‘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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