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Jubilant Unisans celebrate 150th anniversary prior to academic opening ceremony

Setting the tone for what will undoubtedly be an exciting year in the history of this mega-university, Unisa is officially opening the academic year today with a ceremony scheduled to start at 10:00 at the ZK Matthews Great Hall, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Building, Unisa Muckleneuk Campus, Tshwane.

Marking the institution's 150th anniversary (#Unisa150), this year's opening ceremony starts with staff and students breaking into song and dance at the Muckleneuk Campus main gate. 

Later, Prof Puleng LenkaBula will lead the academic procession comprising Unisa's executive management members solemnly entering the venue in formal academic regalia. Shortly after the procession, the VC will take to the podium to chart the course towards the vision of reclaiming Africa's intellectual futures.

We spoke to some of the celebrants, and here is what they said:

Iteboheng Matlho, Security Officer, Department of Protection and Security Services: At Unisa I am a beneficiary of insourcing, which took place in 2016 after Unisa reached an agreement with the Multi-Stakeholder Task Team to absorb vulnerable workers like me. Ever since, my life has been impacted positively as I was able to build a home for me and my children. I am now able to provide a better life for my family. After working as a temporary contractor at a private company, it was a dream come true to finally be part of this gigantic institution on a permanent basis. I also had an opportunity to advance my security and protection services skills by pursuing a Security Practice Course at Unisa. I am now inspired to study further for an undergraduate qualification.

Thando Haga, Cleaner, University Estates: Unisa: My life has been positively impacted since I started working for Unisa permanently. I started on a contract basis in 2014 and was finally insourced two years after. It is an advantage to be part of an institution of higher learning that cares about the wellbeing of its employees. I am currently attending some educational classes provided by the institution and am inspired to further my studies. I have also noticed that Unisa embraces the skills of community members, its students and staff. Art creators at Unisa are provided with a platform to showcase their work and make a living out of it.

Jabulani Nyathela, final-year teaching student: Ever since I started studying at Unisa, I have been getting a lot of volunteering opportunities for teaching primary school students.

Nthabiseng Chautsane, candidate attorney at Illovo Paralegal College of Education: Studying at Unisa has helped me cope with grief after I lost my father.

Koketso Kekana, third-year LLB student: I am grateful that Unisa has never let me down, and NSFSAS has never disappointed me.

Watch the video

* Editorial team: Tshimangadzo Mphaphuli, Acting Editor: Internal Publications; Philip van der Merwe, Editor: External Publications; Nancy Legodi, Acting Senior Journalist; Godfrey Madibane, Acting Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

* Photographers: Given Maluleke and Shooheima Champion, Unisa Multimedia Centre

* Video producer: Tshimangadzo Mphaphuli, Acting Editor: Internal Publications

Publish date: 2023/02/10

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