The Vice_Chancellor; Professor C.R.M. Dlamini; the Vice-Rector, Professor Dube; the Chairman and Members of Council; Deans of Faculties: Members of the academic staff of the University; graduating students; ladies and gentlemen.

When I see so many young men and women who have worked so hard to graduate from the University of Zululand, I can only feel proud to be their Chancellor. The dedication and commitment that each of you has shown to this University over the years has finally paid off. Over the years, students attending the University of Zululand have made tremendous sacrifices to attend this university in pursuit of a higher education. Today, all these efforts made by students, professors, and administrators are being rewarded and recognized in the graduation of the class of 2000.

We are living in a time of great opportunity in which every person of any gender, race, ethnicity and religion has the chance to make a difference for our country. Change in our society, economy and government has never been as rapid and decisive as it is today. Our democratic government is dealing with the complex issues that our tragic past has left us. Furthermore, South Africa is going through a troublesome phase of development and modernization. Some fear that the traditional roots, ties and traditions will be lost with economic development and restructuring. On the contrary, we must embrace the strength of the heritage that our ancestors have passed on to us while incorporating them in a modern setting.

As graduates of the University Zululand you have the responsibility to go forth and spread your knowledge throughout the country, and even beyond our borders. Every single one of you is privileged to have received a sound education. Unfortunately, many young South Africans are not as lucky as you and could not attend an establishment of higher education. Now, it is time to give back to society what you have taken out of it. A great amount of time, money and effort has been spent towards your education. As educated and faithful citizens, you must all make a conscious effort to repay your communities to the best of your ability for the sacrifices that have been made.

South Africa can only be what every citizen makes of it. This is the season for a new patriotism to be forged in humility and hard work. Youth such as this year's graduates are the ambassadors of this patriotism within the rest of our society. It is up to you, the youth of South Africa, to prove that our country may lead an African renaissance and show what we are capable of. Your education has provided you with the intellectual weapons that you will need to survive in the present day jungle and to make a real

contribution towards the growth of South Africa. The methods that you have learned to think with shall be useful in any field that you may decide to join. The force of your knowledge must allow you to combat even the most difficult battles in life. Hatred, racism, violence, abuse and drugs are difficult issues that take tremendous effort, time and patience to overcome.

As the intellectual elite of South Africa, you have learned about the path of greater good, of high morals, values and ideals that will lead you and our country in the right direction for the new millennium. Today, you must walk this path, helping family, friends and strangers alike to follow you in this most difficult quest. From your efforts and dedication towards the upliftment of our society, a real revolution of goodwill may develop. We need a revolution of goodwill that will rid our communities of a sub_culture of violence and a sub_structure of criminality. Young people must realize the damage that drugs and alcohol inflict, not only on the individuals who abuse these substances, but also on the whole of society. Therefore, I challenge every one of you to work on building our country through discipline, hard work and persistence, rather than destroying it through a lack of care.

I have faith that the instruction that you have received will help you tremendously to stay on this path throughout your lives. In troubled times, there may be a great temptation to fall into the abyss of crime and violence. One may want to momentarily alleviate a particularly difficult moment by resorting to illegal activities. However, once one has plummeted into the abyss of crime, an almost overbearing effort would have to be made to return to the rest of society. Rather than inflicting this difficulty upon yourselves that will warrant disapproval and division among you and your close ones, you must constantly fight to remain honourable, worthy and proud of who you are. I can assure you that crime does not pay. It takes a lifetime of effort and dedication to achieve life's blessings, and one single criminal action can for ever vanquish them.

Inevitably, you will be challenged in your professional and domestic life. Hard work and persistence will be necessary to triumph over the obstacles that you shall encounter. Your future career will require hard work and dedication to remain competitive in a world that is more demanding every day. Many of you will have to deal with unemployment, but I believe that persistence and hard work will inevitably be rewarded. On this matter, I would like to share a quote by Calvin Coolidge: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Persistence and determination are omnipotent." I hope that these words of wisdom will be remembered during the difficult times that you encounter, and hopefully they will give you the courage you will need to overcome obstacles along your path.

South Africa is not yet what I want it to be. I have fought for half a century to ensure that one day our land will be able to provide the opportunity of a free and dignified life to all its sons and daughters. I have dedicated my life to this struggle and will not desist from pursuing it with all my strength. But I know that we are far from having reached our promised land. The road remains long, hard and uphill, and many of you will need to face its asperities. My heart is with all those who join my efforts in fighting the many obstacles on the road of those who seek employment. Unemployment remains the gravest of our problems and many of you will be faced with the challenge of enduring until our economy can create the job opportunities you rightly deserve.

On this point, the faculty of the University of Zululand has shown great dedication and determination to their students over the years. I am sure that all the graduates can attest to the fact that faculty members try their hardest to educate every student to the best of their ability, often going out of their way to convey additional information outside the classroom. We should be thankful to have such a strong and faithful staff. With them, the University remains strong year after year, allowing educated graduates to leave their place to incoming earnest men and women.

I pay tribute to your parents and your guardians who through great sacrifices have made it possible for you to be where you are today.

Even after graduation, I urge you to remain in contact with this university as active alumni, willing to contribute to the University, helping it to grow and prosper. With a strong faculty, alumni and student body, the University will have all the necessary ingredients to remain modern and dynamic. Your new journey begins here. Please do not forget those who took you to this important turning point in your lives, including your parents and teachers. Do not ignore those who will walk alongside you in your journey, and never neglect helping those who are left on the sidelines of your path. We all belong to one community and the growth of one must be conducive to the upliftment of all. Together through our joint efforts and the help of God, our Nation will grow and conquer the momentous challenges and opportunities before us.

I congratulate you all, and wish you well.


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