Meet our top performing first-year student from the Faculty of Health Sciences – Sibulele Gwayi

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Burning the midnight oil in preparation for her exams has paid off for Sibulele Gwayi who now ranks among the top performing first-year students in the Faculty of Health Sciences. The 22-year-old from Centane in the Eastern Cape is studying towards a Bachelor of Health in Human Movement Sciences (HMS).

Her dream is to be a Kinesiologist which entails the study of biomechanical processes of the body to explore how managing those processes can contribute to human health. Her second option is to become an Academic.

Born last of six children - one living with a physical disability - according to Sibulele, her unemployed parents mostly depended on the government’s child support social grant and her brother’s disability grant to put food on the table.

“Being ranked among the top performing students is a truly remarkable achievement for me, considering how far I have come to be here,” she said.

Her journey to being a university student after completing high school took a detour, this after falling pregnant and deciding to go to Johannesburg to look for a job.

“I first did my matric in 2018, however, I fell pregnant and I had to leave school to find a job which proved to be difficult. In 2021 I went back to school to redo my matric and it was the best decision I took.”

Sibulele enrolled at UFH after passing her matric at Kruzukile High School in Centane where she obtained distinctions in four subjects which included Accounting, Maths Literature and Business Studies.

Sibulele attributes her success to the support from her former teachers at Krazukile, her current Lecturers and burning the midnight oil in preparation for her exams. “My former teachers have been very supportive and my Lecturers truly go the extra mile to ensure we succeed in our studies.”

“When I have a test or an exam I prefer to study at night when it is more quiet on campus. This is when I concentrate the most,” she said.

Asked about life on campus, she said: “When addressing the first years of 2022, the VC said we are walking in the footsteps of giants and indeed we are. When I walk on Freedom Square or pass the Tambo and Sobukwe Walk on the Alice campus, I feel like a giant.”