A North West man born without both his arms beat all the odds to graduate with a degree in economics this week.
Letlhogonolo Mafela, who was awarded his degree by the North West University at the Mahikeng campus on Tuesday, said he was the happiest person on earth following the achievement.
Mafela, 27, said he could not believe his ears when his name was called so he could ascend the stage and be capped. He said that moment was followed by a louder round of applause and cheers from the crowd as he walked up to receive his certificate.
"My graduation was quite exciting because I went through a lot of challenges while schooling. I felt that I was celebrating all the difficult things I went through in my life and defeated.
"My thinking has always been that the world owes nobody nothing. If you want something to happen you should take action because dreams will remain dreams if you don't act on them," he said.
The graduate from Matshepe village, about an hour drive south of Mahikeng, said this was not the end but just the beginning of a meaningful life ahead.
He said he planned to register for an honours degree and to turn his hobby as a music producer and DJ into a commercial venture. Mafela said he was planning to release his debut EP later this year.
As if Mafela didn't have enough obstacles to deal with, he said he wasted two years of his life on campus studying for a course that he didn't like.
"I started studying in 2014 doing information systems, which focused on technology and I had economics as a module. As I continued with it [economics], I gained much interest in it and felt that I should quit what I did for what made me happier. Economics is the mother of the commercial industry and I enjoyed it more."