UP International Students’ Day a hit

Posted on September 02, 2019

The University of Pretoria’s Hatfield Campus was a hive of activity on 30 August when Kiara Hanimonth from India and Keketso Mabuleka from Lesotho were crowned Miss and Mr International Students’ Day, respectively, as part of the day’s activities.

The event was attended by ambassadors and high commissioners from various countries, as well as UP staff and students. It featured exhibitions, cultural activities, musical performances by UP students as well as several student competitions.

Miss UP International third-place winner Mpolokeng Mokhoane from Lesotho, first-place winner Kiara Hanimonth from India and second-place winner Mwewa Bwalya from Zambia.

Professor Themba Mosia, Vice-Principal: Student Affairs and Residences at UP said: Leaving your country can be a huge transformation in terms of culture, environment and diversity. As UP we try our best to have a healthy environment for our international students.”

He said the event helped built international relationships between students. “This is a great foundation for those relationships and UP strives to build on these relations for research, cooperation purposes and community building.”

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe said: “We value your presence at UP, you add diversity and bring different experience, views and opinions of doing things. A university must demonstrate the fact that knowledge and knowledge seekers know no borders and boundaries. Yes, there are challenges, particularly funding for international students, but we are working on those challenges.”

Mr UP International first-place winner Keketso Mabuleka from Lesotho, second-place winner Rostrum Ogbueni from Nigeria and third-place winner Andile Dlamini from Swaziland.

Mariah Kapindula from Malawi who is studying towards her Honours in Development Studies said: “It’s amazing to celebrate this day together with fellow students. However, it’s a bit challenging and exciting at the same time to be in a foreign country/university but the experience has granted me an opportunity to meet other nationalities and I love studying in this diverse university.”

Andile Dlamini, a third-year BCom Financial Science student from Swaziland, said: “For me, this day means celebrating the true essence of Africa. UP has the best infrastructure, labs and wonderful people across all campuses. I am definitely coming back next year as a postgraduate student. Swaziland is neighbouring country, therefore I can relate easily to almost every language and culture.”

The event category winners are:  

  • Mr UP International Students’ Day: Keketso Mabuleka - Lesotho
  • Miss UP International Students’ Day: Kiara Hanimonth - India
  • Best exhibition: Japan
  • Best South African winner for Cultural Song and Dance Group: XiTsonga
  • Best Non-South African winner for Cultural Song and Dance Group: India
- Author Xolani Mathibela

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