UKZN staff member Mr Lucky Mdletshe was shot and seriously wounded while studying for his Master’s degree.
But he soldiered on and was able to submit his thesis just in time to graduate with a Master’s degree in Social Sciences (Cultural and Heritage Tourism).
‘I managed to come out of it all victorious,’ said Mdletshe. ‘My grateful thanks go to my supervisor, Dr Mabuyi Gumede, who was always optimistic that greater things were in store for me and encouraged me to finish the study in the shortest possible time.’
He also thanked the School of Social Sciences staff, his family and friends for their support and prayers.
Mdletshe’s research examined the socio-economic implications beyond COVID-19 on uShaka Marine World as a flagship coastal development attraction.
‘Globally, the economy – especially the tourism sector – was hard hit by the pandemic which shut down uShaka, causing a loss of income and forcing employees to look for greener pastures,’he said.
The study findings ‘provide critical suggestions into operational activities in uShaka Marine World and offers the tourism industry, government officials, academics, and other stakeholders constructive advice to reinvest in the industry and to restore tourism agencies and developmental corridors for the benefit of tourism businesses, employees and the local community.’
Mdletshe’s advice for other students is: ‘Life is short and the world is big. The goal is not to die with your dreams but rather to get practical experience that will benefit everyone, especially those in rural households.’