More than 900 graduates were conferred at South West Gauteng TVET College’s 15th and 16th Graduation Ceremony, held on the 05th and 06th of May, 2022, at the Orlando Communal Hall in Orlando East, Soweto. Graduates included students from all six campuses of the college, graduating in both National Certificate (Vocational) and National N Diploma. The first day saw Business Studies students graduate whilst the Engineering Studies and Utility Studies students graduated on the second day of the proceedings.
In his welcoming address, the College Council Chairperson Mr. Zenzele Dlamini expressed his concerns regarding the Covid-19 pandemic that the world is currently faced with and how it has impacted the lives of people since its inception two years ago. He further indicated that while the COVID-19 regulations are currently not as tight as they were in the past two years, we must continue to observe the health protocols such as practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitizing our hands regularly to protect ourselves and those around us.
During his speech, the Acting Principal Mr. Joey Monyanane welcomed all the guests and also alluded to what Mr. Zenzele Dlamini touched on, saying that for the past two years the college could not have such events due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and that the period between 2020 – 2022 will go down in history as one of the toughest times for academia, both for students and staff alike. He went on to give praise to all the students that made it through all the challenges that came with the pandemic, “We want to say to the cohort of students who studied during the period in question that you have stood the test of time. With the odds stark against you, you stayed the course and completed your race. We are gathered here today to celebrate your academic milestone simply because of your spirit of resilience and staying power. When some of your classmates fell by the wayside and dropped out, you refused to follow suit because of your zest and zeal to graduate and be part of the ceremony today. To you, we would like to say “bravo bravissimo”.You are a perfect example of human triumph against adversity. For that reason, I have got no iota of doubt in my mind that you are wired for success and that you will rise above all the challenges that may come your way in the future.” He said. The Acting Principal further recognized the efforts and roles that both the parents and the lecturers have played in ensuring the success of the students.
The Student Representative Council President, Samkelo Mokoena, during his motivational talk, encouraged the graduates, mentioning that graduation is always a time of heightened emotions that reflect a significant time in their lives and for those that have had the privilege of nurturing and supporting them. He went on to say that importantly the qualifications that they possess represent the mastery of the body of knowledge that has been learned through the years and that it is a testament to the characters, ambitions, resilience, and determination that they have to succeed. “We hope that all the attributes you have acquired will find expression in you, even under these unprecedented conditions. Your reserves of resilience and stamina, your capacity for careful thought and patience and moral bearing have been tested and you have prevailed,” he said.
When rendering the vote of thanks, the Deputy Principal for Corporate Affairs and Planning Mr. Andre Schlemmer made mention of four words that have been used over the two days, which are “Resilience, Exuberance, Courage, and Change”. Stating that the graduates have the resilience to wait two years for the diplomas, being very joyful for their achievements, having the courage to weather the storms, and not being afraid of the changes that Covid-19 brought before the College Council Chairperson could dissolve the congregation.
By Sabelo Tshabalala