Academic Achievements of UKZN Student Leaders Celebrated
UKZN acknowledged the academic achievements of student leaders at a celebratory dinner held at the Westville campus on 11 May 2018.
Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, Dr Mvuselelo Ngcoya, commended the students on their achievements. His keynote address, titled The Thing is Not the Thing saw Ngcoya weave a tale using vignettes to illustrate what ‘the important things are.’
Capturing the attention of the audience, he told of a landlord he had once met for whom degree certificates were of the utmost importance and another tale revealed an old man’s talent for whittling wood into works of art, in this case, a block of wood shaped into a lion. ‘The lion eventually emerges, just keep chipping away,’ said Ngcoya.
Central SRC President, Mr Sandile Zondi, congratulated his fellow student leaders from the SRC and clubs and societies on graduating. ‘We sacrifice for students, it’s not an easy task,’ he said.
Zondi encouraged student leaders to excel in their academic studies and to ‘dismantle the stereotype’ that student leaders do not graduate. ‘If you are a leader, you must lead by example,’ he said.
He emphasised the importance of remembering one’s roots. ‘We are members of the community before we are students. We must go back and assist our communities,’ he said.
Speaking on behalf of Executive Management, Professor Stephen Mutula applauded the student leaders for being ‘role models who give guidance and counsel.’
Mutula thanked the students for their ‘spirit of engagement,’ their wisdom, competence and strategic leadership. ‘You help to run and manage the University,’ said Mutula.
Executive Director: Student Services, Dr Rose Laka-Mathebula, applauded the student leaders for graduating and reflected on their academic achievements.
She commended the ‘exemplary leaders’ for their dedication to serving the student community while also focusing on their academic studies, which she acknowledged was ‘not an easy achievement.’
Giving the vote of thanks, the SRC’s Ms Ntokomalo Bophela thanked all those who had contributed to the success of the event. She said that being student leaders taught them leadership, negotiating and conflict resolution skills. Quoting human rights activist Malcolm X, she said: ‘Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.’
Former SRC member and South African Idols finalist Ms Minenhle Ntuli was the Programme Director, with support from Acting Manager for Student Governance and Leadership, Mr Muzomuhle Mhlongo, while the evening’s entertainment was provided by UKZN Music students, La Canta Rosé.
Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer
Photograph: Andile Ndlovu