Graduating with a higher education qualification is an experience many in South Africa do not get to have.
According to the Department of Higher Education, in 2016, only 46.2% of students in public universities graduated with undergraduate degrees.
For many of those who do get their degree, it is a show of resilience and persistence in the midst of challenges faced.
To celebrate this milestone and promote education, University of Cape Town Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng encouraged South Africans who have graduated, regardless of the year, to share their stories on Twitter using the hashtags #MakeEducationFashionable #BeltSwag and more.
Below are some heart touching stories shared on Twitter by graduates from uct, unisa, wits etc. in their quest for a high education.
Raised on R2000 salary, in an RDP house by my mother. A domestic worker.
BA Honors in Journalism and Media studies (Major: TV Journalism, financial journalism), Wits- 2015.
— IG: (@anelisa_tuswa) December 1, 2018
At age 16 she married my father who forced her to leave school. She left him at age 34. At age 37 she went back to do Matric. At age 48 I accompanied her to her 1st Graduation, ending years of hardships. Mom is a teacher now. #MakeEducationFashionable #Beltswag #EducationIsAthing pic.twitter.com/HMfaGc6DfO
— Lindokuhle Mnisi🇿🇦 (@Lindo_Mnisi) December 1, 2018
This is still by far the happiest day of my life, graduating at 20 years old with an Honours Degree in Mining Engineering. I was bullied as I was always the youngest in class but I’m here now👩🏾🎓. If I can do it, you can too 💜 We are capable! @FabAcademic #MakeEducationFashionable pic.twitter.com/UuN8NH4Fgf
— Thand’ukona💜 (@Luncumolwam_) December 1, 2018
— Bhubesana (@StuMadonsela) December 1, 2018
Can we (SA) not only be known as those who are xenophobic, state looters, corrupt, having high crime rate, abusers of women &kids, desperate for miracles. Can we show the world that we (SA) r a work in progress through #education #MakeSAfashionable #MakeEducationFashionable pic.twitter.com/7tzINrZ4Jn
— Jacqueline Maluleke (@Nshalate) December 1, 2018
To our mother @FabAcademic .
Here’s a degree holder from deep rural areas in Eastern Cape.
— Wendy🌻🌻 (@SalizwaWendy) December 1, 2018
Currently waiting to Graduate for CTA. Grateful for the opportunities God has been giving me because growing up at home with pension money and supporting from time to time my family with money when my mom wasn’t working for 2years. God is faithful💓🙌#MakeEducationFashionable pic.twitter.com/uRxuF8Mba8
— Xolo.Zotsho.Thuse🇿🇦🇲🇼 (@siyaLdaniel) December 1, 2018
I went ahead and studied Bsc Actuarial Sciences(UP, 2017)when all everyone around me could talk about was how hard it is to complete it on record time and maybe I should pick something else #MakeEducationFashionable #BeltSwag @FabAcademic pic.twitter.com/SJGJInrXS1
— Mandz (@MandyMthimkhulu) December 1, 2018
When I stopped studying for them and started studying for me. Haven’t enjoyed getting any qualification like I did this one.
MEng (Civil), UCT, 2017 #beltswag #MakeEducationFashionable
[PGD: DF 2019 at USB loading…] pic.twitter.com/IlA8lKH4zD
— Ms K (@Kea_AM) December 1, 2018
2009exclude frm UJ, took gap year. 2013 began a BCom degree in HRM,Final year lost my dad in a car accident. Felt heartbroken that he’d never see me graduate.(2016 TUKS)Today left with 6moduless 2complete my BCom Law with Unisa #MakeEducationFashionable #beltswag @FabAcademic pic.twitter.com/L2Tr2pl3Jf
— Mahlodi Seshuene (@hlodinki) December 1, 2018
Although sometimes we would go hungry with no money to buy food, no money to go to practicals, cudn’t even bother our parents. Tough journey but worth it. @richardrasie today we PhD candidates bcos of hard work nd dedication. @FabAcademic #Beltswag #MakeEducationFashionable # pic.twitter.com/JlI07p9wGk
— Eugene Makhavhu (@EMakhavhu) December 1, 2018
— Kutlwano Molokoane (@_Kutlwano_M) December 1, 2018
Bachelor of Science in Biological sciences, Walter Sisulu University, 2018.
Honours degree loading…
This woman inspires me to become a better person in academics🎓. @FabAcademic#MakeEducationFashionable pic.twitter.com/gq4lEd1YdN
— Alungile Jeme (@alungile_jeme) December 1, 2018
BSc Honours in Urban and Regional Planning, 2017 Graduate from University of the Witwatersrand. I kinda developed a slight depression in first year but I never gave up. I conquered the edge. @FabAcademic #MakeEducationFashionable #beltswag @WitsUniversity pic.twitter.com/PCrWUWkk4Y
— Bree (@pearl_Bridgette) December 1, 2018
I still couldn’t believe that I was graduating on record time. 8 months before my graduation, I was ready to quit and start over. I was told I failed 1 final year module 7 times before my academic record finally said “Qualification Obtained”. #MakeEducationFashionable pic.twitter.com/U1WiFTLth3
— Rotcod Erutuf 🎓 (@Amanda_Aphane) December 1, 2018
What kept me going is my background, was once employed by @Shoprite_SA as shelf packer and I’m grateful. I challenged myself resigned and enrolled with @theNWU what a warm welcome completed my degree ka record time. 2nd belt loading #MakeEducationFashionable #beltswag pic.twitter.com/63EeOx4dKZ
— PardonUsMrPresident (@THABANG_BELANG) December 1, 2018
I dreamt this day up over and over again! I still can’t believe that I am an entire BSc Mining Engineering (Hons) holder from Wits!!! God stays being good to me! #MakeEducationFashionable #Beltswag pic.twitter.com/yAojlkD0Wx
— Aiysha (@TeeMlangeni) December 1, 2018