Education is a right and not a gift. On behalf of the Student Representative Council (SRC), we congratulate you on your success… a great achievement under very difficult times in our country. You have done our generation proud!
We must acknowledge the collective efforts that brought us here. We applaud our University management for arranging this celebration and acknowledgment virtually, due to the dangerous COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions necessary to observe health and safety. Importantly, let us also thank our parents, guardians, and communities who helped us reach this point.
Our country is still in the midst of the triple challenge of inequality, poverty, unemployment. So when a day like today happens, it is indeed a moment of great celebration because there are many in our country looking in, desperate to gain access to higher education. While you are fortunate to be here, you have also worked hard to succeed. Doors will open but what you do when you get inside is what counts.
As a student body, we often look to graduation as the day that signals the beginning of a new journey, and a platform that showers blessings on a cohort of future leaders who will contribute meaningfully to the well-being of our country.
Throughout your stay, we have held hands with you to engage with management to create an environment that offers everyone who walks through these doors and equal opportunity. We must acknowledge their (management’s) efforts and response in going beyond the education and research mandate and leaving the door open for continuous engagements. In our democracy, engagement is important as it allows for outcomes that lead to events like today. We stand together today to celebrate.
Those after you will look to you to lead. Take the torch of success and make it burn bright so that you use your educational achievement as a tool for change, a tool to make a difference. Your story is a story of inspiration and hope. Given the challenge of the COVID-19 scourge which continues to cause poverty, death, and destruction, we need hope to take us to the other side.
Power to each of you for having burned the midnight oil. For some of us, it was smooth sailing and for others a mountain to climb, but whatever the challenge, all of you have achieved success.
Congratulations! Aluta Continua!
Mr. Melusi Zuma
UKZN SRC President