By Phila Audrey Tuba
On Thursday, October 21 the Rhodes University conferred an honorary degree in Doctor of Letters on the retired IsiXhosa news anchor Noxolo Grootboom. Grootboom who is nationally known for her significant promotion of national pride and culture through her career as a journalist.
The IsiXhosa news anchor’s retirement announcement had made waves in March after to have served about 37 years in the media industry. Eastern Cape born news anchor last read had 3 832 686 people who tuned in.
“Our nation owes her an unpayable debt of gratitude and appreciation for all that she has done to give much-needed hope to many South Africans in times of national loss and despair, and for being a passionate advocate of the IsiXhosa language in our society. Mama Noxolo read the news so beautifully and with such pride. We thought it was important for Rhodes University to acknowledge her many contributions to our society.”
“Her legendary trademark sign-off ‘Nanga ngobusuku ningalala nombethe ingubo yemvisiswano, uxolo, nothando. Ndinithanda nonke emakhaya’ will remain her profound and lasting gift of love, peace and care to our nation. Her humanity is something that will never be forgotten. She deserves this highest honour of the University”, said Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela.
The Rhodes university stated that Grootboom’s legendary status was derived from her contributions in the broadcasting industry and to South Africa as a whole , through performing her career responsibilities in ways that inspired many citizens, even during the most difficult times.
“ I am out of words to thank Rhodes University for the honour bestowed on me. Each event of my life is a life lesson that cannot be merely explained. Even though I had minimal opportunities to further my studies, it seemed as if my dreams about my future were perishing. Today, Rhodes University teaches me that hope is always ignited when it seems as though your dreams are perishing. And when hope is ignited, it leads you to a new dream. Today, I feel like I am a living example to the youth.
“This is because when you devote yourself to your work, new opportunities open up. I am very thankful to Rhodes University for this opportunity. Only a wicked person despises success. Lastly, my fellow people I would have failed if I did not express my sincere gratitude to my home language. I am being honoured today because of IsiXhosa”, said Noxolo Grootboom.