‘In a word: wonderful’ – interim VC oversees prodigious March capping ceremonies

06 April 2023 | Story Kamva Somdyala. Photos Lerato Maduna, Je’nine May, Michael Hammond, Robyn Walker. Read time 3 min.
“You have a responsibility to work with others to address the challenges we face,” said interim VC Prof Daya Reddy.
“You have a responsibility to work with others to address the challenges we face,” said interim VC Prof Daya Reddy.

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) interim vice-chancellor, Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy, said seeing the joy on graduates’ faces during the autumn graduation season was the highlight for him.

He said this on the evening of 31 March, 217 Faculty of Law students took to the stage to be capped.

“It has been wonderfully exuberant. Every single one of these ceremonies has been special and one could always hear the sheer joy and happiness of graduates and family and friends,” Emeritus Professor Reddy said.

“There is nothing like parental pride. For many of our graduates who will go into their [respective] careers, this will be the only opportunity to celebrate their achievements. In a word: wonderful.”


“I say to them ‘congratulations and very well done’.”

He continued: “It is remarkably interesting when the students come up to me [for capping]. Some of them are extremely nervous, some are bubbling over, and some say, ‘Thank you, Prof’ – and it is lovely experiencing that.

“I say to them, ‘Congratulations and very well done’.”

The excitement was evident during the afternoon ceremony on 31 March. Bukasa Mukuna, from the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, took to the stage with a Congolese flag in tow. As he waved it in the direction of the audience, the audience responded with warm applause – a gesture this graduate called “amazing”.

“It was unbelievable. It was a special day because I have never experienced anything like this before in my life and it was amazing. I have my family and friends here. I’m here because of my country and Africa in general,” he said.

“I could feel it in my body as I walked. You cannot imagine that!”

Graduation ceremonies were well attended during UCT’s autumn graduation ceremonies.

Earlier in the week, on 28 March, proud mom Lelethu Zinganto expressed her deep gratitude for being able to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Finance.

“I am glad I could walk this journey with UCT, but more than anything I am grateful to my husband for his support and God for the provision.

“To my daughter I said, I am doing this so she knowns it can be done. It is important that our children know that what we set our minds to can be accomplished. Limitations will be there, but you must overcome those,” said Zinganto.

In conclusion, Reddy said, “You have a responsibility that comes with a degree: to work with others to address the challenges we face. Your education has unleashed your human potential and you will unleash that potential further as you commit to lifelong learning. This, in a sense, is the end of the beginning.”

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Graduation March 2023


The University of Cape Town (UCT) hosted 15 graduation ceremonies from Monday, 27 March to Friday, 31 March 2023.

All the ceremonies were streamed live on the UCT news website as well as through the university’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for those who were not able to attend in person. Video recordings of the ceremonies are available on the UCT news website as well as on the university’s YouTube channel.

Download the full ceremony schedule. | Read more about graduation.

We have enjoyed spending this time of celebration with our students – who are now graduates – and we wish them all the best as they go out to make a difference in the world.


Graduation news

Ceremony recordings

Graduation programmes

The names of all of the March 2023 qualifiers are listed in the graduation ceremony programmes. Congratulations to everyone graduating this March.

Our stories: inspirational graduates

The UCT News team has profiled a cross-section of inspirational graduands whose stories have inspired us. To all those we haven’t been able to feature, we’d like to say: each one of you is an inspiration – to your university, your families and your communities. We wish you every success in the future.

#UCTGrad2023 – social media elements

Customised Facebook and Instagram stickers are available on our social media platforms. Watch the tutorial videos here to see how easily you can get your online presence ready to celebrate.

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