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WATCH | Proud moment or wasting time? — video of this parent’s UKZN graduation celebration sparks debate

13 May 2022 - 11:46
The University of KwaZulu-Natal opened in-person graduations three years after the ceremonies were halted by the pandemic.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal opened in-person graduations three years after the ceremonies were halted by the pandemic.
Image: Supplied

A video of a parent dancing, ululating and singing during a graduation ceremony at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has sparked debate online, with some calling it “inappropriate” for the event and others defending the celebration.

The university recently commenced with in-person graduations after the popular events were halted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The occasion was celebrated by many who came out in traditional attire.

One video shared by the university showed an emotional mother singing a popular Zulu song when her child was called on stage.

The audience of parents and graduates joined in.

The video drew mixed reactions, with many congratulating the graduate and her proud parent.

A proud parent leads the popular song with the lyrics ‘Noma ngabe izindlu ezodaka, kusekhaya lana’ (loosely translated to ‘they may be mud houses but this is our home’). It speaks to the pride one carries despite being from a poor or underprivileged background,” the university said of the moment.

Another video showed two parents ululating and dancing as their child walked off stage.

While some said it was “time-wasting” and distracted from other children being celebrated, political analyst Jamie Mighti said there is nothing wrong with embracing culture and traditions during graduation ceremonies. 

“I think it is important to have an elongated moment for parents to honour the child, the family and the efforts. I don’t think it's extra at all. I think it is beautifully African. People go through enough to get to that finish line and they will still fight to get that job,” he said.

Here is a look at some reactions:

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