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277 Stellenbosch University students receive medical qualifications

In total, more than 830 health sciences students were capped with undergraduate, honours and masters degrees.

More than 830 health sciences students were capped on Tuesday at Stellenbosch University. Picture: @SUhealthsci/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Two-hundred-and-seventy-seven medical students received their various degrees on Tuesday at Stellenbosch University, making this the largest annual crop for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in its 62-year history.

In total, more than 830 health sciences students were capped with undergraduate, honours and masters degrees.

Included in the undergraduate crop were graduands from occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics, and speech-language and hearing therapy.

The faculty’s Ronel Bester said: “Two-hundred-and-seventy-seven students received their medical or MBChB degrees. This group also has the most group of students obtaining cum laude, with 26 graduates passing with distinction.”

‘I NEVER GAVE UP ON MY DREAM’

A 27-year-old man from Mpumalanga has defied all odds also receiving his medical degree from Stellenbosch on Tuesday morning.

Xolani Hadebe says despite receiving rejection letters from all the medical schools in the country, he never gave up on his dream.

“My mother was a domestic worker, she never went to school and there was no way she could afford to send me to varsity. My father passed away when I was very young, so the only way I could make sure that I go to varsity was through a scholarship.”

Hadebe, who worked in a supermarket to fund his studies, says sometimes he had to pack groceries for classmates, and at times he’d hide so that they do not pity him.

“I knew that I owed it to my mother and I promised her that ‘you know what ma, I will be a doctor.’ The fact that she never went to school, I said 'I’ll go to school for you and I’ll make you proud'. That was the reason that kept me going throughout.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)