We would like to extend our congratulations to Mr Siyabonga Sirayi, Associate Lecturer in the Department of Business Management, who was named as the top achiever for the MCom Business Management programme at the April 2024 School of Management Sciences awards ceremony.

Mr. Sirayi's fascination with business management wasn't a sudden thing. From a young age, he aimed to contribute to job creation in South Africa. During high school, he discovered a genuine interest in Business Studies and Accounting. Securing a third-place certificate in Business Studies in grade 11 solidified his enthusiasm. Consequently, he opted to pursue a master's degree in business management and subsequently launched his consulting firm, Hluhlu Enterprise, dedicated to supporting small businesses.

However, Mr Sirayi's journey was not without its share of challenges. Like many students, he grappled with the daunting issue of funding, a hurdle that often leads to stress and despair. Despite the financial strain, Mr Sirayi remained resilient, relying on his unwavering determination and seeking assistance from tutors and mentors to navigate academic hurdles. Furthermore, the temptation of procrastination loomed large due to inadequate time management. Yet, through sheer hard work and discipline, Mr Sirayi overcame these obstacles, emerging stronger and more adept at balancing his academic pursuits with extracurricular activities and personal responsibilities.

One of the most valuable lessons gathered from his university experience is the importance of skills transferability and teamwork. Mr Sirayi emphasises the significance of leading by example and fostering a collaborative spirit, both in academia and the professional realm. His commitment to continuous personal development and effective time management underscores his belief that every moment must be utilised purposefully towards achieving set goals.

In the face of challenging and stressful times, Mr Sirayi finds solace in mapping out his goals meticulously. This structured approach not only keeps him motivated but also equips him with the resilience needed to persevere through adversity. His advice to fellow students echoes the sentiment of perseverance, emphasising the importance of commitment, resilience, dedication, and humility in the pursuit of academic success.

As for his current endeavours, Mr Sirayi is engaged in both professional and academic pursuits. Alongside his work commitments, he dedicates his time to publishing articles and presenting at conferences based on his Master's Dissertation, further cementing his position as a thought leader in his field.

Mr Siyabonga Sirayi's journey exemplifies the transformative power of education, determination, and an unwavering commitment to one's aspirations. His story serves as a testament to the limitless possibilities that unfold when passion meets purpose, inspiring generations to come.