Change the world

POSTGRADUATE student snatches award (published February 2014)


A thesis based on a goal to help a group of indigenous Namibians has earned a Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University postgraduate student the regional Architectural Student of the Year award.

Mientjie van Niekerk, who won R8000, will also represent the university at the national awards later this year. Her Thesis, A Platform for Trade and Interaction, comprises an essential oil distillation plant, an informal market and a cattle trading area for the indigenous Ovahimba people of Opuwa in the north-western Namibia.

She works at Howard and Chamberlain Architects and is hopeful to win the grand prize.



NMMU choir celebrates 20 - year high note (published February 2014)


Invitations to world events in China and Canada are a fitting celebration of the 20th anniversary of the country’s first multi-racial choir.

The formation of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s multi-award winning choir – the very first mixed-race choir at a South African university – was spurred on by the arrival of democracy in 1994.

Its quick and ongoing success – the result of highly-polished performances of African traditional, classical, Western European and Latin American songs – have made it a favourite on the global stage. Last month the choir received a much coveted invitation to the 12th China International Chorus Festival (CICF) and International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) World Youth Choral Education in July. 



ALUMNI provides a performance platform (published February 2014)












TWOTONE Music - headed by Port Elizabeth's hugely talented alumni, Ulagh and Gareth Williams, who hold a MMus and BMus qualification respectively from NMMU are providing a performance platform for local musicians, mostly NMMU students and alumni since 2008.

Ulagh and Gareth returned to the Bay following a three-year stint in countries like Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Japan.

Gareth has been lecturing at NMMU on and off since 2001 with a few years of 'world travel' in between. He lectures in saxaphone and clarinet studies and Ulagh has just been appointed as NMMU's Jazz vocal lecturer.



Top 40 under 40 2014 (published February 2014)

ALMOST half of the recently announced PE Business Chamber’s Top 40 Under 40 stars are NMMU alumni!

Political and Governmental Studies’ Dr Joleen Steyn-Kotze lectures at NMMU and often does commentary for the media, while award-winning Xhosa-knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo has been the star at Design Indaba and invited to Paris Fashion Week.

Computer Science BCom Honours graduates Devereaux Joubert and Mohammed Cassim started their software development company The Code Group four years ago and now have 10+ programmers (mainly from NMMU) working for them. The other 14 alumni in the group are Marieka Barnard, Tim Jones, Debbie Makan, Nwabisa Makunga, Kazeka Mashologu-Kuse, Nosi Ncoyo, Gustav Nefdt, Tanette Nell, Vincent Nortier, Phumeza Pepeta, Zukiswa Di-Anne Qoto, Bradley Smith, Charles Stretch and Ian Whittal.



Alumnus lands top job in motor industry (published February 2014)


NDIP Journalism graduate, Gishma Johnson, has been appointed as the corporate communications manager at General Motors South Africa (GMSA).

Johnson who has been employed at GMSA previously rejoins the company with experience in internal and external communications. She has been working in the manufacturing environment for seven years in the automotive and the tyre and rubber industries, holding the position of corporate communications manager at Continental SA.





Graduate turns truck operation into successful store (published February 2014)


BCOM graduate, Ross Johnston, owner of Rehab books and technology has moved his business from selling out of cardboard boxes in the residences to a thriving book and technology store at NMMU.

Johnston employs almost 30 staff members and has grown his business by 40% last year. Rehab sold about 6000 second hand books and 10000 new books in 2013. The company can only sell new books for BCom and Law students.

He is also the owner of popcorn company "Popping Delicious" trading in North End, delivering popcorn to East London, Grahamstown and Port Alfred as well as supplying 30 schools, 27 Spars and 80 shops.



Ubuntu assists alumnus in reaching dreams (published February 2014)


NOZIBELE Qamngana, a BTech in Marketing graduate has been appointed as the external relations manager for Ubuntu Education Fund. The non-profit organisation Ubuntu based in Zwide has been a part of Qamngana's life for the past 15 years assisting her with health, educational and social support.

At the age of 12 years she took part in a two-week cultural exchange programme in the United States with the Ubuntu Education Fund. Qamngana received assistance from the organisation to pay for her studies. Her new position will see her acting as the external communication liaison with the media and donors.


Celebrity entrepreneur in the making (published February 2014)


BTech Mechanical Engineering graduate, Ismail Hassen, has won the entrepreneural competition, Step-Up National Technology Innovation Competition in the manufacturing and mining category.

Hassan is also the owner of CSR-Africa, a container refurbishment and repair business that fixes accident-damaged shipping containers, where he employs 30 people.

Last year Hassen took part in The Big Legacy (BBL) Season 2 on SABC 3 and was a finalist in the Rize Mzanzi entrepreneurial reality show on SABC 1.



Bay radio boss' passion pays off (published February 2014)


BCom graduate and local radio station boss Dave Tiltmann celebrates 25 years at Algoa FM.  Tiltmann was appointed as the general manager of the station in 1999 with his directorship following the next year.

He currently manages 53 employees with more than 600000 listeners and plays a vital role in the Southern and Eastern Cape by providing news, information and entertainment.