For other people it might have been an ordinary Thursday, but for Itumeleng Mabusha, who had just found his certificate of membership from the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) on his desk, it was the day he realised that anything is possible.
To him, the certificate was more than just a piece of paper – it was a summary of all the effort he had put in over the past few years and proof that his dream to become a Chartered Accountant (CA) had come true.
Seven years ago – as a first-year student at Stellenbosch University (SU) – he told himself that if he could earn a degree, he could do anything.
“The whole world has opened up. Possibilities. Opportunities of all shapes and sizes. This is only a milestone, because now the games begin. I have more energy than the past few years combined and I'm ready to go. Dreams don't work, unless you do!" he wrote on LinkedIn.
Itumeleng attended Parklands College on a scholarship and was in Grade 9 when he decided that he wanted to become a CA.
He applied to all the universities in the area and Stellenbosch University was the first to accept him into its BAccounting programme when his final marks came out. He was also accepted into the Stellenbosch Thuthuka Bursary Fund programme.
“I remember my first class in 2011. My lecturer was a CA, probably the first one I had ever seen (while knowing). I remember the admiration I felt, thinking that this is what I want to achieve and that this is year one of a long road ahead. I was really inspired."
He was worried about coming to Stellenbosch, fearing that he wouldn't fit in.
“But the experience I had was really like no other. An experience I doubt I would have gotten anywhere else. I made some really good friends and learned to approach a serious life differently. I always say I earned more than a degree at varsity: I learned how to be leader, how to balance life and how to make time for friends and family."
After graduating with his Honours degree in Accounting from SU, Itumeleng started his articles as trainee accountant at Sanlam.
“I fell in love with investments. I ended up rotating to the capital markets business where I learned about debt capital markets. I was then offered a position within the group with the debt team where I work as a debt structurer. I grabbed it with both hands and I haven't looked back since."