Andile Macatsha graduates despite years of ill-health

No hurdles in life could deter MUT graduand Andile Macatsha from achieving his goals.

Despite being diagnosed with a tumour on his spinal cord and having to endure countless medical operations leading to his left leg being amputated, the determined go-getter was driven to complete his National Diploma in Public Management. The 32 year-old Macatsha from UMzimkhulu, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, arrived at MUT in 2009 with a dream of being an active contributor in the public administration system of this country, the tumour diagnosis left him scared and his future uncertain.

Macatsha said when the tumour was discovered seven years ago, he wanted to get rid of it as soon as he could. “After a few consultations and a few tests, the doctors operated and they successfully got rid of the tumour. But I didn’t know that would lead to something else,” said Macatsha. He said: “A few months after the operation, my left foot developed an infection which, according to doctors was a result of nerve damage from the previous operation I have had. This went on until amputation was the only option I had to survive.” Despite his ill health, he was always upbeat when it came to his studies. “MUT lectures became my family, they were accommodative and understanding and they helped me with catching up on my studies.”

Macatsha said the decision to amputate was a difficult one. “After years of excruciating pain and no solution, the infection developed to my knee, the specialists suggested the only way to save my life was to amputate.” He continued: “Life is dynamic and unpredictable, you can go to bed perfect and wake up a completely changed person the next day but you need to take that change in your stride. I have no regrets and I know I have a bright future ahead.”

Macatsha will be accompanied by his mother and sister on Wednesday, 20 April when he graduates with a National Diploma in Public Management at MUT’s Seme Hall on the main campus at 10am.