Change the world


The Gqeberha leg of Nelson Mandela University’s autumn graduation season kicked off this week with more than 2 000 graduates of the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences crossing the stage, and the awarding of an honorary doctorate to struggle stalwart and ANC veteran, Sindiso Mfenyana.

Ambassador Mfenyana was recognised for his life-long struggle for South Africa’s liberation, his vocality on anti-corruption and patronage and his firm belief in constitutional democracy during Wednesday’s (20 April 2022) ceremony.

Acclaimed paediatric cardiologist and former Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, the late Professor Lungile Pepeta and celebrated media personality, Noxolo Grootboom, are the two other remarkable South Africans who will also be honoured by the University this season.

Addressing the congregation that included institutional officer bearers, graduates and their families this morning (22 April 2022), Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sibongile Muthwa, congratulated all the graduates for their success despite the challenges encountered and further exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today is a truly significant day. I hope that all of you who are graduating will remember it for the rest of your lives. On behalf of our Chancellor, Dr Geraldine Fraser Moleketi, our Chair of Governing Council, Ambassador Nozipho January Bardill, and our entire University Council, our Senate and the entire University community, we are deeply proud of you. You have triumphed,” said Prof Muthwa.

“You have proved your ability to succeed despite a myriad of difficulties, including the coronavirus pandemic, disruption of in-class learning, and the socio-economic challenges we are facing in our country and indeed across the globe.

“I am acutely aware that for many of you, your journey through university has been complex and, at times, difficult. And yet, here you are today: strong, unbowed, and undaunted. I trust that your success with your studies at Nelson Mandela University stands as a beacon for a brighter future.”

The graduates were among a total 7 089 students who will receive their qualifications this autumn graduation season, of which 5 922 (84%) are undergraduate and 1 167 (16%) are postgraduate. Of the postgraduate qualifications, 209 are master’s degrees and 53 are doctoral.

Prof Muthwa said the University’s Business and Economic Faculty enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for producing graduates with the necessary technical knowledge, skills and capacities to participate meaningfully in the economy.

“We have seen how positive action by the business community can propel not just the economy, but a nation towards prosperity. Conversely, recent times have also shown us that the business sector and business professionals that are indifferent and/or unethical can worsen the capacity of government to respond appropriately, and can even contribute in  eroding its ambition and will to lead with accountability,” she said. 

“It is no secret that our country is going through a particularly difficult moment with the failure of public leadership and governance at so many levels; and extremely high levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

“Now more than ever, we need business leaders of integrity. We need people who will champion business ethics, champion equitable economic growth and job creation while jealously guarding the fundamentals of our hard-won democracy.

“In this next chapter of your lives, you will be stepping into your power as the new generation of transformative leaders and change agents. You have the responsibility to pave new paths for a better, more just world, re-shaping responses to political, economic and environmental global challenges. 

“As you do so, I implore you to build on the sound foundation you have received at Nelson Mandela University, and take inspiration from the values and principles of our iconic namesake.”

At the start of the Gqeberha campuses graduation on Wednesday (20 April 2022), Chancellor Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi also congratulated the graduates on the fruits of their hard work.

“Hard work, no short cuts and dreams are also what epitomise and mark our celebrations today at graduation,” she said.

“Each of you have put in the hard work, which is the hallmark of every degree, diploma and certificate being awarded. It is the key ingredient of success. And your graduation symbolises the realisation of dreams, of completing your studies, and also of new future paths each of you will embark upon.

“As you live your dreams, you make real our rallying call as Nelson Mandela University to change the world.”

Dr Fraser-Moleketi said the University’s newly adopted Vision 2030 was the blueprint for the institution’s strategic intentions for the next decade.

“We are clear in our commitment to liberate human potential through humanising learning and teaching; pursue impactful, pioneering research, innovation and internationalisation to address grand societal challenges and promote sustainable futures; engage with all publics in equalising partnerships to co-create transformative, contextually responsive solutions in pursuit of social justice and equality, and being purposefully student centric,” she said.

“These commitments rest on the bedrock of ethical governance and leadership; actively inculcating an inclusive, values-driven institutional culture; and co-creation with stakeholders through partnerships.”

Monday, 25 April 2022, will see the conferring of an honorary doctorate on celebrated media personality, Noxolo Grootboom, in recognition of her invaluable work and contribution to journalism, media and communication, as well as her upliftment of the linguistic heritage of South Africa.

The University’s autumn graduation season kicked off in George, with three ceremonies taking place on 07 and 08 April 2022. The Gqeberha campuses graduation will run over 23 ceremonies, until 05 May 2022, and is being livestreamed on the University’s YouTube channel.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777