Bachelor of Commerce cum laude graduates, Ms Leighann Chetty, Mr Zinedine Diplall, Ms Amanda Dube, Ms Maseeha Mahomedy and Ms Ashmika Somaroo are one step closer to becoming Chartered Accountants (CAs).
‘A BCom Accounting degree opens many opportunities. I am currently completing my articles with the goal of becoming a professional accountant,’ said Chetty.
While she found it challenging to adapt to online learning, she is glad she persevered and not only passed but was awarded her degree cum laude. ‘Learning virtually was difficult. I failed many tests which was discouraging. I had to motivate myself not to lose hope and I advise other students to do the same,’ she said.
Diplall who is currently pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, said his fondness for numbers motivated him to pursue this degree as the first step in his ultimate goal of becoming a CA. ‘The degree offers many options in addition to the CA route,’ he said.
As a triplet, Diplall is setting a good example to his siblings. ‘My triplet siblings are studying Medicine and Law, and I have a younger brother in Grade 12. Both my parents are attorneys. My family is proud of my achievements, especially given the challenge of online learning and the COVID-19 lockdowns.’
Dube said that attending the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (SAICA) Development Camps when she was in matric and engaging with successful CAs confirmed that this was the career for her.
‘This qualification is a stepping stone to the path I’ve chosen. In a country like South Africa where ethics have been flickering, it is worthwhile to have a qualification that instils ethics in organisations,’ she said.
Although studying during a pandemic was challenging, Dube said it taught her resilience. ‘I had moments of self-doubt and dissatisfaction, however, I learnt a lot about myself and staying the course. Chartered Accountancy is a worthwhile career and the qualification is recognised in most parts of the world.’
Mahomedy who is also currently pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, said receiving Dean’s Commendations every semester motivated her to remain dedicated to her studies.
‘I am grateful to have had a great experience in studying towards my degree as I not only studied but also received the opportunity to work for the First-Year Experience Mentorship programme,’ she said.
Looking to the future, she plans to be an expert in her field. ‘It is important for me to not only become an expert in my field but also to become a valuable member of one of the Big Four auditing firms. I am driven to make an impact as I believe I have a purpose and responsibility to add value to my profession.’
For Somaroo graduating cum laude on top of receiving the UKZN-SAICA Top Achiever Award for her second and third year are her best accomplishments.
‘During my second-year of studying, we were all faced with the life-changing experience of COVID-19. It was a stressful and challenging experience however, I was determined to achieve my goals,’ she said.
Focusing on the end goal of qualifying as a CA, Somaroo is currently pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting. ‘I am striving to complete my two board examinations, thereafter my goal is to gain experience in the accounting field in South Africa before broadening my horizons by experiencing how the accounting profession is practiced internationally.’
Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photograph: Abhi Indarajan