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No time to play, Badat warns newcomers at Rhodes

Date Released: Tue, 11 February 2014 14:00 +0200

RHODES University was not a holiday destination, vice-chancellor Dr Saleem Badat warned first-year students in his orientation speech at the Settlers Monument Theatre in Grahamstown on Sunday.

Badat opened with warm words: "At last you are here. You were counting the days to come here and we have been eagerly waiting for you. I hope you are excited about what you see around you. The university is heading towards 110 years and we applaud you."

But he warned the newcomers of the challenges they might face.

"Some possibly imagine Rhodes as a lovely holiday spot where you watch videos on YouTube, surf the internet and stay on social sites. It isn't. Our primary aim is to produce intellectuals."

First-year student Zukanye Xhanga, 19, who was born in King William's Town but went to school at Rondebosch Boys' High in Cape Town, will be studying business sciences.

 "It is a new environment. I am from a boys' school so seeing girls is not in my comfort zone, but it's a new experience.

 "I chose Rhodes because it is closer to home and I won't have so many disruptions as I would have had had I chosen to enrol in Cape Town," he said.

Sikholiwe Mjama, 18, from Mida High School in Dutywa, will study for a BCom.

"The environment is great. I am enjoying my time here. I am used to Grahamstown. I used to come to Scifest and the National Arts Festival," he said.

One of the parents at orientation, Siboniso Khuzwayo, said: "It was great. Registration was quick, accommodation is of a proper standard as my daughter will be in the newly built residences. This orientation is useful and it helps us as parents to know what our children are going through and not stress." 

By Sipho Dyongman

Source: The Herald newspaper 

Source:The Herald