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It’s often said that the contemporary generation no longer embrace their culture, but the University of Venda (Univen) graduates proved that they love their culture. 

When Avhasei Messie Raphalalani, Khethiwe Zodwa Mkhonto and Ntwanano Baloyi ascended the graduation stage with their traditional attires, during the UNIVEN 2019 autumn graduation ceremonies, they left the audience speechless. 

Raphalalani who was wearing ‘Shedo’ said that it was all about showcasing her love for the culture. “I love embracing my culture all the times. I wore it to motivate other African youth to be proud of their culture especially during special moments such as graduation,” she said. She was graduating her Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase. 

The Bachelor of Nursing Science graduate Mkhonto said that she decided to wear Siswati attire because she grew up following and embracing her culture. “I used to go to ‘Emalangeni’ and I love my culture in a way that I decided to embrace it on my big day. I wanted to be unique because many graduates usually wear designed-dresses and suits,” she said. 

The young lady from Mpumalanga, Nkomazi Langeloop, in Bhekisisa Section said she would like to advise the graduates, especially the young generation to always think of simple things such as culture and tradition because those are the things that will give us directions on how to conduct ourselves in life. “It should not be all about wearing expensive attire but the confidence and the pride in you when wearing that attire. 

Baloyi who was graduating her Bachelor of Environmental Sciences, was wearing a traditional attire called Xigaza on her graduation day. She is also the 2017/18 Miss UNIVEN. 

Speaking to Nendila, Baloyi from Valdezia, just outside Elim said that she always strives to look unique when it comes to attire. “I always choose an attire that gives me the best feeling rather than a trending attire. I chose my Xigaza attire because I knew that it will make me feel unique and pretty.” She explained that feeling to be enough for her to appreciate herself. 

The 2017/18 Miss UNIVEN said that there are people who always give her strange compliments. She said those complements positively drove her to show up on her graduation day dressed like that. “I wanted to show people that I am proud of my culture and my identity. I am proud to be Mutsonga,” she said. 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 

Date: 20 May 2019 

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