BSc Property Development graduate, Mr Umar Bassa, holds the distinction of being the only summa cum laude graduate in his class.
Bassa decided to study property development because of his desire to obtain a high level of understanding in a field of study which he is passionate about.
‘I realised that UKZN offered one of the better property development courses in South Africa and was unique in the sense that it attempted to bridge the gap between the antiquated techniques of the old system with new and upcoming technological advancements,’ said Bassa.
Prior to his degree, Bassa obtained a certificate in political and societal studies at Dallas College in Cape Town, which is where he realised his passion for understanding the built environment.
‘As the author DH Lawrence put it: “I have a desire to build a world and an eagerness to become familiar with the architecture and construction of buildings as a reflection of the time we live in”,’ said Bassa.
Bassa described his course of study as amazing and fascinating. ‘We learnt a bit about everything, from covering the built environment and the various professions in which it functions to relevant aspects of law and accounting.
‘For me, property development is so versatile, perhaps one of the most versatile, professions. One is never constrained to a single area or workspace and can work as a consultant for construction companies, for development companies or, if crazy enough, a financial institution,’ he said.
Bassa lives by the African proverb: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.’
‘Everyone who has become successful knows that success goes further than one’s own abilities,’ he said. ‘Success often follows after the dedication of those around us – our family, teachers, friends and even colleagues. I think that without the combination of hard work and incredible support I would not be where I am today.’
‘A very great professor of mine once said the root of the word study comes from the Latin “studium”, which means “to persevere”. This is what it is. There is no great student, only one who preserves and one who doesn’t.’
Bassa plans to continue studying and working while living in Cape Town.
Words: Manqoba Hadebe