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26/04/2020

It wasn’t exactly the Graduation ceremony she had anticipated, but given the present exceptional circumstances, Nelson Mandela University Pharmacy graduate Shanel Kommer is grateful for having been acknowledged.

The 26-year-old Kabega Park graduate, who is completing her internship at Klinicare Blooms Pharmacy in Newton Park, was treated to a surprise capping session by her colleagues at work last week.

A plastic medicine bowl became her mortar board and a rolled-up poster her degree certificate.

“It was so cute of them.  I had not expected it at all, and they managed to get a laugh out of me,” said Shanel, confessing that Friday had been a “blue day” since it should have been her much-anticipated Graduation day.

Shanel is one of close to 4 500 Mandela University students whose official Graduation from 17 to 24 April as part of the class of 2019 has been put on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic. Their qualifications have, however, been awarded in absentia in the interim.

“It’s been a long journey to achieve my degree, and so I was disappointed. However, my dispensary colleagues made me feel special.”

An unsuspecting Shanel had been called to join colleagues for a brief meeting as is often the case when she was surprised.

Like the more than 100 new pharmacy graduates, Shanel is presently part of the country’s essential services, while completing her year-long internship. Next year she will undertake the compulsory community service year.

Marking the moment … Pharmacy graduate Shanel Kommer (second left) is congratulated by dispensary colleagues (from left) Marelize Human, Margi Flamwell and Colin Jacobson at their mock graduation in the pharmacy.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777
Zandile.Mbabela@mandela.ac.za