Selling The Big Issue magazine on the M3 in Bishopscourt, the 38-year-old Ntobeko Makaula has recently obtained his National
Diploma in IT networking from Boston City Campus.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to all my Big Issue customers for showing me support during my studies and most importantly, I’d love to express my gratitude to Mark Ilbury and Gillian Carney because without them there’d be no qualification. They supported me financially from day one, right until the end of my course,” says Ntobeko.
“Juggling studies with selling the magazine during a pandemic and having my duties of being a father at home has taught me professionalism and patience. I also gained the skills to multitask and manage my time accordingly.”
According to Ntobeko, an IT network systems administrator designs, implements and performs maintenance on equipment used to link computer networks. His curiosity of wanting to know what’s happening behind the screens drove him to pursue this course.
Last year COVID-19 hit South African shores and what we thought would be
a 21-day lockdown ended up being our daily lives. This indeed put a strain on many students during the academic year of 2020, and Ntobeko tell us about his own struggles during this period.
“Level 5 of the lockdown was the hardest because we weren’t permitted
to move around for non-essential things. I didn’t have internet access at home, as
I used to do my schoolwork on campus or at The Big Issue offices, and with
all that being said, online studies had
to carry on, so I had to make it work somehow,” he explains. “As I soldiered on, encouragement came from the words of my role model Nelson Mandela: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done’.”
Describing himself as an opportunist, Ntobeko says he is a hard worker and big dreamer; something he wishes people would remember about him. “If you wish one day you could carry on with your studies, my advice is to grab the opportunity with both hands, embrace it, stay focused and study hard because hard work pays off. There’s no failure in life, but an opportunity for ongoing formation,” he concludes.
Actively looking for employment in the IT industry, Ntobeko’s qualification can get him employment as a network administrator, network support technician, network specialist technician, and much more.
The Big Issue organisation and Ntobeko ask the public to be in contact should anyone come across any IT employment opportunities for him.