Alison Geduld (centre) and her oldest daughter, Savannah Steyn (right), are celebrating their first graduation as Alison’s youngest daughter, Dakota Steyn (left), cheers them on. Photo: Supplied
Alison Geduld (centre) and her oldest daughter, Savannah Steyn (right), are celebrating their first graduation as Alison’s youngest daughter, Dakota Steyn (left), cheers them on. Photo: Supplied

Mom and daughter duo make family milestone graduating together at UCT

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jul 20, 2021

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She was unable to complete her diploma in marketing sales at another university due to financial constraints back in 1991, but now the Cape Town mother of two will be graduating with her daughter.

Alison Geduld promised her daughters Savannah and Dakota Steyn that she would go back to school when they enrol at university.

Last week, the 49-year-old mom was among those who graduated at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Geduld graduated with her first degree, a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice, while her daughter Savannah, 23, followed suit with a BA in Theatre and Performance, specialising in Theatre Making.

“I told them I will go back to school when you two are enrolled at university,” said a proud Geduld.

Back in 1991, she only managed to complete her first year of studies, but she had to drop out at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, formerly known as Pentech, to make way for her siblings.

Geduld said she decided to join the workforce to alleviate some of the financial burden shouldered by her parents.

“I had two other siblings who were also studying,” she added.

When 2019 came around her youngest daughter, Dakota, finished her first year at UCT.

Keeping to her word Gedult submitted her application to the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB). She said initially she didn’t think anything would come of it. But when her offer letter arrived, “shrieks of excitement could be heard houses away”.

Geduld said her academic journey was challenging due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown which forced students to do remote learning.

However,she said she and her two daughters worked together.

“We became a study squad and support team for each other. We read each other’s work, gave input and chatted about approaches. It was a very collaborative and fulfilling time,” she said.

Now that she has graduated, Geduld plans to enrol for an Executive MBA at the UCT GSB. She said she’ll juggle this with her work as a senior analyst at Accenture South Africa.

While her daughter Savannah is furthering her studies in pursuit of an MA in Applied Theatre.The youngest daughter, Dakota is finishing her final year of her Bachelor of Social Science degree.

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