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By Mashudu Ramaleba

UNIVEN Alumni News

From humble beginnings to the Overall Best Student in the University

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Applied Chemistry student, Murendwa Success Munarini from Ha Masia village, is 2021’s proud recipient of Senate Gold Medallion for being the Overall Best Student in the University. Photo was taken by Takalani ‘Tsquad’ Thabo

Murendwa Success Munarini

The University of Venda held its virtual graduation on Wednesday, 23 June 2021 in which thirty graduates have been conferred awards for excellence in various award categories. These awards were sponsored by alumni, individuals and businesses.

During an interview with UNIVEN Alumni News, Murendwa Success Munarini expressed gratitude and excitement for being awarded the Best student in Chemistry, School Medallion-Best Student in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and Senate Medallion-Overall Best Student in the University awards. He walks away with R24 000 worth of prizes.

‘Á big thank you to K.C. Maiwashe & Associates, NTT Toyota Louis Trichardt, Intellimali, Fundi, Old Mutual, Muofhe Graceland Lodge and Alexander Forbes for investing in my hard work,’ says an excited Murendwa in thanking donors.

The Ha Masia village which has been in the news for producing Miss South Africa, Shudufhadzo Musida in 2020, produces Murendwa as the Overall Best student in the University of Venda in 2021. Ha Masia is a rural village with many families living in abject poverty and dependent on trading and subsistence farming.

‘I was born in a poverty-stricken family in Ha Masia Tshiphuseni village. My father is a trader with a small Spaza shop and a maize farmer in the village. During my teen years, I helped my father after school in the mealie fields,’ says Murendwa about his family background.

Murendwa Success is living up to his names. It is often stated that when someone calls a name, it is like calling a destiny into existence. ‘When I named him Murendwa and Success, it was a praise to God and a request from Him to lead my firstborn son to a successful life. We are filled with joy and pride that despite our difficult past, Success has emerged successful and on top of all other students,’ says Mr Mmbangiseni Munarini, a proud father of Murendwa during the interview with UNIVEN Alumni News.

‘I come from humble beginnings. My parents always told me that knowledge is precious and that I must go to school to change the situation we are in. They believe that education is the key to success and that I have the potential to be something great in life. They believe in me more than I believe in myself, so this makes me not want to disappoint them, but to make them proud due to the trust they have in me,’ says a visibly ecstatic Murendwa Success on being asked about how he feels about his achievements.

‘You need to remind yourself about your background and what you can do to change it for the better. I strive to be the best in everything I do and my names are an inspiration even during difficult times,’ says Murendwa Success when he was asked for advice for the current students.

‘I grew up like every rural boy and herded my grandmother’s cattle and goats in the grazing land. It is during this time that I saw some cattle and goats getting sick and die without a cure. This catastrophe instilled in me a desire to follow a career that would provide solutions. ‘

‘When I arrived at UNIVEN in 2018, I enrolled for Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Applied Chemistry to better understand chemicals and how to separate them to make antibiotics, disinfection drugs, fertilizers and pesticides for the livestock and mealies. I am currently enrolled at UNIVEN for Bachelor of Science Honours in Chemistry with a specific research focus in Analytical Chemistry.’

Murendwa Success Munarini believes that all work without play makes Jack a dull boy. During his spare time, he listens to slow jam music and watches cricket.

We invite you to share with us recent news of our alumni with Mashudu Ramaleba, Alumni Relations Officer on alumni@univen.ac.za or call 015 962 8338 or  071 632 3422. Please also update your details by visiting the university website www.univen.ac.za/alumni/update your contact details.  This will allow us to re-connect with you and share the UNIVEN journey of engaged scholarship and production of graduates who are locally relevant and globally competitive

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