Mxolisi Mgolozeli is no ordinary Protection Services employee at the University of the Free State. While some of his colleagues enjoyed family time after work, Mgolozeli would head straight for the library – a sacrifice which led to him being one of 12 students who received a master’s degree in Governance and Political Transformation at the Callie Human on Thursday 28 June 2018.
Mgolozeli attributed his success to an unshaken loyalty to his dreams as well as perseverance. “After almost 20 years of being out of school, having to start my undergraduate degree at the age of 43 was difficult. But it is all about commitment and sacrifice.”
He has been serving the university since 2003 – initially as an ordinary Security Officer and promoted to Supervisor ten years later. His 12-hour shift did not stand in the way of his strong ambitions of eventually transitioning into full-time academia.
His journey to the big stage has not been easy; however, with a supportive family, colleagues, and supervisor, Mgolozeli was able to triumph over all adversity. “It was not an easy journey, but I like education, so I think this motivated me.”
Dr Tania Coetzee, who supervised Mgolozeli throughout his master’s studies, commended her student’s tenacity. “As his supervisor, I acknowledge the fact that he has worked very hard and showed dedication and perseverance throughout the study.”
Mgolozeli’s research focused on the role of ward committees and their influence on community participation in the Manguang Municipality. He conducted a comparative study between three wards which were distinct in terms of being underdeveloped, semi-developed, and almost fully developed – wards 12, 14, and 19 respectively. The focal point of his research hinged on good governance practices and methods to improve good governance in the different wards.
Some of the recommendations produced by the study include adopting Integrated Development Planning, which will ensure that local government strategies involve the entire municipality and its citizens in finding the best solution to achieving long-term development as far as education, health, and socio-economic well-being are concerned.