Congratulations to Mr Siyabonga Sirayi, who graduated in December 2023 with his MCom in Business Management.


Mr Sirayi began his studies in 2021, enrolling as a part-time student for a master's degree that typically lasts up to three years. Before this, he completed a diploma and a BTech in Management Practice. During his earlier university years, from 2015 to 2017, he worked as a tutor in subjects like Economics and Business Management. This experience fuelled his desire to become a lecturer one day. After finding out that a master's degree is often required for this career path, he decided to pursue one. His interest in Business studies began back in high school, which further motivated him to pursue business-related courses.

His master's dissertation focuses on finding ways to help technicians in the automotive retail industry develop their skills. Mr Sirayi believes that this industry is vital for South Africa's economy, but it's facing a shortage of skilled technicians. His study suggests involving the government, industry, and training institutions to address this issue. He also recommends better funding for training programs and partnerships with schools and manufacturers. This research aims to shed light on the challenges facing skills development in the industry and provide solutions not only for automotive retailers but also for other businesses that are looking to improve their workforce.

While working towards his master's degree, Mr Sirayi also became a husband and father, adding to his responsibilities. Balancing studies, family, and work was challenging, but he persisted. According to Mr Sirayi, embarking on a master's journey requires mental strength, resilience, and staying positive, especially during tough times like facing rejection. He strongly believes that facing rejection is a learning experience that can lead to success. He credits his supervisors, Dr Msuthwana and Prof Mazibuko, for their support and encouragement throughout his journey, especially during moments of doubt.

When asked what advice he would offer to anyone looking to undertake a similar journey, Mr Sirayi said: “To succeed in your own journey, you need to be mentally prepared, resilient, and committed”. Furthermore he recommends that before starting a master's programme, it's essential for candidates to have a good understanding of their topic and participate in relevant workshops.