Miss SA gets to walk on Wits graduation stage while other graduates receive emails
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Reigning Miss South Africa Shudufhadzo Musida graduated with a BA Honours in international relations from the University of the Witwatersrand.
And while South Africa is happy for her, some are not impressed with the marketing strategy pulled by Wits.
Musida was the only student who got to walk on stage after the virtual graduation and have a sit down with the vice-chancellor, while others didn’t even have their names called out.
I'm officially a Wits graduate 🥺💌 pic.twitter.com/KK8glW83gj— SINCERELY SIMEKAHLE (@Simekahle_M) July 20, 2021
That was like a slap in the face to many students because, although Musida is Miss SA, she was a student like the rest.
“People are upset about this, and rightfully so. All graduates put in the work and didn't even get their names read out during the virtual graduation ceremony, but she gets special graduation. Yes, she is Miss SA, but she is a student like the rest. This smells of classism,” commented @MphoMoalamedi.
Wits vice-chancellor and principal Professor Zeblon Vilakazi said the virtual graduations were a “moment of hope” for humanity.
“We live in a historic moment characterised by uncertainty and change. You are graduating amidst a global pandemic, for which there is not yet a cure. Our young democracy is under threat, and civil unrest is widespread. Our society is plagued by inequality and poverty. Our economy is flailing, and unemployment is rife,” said Vilakazi.
Musida shared her excitement about being a two-time graduate and being interviewed by Vilakazi.
“After my virtual graduation today, I had an interview opportunity with VC Prof Zeblon Vilakazi, and of course, I went in my grad attire. This pandemic has led to trying times and uncertainty for everyone. To all students who had to persevere even in the least ideal times, phambili. Congratulations to the class of 2020,” said Musida.
Tweeps raised their concerns regarding how Wits handled the graduation.
“I’m still here trying to understand who thought Miss SA graduating on stage while others didn’t, was a good idea. I know we have bigger problems but?” commented @MpumzN.
Another Twitter user Tebogo Thothela said: “Prof Mamokgethi has been standing outside hooding whichever UCT students are available on the day of their graduation while Wits does crappy grad videos and PR stunts. Guys, they couldn’t even flight people's names at least.”
Even those who watched the graduation on YouTube described it as a “sad” ceremony.
Here are more reactions to Musida’s graduation ceremony.