UCT graduate causes a stir with inspiring 'Dress a graduate' campaign

27 March 2019 - 07:03 By Cebelihle Bhengu
UCT graduate Ruby Chikwiri says her #Dressagraduate campaign is received well by the public.
UCT graduate Ruby Chikwiri says her #Dressagraduate campaign is received well by the public.
Image: Ruby Chikwiri via Twitter

University of Cape Town graduate Ruby Chikwiri has become an internet sensation after starting an initiative called #Dressagraduate on social media, in hope of providing those in need with appropriate clothes for their graduation.

She said the idea came to her after she realised how her fellow students work hard to obtain their qualifications by persisting through different hardships, including financial constraints.

Chikwiri said she would not be attending her Honours graduation ceremony due to fees still owed to UCT, but she doesn’t want the same for others.

“I know how much stress graduation can be for students who cannot afford clothing, shoes and accessories for the special day. I thought about it and the idea to create and facilitate a platform for people to donate graduation-appropriate clothing came about.”

To promote her initiative and to reach more people to pledge donations, Chikwiri took to Twitter to talk about #Dressagraduate.

The idea has been received well so far, with many coming forward to donate clothing, shoes, make up and photography services.

She has since been approached by both students needing assistance and by people offering to donate. Some expressed their appreciation of her campaign. 

“I have recently started this initiative, and based on the response, there is a great need for a long-term project. I will do my best to make graduation days special, and will facilitate the natural growth of the project. South Africa’s graduation season has started, and it will end in May. This is the perfect time to get everyone’s attention and support.”

The campaign runs from Johannesburg and Cape Town, and caters for students in the two cities.