School where he was one of the top achieving students, obtaining a YRHDV Engineers and environmental consultant Price for Physical Sciences as well as First National Bank (FNB) price for mathematics to name a few.

His love for information technology encouraged him to pursue a once high school subject into a full career path which led him to the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he is enrolled for the BSc degree in Computer Science and Information Technology. This has not been a bad choice evident from his 10 out of 12 certificates of merits and Dean’s commendations throughout his three semesters at the University.

When asked what obtaining this scholarship mean to him, he said it verified his father’s words that ‘hard work pays’.

He is also grateful for the recognition and that the scholarship will ease his financial troubles. He advised those wanting to follow in his footsteps to make the right friends. ‘Tertiary studies aren’t a walk in the park. There are times when you feel like your best isn’t enough but with the right friends, you can dust yourself off and put in the work because hard work pays.’

His parents said Makurumure has always been focused on his studies, adding that they have never been worried about how to pay for his fees.

Makurumure plans to continue using his father’s advice and grow as a computer scientist.

Words: Ntokozo Dladla

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal