Unlocking potential for greatness.

Sanele Sibiya

BSc. Degree, Actuarial Science (year 2), University of the Witwatersrand

My name is Sanele Lucky Sibiya, I was raised by my grandmother, and I stayed with her for most of my childhood. I am the last born in my family and I had two older siblings but one of them, my brother, sadly passed away when I was doing my grade 11.

Being raised in a modest household by my grandmother taught me the importance of hard work and always striving for success by any means, seeing how she would always provide for me even though at times it was difficult. My background has always served as a powerful motivator, pushing me to overcome obstacles and take my education seriously because it is the only way that I can succeed in life. From a young age, I have always maintained academic excellence through my strong passion for learning, this is what made me decide to do my high schooling at Sitintile Secondary School because it had a reputation for producing the best learners in our circuit and was the only MSTA (Maths, Science and Technology Academy) school around my home.

This led me to achieve astonishing milestones in academic my life. In my matric year, I was part of the top 2 in my school, and I was the top learner in Mathematics, obtaining a grade of 99%, but all that I have achieved cannot be seen as an individual effort, but as a collective effort because without the people around me, I would have not achieved it, that is why I believe in the power of collaborating with others and creating meaningful relationships, both academically and personally.

I have always been fascinated by the connection between mathematics and the real world because I enjoyed doing mathematics and always wanted to know more about it, so finding out that you can use mathematics to solve business problems was what made me choose to study Actuarial Science, which I heard about from a friend who saw how passionate I was about mathematics. My personal experience as an Actuarial student at the University of the Witwatersrand has been a bitter-sweet one because being at university is a whole new reality on its own and encountering difficulties in your academics is inevitable, especially when studying actuarial science but SAADP and FASSET has helped to bridge the gap by supporting us, both academically and financially. SAADP offers us the opportunity to have extra tutorial classes with honours students who help us understand how to approach difficult questions, and how to approach the course in general. I would highly recommend SAADP to any Actuarial Science student who is passionate about this course and wants to do better.

To any scholar who wants to pursue actuarial science, my advice to you would be to work hard and build a strong work ethic, because being smart but lacking a work ethic doesn’t suffice when you are studying actuarial science.

My future ambitions in the actuarial space are to make a meaningful impact in the corporate world by combining my acumen with my mathematical skills to be able to solve complex business problems and contribute to the growth and success of businesses and the economy.
In my spare time when I am not studying, I devote my time to reading books as I believe that reading more helps you to become a better person. My favourite book thus far is ‘Talent Is Never Enough’ by John C. Maxwell, and I think any scholar can benefit from reading it.

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