Cape Town – The new dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Professor Tembisa Ngqondi, is an inspiration to all.
She started out working as a domestic worker and built herself up by studying and pushing through it all.
“Before I finished my matric I took a year and worked as a maid but I went back to school to finish my matric and then I continued with my studies. My father was a miner and my mother, the owner of a small spaza shop.
’’He got boarded and we had to relocate to the Eastern Cape from Ladysmith where I was born,” said Ngqondi.
She worked as a domestic worker three days a week and worked two days helping a woman who made leather products.
At the end of matric, she was one of the top students and managed to obtain a bursary to study IT. After obtaining her National Diploma, she studied at Port Elizabeth Technikon. She did her Masters at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, then her PhD.
As a young girl in primary school, Ngqondi volunteered for different leadership roles.
“I would never have imagined that I would one day end up as a dean, but by the grace of God, who directs our steps, I did. I never had the mindset of not succeeding. As a maid, I was doing everything excellently.
’’My goal was to be excellent in everything I was doing. Even at that time, my madam would hear my voice when I said my journey would not end there,” she said.
Appointed on April 1, Ngqondi said the month had already been a hectic one, but it had been interesting.
“I have identified some areas where I can contribute to the faculty while also improving the brand of the university. This is in terms of achieving the 2030 vision for the university. The environment has been very homely and all my colleagues have been welcoming,” said Ngqondi.
She added that she was joining the university at a difficult time as a result of the pandemic, but that she believed as a woman in information and communications technology (ICT), she with her team in the faculty could look into different ways of trying to bring solutions in terms of teaching and learning, research and engagement.
“It is not just my journey; it is our journey, and we have to look at the university’s vision and make sure we reach the goals of the university.”
Ngqondi joined CPUT from the University of Mpumalanga, where she was head of the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences.
“Being part of a new university, I had an opportunity to shape the school and write new qualifications for the university in the ICT space. I was heading the school which consists of ICT programmes and service modules (Mathematics and End User Computing/Hospitality Information Systems).”
Before joining the University of Mpumalanga she was head of the Applied Informatics Department at Walter Sisulu University.