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  • DUT Alumni


The Division of Corporate Affairs at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) saw two of its very own, dynamic Work Integrated Learning (WIL) students become ‘proud’ graduates at the DUT Autumn Celebratory Graduation at the Royal Show Grounds in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday, 27 July 2022.

They formed part and parcel of the 5421 women graduates who were conferred with their Advanced Diplomas in Public Relations and Communications, indicating that #girl power is alive and well at the institution.

The bubbly, charismatic Siphokazi Dlamini has been working since 2020 as a Public Relations intern at Marketing, Corporate Affairs, handling the coordinating, planning and executing of events. She could not contain her excitement as she spoke about her special day. It was her first time working with graduation and throughout the graduation ceremonies, her responsibility entailed arranging the seating cards for the graduates and explaining to them the protocols involved with the ceremonies before and after being conferred with their Certificates, Degrees, Diplomas and Doctorates.

For her, even though she knew all the insight into the technical aspects of graduation, she could not help but feel very emotional when it was her turn to walk the stage and be cheered and ululated by her loved ones and her colleagues.

“I’m very excited and emotional at the same time, but overall I’m very happy and proud of myself,” she said jubilantly.

On her big day, when she was graduating, she did admit that she was very nervous.

“I woke up very early, worrying about how will everything go but when I was on stage everything was really quick. I don’t even remember the time I walked on stage, that’s how quick it was,” she chuckled.

All in all, she is grateful to all her colleagues at DUT for all the love showered upon her on her special day.

“I want to thank the marketing team, especially, my colleague, Jabu Mavundla, (fondly known as Mama Jabu), Communications’ Manager, Noxolo Memela, as well as everyone that was involved, but more especially Mama Jabu. I would also like to thank my family, my mom and my kids. I’m just sad that my kids were not present to share my special day with me. Other than that I’m very grateful to everyone and I’m happy,” she added.

Going forward, she aims to pursue her Postgraduate Diploma studies in Public Relations and Communications Management.

Speaking of her marvelous day was Communications intern, Nomvelo Zulu from Cato Ridge, Pietermaritzburg.

Zulu was touched by the fact that her Communications team colleagues ensured that her

day was special from the time they heard she was due to graduate.

“I was so nervous at first, but I was so happy and proud of myself. I wish that my parents were still alive to celebrate with me, however I am blessed because my colleagues made it special by being present for me. I felt so exceptional and amazing to know that I have found a family in my Communications team, colleagues who made it possible for me to be on stage,” she said happily.

Zulu explained that special appreciation goes to the Communications Manager, Ms Noxolo Memela, who made the exceptional day, extraordinary with some ‘behind the scenes’ sweet gestures.

“She made sure that my graduation outfit was ready and constantly called to check up on me to see if I had everything ready for my big day. I was so overwhelmed, yet so grateful that it finally happened. Everything panned out perfectly, exactly what and more of what I had envisioned,” she confessed.

Zulu giggled that as the Communications intern she has been writing stories about graduation, but she did not think that the tables would turn and she would become the focus of a story.

“I have never thought of myself to be on the other side of that table, however, I must confess it was fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” she said.

Zulu also relayed that she would like to thank the Communications team together with Mama Jabu for making her big day a successful and memorable one, as well as not forgetting her family.

Next year, she plans to do her Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Communications Management.

Pictured: Siphokazi Dlamini and Nomvelo Zulu on their special, graduation day.

Photographer: Vusi Dlamini

Nonkululeko Ngcobo/Waheeda Peters

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