Rhodes staff members to cap children

It is sure to be a special day for Rhodes University graduates whose parents work on campus as they will not be capped by registrar Stephen Fourie, as usual, but by their mothers and fathers when graduation kicks off at the institution today.

A first for the institution, a total of 19 staff members working in different sections at the university took up the "once-in-a-litetime" opportunity to cap their children when Fourie invited them to do so. The group underwent training yesterday to ensure smooth running and see that there was no clumsiness on the graduation stage, with parents taught how to "efficiently hood somebody". Excited Law faculty member Professor Laurence Juma was beaming with pride when he told how great it was to be afforded the opportunity.

"This is one of the greatest honours the university has conferred on me," he said. "The fact that I'll be capping my daughter, Ida, today is very special to me and my family." Juma, originally from Kenya, whose motherin-law travelled from his home country to share in the excitement, said he had even bought a new "special suit" for the occasion. "I've never heard this being done anywhere. It just makes the day extra special for us proud parents.

Everybody was so excited, with all of us arriving for the half-day training [yesterday], where we were taught to basically do the capping and to move around with minimal disruptions," he said. Office administrator Benita Tarr, whose daughter will be graduating for the third time, said while the novelty had worn off, today's graduation was made exciting by the fact that she would cap her daughter, Amy.

"This is a great opportunity the university is giving us. We are super-excited." Tarr said when she got the invitation from Fourie, she took it home and discussed it with her family, who all thought it was a "wonderful idea". "It is a very special thing to be able to cap your own child. We are very proud of her and are behind her all the way."

Spokesman Zamuxolo Matiwane said this was the first time in the history of Rhodes University that staff members would cap their children. "This will be an experiment this year and, if successful, may be continued in the future," he said.

Picture Caption: Rhodes Registrar Dr STEPHEN FOURIE

By Zandile Mbalela

Article Source: THE HERALD (Morning Final)

Source:  The Herald

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