Graduation Ceremony speech delivered by Faisal Mkhize, Provincial Managing Executive of Absa KwaZulu-Natal
10 May 2018 University of Zululand
Ngangezwe lakhe, Uhlanga lomhlabathi (if present)
Chancellor – Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo/Sokhulu Skhangane esakhanya amadoda
Chair of Council Ms Nomarashiya Caluza Council Members
Vice-Chancellor Prof Xoliswa Mtose UNIZULU Management (EXCO and MANCO) Academic and Support Staff
President of Convocation and Alumni
Representatives from Mkhwanazi Traditional Authority Chiefs of the Local Traditional Authorities/Ondabezitha President of the SRC
Mayors of District/Local Municipalities Special Guests
Business partners Parents/Guardians/Relatives/Sponsors
Congratulations to Deputy Chief Justice Zondo on his recent appointment as the Chancellor of UniZulu, siyakubongela Sokhulu. We congratulate the University for honouring Silo sa Mabandla with an Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to the nation.
Graduates: I thought hard and deep about what I would to contribute in a small way on this day and decided on a small wish:
I wish on this day 10 May of 2018, that the University, community all-inclusive Staff / Exco / Student leaders / Communities around here take full – I mean full advantage of your noble leadership in co-creating a new path to greatness in this historical institution that over many years have contributed in the South African society by producing leaders of high caliber like yourselves and current Chief Justice to name but a few.
I would like to pose a question to the Graduands, which is the greater day? The day you get the results that you made it or the day your head is capped? Whatever your answer, I believe that today is one of the greatest days in your life, the day that you enter society ready to make a difference.
You guys are lucky to graduate in such a year. 2018, the year of the centenary year of Madiba and Mama Albertina Sisulu. Two giants of our recent history who did not accept a brutal system, but fought long and hard to change it for all to attain freedom in South Africa. So this is a year we expect to release strong, ethical and visionary leaders into our society.
As with any graduate, you all dream of success. These days the definition of success has become synonymous with financial success. If you aim to find
financial success before you find what you love to do most, you will find failure instead. When you love what you do, financial success will follow. I am sure most of you believe that your qualification should now open doors to financial success and the trappings of material success that follow.
Confucius put the desire for success and excellence as some of the fundamentals in one’s life – to quote.
“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
One thing we figured out in my days at varsity was that every degree has that dreaded course which requires every faculty of your being for you to pass it. Now here is the bad news. Any path you choose will eventually lead to that point where only great perseverance and belief in yourself will pull you out of the situation and success will follow. Never swim with the fishes or climb with the monkeys but do what you do best and define your success.
‘To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson
My personal life journey began before varsity endowed me with the business skills I needed in my banking career. I learnt not to wait for opportunity but to grab opportunity. Not to be one of the people at the table but to be an active participant at the table. The greatest gift you have is your mind but if your mind does not work as a team with your tongue you will find yourself under achieving. Leaders who do not seek success but rather seek to serve the ones they love, the job they love, the community they love and the country they love, tend to
display the ethical leadership which this country greatly needs. To be a graduate is a gift of intelligence but to serve others is a choice. In parting, when you get to a stage where money has no bearing to your happiness….then you know you have finally arrived.
Lyrics of a beautiful song by Gladys Knight…“I Hope You Dance”
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance I hope you dance
I hope you dance
Enjoy the journey so long.