Noxolo Grootboom to receive honorary doctorate from Rhodes University

Legendary South African broadcaster Noxolo Grootboom will receive a degree of Doctor of Letters (D Litt) (honoris causa) at the university's second virtual graduation ceremony on 29 October.

FILE: Noxolo Grootboom. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Rhodes University will next week bestow an honorary degree on legendary broadcaster Noxolo Grootboom for her four decades of work in broadcasting and for the promotion of isiXhosa.

Grootboom will receive a degree of Doctor of Letters (D Litt) (honoris causa) at the university's second virtual graduation ceremony on 29 October.

The beloved broadcaster retired in March, years after cementing her place in the local news media industry and the hearts of millions of South Africans with her signature sign-off line: "Ndin'thanda nonke emakhaya" (I love you all at home).

She began her career at the SABC in 1983 as a typist and worked her way up to eventually end up as the lead anchor on the evening isiXhosa news bulletin.

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“Our nation owes her an unpayable debt of gratitude and appreciation for all that she has done to give much-needed hope to many South Africans in times of national loss and despair and for being a passionate advocate of the isiXhosa language in our society," said Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela.

"Mam’ Noxolo read the news so beautifully and with such pride. We thought it was important for Rhodes University to acknowledge her many contributions to our society. Her trademark sign-off line “Nanga ngobubusuku ningalala nombethe ingubo yemvisiswano, uxolo, nothando. Ndinithanda nonke emakhaya” will remain her profound and lasting gift of love, peace and care to our nation. Her humility and humanity is something that will never be forgotten. She deserves this highest honour of the University.”

Grootboom, who has been honoured in various other ways since her retirement, expressed her appreciation for the highest honour from the university: “I feel so speechless; I am out of words to thank Rhodes University for the honour bestowed on me. Each event of my life is a life lesson that cannot be merely explained.

"Even though I had minimal opportunities to further my studies, it seemed as if my dreams about my future were perishing. Today, Rhodes University teaches me that hope is always ignited when it seems as though your dreams are perishing. And when that hope is ignited, it leads you to a new dream.

"Today, I feel like I am a living example to the youth. This is because, when you devote yourself to your work, new opportunities open up. I am very thankful to Rhodes University for this opportunity. Only a wicked person despises success. Lastly, my fellow people, I would have failed if I did not express my sincere gratitude to my home language. I am being honoured today because of isiXhosa."

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