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SA University Alumni

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South Africa’s universities boast impressive alumni and we at EduConnect thought it necessary to inspire you with just a few of these interesting human beings origins – Varsity-wise that is. Although they originated from all corners of South Africa with vastly different backgrounds, they felt the vibe and obtained their degrees before becoming their best selves. See if you can guess they’re Alma Mata!

Our very own university alumni:

MARK SHUTTLEWORTH – Now a hero to many little boys and girls all over South Africa, much like you, Mark Shuttleworth also had his beginnings as a humble first year trying to find his way to a lecture hall he had never heard of. After figuring out where his lectures were he became Founder to companies like Ubuntu, the HBD (Here Be Dragons) investment group, Thawte Consulting and oh yes…he was the first African in Space. Which fine tertiary establishment prepared him for such greatness?

The University of Cape Town (UCT)

JOAO FANCESA a.k.a J’SOMETHING – “Jika my baby” Are the words one is most like to hear out of J’Something’s mouth these days as their single has been on a steady climb in SA music charts.  Together with his band, Micasa, the group has gone on to be recipients of numerous Metro FM Music Awards, SAMA’s and Hip Hop World Awards from their conception. Finally, going platinum with their second album Su Casa proved the icing on many successful cakes to come. Wherever did this suave singer obtain his Bcom Marketing Degree from you ask?

The University of Stellenbosch (STELLIES)

NELSON MANDELA – together with Oliver Tambo he started the first black law firm in South Africa; was South Africa’s first black, democratically elected president and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize award. This man will undoubtedly go down in history as a hero to heroes of the world over and the best looking drawing on any currency. Though he was a recipient of honorary degrees and doctorates from educational institutions all over the world and began his two degrees at different institutions to those which he eventually completed them, one university truly has the privilege to call him alumni and that is:

The University of South Africa (UNISA)

PATRICE MOTSEPE – After initially graduating from The University of Swaziland with his BA and then with an LLB from one of South Africa’s finest, Motsepe went on to become the first black lawyer in the law firm Bowman Gilfillan in 1994 specialising in mining law. Following opportunistic economic and political climates, Motsepe dug his way to becoming the 503rd richest person on the Forbe’s World Billionaire List in 2008. Declared to be worth around US$ 2.9 billion. It makes you wonder if he’s an avid alumni donor… And who might he be donating to?

The University of the Witwatersrand (WITS)

ARCH BISHOP EMMERITUS DESMOND TUTU – When I think of peace, love and the Anglican faith, this man is at the forefront. In 1978 he was appointed general secretary of the South African Council of churches and was a prominent spokesperson for the rights of black South Africans. His unmistakable voice could not be silenced and his outspokenness of the injustices of Apartheid earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. Desmond Tutu obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at…

The University of South Africa (UNISA)

GARETH CLIFF – You either love him or hate him and if you love him you’re probably female (don’t worry, you’re not alone). Long-time radio DJ on 5fm alongside Mabali, Sias and the gang. Gareth Cliff has been filling our radio waves with controversial statements to boot. Every year, Gareth puts down the headsets and braves the television cameras to judge the reality show South African Idols. Behind the Scenes he heads up a production company called “One on One”. Where did this formidable media presence spend his varsity days?

The University of Pretoria (UP)

Evidently, whether you’re passionate about writing or into mining; enjoy being a DJ or being the politician of the day, university is often a good stepping stone in the right direction for many.

EduConnect 2cents

Some people end up doing something completely different from what they expected when they first studying towards a degree. Generally, the degree that they obtained opened the doors for what they’re now doing. Just like our alumni. So study towards a degree and see what the world puts in you path. You may end up on our university alumni list in the next 20 years.


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