Rudia Mphero (49) this Thursday showed that it is never too late nor is anyone too old to empower themselves as she graduated with her first Diploma in Telecommunications at the 5th Telone Centre For Learning graduation this Thursday.
Mphero comes from a poor background and after high school could not go further with her studies due to financial constraints.
She enrolled in college in 2016, Mphero was not given any special treatment but was treated like any other student despite her age as she was learning with students young enough to be her children.
She learned how to survive in a fast-paced and techno-savvy college environment including how to research using the internet and submit assignments through emails which most people her age struggle with.
After taking her final exams, she graduated as one of the top three students in the entire institution which had 190 graduands.
"I want to urge other mothers and mature students out there who are still hesitant to go for it. They must not feel ashamed because of their mature age, You can not win if you never try, " said Mphero
"It has taken me time to get my diploma but it feels so good and am very proud of myself, "added Mphero.
Two other top students enjoying the fruit of their hard labour as top class graduands with Mphero were,22-year old Masimba Samkange and 25-year-old Mhlanga Steward.
"A total of 54 female students graduated at the institution showing a significant increase in the percentage of females taking up the telecommunications Technicians Diploma," Telone Managing Director, Chipo Mutasa said.
"Although there are more male students who graduated today, more and more female students are taking up the diploma. In 2018 24 percent of females graduated and this year, we are proud to say the number had risen to 28 percent," said Mutasa.
The institution also equips graduands with all the skills necessary for them to flourish in today's fast-paced technological world as they are able to design, install and maintain telecommunications and ICT infrastructure as well as develop applications and software solutions.
Minister of Information, Communication, Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Jenfan Muswere who was the guest of honour at the graduation ceremony called on the graduands to think big and work smart to come up with innovative solutions that will change the country's telecommunications sector.
"I challenge all of you to transform what you've learned into practice, we are importing so many things yet we have this institution. We need to work on the imports substitution strategies so that we reduce the import bill," said Honourable Muswere.
The college also offers a telecommunications degree which is being offered in partnership with National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and several other diploma including software engineering, data science, digital marketing, business analytics and other other diplomas, a rich collection of programmes able to support the government's thrust of building a digital economy.