‘It was a necessary pain’: Father accepts late daughter’s degree at NMU
The father of Sochuma Sande Sontiki, who was posthumously awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree, believes the heartbreaking pain at the ceremony was necessary.
Thanduxolo Sontiki collected a certificate for his late daughter during graduation at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) on Thursday.
Four months since he buried his daughter, who passed away in December after a short illness, Sontiki walked to the stage to accept her degree.
"It was a mixed feeling, mixed emotions yesterday [Thursday]. We went there to receive her results and it was a very heartbreaking moment to see parents enjoying their children’s achievements with them," he said.
He said as a family they all believed the children who were graduating were enjoying the hard work of the years they spent at the university, which parents were supposed to enjoy with their daughter.
"Unfortunately it was the opposite ... it was very hard, especially when I was about to go to the stage.
"It was very hard, if you could see me in the queue. All the students, the graduates who were receiving their certificates, were wearing gowns. I was the only one who was not wearing a gown. If my daughter was there, she would have worn her gown."
There was hardly a dry eye at the graduation hall, when Thanduxolo Sontiki collected the certificate for his late daughter, Sochuma Sande Sontiki, during the Faculty of Humanities session this morning. Sochuma graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree posthumously.#mandelaunigrad pic.twitter.com/5rpKoTYbsP— Mandela University (@MandelaUni) April 20, 2023
He recalled when his daughter completed grade 12 and chose to study at NMU.
"Fortunately she was a good girl and we never encountered any problem with her. She was a dedicated child and she performed exceptionally well and didn't repeat any subject."
Sontiki was expecting his daughter, who died at the age of 22, to do her Honours and Master's degrees.
"Even when we were outside the hall, many people came to us ... many people of different cultures came to us and hugged us and tried to console us. It was really a necessary pain."
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