News and Events > News > 2024 > 2023 BEST GRADUATE AIMS TO INSPIRE OTHERS
31 May 2024

Kekana earned a Bachelor of Development Studies and was honoured with three prestigious awards: First Degree and two Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Best First Degree and Best Graduate, respectively. “My achievements showcase my academic competence. I hope that this will inspire others."

Kekana stated that winning the awards, especially the Best Graduate, gave her an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment.

"My journey to academic excellence is deeply rooted in my family and faith. I dedicate my success to God and my mother, Malebo Francinah Pilusha."

Her academic journey at UMP has been distinguished by her dedication and excellence. In 2021, she achieved an annual average of 87.2%, and in 2022, she was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship and the Academic Excellence Merit Awards. By 2023, she had taken on significant roles such as first-year student mentor and Event Coordinator, alongside receiving another Academic Excellence Merit Award.

“Graduating recently marked the culmination of years of hard work, perseverance, and development. The university's commitment to academic excellence, combined with its supportive faculty and staff, gave me the tools and guidance I needed to succeed.

My decision to continue my academic journey here is a testament to the quality of education and the nurturing environment provided. I am looking forward to delving deeper into my field of study and making a meaningful contribution to both the university and society.”

UMPKekana is pursuing an Honours Degree at UMP.

Reflecting on her journey, Kekana acknowledged the personal growth and development she underwent, especially overcoming her initial shyness and social challenges.

“Navigating university as a shy and quiet person presented significant challenges at first, especially in social situations where I struggled to engage with peers. However, the opportunity to serve as a first-year student mentor was transformative.

Mentoring provided me with a sense of purpose that helped me overcome my social inhibitions. Guiding new students required me to step outside my comfort zone, initiate conversations, and provide support. This role helped me gain confidence and improve my communication skills over time.”

Kekana is pursuing her Honours Degree and remains committed to using her knowledge and skills to serve others, glorify God, and positively impact her community.

Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures supplied.