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MANCOSA Graduations May 2022

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Finishing what you started is noble and inspiring, even more so if the path to success had many obstacles. This is what makes graduation special. The MANCOSA Class of ‘22 had more challenges than what one could wish for one’s worst enemy: Covid 19 pandemic, riots and looting, lockdowns, load shedding, a shrinking economy and new virtual teaching and learning approaches. In compliance with Covid 19 restrictions, there were no physical graduations for the past two years. During the month of May this year, 22 electrifying sessions were held in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Even though graduations are tiring and require meticulous planning, the decision to have physical graduations (still with basic Covid 19 protocols) was warmly received and quickly actioned by staff. The following factors made the ceremonies extremely joyous:
  • They were filled with ululations and spontaneous singing and dancing.
  • MANCOSA allowed the classes of 2020 and 2021 to ‘walk the stage’ even though they had already been awarded their respective certificates. This gesture was truly appreciated by these graduates and their families.
  • Two of the ceremonies boasted MANCOSA’s first two Doctor of Business Administration graduates, Dr Emmanuel Jengwa and Dr Patricia Ndlovu, who were capped at the Durban and Johannesburg ceremonies respectively. This was historic. Both Dr Ndlovu and Dr Jengwa got standing ovations and spontaneous shouts of “Siyeza!” and/or “We are coming!” from fellow students who were obviously showing unbridled inspiration by the two. Sadly, the founder of the institution, the late Professor Yusuf Karodia was not there to witness MANCOSA’s crowning moment.
  • For the first time MANCOSA awarded certificates, diplomas and degrees spanning the entire range of higher education NQF levels, that is, NQF level 5 up to 10.
  • New, colourful MANCOSA ceremonial graduation gowns for the procession were unveiled and they received great reviews.
  • The new celebratory MANCOSA graduation song, “Halala,” ushered the procession in and out of the hall. It has a catchy beat and an indigenous touch, with the words that resonate with both the MANCOSA vision and the tag line, namely: ‘Dream it, we will take you there.’ The audience warmed up to the song.
A further gratifying observation at the recent graduations is the increased number of spouses who either actively support each other or actually decide to study the same course together. These couples are trendsetters and give new meaning to the phrase “better together”. MANCOSA’s vision is Education for a better world for all. This vision is in line with Madiba’s famous quote on education, that is: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” The thousands that graduate each year bear testament to the fact that MANCOSA is in the business of making the world a better place for the individual students and their families as well as for society. Highlighting the important role of education in life, HG Wells also put it more emphatically when he said, “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” The damper to this excitement is the very high unemployment rate in South Africa, at a staggering 34.5%, and most of those affected are the youth. Unfortunately, even unemployment among university graduates hovers around 11.5%. MANCOSA addresses this challenge by involving various stakeholders in its curriculum development processes in order to deliver relevant quality programmes, and by exposing its students to innovative employability strategies to give them a head start in the job-search and entrepreneurship spaces. It is an indescribable joy and honour to be with students at graduation, sharing in the joy of their achievements. I believe that MANCOSA graduates are beautiful people, ready to enhance the human race experience wherever they are. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross articulates the concept of beautiful people in a way that brings out the resilience that moulds a life destined to add value to society, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” MANCOSA seeks to produce and celebrate such people.
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