33 doctorates at Fort Hare grad
Youngest capped, 25, plans to assist emerging farmers
HISTORY was made at the University of Fort Hare this year when it conferred 33 doctorates in its spring graduation.
This brings to 110 the number of doctorates conferred at the university this year, the youngest being 25.
The spring graduation was held yesterday at the Alice Campus.
UFH also honoured Rita Marley, wife of the late legendary reggae singer Bob Marley, with an honorary doctorate in social sciences and humanities.
Marley could not make it to the ceremony and her doctorate was accepted by Rosemary Duncan from the Rita Marley Foundation on her behalf.
In a tearful moment, the crowd of about 2 000 parents and academics, with help from the choir, started singing Bob Marley’s One Love after Duncan was capped.
Delivering Rita’s speech, Duncan said the honour was one of Rita’s treasured moments.
She touched on the high cost of fees, UFH’s rich history and told the crowd “Don’t worry every little thing is going to be alright”.
“Whatever your career goals, as you take flight and spread your wings and soar through the skies, look down and lift someone up. The more you help to uplift others, the greater the rewards.”
She also encouraged graduands to use their qualifications from Fort Hare to unlock their economical freedom in South Africa.
The youngest PhD graduate was 25-year-old Lelethu Mdoda who graduated in science and agriculture.
For his research Mdoda, who is from Libode, investigated market participation and value chain integration, homestead and irrigated crop farming in the Eastern Cape.
His study identified factors influencing smallholders’ decisions to participate in markets and measured the profitability of homestead irrigated crop farms using parametric and non-parametric tools.
As Mdoda was being capped and announced as the youngest graduate, the crowd rose to their feet and ululated in celebration.
Speaking to the Saturday Dispatch, Mdoda said he was overwhelmed.
He said he planned to use his qualification to plough back into his community by helping smallholder farmers become commercial farmers. — firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIGHT YOUNG MIND: Lelethu Mdoda earned his PhD at 25 years of age, making him the youngest PhD graduate at the UFH’s 2017 Spring graduation