Professor Marcus Ramogale
Message from the Acting Vice-Chancellor
Today is a different graduation ceremony, one that you will celebrate alone with your families. However, you are not alone; universities across the world have hosted virtual graduation ceremonies for their students in order to comply with regulations imposed by lockdowns and the Coronavirus pandemic.
We postponed your graduation in April hoping that we would have fought the Coronavirus by now. Instead, coronavirus cases are growing day by day. The whole world needs to protect its citizens by limiting gatherings, and we are responding to the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 that has been invoked so that all South Africans could be protected against Covid-19.
This message comes to you a day after June 16 to remind you that the youth of South Africa in 1976 faced a hopeless future when they were being forced to learn everything in Afrikaans. The South African youth of 1976 took it upon themselves to fight apartheid and this fight spread across the country. Our march today was accelerated by the fight that was started by the Class of 1976.
I would like to challenge you as the Class of 2020, receiving your qualifications in a Lockdown. What legacy are you going to carry beyond the Lockdown? Will you be able to look back and say, during this time I used my certificate to get a job? That would be your greatest milestone under these challenging times. However, my challenge to you is to think of yourself as an employer. In that way, you will never go wanting.
As strong proponents of entrepreneurship, the leadership of MUT would like to encourage you to think very strongly about entrepreneurship. Don’t wait for the world to hand out things to you.
The story of Robert Kiyosaki, an American businessman and author, and founder of Rich Dad Company is worth sharing. He has written many books-among them, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Mr Kiyosaki has been preparing the youth to become employers rather than employees. He often asks a challenging question to his readers – who says the purpose in life is to become an employee? Just think about that. God did not bring you into this life to be an employee.
Centuries ago before colonisation, Africans were self-employed, they were self-reliant but had to become employees when the land was taken from them and a system of taxation was introduced. However; in this modern world in our post-apartheid era, there are options. Graduates may now choose to become business owners or investors.
My recommendation to you is that you must choose to become employers. The Coronavirus has created many problems, but has also opened new opportunities. Leverage these opportunities, find solutions to the problems we are faced with. In that way, you will find success. There may be no jobs, but there is plenty of work if you see work as the creation of solutions to existing problems. Do not become a job-seeker; rather be a work-seeker.
Successful entrepreneurs hip requires that you must have:
- Positive thinking
- Sound human relations
- Willingness to take risks
- Problem-solving attitude
A problem-solving attitude is what will create for you.
I am heartened that one of the people graduating today; Bright Hlongwane was on uKhozi FM and eTV News on Youth Day advocating youth empowerment. He is already a respected entrepreneur and this is living proof that your past cannot determine your future.
The Lockdown cannot determine your future. You need to rise above the Lockdown and start thinking about various ways on how you could become your own employer, a solver of society’s problems.
Please keep on flying the MUT flag high and always remember that you were not brought in this world to lose but to win. You are all winners and on behalf of all the MUT community; I wish you success and prosperity.
Congratulations on your graduation, and May the good Lord bless all your future endeavour.
Message from the MUT Registrar
Graduation is the biggest event in our university calendar. We look forward to this moment where we showcase our students’ success and celebrate along with their families to mark this momentous occasion. Under these normal circumstances, students graduate in person at the Dr Pixley Seme Hall.
This year is different. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to prioritize keeping you safe from the virus. In line with regulations that prevent the spread of this virus, we cannot host a face-to-face graduation at the moment. We also don’t know when and if this virus would be curable in the future, but we do know that your life cannot be on hold because of this virus. Many of you have already started looking for jobs to provide for yourselves and your families.
We are affording you an opportunity to have a virtual graduation ceremony where the Chancellor will confer your qualifications. For you to receive your graduation certificate the Chancellor needs to announce as follows:
“I declare that the candidates whose names appear on the programme have complied with the requirements for the award of the Diplomas and Degrees”
It is only after this pronouncement by the Chancellor that the certificates could be issued. So, immediately after the virtual graduation ceremony, certificates and the academic records will be posted to graduates who are in good financial standing with the University. Nonetheless, academic records will be posted to all graduates.
Once more, congratulations to you and your family. Stay safe.