Graduate dresses down her misfortune and fulfils the dreams of others

13 June 2019 - 14:30 By Cebelihle Bhengu
UCT graduate Ruby Chikwiri says her #DressAGraduate campaign has been well received, with the public donating shoes, clothing and make-up services.
UCT graduate Ruby Chikwiri says her #DressAGraduate campaign has been well received, with the public donating shoes, clothing and make-up services.
Image: Ruby Chikwiri via Twitter

UCT graduate Ruby Chikwiri turned her misfortune of missing her graduation ceremony due to unsettled fees into a way of helping others celebrate their big day. 

Upon realising that many of her peers were missing their graduation ceremonies because they didn't have suitable outfits, she started a campaign, Dress A Graduate, earlier this year. 

Using #DressAGraduate on Twitter, it attracted people who donated clothing, shoes, and make-up and photography services.

Chikwiri said 41 graduates from universities across the country reached out to her via social media and were helped. Logistics company ACT Logistics offered its services free and clothing retailer THE FIX chipped in with R5,000 worth of clothing vouchers. 

"Graduates in need of assistance contacted me via e-mail or social media. I also used my campaign to search for any posts relating to grads in need of assistance and contacted them directly."

Chikwiri said making people's dreams come true with the campaign was fulfilling and had  taught her some valuable life lessons. 

"Keep your head up. I started this campaign because I was missing my own. I would have never thought that my misfortune would spark an idea that would put a smile on the faces of 41 graduates."

She said she was optimistic about the future of the campaign, which, next time, will operate under a registered NGO. 


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