Mzwakhile McInode Sigudu

A Saga of Perseverance and Achievement

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I come from a humble background – a family of five siblings. Whilst my parents had decent careers as a policeman (dad) and nurse (mom), the road to higher education seemed elusive. As the second year of my university approached, a difficult decision weighed heavily upon me – I had to sacrifice my own education for the greater good of my younger siblings.

Resolute but disheartened, I found solace in a teacher’s college. Within its walls, I flourished, emerging as the top student. A bursary paved the way for my studies, and though a diploma adorned my achievements, the ache for a degree persisted. Life’s trials interjected, nudging my aspirations aside, leaving me with certificates in Project Management and Training Practitioner in 2009 – tokens of my perseverance.

My desire for higher qualification started in 2011, 20 years later, (after I completed my diploma) when I enrolled for an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration. With excellent results and long work experience, I managed to apply and be accepted to register for MBA at Milpark Business School. I was well within completing my studies in record time when suddenly funds dried out with only the final exams to complete. I was suddenly excluded from participating in all exams and my dissertation supervisor was instructed to stop assisting me – my dream fell apart!

But I persevered with business projects with the hope to raise funding to complete my studies.

But life had other tricks up its sleeves. The year 2017 came, one of the toughest years. I lost three family members in just six months. First my nephew, then my younger sister, and finally, my elder sister. It was a lot to handle, but I didn’t want to give up on my dream. I wanted to finish my MBA and even go for a DBA. In July 2017, I reregistered to complete the MBA, but I got really sick, and things got even harder. It came to a point where I thought I might die. I prayed and was prayed for, for a second chance in life because I felt like I still had more to give.

Miraculously, I survived and lived to tell the story.

I completed my MBA in November 2021 – praise God! My wife encouraged me to go all out to pursue the DBA. As a person with global ambitions in business, I wanted to do my DBA at an international institution. After carefully going through other international institutions, there couldn’t have been a better institution than Westford Uni Online. I started in December 2021, just after I had another traumatic experience of my young and only brother was attacked and burnt in his room at home. He later died of severe burn wounds – 100% burn. So, it hasn’t been easy. I have had to take a break because of illness and recovering from Covid-19 for almost a year. But now, I’m back on track, working on my MPhil, and getting ready to finish my DBA.

Being at Westford has changed how I see the world. I’ve learned a lot about research and its role in business. I’ve also met people from different parts of the world. Doing the DBA has been tough, taking time away from my family, especially my two little girls. But my wife has been my rock, supporting me in every way she can. We even traveled together to attend Westford Research Bootcamps in Dubai in 2022 and Spain in 2023. These experiences have taught me that life is more than just challenges. I appreciate little things even more, and the friendly staff at Westford give me the motivation to keep doing my best.

I’m grateful to God for giving me a second chance and for all the support I’ve received. I know I’ll finish my DBA and make a difference in the business world. My journey is a reminder that no matter how tough things get, with determination and support, we can overcome anything.

Mzwakhile McInode Sigudu

Doctorate of Business Administration, UCAM