NMU to confer five honorary doctorates

Nelson Mandela University will confer honorary doctoral degrees on five outstanding men and women
GREAT ACCOLADE: Nelson Mandela University will confer honorary doctoral degrees on five outstanding men and women
Image: NMU

Nelson Mandela University will pay homage to five outstanding men and women who have made a notable contribution to society through their work in the fields of literature, economic development and gender advocacy.

NMU will confer honorary doctoral degrees on SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago, former SA first lady, Zanele Mbeki, and literary giants Sindiwe Magona and Ben Okri, as well as businessman and former MTN CEO Phuthuma Nhleko.

The graduation ceremonies will take place in December.

As a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the April graduation ceremony was held virtually.

NMU spokesperson Zandile Mbabela said the university was exploring various options for its December and April graduation ceremonies.

Kganyago was reappointed as Revenue Bank governor for a second term in November 2019.

He has more than 30 years’ experience in formulating and implementing public policy in various roles at the Bank and at the National Treasury.

Kganyago holds an M. Sc degree in development economics from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and a B. Comm degree in accounting and economics from Unisa.

His commitment and substantive contributions to country and the people of SA, and to the economic discipline in various roles, is what has led to his recognition by NMU through its faculty of business economic sciences.

Mbeki, affectionately known as Ma Mbeki, is honoured by the university through the faculty of health sciences for her contribution to social development and excelling on all frontiers that has simultaneously helped to advance scholarly knowledge.

Magona, an author, was born in Gungululu Village in the Eastern Cape, but grew up in Bouvlei, near Cape Town, and later worked as a domestic worker.

She completed her secondary education through correspondence and graduated from Unisa.

After securing a scholarship from Columbia University in New York, she went on to graduate with an M. Sc degree in organisational social work.

She produced nine books, including four novels, autobiographical works, two collections of short stories, three novellas, an anthology of poetry and more than 150 children’s books.

NMU’s faculty of education is honouring her for achievements in literature and playwriting.

Nigerian-born and UK-based Ben Okri is a Booker prize-winning, internationally renowned writer with 11 published books, and several collections of poetry and essays.

He is an acclaimed scholar whose works have been translated into more than 20 languages around the world.

He went on to develop an illustrious writing career during which he contributed to the growth and enrichment of African Literature, a contribution being honoured by NMU through its faculty of humanities.

Former MTN head Nhleko holds a Transformational Leadership Fellowship from the University of Oxford and is listed among the Top 50 global trailblazers.

He has been instrumental in the expansion of the mobile operator industry into the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East, contributing to resultant coverage to connectivity for populations in 21 countries.

His honorary doctoral degree will be awarded through the faculty of engineering, the built environment and technology.

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