Pair graduate in style – and it’s not over yet
They may have a whopping 29-year age gap between them, but when a Port Elizabeth mother and her son graduated from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, they did it in style, both graduating cum laude.
Madeleine Adlam, 52, and her 23-year-old son, Ryno, who are from Fernglen and Humewood respectively, both completed their studies at the Bay institution last year.
Due to the student fees protests last year, the pair celebrated their graduation on Saturday, bringing an end to a somewhat rare combination of a mother and son simultaneously enrolled at the same institution.
Now armed with a diploma in IT software development, Ryno is set to complete his B-Tech studies and be on an equal footing with his mother, who graduated with a B-Tech in administration and financial management when she completed her studies last year.
Speaking proudly about each other’s achievements, the beaming duo said they were keen to put their new qualifications to good use, with Ryno having already made great strides through his development of an app he is creating for use by neighbourhood watch organisations.
“I am proud of my mother, she was definitely an inspiration and she certainly helped to get me through,” Ryno said.
“I am especially proud of Ryno,” Madeleine said. She has amassed career experience in the employee health and wellness fields.
“As a child he [Ryno] had serious learning challenges. We made every effort to assist him, including enrolling him at a reading academy,” Madeleine said.
“But it was his hard work, his dedication to improving himself and sticking with it through many years that have now paid off.
“I am really proud of how he pushed through and overcame his challenges.”
A keen kite surfer and cyclist who missed participating in his 10th Cape Argus Cycle tour after the event was cancelled this year, Ryno said that he had a keen interest in developing apps and hoped to be employed in that role when he has completed the next phase of his studies.
Speaking of her motivation to study later in life, Madeleine said it had formed part of an effort to reclaim her independence as a woman.
“My message to others, especially young girls, is that life is unpredictable, so invest in yourself, remain independent and face your fears, one goal at a time,” she said.
However, she has not quite completed her studies yet.
“Next I want to be able to teach English to foreigners. Once I have done that, I will consider going overseas to teach in another country,” Madeleine said.