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Fighting Spirit Serves Visually Impaired Student Well

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As Thuto Chopo (25), says, “The struggle for believing in, hearing, and fitting in is very real when you are blind.”. The go-getter’s fighting spirit has served him well, as today, April 26, despite the odds against him, he proudly walked on the stage at the Tshwane University of Technology’s Pretoria Campus, where he was presented with an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration at one of the university’s autumn graduation ceremonies.

Fighting Spirit Serves Visually Impaired Student Well

Thuto Chopo (25), also known as The Fabulous Thuto (his stage name), is a visually impaired student who obtained an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration at one of TUT’s autumn graduation ceremonies today. This is the second qualification he obtains from the University.

“Having lived through these fights, one becomes someone who wakes up every day ready to face the day as if it owes him something, walks through the day like a magnet, and goes to bed like someone who has conquered the world,” says Thuto, who is blind.

Fighting Spirit Serves Visually Impaired Student Well

After completing Grade 12 in 2016 at the Prinshof School for the Visually Impaired, he decided to enroll for a course in Entrepreneurship at TUT, which he began in 2018.

“Today I received my second qualification; my family is thrilled with me. It’s been an exciting journey. However, I acknowledge that this wouldn’t be possible without God’s will and my own personal responsibility.”

It has not been easy for him to achieve academic success, he admits. Due to the fact that this was my first time taking accounting, I struggled with it. To overcome this challenge, I formed close relationships with accounting tutors and, as a consequence, passed all my assessments and, eventually, my academic year. Another challenge was that I did not receive a bursary for the entire year. I was able to survive because one TUT mentor gave me her bursary meal allowance.”

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Ivy Morulani from TUT Disability Unit helped Thuto get e-books from publishers for all his modules, as well as facilitate all his assessments into readable softcopy question papers and answer sheets, and he lives in Magalies residence on the Pretoria Campus.

Thuto attributes his academic success to his accounting tutor, Hlulani Edward Hlungani, who took the time to help him understand accounting. In addition to that, I must give a big thanks to my mother, Julia Chopo, who set up the foundation for me to become the man I am today with her fountain of love.”

Could he give other students with disabilities advice on completing their studies successfully like he did? “Read your books, speak up when you need help, and build good relationships with your lecturers and mentors. My business mentor is Dr Patrick Ebewo, and my spiritual mentor is Pastor Thomas Mabotje from First Love Techrand. During my business career, my mentor guides me, and my pastor gives me knowledge in my Christian walk. Spiritual growth and finances play an important role in my well-being, and I learn from these two gentlemen.”

Thuto is a pianist and business administration student enrolled in the Postgraduate Diploma program. His repertoire includes all kinds of styles, and he sings at clubs, corporate events, churches, and any other special events. Additionally, he is a motivational speaker.

 

Fighting Spirit Serves Visually Impaired Student Well

Thuto with his mother, Julia Chopo.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Phaphama Tshisikhawe, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 4711  Email: [email protected]

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