Back to top

Public Relations graduate sets sights on a PhD

6 December 2019

Simukele Ngema on his graduation day

Story by Nthabiseng Tlaka

A 25-year-old student with cerebral palsy has registered for a master’s degree in Public Relations, with a focus on disability studies.

Simukele Mlondi Ngema graduated with a BTech in Public Relations from the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) in April. His current studies are around determining communication barriers facing students with disabilities in higher institutions across Gauteng.

He is also a volunteer at VUT, helping BTech students in PR with their research methodology.

Ngema’s studies have been made possible with a bursary by Landis+Gyr, a multinational corporation.

“We are happy with the commitment Simukele has put in his studies, we are ready to fund his master’s degree until he finishes his doctoral degree,” said the company’s human resources practitioner, Phumeza Makgalema.

Although a lot of persons with cerebral palsy face barriers when it comes to education, because of speech and physical impairment, Ngema is determined to overcome these and achieve a doctoral degree.

The Vaal University of Technology disability unit is assisting Ngema with mentorship from professionals in the PR field. He says “I aspire to venture into business, run a charity organisation that will raise funds for persons with disabilities and be a mentor in Public Relations for students in university. Thank you to all my mentors for believing in my dreams”.