BDO bursary scheme sees Umlazi student become Chartered Accountant

A former Umlazi resident who was schooled in Wentworth, has realised his dream to become a Chartered Accountant – the first in his family – after receiving a bursary from the Durban office of BDO, an international audit, tax and advisory firm.


Following several years of difficult studying, Sanele Nkosi (25) has aspirations to reach the highest level in his chosen profession, something that appeared a distant dream just a few years ago but is now an achievable goal.

“It has been a long journey with many obstacles along the way, but with the support of the BDO family, I have managed to overcome them,” says Sanele.

“The hardest challenge I faced was pursuing my Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting.  I had to repeat it twice and eventually made it on the third attempt. This motivated me to work even harder, and I am sure this tough experience helped me pass the Board exams, which many feel is the hardest test, on my first attempt.”

He obtained his Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting at UKZN’s Westville campus and completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting through UNISA in 2013. He started his articles at BDO’s Durban office in 2012 and, after successfully writing his Board exams, earned the right to put the initials CA (SA) after his name in February this year.

Michelle Cronje, Regional HR Manager and National Equity Manager for BDO, said that Sanele was one of three Durban bursary students currently doing their articles at the Durban office of BDO and that they planned to award new bursaries every year to previously disadvantaged students.

“We have watched Sanele’s journey with pride as he has gone from a young matriculant to a confident, qualified Chartered Accountant. We have high hopes for him and look forward to the next stage of his career.”

“BDO’s bursary scheme, in which the tuition fees of the students are financed, is giving previously disadvantaged students the means to spend several years at university while working at the firm. Ultimately, we are empowering them to become Chartered Accountants, which will enable them to forge a successful professional career and make a meaningful contribution to the local economy.”

“The BDO bursary has provided me with one of the keys to reach the goals I have set for myself,” Sanele continues.

“My three-year training contract with BDO, including vacation work whilst I was studying, formed the foundation of the expertise I have today. It has given me a vast insight into various industries and companies of different sizes.”

“The fact that BDO is a medium–sized firm made it easy for me to interact with many clients in a variety of industries. I’ve learnt so much in these three years.  I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed working with the different teams in the company as well as the social interaction with my BDO colleagues.”

“The area in which I have developed the most, I think, is in managing staff and also managing my own expectations. Audits function around teamwork, and I have certainly grown in this area.”

Where does he see himself in five years’ time? “I’m looking forward to staying and growing within the audit role for the foreseeable future, with the eventual aim of becoming a partner. I also plan to register for an MBA next year. I am a young man and the world is my oyster. I think the important thing is to seize every opportunity that comes my way and I plan to do just that.”

Sanele grew up in Umlazi and recently purchased his own property in the Effingham Heights/Greenwood Park area.

Soccer is a big part of his life outside of work. He plays whenever he can, is on the BDO soccer team and follows English Premier League matches on TV. He also enjoys watching movies and spending time with family and friends.

Much like Sanele’s story, you too could achieve great things when you do more than just what is expected of you as a student. Have you joined the Achiever Program to help you get ahead?