Dr Alugumi Ndou has finally realised his academic dream by obtaining his PhD in information science from Unisa. Photo supplied.

Humble 'library assistant' pursues dream and gets doctors degree


With only a Grade 12 certificate to his name, Alugumi Samuel Ndou’s working career started when he joined the University of Venda (Univen) as a library assistant. Despite coming from a disadvantaged background, he never gave up on his dream of acquiring the highest academic achievement he could. Over the years, he worked hard to achieve what he had set out for his life. Twenty-nine years later, Ndou holds a PhD in information science, proudly obtained from the University of South Africa (Unisa).

Ndou’s schooling started in Rabali, where he was born and raised. He matriculated at Patrick Ramaano High School, but after school, he joined the millions of other jobless people of that time as he had no financial means to further his education. He was very fortunate when he got a job as a library assistant at the now-defunct Makhado College of Education, and in November of 1996, he secured a position at Univen’s library.

Here, Ndou started making time between his busy work schedule to further his studies. He succeeded in obtaining a diploma in records management, a degree in business administration, a postgraduate diploma in information science, a master’s degree in information science, and finally his PhD in information science.

His doctoral thesis, titled “Opportunities and Challenges of Integrating Information Literacy as a Credit-bearing Module into First-Year Level Academic Programmes at the University of Venda, South Africa,” was undertaken under the supervision of Dr A. Zimu-Biyela.

Ndou currently works as an information literacy librarian at the University of Venda.

He encourages young people to look past their disadvantaged backgrounds and focus on achieving their educational dreams. “I always draw my inspiration from the words of our late former President Nelson Mandela, who said, ‘It always seems impossible until it is done.’ If all young South Africans prioritise education, our country will be full of opportunities, and poverty will be a thing of the past. Education is the only weapon that can open our minds and create a better future for everyone,” he said.



Date:05 November 2023


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