Posted on June 11, 2024

The morning of 13 May 2024 was an exciting one for the graduates of the Department of Information Science, where students and staff alike were buzzing with excitement. It was graduation day, a day that marked the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and personal growth. The ceremony commenced with the University of Pretoria's Vice-Principal, Prof Loretta Feris’ welcoming speech, followed by a short address from the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, Prof Wynand Steyn, who introduced the Supervisors, for doctoral degrees in the School of Information Technology.

As the Dean of the Faculty, Prof Wynand Steyn called each graduate’s name, the students’ hearts raced with excitement. When it was finally their turn, they walked across the stage with confidence they hadn’t felt before. Shaking hands with the Deputy Dean, Prof James Maina, students accepted their degree certificates. Some students danced on the stage while others just paused to look at the audience. Their families’ beaming faces stood out in the crowd, and students waved with gratitude.

Among the multitude of graduating seniors stood Dr Jana Klingenberg, a Lecturer in the Department of Information Science, and this is what she said regarding her graduation day:

“I started my PhD study in 2018. I loved doing research and enjoyed my topic, but doing a PhD is not without its challenges! I had my children – twins – in January 2020, and Lockdown as a result of the Covid pandemic happened soon after that. Those were the biggest challenges in the completion of my study; finding time and motivation was sometimes difficult. However, I had support from colleagues and family and although it took longer than planned, I finally submitted my study in 2023.

My graduation was a wonderful experience. Many of my colleagues were there to support me (including my supervisor, of course), as well as my family. Afterwards, I celebrated at home with my family. It was a special day indeed! However, it feels like I have been celebrating all year! For now, I am planning on writing some articles that come from my PhD study. I also have some ideas for investigating local South African literary prizes – their history and their impact on the local publishing industry. I hope that this particular project may branch out into a larger study in the future.”

We wish Dr Klingenberg the best for the future, and we encourage her to continue working hard on her research, which contributes to the UP strategy of being a research-intensive university.

Here is Mr Arise Dzamukeri reflecting on his time at the University of Pretoria’s graduation ceremony:

“I felt very proud and relieved to graduate with honours degree in Information Science, it is an important milestone for me. I am a lifelong learner and my academic journey has not yet ended. I sometimes feel anxious about Master' degree in Information Technology ICT Management, which is a unique degree that merges different computing-related disciplines into one integrated academic programme with a strong focus on Management. I have confidence that God will help me and I will strive and graduate in record time in my current degree. In his concluding remark, Arise reiterated: "God helped me not to give up and gave me strength during the hard times I faced in my academic journey.”

Ms Lezli Edgar expressed her gratitude after the ceremony by emphasizing that taking time to pursue her post-graduate studies has been an immensely rewarding experience: “Taking the first step by completing my BIS Publishing Honours degree was scary at first, but it was also so much fun, which might not be what people expect to hear as studying is not easy. However, I have a good reason for saying this.

I met many people, read a lot of content, and had deep discussions surrounding my biggest interest in the magazine publishing sector. Having done my research on the post-apartheid identity of the white Afrikaans woman through a case study on the magazine Rooi Rose, I am pleased to report my findings. An Afrikaans woman in the 2020’s has the growing room to develop into a career woman, a wife, a mother, a friend, or all of these things whilst still being a well-presented intellectual woman with many hobbies and interests. Being a white Afrikaans woman myself, it has been motivational to see the amount of female researchers in the field of Afrikaans feminine identity and South African magazine studies.

This mini-thesis has also sparked creativity for other writing pieces in my life, which is what I am most thankful for. I also hit the supervisor jackpot, Dr. Jana Klingenberg. She is a mentor who understands and leaves room for not just my work but me in a professional capacity. My parents who both work within the South African magazine sector and whose unwavering trust has been my inspiration, not just for my academic career but all else I take on in life.”

It is fascinating to see how Ms Edgar is interested in contributing towards changing people’s views on Afrikaans-speaking men: “I am now continuing with my postgraduate studies doing my Masters on the white Afrikaans men’s identity post-apartheid through the magazine. This has proven a big task and there is not a day that I do not realise this. But I am optimistic about the outcome of this paper, and as a young academic I greatly appreciate the support from my UP community.”



Some students tossed their graduate caps into the air while others held on tight to them- posing for the camera. The journey that had begun with uncertainty and challenges led them to this moment of achievement and new beginnings. Surrounded by loved ones and cherished friends, the Information Science students knew that the graduation ceremony was not just an end, but a beautiful beginning to the next chapter of their lives.

- Author Emly Mathe

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