The phrase “like mother, like daughter” proved so true when Danielle Villihu recently walked down the red carpet graduating alongside her biggest role model, her mother, Irene Villihu, at MANCOSA’s graduation ceremony.
Danielle, 22, graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management in 2021 and Irene, 55, graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Business Management in 2020 and a Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Marketing Management in 2021 from private higher education institution, MANCOSA.
“My mother is a selfless woman who remains strong on both her good and bad days. She is my daily inspiration,” she said.
Danielle said she was on medication for the first two years of her life because she was having difficulty breathing. She gained a lot of weight over the years and lost her confidence, which resulted in low self-esteem in high school.
“When I turned 18, I regained my confidence by going to the gym and getting a personal trainer. Eventually, I lost weight and I have never looked back since.
“My message of support for aspiring youth is to believe in yourself – the world is your oyster. Figure out what your passion and goals are before you embark on tertiary education. Worry about your own journey, set timelines and block out any negative talk,” she said.
She said studying with her mother was beneficial, as she would provide guidance on how to answer questions on a project.
“My mother and I would help each other better understand difficult aspects in subjects like accounting and economics.”
Danielle plans to seek employment and thereafter further her studies. She is keen on owning property in the future.
Irene’s parents may not have taught her how to read and write, but they placed emphasis on her education and taught her the value of a formal education.
Being recently promoted as Sales and Development Executive at the Durban ICC shows nothing is impossible for Irene.
“I chose MANCOSA due to their positive reputation, accreditation, and flexible distance learning model.
Covid-19 has been most challenging which disrupted lives and businesses. If anything at all, Covid-19 has taught me to be resilient and to keep moving forward,” she said.
Irene said success is not about greatness. It is about faith, hard work, dedication, integrity and consistency – greatness follows.
“My advice to aspiring youth is to remain focussed on the goal and keep taking the next step towards completing it. Always remain humble, be true to yourself and the people you serve,” she said.
Her recipe for success is to learn, unlearn and relearn.
“People learn every day; so, unlearn bad habits and relearn good habits. Integrity, hard work, perseverance and resilience are the stepping-stones to success,” she added.