Grootfontein Graduation Ceremony 2017

 Grootfontein College of Agriculture’s graduation ceremony was held on Friday the 1st of December 2017. The 2017 Graduation ceremony saw 61 graduates conferred their Diploma in Agriculture. Out of the 61 that graduated, 38 were males and 23 females.

It was graced by the presence of various stakeholders and partners of the college such as National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), Mechanical, Engineering and Related Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA), Cape Mohair and Wool (CMW), NWGA, OVK, Mohair South Africa and Gariep Eco Reserve.

 Amongst the guests who honoured the event was Mr S. Ntombela – Deputy Director-General Corporate Service (DAFF) who was the guest speaker, Ms L. Botsheleng – Chief Director Sector Capacity Development (DAFF), Mr. D. Stern – Agri EC and Mr. GG van Wyk – recipient of Alumni Honorary Award.


GADI Director: Mr MJ Herselman, Prinicipal: Mr Themba P. Cebani, Dux Student: Miss Fundiswa Stuurman, Ms L. Botsheleng – Chief Director Sector Capacity Development (DAFF) and  Mr S. Ntombela – Deputy Director-General Corporate Service (DAFF).  (Photo by Niel Schoeman)


In his maiden speech, the Principal sent a word of gratitude to the industry partners. “Without them, students would not be as competent and confident as they are in what they are doing. Some would not have finished their studies due to financial difficulties in paying their fees had the industry failed to provide the bursaries for some students”, he concluded.


The day was for the Dux Student Miss Fundiswa Stuurman who went home with 11 awards.

GADI Prinicipal, Mr Themba P. Cebani with Dux Student, Miss Fundiswa Stuurman (Photo by Niel Schoeman)

Below is her brief background:

A quote from her “While this is quite odd for most girls, from a young age I was always keen and/or willing to assist my grandfather in milking the cows, herding and feeding livestock as well as rearing orphan lambs at home and this is when I realized I had an exceptional passion for farming and had to pursue a career in Agriculture in the future”.

Quote continues, “I had the privilege of attending Aliwal North primary and Aliwal North high school which I believe have been the key educational foundations in determining my academic success as I had received prestigious awards for outstanding academic achievement in Agricultural Sciences specifically from grade 10 to 12. I completed my matric in 2013 and enrolled at Grootfontein College of Agriculture in 2015.

Grootfontein has moulded me into being the young and humble agricultural graduate that I am today as well as taught me that one should never place boundaries on what they want to achieve. I finally pursued a career in Agriculture because I intend to better my community's basic living and farming conditions by acquiring as much knowledge as I can about small and large stock as well as crop production and then take this knowledge back home where I can help other farmers start or expand their farming practices. Having beautiful natural resources like the Orange River flowing through our town, Aliwal North, has resulted in me having an increased admiration and appreciation for nature.

I am honoured to have been granted an opportunity to be a branch assistant at an OVK/CMW trade in Colesberg as of 2018.”

ASATI President, Sandile Nzuza, addressed the ceremony with his last speech in front of his fellow-students, DAFF and GADI Directors, Staff and Lecturers, parents & families.

With these words he conclude the 1 043 days since this group of students entered Grooftontein for the first time: “I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities and to the most special places your heart has ever known. Forget all the differences there may be in life, and just love, just like Jesus said in John 15:17 “This is my command: Love each other”, and once you do that you will understand that you are just as special as John 15:16 says you are.”