With a beaming smile on his face, elated Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, swapped his red beret for a graduation cap on Tuesday.
To loud cheers, a round of applause and a standing ovation, Ndlozi walked proudly across the stage at the Witwatersrand University, bowed before the vice chancellor, and walked towards a university official, who placed his hood over his shoulder as he was conferred a doctorate in political studies.
His thesis was titled Permanent juniority: Black youth politics in the Vaal under late colonialism .
Someone from the audience shouted: "The people's bae!" and Ndlozi seemed to be enjoying his moment.
After Ndlozi donned his graduation cap, he clenched his red beret in his right hand and punched his fist in the air, gesturing Amandla.
EFF leader Julius Malema, deputy president Floyd Shivambu, national chairperson Dali Mpofu and secretary general Godrich Gardee were there to witness the proud moment.
When Ndlozi's name was presented, they all stood up and clapped for him.
In a lengthy interview with Sakina Kamwendo on the Forum@EIGHT on SAfm in August, Ndlozi opened up about being raised, along with three siblings, and taught to be responsible by his single mother.
While doing his research for his dissertation, he identified a member of a notorious gang in Sebokeng as his father, tracked him down and ended up interviewing him.
"I had to take a decision to find him because he was an absent father. I had to find him and interview him. So, in academic research, I had to battle with the ethical responsibility of having to interview somebody that close to you," he said during the SAfm interview.
He said he tried to link the information to the permanent juniorisation, which was the idea that apartheid and colonisation was a system of transforming black people into permanent juniors and into people who can never grow into adulthood.
"We are unable, as a collective, to ever attain self determination to participate in the civilisation which can only happen through white supervision. In relation to the white world, we are permanent juniors," he said.