UKZN celebrated the academic achievements of student leaders at a celebratory lunch held on the Howard College campus.

Executive Director: Student Services, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, said the event was held to recognise, highlight, honour and celebrate the academic achievements of UKZN’s student leaders. He applauded the students for achieving their academic goals while serving in various leadership capacities at the University. ‘They are bucking the trend of student leaders who often become career students. Our own student leaders are a different breed. You have led by example,’ said Chalufu.

He said students now had a much bigger role to play in life generally. ‘Beyond your graduation, you need to play a critical role in providing leadership to other students. To those who are working – it is critical that you become part of our efforts in empowering our students. Also, empower and mentor young people in your own communities.’

Chalufu expressed gratitude to staff members, particularly Mrs Priscilla Cele and Ms Nokwanda Jali, within his office who had played a role in these young student leaders’ lives.

DVC: Teaching and Learning, Professor Renuka Vithal, said top performing students excelled because they read a lot. She planned to start a campaign on promoting reading soon and asked the student leaders to get involved in the project.

Vithal added UKZN was now the first university in South Africa to require competence in an African language before a degree was awarded. This announcement was welcomed by the student leaders.

Executive Director: Physical Planning and Operations, Mr Charles Poole, supported and underscored the comments by Chalufu and Vithal. Having once been a student leader himself, Poole was able to relay the value it had added to his own life and career. ‘The benefits you accrue as a student leader will become apparent as you go along.’

The Registrar at UKZN, Professor Jane Meyerowitz, was unable to attend the event but sent the following congratulatory message: ‘A good leader is one who, in addition to leading and inspiring can also achieve a balance in their personal lives – and you have shown you can do that by succeeding academically while coping with all the other demands put upon you, chief of which is service to others. And so I salute and congratulate you all.’

The Central SRC President, Mr Nelson Mabusela, who is currently completing his Honours in Medical Science, commended his fellow students for being both students and leaders. ‘We are both students and a leaders … we are the cream of the crop and we should celebrate it.’

Mabusela thanked Chalufu for affording students respect during negotiations and at meetings, and acknowledged the Student Governance and Leadership Development Officers.

The HIV/AIDS Programme Co-ordinator, Ms Nomonde Magantolo, said in closing: ‘The SRC plays an important role in student life – academically and socially. This group has demonstrated that they can lead a balanced life. To succeed, work hard and sacrifice. Hard work is the key to success. Thank you for being able to balance your life and assist other students.’ 

Click here for a list of the student leaders honoured at the event:

author email :