Zintle Dunga bags her first degree at 19

Read time: 3 mins

At age 19, Zintle Dunga is the youngest graduand to be capped during the 2022 UFH May graduation.

The aspiring Data Analyst will be graduating with a Bcom Degree in Information Systems (IS) on Thursday, 19th of May.

Originally from Willowvale in the Eastern Cape, Zintle was raised by her loving maternal grandparents.

She started school (Grade 1) when she was five years old and sailed through all her grades as the youngest learner in all her classes. She passed her matric with a Bachelor's pass at Nqabara Senior Secondary School in 2018 at age 16 and enrolled at Fort Hare the following year – a decision she says she will never regret.

“At first I was intimidated being the youngest in my class, however, thanks to the support from my lecturers and peers, I soon found my feet and gained confidence. I am glad I chose Fort Hare because life on campus was a great experience.”

The purpose of the UFH IS degree is to equip graduates with a variety of specialist skills in areas such as hardware and software development and programming, systems analysis and database systems and design.

Career opportunities in the field of Information Systems include Systems or Business Analysts; Project Managers; Information officers; Database administrators; ICT Consultants; Web Designers; Programmers and Systems Architects.

“I have gained a lot of knowledge, especially from the practical assignments we did.  With this degree, I feel prepared to start a career in the Information Systems field,” she said.

During her studies, Zintle lived with her mother, Andisiwe Dunga, whom she regards as her role model. “My mom is my greatest supporter. She always believed in me and my dreams.”

Ms Dunga who works as an Administrative Clerk at the Home Affairs Office in East London said: “As a child and throughout her life, failure was never her portion. Despite being the youngest in all her classes, her mind was advanced. She was inquisitive and always wanted to know how things worked and why they worked that way. She always strived for the best.”

Dunga, who is BAdmin and Human Resource graduate admits that she feared for her daughter when she applied for university at the tender age of 16 turning 17.

“She never left the province before and I was worried that she might not cope. I was at ease when she chose Fort Hare as her university of choice because it was closer to home and that meant she could live with me.”

“She is my one and only child and I am grateful that I was able to be there for her, emotionally and physically during her university studies. I am thankful to my parents for raising such an obedient, focused and strong young woman. My prayer for her is to study further and become the youngest PhD graduate.”

Dunga will be attending the graduation ceremony to celebrate with her daughter.

Zintle said: “I never imagined that I would be the youngest graduate to be capped. I am excited and feel honoured. I am inspired to achieve even more.”

By Aretha Linden

Picture: Tim Wilson