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Alumni Ambassadors celebrate 80th birthday


Prof Jeffery celebrated his 80th birthday on the 10th June 2021 together with his wife Wilma, their three children, spouses and grandchildren. He continues to be an active supporter of the Alumni Association. Prof Jeffery graduated with a Masters Diploma in Technology: Industrial Engineering Machine Systems in 1987 and was Dean of the Engineering Faculty at the former PE Technikon. He served as a member of Council of the University from 2005 to 2018 as well as a member of the Alumni Association Executive Committee for the same period. As a proud ambassador of the University, Prof Jeffery’s professional affiliations include being an Honorary Fellow of SAIMechE and Past President of SAIMechE (2005-2007). In 2018 he was presented with an Alumni Association Special Award and the Engineering Council of South Africa award for the Best Accreditation Visit Leader.


Kentilal (Ken) Ramjee ND (Elec Eng)’85, BTech (Bus Admin)’19 and BTech (Elec Eng)’19 celebrates his 80th birthday on 25 June 2021. He has served on the former PE Technikon Alumni Executive Committee since 1985 for several years and remains a proud ambassador of the University. He was an SABC employee for 27 years and completed his studies part-time while working and caring for his wife Nirmala and children Keeran, Sunita and Vanita. Both Keeran and Sunita are also alumni. Mr Ramjee currently still serves on various organisations and structures nationally and internationally including Institute of Professional Engineering Technologists (IPET), Engineering Council of SA (​ECSA), Engineering Technology Association (ETA) in the USA and The Institute of Engineering Technology (IET) in the UK where he is currently a registered professional incorporated engineer fellow. His passion for engineering, young people and women in engineering has provided him the opportunity to be a part of the university advisory committee, mentor and mentoring guide, moderator and stand in lecturer when the need arose, of which mentoring students he notes as his greatest successes.


CEO publishes leadership book

Cape Town based alumnus, Linda Grootboom LLM ’03 is the Executive Chairman and CEO of The LeanGRO Group, a Leadership & Strategy Consulting company. He has worked for various organizations (private sector, local government, academia and the public sector) in various managerial, senior management and executive capacities.

He recently published his first book titled “Virtuosic Leadership” and challenges traditional perspectives and beliefs around leadership. The 11-chapter is aimed at enabling leaders to be emotionally wired with employees or organizational members, maximize their collective value creation initiatives and embed an ethical, metanoic culture in their organizations. It also empowers organizational leaders to transform themselves and the organizational cultures of their workplaces.

Some of his recent achievements include: conducting Organizational Culture diagnosis for the Western Cape Gambling & Racing Board and successfully crafting a Culture Change Journey for the organization, strategic work for the Office of the Chief Justice of South Africa including crafting an Organizational Culture Change Strategy and Implementation Plan for the Office of the Chief Justice in 2019.

Linda also developed a comprehensive Knowledge Management (KM) Business Case and Framework for the Western Cape Provincial Government (Department of the Premier).

He shares, “Life is a journey every step of which we should enjoy and learn lessons from. If it happens that we fail, we should change failure into opportunities as failure is the best teacher. Staying positive and focused on what we want is critical if we have to succeed in life, not materially, but in terms of self-fulfilment and creating value for society in general.”

‘Undo fear,’ says chair in African Feminist Imaginations

The South African Research Chairs Initiative, or SARChI, launched a chair in African Feminist Imaginations at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, on 5 June, headed by Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola from the university’s Centre for Women and Gender Studies 

“The chair is all about shifting how we think about gender power and women’s contributions in the world. This includes generating research on the archive of African women’s intellectual and political work as key thinkers, theorists and figures in the liberation struggle, decoloniality and transformation,” says Gqola. 

The chair is called ‘Imaginations’ because, as a professor of literature, Gqola is interested in how the creative genres and popular culture are sites of knowledge production and how they nurture ideas that are disruptive to patriarchal culture.

 “In the main, we still don’t treat imaginative or creative outputs as catalysts of change, and the chair works to address this,” she says. 

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News

This article, written by Heather Dugmore appeared in University World News on 7 June 2021



New Senior Director: Missionvale, Bird Street and Second Avenue Campuses

Management, operations and industrial engineering specialist Ms Sharon Masiza has been appointed as Senior Director: Missionvale, Bird Street and Second Avenue Campuses with effect from 1 June 2021. 

This new post will provide leadership to all three campuses as part of the University’s new organisational redesign process. 

Ms Masiza’s mandate is that of leading, creating and maintaining a conducive and an enabling environment for students and staff on these campuses for the academic project to proceed effectively and efficiently, in line with the University’s strategic objectives, vision and mission.

Mandela University alumnus Ms Masiza joins the institution from Diageo South Africa in Durban where she was Production Executive from April 2019.  Before that she worked as the Packaging Plant Manager at Tongaat Hulett Sugar Refinery and as Manufacturing Manager Candy and Assortments Factory, Port Elizabeth, at the Kraft Foods/Mondelez International (Previously Cadbury SA) site. Her earlier career years were spent at the National Productivity Institute and the SA Post Office. 

Ms Masiza holds, among others, a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) as well as a National Diploma in Industrial Engineering from Nelson Mandela University.  She matriculated from Khwezi Lomso Comprehensive School in Gqeberha. 

"It gives me great joy and pleasure to be joining one of the best and iconic universities on our continent. It is where my career journey began back in 1994,” says Ms Masiza. 

“I am truly honoured and filled with gratitude that I have been given an opportunity to serve my purpose in life, to serve and to have an impact on and change lives.  

“I am looking forward to contribute immensely to the vision and strategic priorities of the University.” 

HR and Communication & Marketing

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News


Mandela University academic receives recognition for first peoples’ research

Dr Magda Minguzzi, senior lecturer at Nelson Mandela University’s School of Architecture and researcher at the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, recently received recognition for her years of research and commitments with the First Nation in the form of a hat, used during traditional practices or special events and specially created for her.

Chief Daantjie Japhta, Inqua Camdeboo, Chief Brato Malgas, Inqua tribe Jansenville and the Headman Alie Japhta who created the hat, together with Dr Minguzzi.

"I felt very privileged and honoured to have received such recognition”, Dr Minguzzi said.

Dr Magda Minguzzi has been invited by Prof Roger Fisher of Pretoria University, to join the “Marking Memories - Mashishing Rock Engraving Project” lead by Dr Lauren Dyll of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and coordinated by Dr Mary Lange (ARROWSA, Arts, Culture and Heritage Centre), JP Celliers (Curator of the Lydenburg Museum), Prof David Morris (head of the archaeology section of McGregor Museum) and Prof Fisher.

This is a project based in the North of the country where ancient rock engraving sites have been documented in coordination with the indigenous community.  Currently, the group is busy with consultations at a national level with different communities and peoples, around the meaning of the symbols represented on the rocks.

Thanks to her involvement in the national research project “Marking Memories”, Dr Minguzzi recently visited Khoi San heritage sites and organised a community meeting with the First Indigenous Peoples in the Graaff-Reinet area. The meeting also involved the Old Library.

Museum and director Anziske Keyster who coordinated the indigenous community meeting with all Covid-19 protocols observed.

It is in Graaf Reinet that Chief of the Inqua Camdeboo Peoples, presented Magda with the hat, created by Headman Alie Japhta.

“That came a week after I was invited to attend the Commemoration of the return of Sarah Baartman, which took place in Hankey on 16 May", said Dr Minguzzi.

“We commemorated the 19th year of the return of Sarah Baartman after an absence of 200 years.  During this year's commemoration, we specifically addressed the Traditional Leaders and KhoiSan Act.  This Act does not acknowledge or accept our existence as the First Indigenous Peoples.  It denies us our rights as enshrined in the United Nations Rights of Indigenous Peoples, of which South Africa is a signatory to," Chief Jean. Burgess said.

The Sarah Baartman ceremony at Hankey

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News


To view the webinar featured during Africa Week 2021 follow the link below and hear Maria sharing her experience as a young entrepreneur. 


Alumnus appointed as CEO of NMB Business Chamber Board

Congratulations to Mandela University Alumnus, Denise van Huyssteen who has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Board. The automotive executive takes over from another Alumnus, Nomkhita Mona, who was recently appointed as Group Executive Officer for the South African Post Office.   

Denise has over 20 years experience in the automotive industry in leadership roles. During her time at General Motors South Africa she was a member of their Executive Committee and led Communications teams in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and Dubai. She began her career in the automotive manufacturing industry in July 2000 as Manager of Corporate Communications at Delta Motor Corporation.

She has served as the Chairperson of General Motors’ International Women’s Council, as a Trustee of the GM South Africa Foundation and was a Director on the Nelson Mandela Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board from 2013 to 2020. (Photo: The Herald file).

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News


To view the webinar featured during Africa Week 2021 follow the link below and hear Lukonga sharing his experience as a young entrepreneur.


Roots in the Rural Areas

“My roots are in the Eastern Cape village of Centane where Wipagriculture, a subsidiary of Wiphold, has established a maize and soya bean farming project on 2500 hectares of land with 2800 landowners, of whom 52% are women,” says Gloria Serobe, leading South African businesswoman, CEO of Wipcapital, a subsidiary of Wiphold (Women Investment Portfolio Holdings) and pioneer in the field of broad-based economic empowerment for women.
Serobe was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from Nelson Mandela University during the virtual graduation ceremony for the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences on Thursday 22 April.
“We have always championed people in the rural areas, women in particular, and responded to what is needed,” says Serobe. “Food security and food production has come into sharp focus during the pandemic and Wipagriculture responds to this need, particularly in poor provinces like the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.”
She explains that all the landowners in the Centane project are shareholders in the farming project and get annual dividends of between R5000 and R8000 per year and rental in the form of 10 bags of maize each at the end of the harvest, which they requested instead of money. Each landowner family, many are headed by widows, has about one hectare of land. Projects like this boost rural household incomes which are very strained. “Our intention is to grow this type of project and expand into cattle. It helps to build localised economies where people earn and spend their money in their communities.”
Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News
Article written by Heather Dugmore –

Africa requires a country and university to take the lead 
Africa requires a country and university to take the lead in governance and intellectual development for the blue economy and sustainable conservation of the continent’s oceans, says Emeritus Professor Martin Tsamenyi who was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Law (Maritime Law) from Nelson Mandela University during the virtual graduation ceremony for the Faculty of Law on Thursday 22 April.
Prof Tsamenyi grew up in a rainforest in Ghana and saw the ocean for the first time when he was 20 years old. From then on his career has been focused on motivating for, writing about and leveraging the law to protect the oceans. 
“What grabbed me as a young man is the fact that humanity does not take care of our oceans; we extract marine resources without any notion of sustainability and we dump everything we don’t want in our oceans, including sewage. Once it all disappears we forget about it, out of sight out of mind,” says Tsamenyi. 
Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Wollongong in Australia. He became a professor there in 1993 and in 2006 he founded the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS). 
“After my first sighting of the ocean I wanted to know what happened beneath the surface and the more I understood about it, the more it looked like a rainforest to me. Just like a rainforest, the ocean has trees, plants, mountains and so many living creatures. 
The trees form a forest canopy which you cannot see through from above and the ocean’s surface is its canopy. Beneath it there is so much life that we have put at almost irreversible risk.” 
Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News

Freediving records for Chemistry lecturer

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Mandela University Chemistry lecturer, Dr Gletwyn Rubidge, broke two national records and matched a third at the Freediving World Cup held in Egypt last month.
The competition, hosted in Sharm el Sheikh, was held over four days - one day for each of the four free dive disciplines. All the depth disciplines were constant weight which means that all weights used to reach the desired depth must be brought back up on the same dive.
On day one, Gletwyn tackled the constant weight bi-fin (CWTB) discipline where a competitor uses two flippers for the dive. He was successful and added one meter to the former national record of 70m. On day two, he repeated the CWTB discipline, this time reaching 75m and breaking his one-day old record!
After a rest day, he attempted the toughest discipline, constant weight no fins (CNF), where the diver may not use flippers nor pull on the rope. Gletwyn equalled the national record of 57m held by his dive buddy, Bruce Mills. They now share the record.
In addition to these prestigious achievements, Gletwyn was recognised in his home town on 27 May, by being featured at the newly launched Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Sports Museum.


A champion of physics in South Africa
In recognition of his own past, Azwinndini Muronga has brought STEM enrichment opportunities to youth in remote, underserved towns and villages.
Growing up in a government-segregated “Black homeland” in South Africa, Azwinndini Muronga began looking after his family’s livestock at the age of 6. On school days, his mother would take the sheep, goats and cows to the forest to graze at noon.
“When I came back in the afternoon, I would quickly change my school uniform and dash to the forest to take over,” he says.
It was there that his love for science began.
“Come sunset, you’re starting to take your sheep, your goats, your cows, heading home,” he says. “And from time to time, one of the goats, the sheep, will venture into the forest. And you cannot go home without all your livestock—then you will be in trouble.”
He says he found his way those nights “guided by the moon and the stars.”
He was afraid to wander through the dense foliage. “But then, you know, the music of the insects from the forest” calmed him down, along with “the beauty of the Milky Way—because in the villages, you don’t have street lights—you can see almost everything,” Muronga says.
When he arrived home, he completed his homework by candlelight or parrafin lamp.
During high school, Muronga took his books with him to the fields and forests where the livestock grazed. He studied in tall trees, where he could see the animals from above and his books in the sunlight.
Those studies, and those early nights following the stars, started him on a path that would eventually lead him across oceans, to the United States and Germany, then back to South Africa, where he is now dean of science at Nelson Mandela University.
Read the full article in Symmetry Magazine:
Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News 
Original Article: Symmetry Magazine

Kaluke Mawila: The university campus principal who leads from the heart
Leading from the heart and being mindful of other people’s struggles is what has characterised Kaluke Mawila’s leadership as the principal of the George campus at Nelson Mandela University. 
Mawila arrived at the university just days after the level five Covid lockdown started in March last year. She was in a new town and did not know anyone but she says it is the support from people on campus and how they opened their hearts to receive her that has been at the centre of how she manages the campus. 
“I mean, they went all out without knowing me. They checked in: ‘Campus principal are you fine? Do you have this, do you have that? What can we do?’ that to me shows that there is a lot of heart.
“If I closed my mind to that and pretended that I did not see that, I did not experience that warmth then I would have missed out on an opportunity to travel the journey with everyone else on the George campus. 
“I think that it is the important part — travel the journey with the people — come with an open mind and connect with their hearts because that is what is going to make the difference,” says Mawila. 
The George campus, one of the NMU’s seven campuses, is at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains on the Garden Route 
Read the full article in the Mail & Guardian, written by Bongekile Macupe: