Men’s Hall of Residence (MHR) Raiders have celebrated graduations last week with their traditional march to the Great Hall piazza. 

Men’s Hall of Residence Raiders were all cheers outside the Great Hall in celebration of a number of their residents who graduated at the ceremonies held from March 26 to 29.

The tradition of marching from the residence to the graduation ceremony at the Great Hall is to support and celebrate the Raiders members who have received their qualifications.

According to the Wits website, “With the importance of graduation in African cultures, during graduation season, if there is a Raider graduating, the House gathers to congratulate them in the proper Raider way, and that is, through song.” (

Current chairperson of the Men’s Res House Committee, Ndivhuwo Matsile, told Wits Vuvuzela that the march is to show appreciation and acknowledgement for graduates of Men’s Res. He believes that this tradition encourages all the residents to perform academically.

“It gives you confidence. It motivates you to even work towards this because this is not just done for everyone. You have to walk through the doors of Great Hall for this to be done for you,” said Matsile, who is doing second year in BSc mining engineering.

About 5 000 Witsies graduated during last week’s ceremonies, including former Men’s Res chairperson Sizwe Bhengu who received a BSc in construction studies. He told Wits Vuvuzela that the support he received made all the difference.

“It was pretty overwhelming; it was pretty amazing to be honest,” he said. “Because it’s something we’ve always been doing over the past couple of years and then suddenly it’s your turn. It really makes graduation that much more amazing.”

The Men’s Res Raiders flooded the Great Hall steps and piazza in red, singing and dancing as the graduates exited from the one-and-a-half-hour long ceremony.

Third-year BCom student Kgosi Mafokeng, who has lived at Men’s Res since first year, was part of the marching crowd and told Wits Vuvuzela that the former chairperson’s graduation inspired him to keep pushing.

“Because he has led the house, you understand the amount of sacrifice he’s been putting throughout 2017 and to graduate. So that means he was dedicated,” he said.

“We need to create a certain image of the chairperson; the kind of chairperson that we want in the future. So even those that are running, they must fall under that pressure,” Mafokeng added.

For those coming into Men’s Res, Matsile said, “We want them to see that we celebrate academic excellence because we, as Men’s Res, celebrate academics.”

Men’s Hall of Residence was opened in 1922 and is the only all-male residence on campus. The residence celebrated its 95th birthday with alumni at a dinner ceremony in September 2017.

FEATURED PHOTO: Former Men’s Res chairperson Sizwe Bhengu is celebrated by fellow Raiders after receiving a BSc construction studies degree.                Photo: Tshego Mokgabudi