Maths boffin, Mr Mzwakhe Magagula, graduated cum laude with Honours in Statistics.
Magagula described his undergrad as smooth as he was allowed to concentrate on maths, maths and more maths … majoring in Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics and Statistics.
Magagula said he had difficulty choosing which one of the three he should major in for his honours, but settled on Statistics because he wanted a subject that would challenge his analytical skills and allow him to utilise his problem-solving abilities and bring life out of the numbers. ‘That is the beauty of statistics, its application is so important yet magical, I just love it,’ said Magagula, whose love for numbers is almost infectious.
He attributed his success to his strong support system. Magagula, who is also deeply religious, found inspiration in his religion and belief system. He is especially grateful to his uncle, Musa Andries Magagula, his grandmother, Ana Zulu, his Pastor MJ Malaza and NS Malaza and his high school principal Mr Hlatshwayo.
Magagula’s proudest achievements thus far was being awarded the best student in Statistics in 2015 and receiving the Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics Award in 2016.
He plans on continuing with his postgraduate studies, and pursuing it with excellence. ‘I understand that excellence is not just being the best, but it is about doing your best. I want to do my best until I become one of the greatest statisticians on the African continent.’
Magagula dedicated his graduation to his family. He believes this milestone was the best way to show them how grateful he was to them for believing in his abilities. His message to undergraduates was to love what they do, no matter how difficult it can be. ‘Don’t be afraid of taking that challenge, because everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. Secondly, don’t forget to strive for excellence, it matters not how many people have done what you are doing, what matters is how you have done it, that’s where excellence comes into play and by prioritising and staying focused you will never go wrong.’
Master of Science lecturer, Professor Shaun Ramroop said: ‘Mzwakhe Magagula has always been the top student in our classes. He is dedicated, industrious and can work under minimal supervision. Mzwakhe is one of our emerging researchers in postgraduate studies. His passion and love for statistics is regarded as unparalleled in our Department and he is an authentic role model to all students. He has a great destiny ahead of him.’
Words: Swastika Maney