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02 September 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Thabo Kessah
Eunice Lebona
Eunice Lebona sees herself as a ‘perfectionist procrastinator.’

She is literally the beginning and the end of students’ academic careers on the Qwaqwa Campus, as she welcomes each one of them with an application form when they arrive and ensures that they enjoy their moment in the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall when they graduate. She says she derives all the pleasure and creativity from ‘last-minute crunch’. For those who have interacted with her, she epitomises excellence in the execution of her duties, but many would not know that she is a procrastinator. 

She is Eunice Lebona, Assistant Director: Student Academic Services.

Childhood lesson

‘Ausi Eunice’, as she is affectionately known, credits her grandmother for valuing accountability, her most prized childhood lesson.

“My grandmother raised me and as the oldest grandchild, I learnt the value of accountability at an early age; this has been the cornerstone of my life and career.  Although it is valuable to have support around you, standing on your own two feet is critical, because you will not know when that support might not be available,” she said. 

Working with students comes naturally to her, as she is inspired by progression and achievement.

Personal inspiration

“Getting to higher echelons than previous accomplishments, is my inspiration.  My successes are energisers to achieve the next steps on unique and distinctly different notes than the previous ones. It is this same notion that builds my view, that – as the University of the Free State – we need to see women representation in leadership on a greater scale, as well as respect for their spaces of delivery.”

When asked about the one thing that very few people knew about her, she said: 
“I am a procrastinator. In fact, I am a perfectionist procrastinator. Although procrastination is not good, the last-minute crunch is stimuli to ideas that I would normally not dream of in my comfort mode,” Lebona insists.

What is success?

She defines success as “inner gratification which is the result of the outcomes I had to deliver on”.  She adds: “Witnessing the success and motivation of others from the small contributions I have made in their lives, is all the success that resonates with me. Respect and humility go a long way in attaining success. As indicated earlier, my grandmother played a crucial role in my upbringing and instilled in me the philosophy entrenched in Luke 6:31 that says: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ That has been my motto since her passing away”.

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