Someone who has read the novel Ityala Lamawele by Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi or watched the telenovela on SABC 1 would know that it is sometimes rare for twins to see eye to eye, let alone love the same things. However, two sets of twins who came to register at Rhodes University this week paint an altogether different story.
Mandisa and Andiswa Gumbi (18) were born and bred in Durban, Umlazi Township and matriculated last year from Linpark High School. They are both registered first-year Bachelor of Law students. Before doing their own research, they knew about Rhodes University through their uncle who was studying Microbiology at the University.
Mandisa said the reason she chose to enroll for Bachelor of Law is because she has a passion for helping people. “I have always wanted to study something that would afford me an opportunity to assist people,” she said.
Andiswa said after the research they did on Rhodes University, their mother and grandfather were more than happy to support and assist them fulfil their dream. “Our mother knew the quality of education her brother received from the University and how the University equipped him for the workplace. Regardless of all the challenges around Makhanda, our mother believes that Rhodes University will mold us to be leaders of tomorrow in our society,” explained Andiswa.
Two more twins from Cape Town, David and Neale Lyons (18) matriculated from Rondebosch Boys High School and have registered for Bachelor of Social Science and BCom in Business Management, respectively. They said what excited them about Rhodes University is the way the institution allows students to structure their courses. They described it as something exciting and challenging at the same time, but said they loved it.
Neale said: “I have always had a keen interest in the business, computers and technology industries. What I love most about Rhodes University is the freedom to structure my course just the way I want to - something we could not find in Cape Town. I would not have been able to take up science and business management at the same time somewhere else. I was going to be forced to do them as different courses, so academically, Rhodes University was the best option.”
David said Rhodes University offered the best fit in regards to what he wanted to study and he is looking forward to his time here. He said he also loved the fact that Rhodes University was allowing first-year students to come on campus. “For us, coming to Makhanda was not an issue at all as we are well aware of the water challenges here. We are used to conforming to strict water usage measures in Cape Town, such as the two-minute shower and reusing bath water for ablution facilities,” he said.
The Lyons said they also enjoy the quiet of Makhanda compared to Cape Town’s bustle. The two share similar interest in sport such as rugby and rowing and they said their bond is kept together by the mutual love and respect they have for each other.
The Gumbis said they learnt not to compete with each other and not to allow people to pit them against each other from an early age. “We understand that we’re not gifted in the same way and when I see my twin excelling in something, I take that as a challenge to improve my own interests,” said Mandisa.
Andiswa said: “If something does not work for me that works for my sister, I keep a positive mindset that it was meant for her. We acknowledge that we do not have the same strengths and that we are different.”
The Lyon and Gumbi twins are currently attending the Orientation Week programme and said they are looking forward to become future leaders through their Rhodes University experiences.