These are the words of Cape Town nurse Vuyokazi Ben, whose colleagues recently organized her a graduation ceremony at the hospital where she works.
The 34-year-old nurse, originally from De Aar in the Northern Cape, tells YOU she completed a diploma in advanced midwifery and neonatal nursing at Stellenbosch University. But because of the national lockdown, the graduation ceremony that had been scheduled for 31 March couldn’t take place.
So her colleagues decided to organize something special to mark the occasion.
“It was something small and very short and although I was aware of the initial plan, the entire ‘ceremony’ on the day wouldn’t have come to life without the help of my wonderful colleagues,” Vuyokazi said.
Vuyokazi’s graduation took place on 3 May during her nightshift. She dressed up in one of her favourite dresses and was applauded by her colleagues as she walked through the hallway to receive her qualification.
“It was such an emotional moment, I nearly teared up,” Vuyokazi says.
Although Vuyokazi already had a graduation ceremony in 2012 when she received her first nursing degree, she says her recent graduation was the most memorable. She hopes to add to her list of qualifications in the future.
“It gave me goose bumps, just being in that moment, and even if it wasn’t the actual ceremony, it made me so happy.”
While the celebration was short and sweet because they needed to get back to work, Vuyokazi says the such heart-warming gesture brought a little bit of hope during this trying time.
“As essential workers during this pandemic we really try to create inspirational moments for ourselves,” she says.
“This not only helps us forget about the stresses of the pandemic, even for a short while, but it also helps us create a happy and safe environment for our patients.”
Vuyokazi is grateful to her co-workers for still taking time out to celebrate each other’s wins.
“My colleagues didn’t have to do what they did for me,” she says. “But they did and for that I’ll be forever grateful. It’s truly the small things that make a big difference, especially during this time.”
Watch Vuyokazi’s special moment below.
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