Written by: Christopher Wyngaard
Local Beacon Valley resident Timothy Mckerry recently graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, specialising in robotics. He spoke to Yoh Radio about his journey from the perceived ‘wrong side of the tracks’, to reaching his goals.
“I think electricity is magical”, stated Timothy, when asked why he chose electrical engineering as his field of expertise.
“Electricity and everything surrounding it is beautiful. I think what really made me decide I want to do electrical was, for example when you switch on a bedroom light- you only press the switch and see the light goes on, but what interested me was how exactly did the light go on? What happened in the walls?” Timothy told Yoh Radio.
What makes his story even more intriguing is that he achieved his goals against all odds. “At high school my chance of becoming an engineer seemed extremely slim as I got involved with things which had a negative impact on my career; such as getting involved in fights and labeling myself as a member of a specific group (gang)”, expressed the graduate.
Nevertheless, Timothy kept his head down even though he was at a crossroads in terms of choosing between reaching for his goals or remaining with his entourage. “Education became the least of my concerns and my daily doings would include getting into bunking classes and standing on corners. I would still somehow pass and do well”, he said.
Timothy further expressed that there were people in his life who saw his potential, one notable example was his mathematics teacher, who also helped him realize that the lifestyle his friends were living was not the lifestyle he wanted. He would sporadically have thoughts of leaving school and follow in the footsteps of his friends.
When asked about his future aspirations, Timothy said he wants to use his software and hardware skills in automation. “I’ve always had visions of automating houses, companies or buildings that will make it convenient for individuals as well as a spectacle to look at. This industry excites me, and my life goal is to one day become an entrepreneur where I will own my own automation company. I also aim to use my knowledge and skills to help individuals with disabilities to help them experience what we take for granted daily”.
Timothy is one of four hundred electrical engineering graduates at the University of Stellenbosch.