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Qobo Ningiza becomes SA’s first deaf student to obtain law degree

Qobo Ningiza, from in Ntseshe location in the Eastern Cape, will be among other graduates on 12 April at the university.

UCT’s Qobo Ningiza (right) on campus with sign language interpreter Tshepiso Mokoena. Picture: Merlin Ince/Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The University of Cape Town will have the honour of capping a deaf student with a Bachelor of Laws degree, a first in South African history.

Qobo Ningiza, from in Ntseshe location in the Eastern Cape, will be among other graduates on 12 April at the university.

He said: “There is nothing I want more than to make a difference in other people’s lives. I believe that we are a country with a lot of potential and that many of our problems would disappear if we focused our energy on assisting those in need.”

His aspiration is pursuing a career in human rights law.

Ningiza said his struggles in school included limited resources for the deaf, leading to them sharing textbooks and having to do with poor infrastructure.

He added that gaining access to a university that would accommodate him was also not a walk in the park, saying he was rejected by an institution that didn’t have sign language interpreters.

He ended up at UCT and was assisted with registration for tuition and residence, access to comprehensive bursaries to address his financial situation and assisted with sign language interpretation.