Fashionista Ms Chrysantha Palan graduated with Honours cum laude in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Palan, who is passionate about fashion, chose to pursue her postgraduate degree because she wanted to merge creativity with academia.UKZN Chancellor Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng oversaw the proceedings of the ceremony.Photo : Abhi Indrarajan

Durban - A cum laude media graduate turned her graduation into a catwalk during her graduation ceremony at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) on Monday that had the hundreds in attendance on their feet.

Chrysantha Palan, 22, better known as Chrys, lit up over social media on Monday after she put on her glasses and modelled across the stage during her graduation. Her performance even has UKZN chancellor, Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoen in stitches.

Speaking to the Daily News, Palan said the reason she modelled was because, throughout the year, she told people that she would be a cum laude graduate.

“I boasted to people that I would do it,” Palan said. “I struggled throughout the year. I pushed and studied hard, so I had to do it. This is a trophy for me.”

She also said she told the announcer how to pronounce her name and “not to forget the cum laude”.

According to UKZN, her research gave an insight into Durban’s thrifting fashion subculture and how its members create cultural meanings in everyday life.

She is currently studying her Masters in Media and Cultural Studies.

She said her personality made her choose the field of media.

“I am big on fashion,” she said.

“From an early age I made it clear that I was not into science and accounting. Media was the one for me,” she continued.

She said she had to use her graduation as a catwalk.

“I had to do it. If not me, then who was going to do it?”

She said she would have loved to go into Zara and buy something but she is broke. So she opted to make her own dress and she said she prefers creating her own vision.

“I wanted to be elegant,” she said. “The glasses were part of the drama, part of the look.”

She said her dream has always been to be a fashion editor, while studying is a side gig for her.

However, she did say she doesn’t want to limit herself.

“I want to be 500 different things,” she said.

Even from the way she talks, she has a bubbly personality and is full of life.

“I’m always extra and I’m always doing my own thing,” she said.

Unfortunately, she said she comes from a broken home, faced lots of heart breaks in her life, her mother is a single parent and a lot of people doubted that she would graduate cum laude.

She said she is thankful that people she doesn’t even know her supported her.

Daily News