Loud ululations from parents who danced for joy and posed as izimbongi (poets) have been the order the day during the University’s Graduation Ceremonies which are currently underway at the Fred Crookes Sports Centre, Steve Biko Campus, Durban.
While graduation symbolises the reaping of fruit sowed over three or more years by students who have dedicated themselves to their studies, some argue that the event is mainly for parents who have sacrificed and worked hard to ensure that their children get an education which many see as the foundation to a successful life and a way out of poverty.
This was clearly evident through the loud cheers and whistles of the parents as their children’s names were being called out.
“He is the first child to graduate out of my seven children,” said Bacuphile Langa, the proud mother of DUT Cost and Management Accounting (ND) graduate Mxoliseni Langa. “He is my fifth born and I will not make the mistake of not slaughtering a cow for him (in celebration of his success). When we go back home to Msinga, we are inviting all the people from the Langa clan and our neighbours to a feast in celebration of my son’s wonderful achievement,” she said.
Mrs Langa was not the only parent who shed tears of joy at the event. Nompumelelo Makhudulela was extremely proud to have witnessed her son; Syabonga Gumede also receive his ND in Cost and Management Accounting. “God has been really amazing to us. However, we must also not forget the excellent work of the Durban University of Technology. I am so proud and so happy that my only son has graduated. I recall the first time he had to enrol. I struggled to get registration money for him but through it all, he has made it,” said Makhudulela excitedly.
As Professor Ahmed Bawa, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at DUT, welcomed students during each graduation session, graduands were excitedly reminded that this was their moment to shine. “This is your moment, embrace it. Graduating is an avalanche of hope for everyone,” said Prof Bawa.
Jeanette Englund; Associate Director at PwC was the guest speaker at today’s Faculty of Accounting and Informatics first graduation session. “This is a significant moment for all of you. The journey is usually not easy for most graduates. However, today is your moment, your significant moment. You have something that no one can ever take away from you. Don’t play it safe, stretch the boundaries. Forget the past and let go of the fears of failure. There is no passion in playing small. Go out there and make your mark. Grasp onto the moment,” she said enthusiastically while speaking to the soon-to-be graduands who beamed with pride and joy.
KZN MEC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs; Dr Meshack Radebe, who accompanied his daughter and niece to their graduation, also had high praises for DUT. “It is very exciting to see all the graduates here today. Our forefathers worked really hard to better themselves in order for the next generation to bear the fruit of their work. I am here today as my daughter has graduated. DUT is a marvellous institute and it is always a great pleasure and honour to come to the ceremonies. I will definitely be back next year. My daughter will come back to DUT to further her studies as I will make sure of it,” he said.
A total of 1217 students will receive qualifications in the Faculty of Accounting and Informatics during this graduation season.
– Noxolo Memela
Pictured: National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting graduate; Siyabonga Gumede stands proud while surrounded by his equally proud family who came to the University to witness him receive his national diploma. Standing at the back is gogo (grandmother) Makhudulela (yellow outfit) and Nompumelelo Makhudulela; his mother. Standing in front is Samke Gumede, Siyabonga Gumede and Nhlanhla Gumede.