By Melissa Mungroo
PIETERMARITZBURG: Six University of KwaZulu-Natal Student Representative Council (SRC) members graduated with degrees.
Among the Howard College SRC graduates were Residence Liaison Officer, Mkhanyisi Myende, President Ntokomalo Bophela and Transformation and Academic Officer Sakhile Ngcobo, who respectively obtained a Bachelor of Social Science Honours (IsiZulu studies), Bachelor of Social Science Honours (Criminology) and Bachelor of Arts.
While Community Development Officer, Sifiso Mkhabela, from the Edgewood Campus SRC graduated with a Bachelor of Education, PMB SRC Secretary General Phiwayinkosi Mungwe and Student Services Officer Samkelo Gudazi received their Bachelor of Social Science degrees at the Pietermaritzburg Graduation.
Gudazi, who was raised by his grandmother, was proud of his achievement, seeing it as a stepping-stone to success. ‘The journey wasn’t easy at all. I did 12 modules to complete this degree. I would like to thank my family, especially Gogo, who has been using her pension money to fund my education. I urge all students to follow and aim for your goals. Don’t let anything stand in your way.’
He is currently pursuing his Honours degree in International Relations.
Mungwe graduated with five distinctions and three certificates of merits. ‘During my final year I became an SRC member which made my workload very demanding. I had to balance advocating for students issues and my academics.
‘I have learnt a lot with many people playing a fundamental role in my growth and development. I reaffirm that the time when SRC members were known for not graduating on time is a thing-of-the-past. We are a new generation of leaders that excel academically together with advancing the interests of the students.’
SRC President Sandile Zondi congratulated all students and SRC members on graduating. ‘It is a difficult task to balance academic life and student activism. You have to miss classes, attend meetings that will assist students and address student issues. Your contribution to improving the lives of the students is recognised. Congratulations comrades.’
He also commended lecturers, parents, sponsors and members of the community for their support shown towards students. Zondi sees graduation as a product of a long, often difficult journey. ‘This journey is characterised by sacrifices, hardships, commitment, hard work and focus. In the midst of these challenges you emerged victorious because you knew that education is a tool for liberation and development of this country as Mandela put it “education is the great engine of personal development.”