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9 Mzansi celebs who were robed in red with bogus doctorates from Trinity International Bible University

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By Simon Majadibodu

Celebrated actor Sello Maake kaNcube’s bogus doctorate from the warehouse-like structure of a so-called Trinity International Bible University has set tongues wagging on social media.

But the former Generations actor is not the only well-known figure in Mzansi who has been conferred with a bogus doctorate, there are many more including the likes of Shauwn Mkhize, Lucas Kgaphola, Winnie Mashaba, Peter Mabula, Ngwana Ledwaba, Kenneth Makweng and Deborah Fraser.

Higher Education Minister Blade Ndzimande confirmed the institution was a bogus university., saying it was not registered with the authorities.

News recently reported that Nzimande said the so-called university was not authorised to offer any honorary doctorates and qualifications because it was not legally registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

“According to our records, Trinity International Bible University is not a registered private higher education institution.

“Trinity International Bible University is therefore not authorised to offer any qualifications, including honorary degrees,” he said in a statement.

He threatened legal action against the so-called university.

takes a look at some of the Mzansi celebrities who have been awarded with bogus doctorates at the Trinity International Bible University:

Sello Maaka kaNcube

The former Generations actor took to social media with excitement to announce to his fans that he has been bestowed with a doctorate.

“It’s now Dr Sello Maake kaNcube,” he boldly wrote, before Nzimande and hundreds others, burst his bubble.

At his moment of joy, he wrote, quoting Isaiah 43:2.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

And its still, Mr Sello Maake kaNcube!

Award-winning actor Sello Maake kaNcube recently received an honorary doctorate from bogus institution, Trinity International Bible University. Picture: Supplied

Elizabeth Serunye

Skeem Saam actress Elizabeth Serunye who portrays the character of Jacobeth Thubakgale, also took to social media on the same day as Maake kaNcube to announce to her fans that she recently received her doctorate from the very same university.

She excitedly captioned her post: “Graduation day. Honour me as Dr Sikasu Serunye.”

And with her too, she is still Ms Elizabeth Sikasu Serunye!

Elizabeth Serunye was also conferred with a bogus doctorate. Picture: Instagram

Zwelinzima Vavi

Unionist and secretary general of South African Federation Trade Unions (SAFTU), Zwelinzima Vavi was also awarded an honorary degree by the bogus university in 2018.

Vavi took to X (formerly known as Twitter) and said that he was approached by the church to recognise his exceptional work with an honorary doctorate.

“I was asked by the man of God to accept an honour of my contributions to the struggle for social justice from the church! I wonder if the Bishop who approached me himself knew that the Trinity Bible University was not registered,” @Zwelinzima1 wrote on X.

He added: “Be that as it may be, I did not ask to be honoured or had to pay anything of bribe anyone to receive the honour. All I know is that my contribution to workers and liberation struggle is no fake.”

Unionist and secretary general of South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), Zwelinzima Vavi was awarded an honorary degree by the bogus university in 2018. Picture: Supplied

Winnie Mashaba

In 2019, multi-award winning gospel sensation Winnie Mashaba took to Instagram to share her joy.

“I truly never thought that being disciplined and humbled to the talent would one day give me an Honorary Doctorate and also make me dine with Kings and highly respected leaders.

Also take me and my children in music to the places we always dreamed of ministering at. I bow 🙇🏼‍♀️ unto the Lord 🙏🏽 Ruri kea reta go Balegodimo 😢😢.”


Gospel musician Winnie Mashaba

Deborah Fraser

The late gospel singer Deborah Fraser, who passed away in 2022 at the age of 56, was also awarded the honorary doctorate from the bogus university in 2021.

The ‘Abanye Bayombona’ singer also posted on her socials beaming with excitement expressing that she has been honoured with a doctorate degree.

“My journey is not defined by the number of albums I have…It is not defined by the number of accolades I have received…

“It is a journey of thousands miles experienced with so much love from my supporters and fans…

“It is defined through the millions of souls that I have reached and touched out there with this everlasting gift that God gave me….

“It is defined through lives I have saved and changed through the language of music…. It has been a tedious journey with lows and highs…..

“However, to God almighty….. Father, I wouldn’t have made it without your grace and love…. U have always been the pillar of my strength through the darkest moments of my faith being shaken…. Such an honour it is to be called Dr. Deborah Fraser.🙏❤️”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dr Deborah Fraser (@dr_deborahfraser)

Kenny Makweng

Limpopo gospel singer Kenny Makweng, who passed away in January this year was also bestowed with an honorary doctorate from Trinity International Bible University in 2022.

The ‘Ke Mosione’ singer posted a video of himself on his Instagram account walking to the stage to receive his honorary doctorate.

The late gospel singer Kenny Makweng.

Peter Mabula

Another Limpopo gospel singer who received an honorary doctorate from the bogus university in 2022, is Peter Mabula.

Limpopo gospel singer, Peter Mabula, received an honorary doctorate from the bogus university in 2022. Picture: Supplied

Ngwana Ledwaba

Limpopo gospel singer Ngwana Ledwaba, also received an honorary doctorate from the ‘bogus’ university in 2022.

Ledwaba also shared her graduation pictures on her Facebook page, in which she can be seen on cloud nine together with the late gospel singer, Kenny Makweng.

She captioned her post: “Dr Ngwana Ledwaba officially🙏.”

Not so fast, “doc”.

Lucas Kgaphola

Former SABC Sepedi television news anchor, Lucas Kgaphola was also among those who received a bogus honorary doctorate in 2022.

He also shared pictures of his graduation on Facebook and said:

“Modimo Kea leboga, I am officially Dr Lucas Kgaphola. I was honoured by the Internationally recognized institution Trinity International Bible university. Same institution that honoured Dr Winnie Mashaba and Dr Deborah Fraser just to mention but few. To God be glory.”

SABC Sepedi news reader Lucas Kgaphola

Not so fast Mr Kgaphola.

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