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Thursday, 25 April 2024

Stroke survivor beats the odds to graduate

NEW GRADUATE: Zandile Genuka NEW GRADUATE: Zandile Genuka

Zandile Natasha Genuka was just 21 when her life plans came to a devastating halt in 2021 when she suffered a light stroke - just weeks after giving birth.

She spent three months in Intensive Care, unable to walk or talk and battling to remember basic information.

Zandile, who was studying towards an Advanced Diploma in Marketing, had to make the difficult choice to take a gap year from her studies in 2022.

The journey to recovery was a long and challenging one but she never gave up hope. Her determination paid off – today she is celebrating her graduation.

“I'm so excited because when I look back to where I'm coming from, I never knew that I would accomplish what I've been praying for. It took a lot of prayer for me not to give up on my dream,” said the new graduate who originally hails from Qonce (King Williams Town).

“There is no elevator to success, we all have to take the stairs. You can’t give up because of the obstacles you face in life.”

Looking back on her journey, Zandile said that after her discharge “she had to start over” and her days were filled with occupational therapy and speech therapy sessions as well as physiotherapy “to train myself to walk”.

She said she managed to pass the two modules she was doing in 2021 with the support of her lecturers, Zandile Mxaku and Nayeema Bray.

In 2022 she decided to take a gap year to focus on her health and returned to her studies in 2023 to complete her remaining modules.

“I managed to pass the modules and I appreciate the support given by Ms (Mandy) Jones my head of department at the time and also Dr Rodney Duffett who never got tired of explaining the same thing over again.”

She is now enrolled for her postgraduate studies in Business Administration.

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za