"It's a great privilege to share such a special moment with my brother. The graduation ceremony is not just a celebration of our studies, but also of our combined growth as individuals and our relationship as brother and sister. "
This is how Nathania Hendriks (29) explains her feelings when she and her brother Tiaan (27) both received their master degrees in theology and engineering respectively at the same graduation ceremony on Friday 14 December.
This sister and brother from Upington could support each other with the challenges of master's studies. They say: "First of all, it is important to mention that we have already shared an apartment over the last four years. We could therefore support each other from the start of our master's studies. We became soundboards for each other where we could explain our work to formulate congruent arguments in our theses."
Nathania said that they could support one another by preparing dinner for each other when one of them had to work late.
Nathania and Tiaan cherish the times they could spend in Stellenbosch. Tiaan says: "We had the opportunity to get to know each other as young adults after both of us were in the residences during high school and undergraduate studies."
Nathania is grateful that they could share in each other's social life. "We got to know each other's friends, which was extraordinary to me," she said.
And what does the future entail for this dynamic brother and sister? While Tiaan enters the working world in Cape Town, Nathania will conduct her practical congregational year at Stellenbosch-West Dutch Reformed congregation next year. Nathania will also work part-time as a tutor at the Faculty of Theology.
However, this is not the end of their study programs. Nathania aims to continue with a PhD and Tiaan with a second masters in electrical engineering that he wants to complete by the end of 2019.
Photographer: Stefan Els