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Dr Pierre Goldie 74 is UKZN Oldest Graduate



Dr Pierre Goldie 74 is UKZN Oldest Graduate

Dr Pierre Goldie, 74, is UKZN Oldest Graduate. At the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) 2024 Autumn graduation, 74-year-old Dr. Pierre Goldie made headlines as the oldest person to graduate. His remarkable achievement was driven by a profound sense of purpose and a passion for academic research.

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A Parish Priest Turned Scholar

Parish priest Pierre Goldie earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Catholic Theology. His research focused on the evolving perception of sacred power among black, urban, isiXhosa-speaking Catholics within the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Town. Goldie’s work aimed to understand how Catholicism is appropriated in this context and to evaluate its successes and challenges.

Exploring Religious Perceptions

Dr. Goldie investigation delved into the shifting perceptions of ‘God’ over time and their impact on religious consciousness. Historically, ancestors held primary sacred power, but his study revealed that ‘God’ now commands religious consciousness while ancestors still receive reverence. This shift signifies a fundamental transformation within Catholicism and Christianity at large.

Bridging Cultural Gaps

Goldie acknowledged the importance of viewing the world through one’s cultural lens and the biases that come with it. He hopes his research will spark conversations within the Catholic Church and academic circles, fostering meaningful engagement with African contexts and bridging cultural gaps.

Notable Achievements at UKZN

Dr. Pierre Goldie story is part of a broader narrative of exceptional achievements at UKZN. For instance, Dr. Maseeha Ismael Bhorat was recognized as the university’s top medical student, while another graduate celebrated being the first in her family to attend varsity despite challenging circumstances.

Additionally, women comprised 65.76% of all graduates at the autumn graduation ceremony, highlighting the university’s commitment to gender equity in education.


Dr. Pierre Goldie academic journey underscores the transformative power of education and the importance of cultural context in theological studies. His work not only contributes to academic discourse but also aims to foster greater understanding within the Catholic Church and beyond.

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