The Student Representative Council (SRC) of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) slammed the higher education institution for Miss South Africa 2020 Shudufhadzo Musiḓa’s physical graduation ceremony.
This after the Wits university shared Miss SA’s graduation pictures, showing Musiḓa physically being awarded her BA Honours in International Relations honours degree, while more than a thousand other students graduated virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The SRC accused the institution of giving preferential treatment to Musiḓa when many other students were robbed of the opportunity to walk across the graduation stage.
However, on Twitter, Musiḓa said she had an opportunity to chat to Wits’ Vice Chancellor Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, and she went for it in her graduation attire.
According to Musiḓa, Vilakazi was keen to hear her views on mental health and learn about the initiatives she has undertaken during her reign as Miss South Africa, since she was a well-known advocate for mental health awareness.
Musiḓa recently launched her online mental health initiative #MindfulMondays, in conjunction with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) and Discovery Vitality, on her Instagram platform @shudufhadzomusida.
Meanwhile, fellow Wits graduates and students, took to social media to express their disappointment with the institution’s approach towards the Miss SA graduation.
However, not everyone thought that it was discriminatory for Miss SA to be physically capped.
Some tweeps suggested that people were offended because it was Musiḓa getting a physical graduation and not former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.
On a lighter note, Vilakazi described the graduation period as a “moment of hope” for humanity as the country faces the Covid-19 pandemic and recently experienced unrest.
“We live in a historic moment characterised by uncertainty and change. You are graduating amid a global pandemic, for which there is not yet a cure. Our young democracy is under threat, and civil unrest is widespread,” he said.
“Our society is plagued by inequality and poverty. Our economy is flailing, and unemployment is rife.”
Vilakazi also said the graduation ceremony represented a “fortuitous moment of hope and inspiration, an opportunity to chart a new course that can propel us into a new beneficial world order, for good”.