UP hosts luncheon to honour 18 associates featured on Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans list

Posted on October 29, 2020

The University of Pretoria (UP) recently held a luncheon at its Future Africa institute and campus in honour of the 18 alumni, students and associates who were included on the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans list. The University usually hosts an annual dinner to celebrate this achievement, inviting winners and their partners. This year, however, proceedings were kept to a minimum in an effort to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

“Your greatness is matched by the fact that the University continually makes major strides,” said Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe, who hosted the event.

Professor Tawana Kupe along with UP's 18 M&G 200 Young South Africans. 

“At UP, we aim to be the number one university in Africa and compete with other universities globally. UP does not compromise when it comes to quality because a university should not just give out degrees and act as an ATM for qualifications, but should be more than that – it should use knowledge and human capital to change the situation on the ground, creating knowledge and research.”   

The Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans’ programme has been running for the past 15 years and has regularly featured UP alumni, staff and students – 83 individuals have been identified over the years.

President of the Student Representative Council David Kabwa, who made the list in the Politics and Government category, delivered a welcoming speech at the luncheon.

UP SRC President and one of 2020’s M&G 200 Young South Africans in politics and government David Kabwa, addressing fellow honourees at the luncheon. 

“We gather to celebrate and to acknowledge that the path to this title has not been easy,” he said. “For many, the odds have not been in our favour and it seems that rules were not in our favour [either]. We did more than change the rules – we have changed the game, and we have done it so well. We move in different spheres and make a unique contribution. This room is like a solar system and we are the stars. UP is like the galaxy in which we find ourselves, and South Africa is like the universe where we find ourselves. We are stars that shine so brightly, the whole universe stands up and takes notice.”

Senior manager of Alumni Relations Samantha Castle, who facilitated the ceremony, said that these honourees will be coming back to campus to act as mentors to both alumni and current students as well as be guest speakers at a few UP-hosted events.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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