[MAKHANDA] As Rhodes University continues the year-long celebration of its 120th anniversary (affectionately referred to as RU120), one of the university’s revered Honorary Doctorate recipients, former SABC newsreader and cultural icon Dr Noxolo Grootboom, has lent her voice to the campaign’s success – literally.

Following the successful release of RU120 advertisements on radio, television, billboards, and signage at the Gautrain, among others, Dr Grootboom’s voice will now feature in the isiXhosa RU120 radio advert, which is being aired in June.

At the start of the anniversary celebrations, Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sizwe Mabizela, issued a clarion call through RU120 that it offers “a moment for critical reflection and strategic re-imagination for growth and sustainability, drawing from our collective resolve and working with our stakeholders.” That purpose has underpinned the various activities that have taken place to mark this important moment in the University’s legacy.

In 2021, when Rhodes University conferred a degree of Doctor of Letters (D Litt) (honoris causa) on Dr Grootboom for her significant promotion of national pride and culture through her journalistic career, Prof Mabizela reflected on the indelible impact Dr Grootboom has had on the nation. “(Her) legendary status is 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.”, said Prof Mabizela. “Her uncanny ability to connect with her audience through the powerful medium of her language and drawing from her culture distinguished Mam’ Noxolo as the face and voice of the nation during historic national events.”

It was, therefore, only befitting that Dr Grootboom lent her voice to this campaign, seeking to reflect on 120 years of excellence at Rhodes University and mobilise that to share the evolving legacy of an institution where leaders learn.

“Rhodes University is a prestigious institution, and having been honoured by them when they conferred an Honorary Doctorate on me was one of the greatest privileges of my life. Since then, the university further honoured me with a mural on the walls of their School of Journalism and Media Studies.”, said Dr Grootboom. “Lending my voice to the Faces of the RU120 is a no-brainer for me. I’m thrilled to be part of the year-long 120th celebration.”

Equally so, Rhodes University is honoured to have Dr Grootboom as one of its brand ambassadors and faces of RU120.


By: The Division of Communications & Advancement