News and Events > News > UMP HONOURS TOP ACHIEVERS
30 May 2022

Speaking at the event, UMP Vice-Chancellor Professor Thoko Mayekiso acknowledged the important role parents and guardians had to play in students’ academic journeys. The university, she said, was committed to upholding the highest standards of excellence in all actions, functions and services.

“We recognised early in our pioneering journey, ‘luhambo lwemhlahlandlela’ that excellence is at the heart of it all. The bedrock of all our pursuits as it were.”

Prof Mayekiso further said that, although celebrating academic excellence might seem like an automatic response that encourages those who have done well, “However, there are deeper messages in this ceremony: reminding us that it’s not always easy – but it can be done. What is more – when our values are aligned, great results ensue."

She added: "As we congratulate the recipients of the awards today – those people who constantly worked hard at improving themselves, those achievers who are forever striving to be a better version of themselves, always improving, always striving, never arriving, not being complacent but constantly in search for excellence.”

She explained that the award ceremony is also about finding collective inspiration from those who have excelled. “Lessons to take away from here, and factor into our own behaviours, so that we always present the best version of ourselves.”

Professor Mayekiso further made mention of the works of Adam Grant, Think Again, as well as Stephen Schwarzman’s What is takes: Lessons in pursuit of excellence, and Ryan Hawk’s In search of excellence, which refers to the 12 Cs that manifest in the lives of those who excel.

The twelve Cs which she referred to include: Consistent, Committed, Courageous, Conscientious, Curious, Collaborative, Confident, Creative minds, Caring, Competence, Constructive, Clarity of thought.

“Congratulations and well done to those receiving awards today, you are so deserving. I congratulate you all for putting in the necessary effort, and contributing towards strengthening the UMP brand.”

UMPBusinessman Mr Sabelo Malalela delivered the keynote address.

Building a better tomorrow

Guest speaker and Chairman of Ziya Investments (Pty) Ltd, a former group commercial executive of the Bidvest Group Limited and a director of numerous companies in South Africa, Mr Sabelo Malalela lamented the state of South Africa.

“Our nation is in pain. What would be the role of UMP in easing this pain? The level of corruption. What can we do to create a culture that discourages corruption and promotes good corporate governance?

“I believe strongly that a university like the University of Mpumalanga has a serious role to play in helping us to find our moral compass. UMP is founded on the solid values of Excellence, Integrity, Diversity, Collaboration, Adaptability, Relevance and Inspiration," he added that his hope lies in the university’s vision to find hope for the nation.

“It is that positioning of being African that makes UMP relevant to the challenges we face as a nation. It is in the value of excellence and integrity that as a nation we will find our self-worth. The idea of stealing state resources will not arise. It is the value of excellence and integrity that as a nation we will find joy and pride in achieving success through honesty and hard work. The idea of short cuts, deceit and faking it until you make it will not arise,” he continued.

“I place my hope in all the graduates from UMP, that they will make a valuable contribution to our nation. They have been trained well and are grounded by the right value system. It is written that when we are in doubt, we shall see them by their fruits, so it is true with UMP, we shall see UMP by the products she produces, that indeed it is the African University of Excellence, Integrity, Diversity, Collaboration, Adaptability, Relevance and Inspiration.”

Fifteen students received awards, amongst which one was from the Keni Foundation, another from Sanlam, and three from HL Hall and Sons.

@ Story by Lisa Thabethe. Pictures supplied