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UCT students who missed out on in-person graduation due to Covid organise own ceremony

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The majority of students around the world who graduated between 2020 and 2021 during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic, didn’t necessarily have the graduation of their dreams. Most graduations were held online and the graduates would have watched from home. 

A group of University of Cape Town (UCT) graduates who missed out on the opportunity to have an in-person graduation decided to take matters into their own hands and organise an event to celebrate their academic achievements. 

Abigail Cikizwa Booth, a graduate of an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree, organised the graduation event in December 2022 at her local church, God’s Army Tabernacle. 

She said she hoped that it would be motivating to graduates and inspire them to further their careers with humbleness and with God leading their path. 

“As an elder at my church, I have discovered that there are students, the graduates, who were awarded in 2020 and 2021 who could not celebrate, who did not get an opportunity after they were awarded their certificates to celebrate their studies. 

“I decided that if I can celebrate with them, I will do so with joyous dancing with them. I will achieve more goals by doing that,” she said. 

Thembisa Monki, who graduated with a BSC Honours Degree in medical science said it was an honour to partake in the graduation ceremony

“Some of us come from an impoverished background, whereby our parents cannot actually afford for us to actually have such a celebration,” she said. 

The graduation was also sponsored by Mcdonalds in Montague Gardens and provided the group with meals.

Booth is also the Deputy President of Black Business Chamber in Western Cape as well as being the Coordinator of Women’s Youth Business and Board Member of Warrior Women and Talita Kum Organisation.

With her EMBA degree, Booth said she hopes to be able to apply the knowledge and tools she learned for her supply chain management department. 

Article by Logan Sparks and Kelly-Jane Turner

Written by: Kelly-Jane Turner

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