Bogus university goes viral for giving celebs fake honours

  • The Trinity International Bible University that has been conferring honorary degrees to local celebrities is not a registered university, says Department of Higher Education.
  • The bogus college has gone viral recently as it conferred an honorary doctorate to actor Sello Maake kaNcube.
  • The department says it is considering further action against the bogus school.

On the weekend, the Trinity International Bible University began trending on social media as South Africans online became aware that, according to the Department of Higher Education and Training, it is a fake institution.

“According to our records as the Department of Higher Education and Training, Trinity International Bible University is not a registered private higher education institution,” said Minister Blade Nzimande in an official statement.

What is notable about this as there have been plenty of occasions in the past where bogus universities have reared their heads in South Africa, is that the Trinity International Bible University has been conferring honorary doctorates to several prominent South Africans.

This includes actor Sello Maake kaNcube, who has previously starred in major productions like Generations and as villain Lucas “Daniel” Nyathi in eTV’s Scandal! and in Mzansi Magic’s The Queen.

Maake kaNcube received his bogus honours from the university in April, when he posted about the moment on X.

“Look at God! It’s now Dr Sello Maake kaNcube,” he posted. Unfortunately for the seasoned actor, it is not. Making matters worse is that the celeb is far from the only one who has been “honored.”

Even the likes of Zwelinzima Vavi, the General Secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has received a fake honorary doctorate from Trinity International.

“Trinity International Bible University is therefore not authorised to offer any qualifications, including honorary degrees,” Nzimande explained, saying further that the department has written to the bogus university and has warned them to either cease their illegal operations immediately or begin the process to regularise the school.

“As the Department, we have nothing against Trinity International Bible University or the celebrities they have chosen to honour. We are however deeply disturbed by the persistent disregard for the Department’s regulations by the management of Trinity International Bible University,” Nzimande said.

“The Department is considering more comprehensive and decisive action against Trinity International Bible University and all other individuals or institutions, who continue to undermine the Department’s regulations,” he added.

In March, the department saw that private university group Educor, one of the largest in the country, was deregistered and four college brands including Damelin, ICESA City Campus, City Varsity and Lyceum were ordered to stop registering new students and reimburse existing students as their status as higher learning institutions were revoked.

As for Trinity International, we could not find an official website, but rather a Facebook page. It seems the “school” is only doing one activity, and that is conferring degrees to celebrities. At least it had been, as the page has not been updated since August 2022.

The page also claims it is accredited by the Association of Independent Christian Colleges and Seminaries (AICCS), a real association, but from the United States. It is likely an elaborate scam.

[Image – Photo by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz on Unsplash]


About Author


Related News