UKZN honours academic achievements of student leaders
UKZN celebrated the academic achievements of student leaders at a celebratory lunch held on the Westville campus.
Executive Director: Student Services, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, said the event, which is in its fourth year, was held to honour and celebrate the academic achievements of the University’s student leaders.
Chalufu commended the young leaders for their ability to excel academically, while ‘being of service to others.’ He encouraged student leaders to exercise courageous leadership, which he argued was currently in short supply, and further challenged the graduates from the SRCs and various student clubs and societies to make a positive contribution in shaping the country, the continent and the world around them.
Former Howard College SRC President and UKZN Language Researcher (Teaching and Learning Portfolio), Mr Siyabonga Nkontwana, delivered the keynote address.
Nkontwana advised young student leaders to learn from UKZN alumni who had previously served in student leadership, and were excelling in their fields of expertise. He cited as examples the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Councillor Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa, and the President of UKZN’s President of Convocation, Mr Fanle Sibisi.
He proposed a forum where former student leaders could share their experiences with current SRC members and leadership from clubs and societies.
Nkontwana encouraged students to ‘lead by example, be trustworthy, courageous and confident,’ and to attend lectures. He also advocated a ‘good working relationship between student leadership and Management’.
The Central SRC President, Mr Dithobe Mosana, commended his fellow students for being both students and leaders. He encouraged excellence and challenged his fellow student leaders to be ‘great agents of change in the different spheres in our country’.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, said it was important students be critical thinkers who ‘contribute to transformation’ and change the Institution and society. ‘If we are serious about transformation we need to produce knowledge.’
Potgieter acknowledged the leaders present but advised that strategies be put in place to ensure student leadership reflected more women.
Student Governance and Leadership Development Manager, Mr Meliqiniso Sibisi congratulated the students on the academic achievements. ‘This becomes a preparatory school for you to be able to impact the country and the world.’
He encouraged the student leaders to make an impact, particularly within the community. ‘Let us work together to move South Africa forward,’ said Sibisi.
Chalufu expressed gratitude to staff members, particularly Mrs Priscilla Cele, Mrs Nokwanda Jali and Mr Ntobeko Mbuyisa for the roles they played in arranging the event.
Student Governance and Leadership Development Officer, Mr Muzomuhle Mhlongo, was the programme director.