Taxi association rewards its graduate Nkazimulo Khumalo

Ivory Park Taxi Association has promised to refund Nkazimulo Khumalo all the fees he spent at Unisa./ ANTONIO MUCHAVE
Ivory Park Taxi Association has promised to refund Nkazimulo Khumalo all the fees he spent at Unisa./ ANTONIO MUCHAVE

An East Rand taxi driver who graduated with a Bachelor's degree in education has been rewarded by his association with a refund of the fees he spent on his studies.

Nkazimulo Khumalo, a taxi driver from Ivory Park Taxi Association (Ipta), was hailed as a shining example among his colleagues after he graduated from Unisa last week. The 28-year-old, who hails from Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, will be refunded the R52,500 tuition fees he paid for his studies for five years.

Ipta chairperson Buti Mkonza, who invited Khumalo to the association's annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, made the pledge.

Mkonza said they decided to call Khumalo to congratulate him for his hard work.

"I was impressed with the fact that he did not come knocking on our doors for financial assistance even though he knows that we assist lots of high school pupils from around Ivory Park," he said.

"We have adopted 10 high schools and we give laptops to matriculants who have excelled in their final examinations and we also give out bursaries. I am very impressed he took his education serious."

Mkonza said it excited him to see taxi drivers doing something good for themselves.

An ecstatic Khumalo said the gesture by Mkonza has taken him by surprise. "I could not believe it when I was told there are people who came to fetch me to meet with Buti Mkonza, the chairperson of the association, who is also the chairperson of SA National Taxi Council in Gauteng," Khumalo said.

"I was nervous and happy at the same time. They had their annual general meeting and everyone was happy with me. Today [yesterday] I went to Unisa to get my financial statement."

Khumalo said he was going to use the money to further his studies. "For me the dream does not end with one degree. I will register again for next year because the aim is to graduate with a PhD one day. I have just realised that the sky is the limit and nothing will stop me from achieving my dreams," Khumalo said.

He drives a taxi between Sunninghill and Ivory Park. He leaves home at 3am daily and returns just after 9pm. While his taxi is queueing for passengers, he studies.

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