[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“You walk alone, you walk fast. We walk together, we walk far.”
With these words, Dr Nolitha Vukuza, the member of the Management Executive Committee (MEC) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), welcomed staff, students, parents and guardians to the University this year. The occasion was the 2022 Academic Opening, which was held in the Auditorium, Kingsway Campus, on Friday, 11 February 2022.
The event, which was livestreamed to students and staff, was attended by the UJ Management Executive Committee (MEC), Executive Deans, Dean of the Johannesburg Business School (JBS), the Student Representative Council (SRC) President, Mxolisi Manana.
“Today we stand before you with an ambitious vision for the future and, at the same time, with necessary caution. So far 2022 ushers a somewhat return to a near-normal year for all of us. We, hopefully, can go back to how things normally were,” said Dr Vukuza, quoting from one of artist Gladys Knight’s popular songs.
“UJ is a place for staff and students to turn their dreams into a better future filled with more solutions than challenges. It is our promise to students that we will support you to find your potential.”
Dr Vukuza, who is also the Senior Executive Director, University Relations, Student Affairs and UJ Sport, said not only will it require collective efforts and time for the UJ Community to build and co-create solutions for humanity, but that it would need them to participate in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) to find solutions to societal problems.
Mr Kananelo Sikhakhane, a UJ alumnus who was the guest speaker, spoke about the importance of hard work. He advised first-year students to make the best of the opportunity they have at UJ. “Work hard, carry the heaviest load that you possibly can. Do not lose yourself…some days you’ll have bad days, bad weeks, bad semesters and bad years but make sure you are doing everything you can to make it better day by day,” he said, also urging students to take responsibility of their careers and life.
Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, delivered the keynote address. He reminded the students that they represented a small percentage of the privileged few in South Africa. “Our youth unemployment rate and our deepening levels of inequalities certainly indicate that not all young people make it to Matric and not all are afforded opportunities after that.”
Prof Mpedi urged the students to use their potential to provide solutions to some of the challenges faced in the country. He concluded his address by giving the students 4 basic principles: continuous improvement, technique, hard work and ‘give it your all’.
“We look forward to reimagining the future with you.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]