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MANZINI - SANU graduates jumped off their chairs and sang a struggle song titled; ‘Shohlal’siyinyova’ as student activists graduated wearing their own ‘academic caps’.

The Southern Africa Nazarene University (SANU), yesterday hosted its 13th graduation ceremony at Zakhele Free Evangelical Assembly (FEA) Church, where a total of 647 graduates were conferred their degrees, diplomas and certificates. Among the graduates, there were three student activists, who are members of the proscribed People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) and these are; the President of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) – a youth league of PUDEMO, Sakhile ‘Awuviva’ Nxumalo, former President of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) Colani Maseko and the Deputy Chairperson of the Manzini Regional Branch of SWAYOCO, Nontsetselelo Nkambule. The SWAYOCO president graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Leadership and Management of Inclusive Education and he obtained a Second Class, Second Division; the former SNUS president was conferred a Primary Teachers Diploma and he got a Pass with Credit.

On the other hand, the deputy chairperson of SWAYOCO’s Manzini Regional Branch, was conferred a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences after getting a Pass. Nxumalo, who graduated with an Associate Degree in Architecture Technology at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) in 2018, was wearing an army green revolutionary cap with a red star. The red star is a symbol that has often historically been associated with communist ideology, particularly in combination with the hammer and sickle, but is also used as a purely socialist symbol in the 21st century.

It is worth noting that in 2018 when Nxumalo graduated at LUCT, he was wearing a beret of the African National Congress (ANC), which is the ruling South African political party and there was drama as the ushers demanded that he took it off and put an academic cap, which he eventually did before he was conferred his associate degree, in front of the late Prime Minister (PM) Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, who was the guest.

Meanwhile, the former SNUS president was wearing a red beret of SNUS and Nkambule wore a black PUDEMO beret. When asked about the choice of ‘academic caps’, Nxumalo said they were inspired by Chairman Mao Zedong, a leader of the Communist Party of China, who organised Chinese people to overthrow the then ruling regime in their country. Nxumalo was the first one to be called to the high table to get his scroll and he was followed by Maseko, while Nkambule was last. When each of the trio was called, ululations filled the church and in turn, they raised their right fist in the air, which is a gesture saying ‘amandla’ (power).  

When it was Maseko’s turn, the graduates clapped hands and blew whistles as he was climbing the steps to the high table. When he got there, the graduates sang the struggle song titled ‘Sohlal’siyinyova’. In the meantime, Nxumalo and Nkambule joined him after collecting his scroll. They also joined their colleagues in the song and raised their fists into the air.
He said it was not easy to study and fight at the same.

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: Lutsango
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