Change the world

Science Alumna shares journey to help others
Dr Pulleng Moleko-Boyce, MSc (Chemistry) ’15 and PhD (Chemistry) ’19 is a research scientist in analytical and inorganic chemistry, science communicator, part-time lecturer, mentor, and co-supervisor at the Nelson Mandela University. 
She recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in analytical and inorganic chemistry.  
Some of Dr Moleko-Boyce’s achievements include: FameLab Nelson Mandela University winner: Science communication competition and a Top 8 finalist in South Africa in 2018.  
“Because of my own experiences I can also give back to the community and students in my hometown, more especially students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, dealing with language barrier challenges, struggling to understand the science language, as I have experienced these difficulties first-hand.” 
She registered on the Mandela Alumni Connect platform and believes it is a great space for graduates from different disciplines to meet. This is a space where new ideas can be shared, investments and collaborations that can add value to the society and the world.”
Dr Moleko-Boyce shares “Coming together we can empower and build a better future for the next upcoming generation”. 
More information regarding Mandela Alumni Connect can be found here: We also encourage alumni from our faculties and staff to join the platform. 

Mandela University Shop goes online

Nelson Mandela University launches the online version of it’s official University Shop today, Tuesday, 14 September 2021.
The University Shop, which opened its doors in 2005, was established by the Alumni Association and is run by the institution’s Alumni Relations Office. The self-sustaining business unit contributes hugely to the brand development of the University, particularly a relatively new brand like Nelson Mandela University.
In 2017, with the advent of the University’s new name and rebrand, the University Shop underwent another facelift and product design exercise. “I had the honour of cutting the ribbon of the rebranded Shop and I have witnessed the growth in turnover, which only showed decline during the pandemic period. The University Shop remain an asset and a key brand development tool” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa at the Alumni Association’s recent Annual General meeting.
With its main premises being at the Sanlam Student Village in Summerstand, the Shop also has smaller outlets on other campuses. It offers employment and experiential learning opportunities to students and stocks branded clothing, corporate gifts, bags, and memorabilia.
The University Shop remains committed to enhancing the University’s brand through its products and services - now even more so as it enters the e-commerce space.

Passionate Ugandan Alumna
Dr Milly Kwagala PhD ’12 is Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration & Management at Ndejje University.She served as Head of Department Accounting & Finance at the university for two years before her promotion to Dean in September 2010. The faculty she currently heads have a community of approximately 2000 students and 63 staff. Dr Kwagale is the Vice Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Alumni Association-Uganda Chapter.

Established in 1992, Ndejje University (NDU) is the oldest private Christian based university and the fastest growing in Uganda.

She is a specialist in the Micro-Finance field. This area is of interest to her as her earlier work on Micro-Finance Management and Performance Indicators of Micro-Finance Institutions in Uganda was regarded as pioneer quality Micro-Finance research.

According to Dr Kwagale, Nelson Mandela University imparted an international exposure in her life because of the values that the University conveyed. The university is a perfect place to spend your ‘academic life’ with its friendly and safe environment in an outstanding natural setting. She shares, “The success of any University can be measured by the contribution the alumni make to our national life”.

Dr Kwagale is an active registered user on Mandela Alumni Connect as is re-connects alumni, updates future events from your Alma Mater, allows a competitive edge in today’s tough job market among many other opportunities provided.

“I encourage Mandela University Alumni in Uganda to connect with the University on the Mandela Alumni Connect platform as it assists in re-connecting with contemporaries and nurtures our professional network. Talented alumni on the platform have a wealth of experience and skills to share with current students and alumni.”

More information regarding Mandela Alumni Connect can be found here: We also encourage alumni from other countries and cities to join the online chapters.

New Executive Role for Powels at SEAT 

David Powels BCom ’82, CTA ’83 and 2010 Alumni Award recipient has been appointed as SEAT S.A.’s new Executive Vice-President for Finance and IT from 1 September 2021.
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures, and markets cars in Spain. The multinational automotive company headquartered in Martorell (Barcelona) exports 80% of its vehicles and is present in over 80 countries worldwide employing more than 15 000 professionals.
Powels has more than 30 years of international experience within the VW Group, working in countries such as China, Brazil, Germany and South Africa.
Since the end of 2017, he has held the position of first VP and executive VP for commercial vehicles at SAIC Volkswagen Automotive in China, a joint venture between SAIC Motor and VW Group.
Article Source: Seat SA
LinkedIn: David C Powels
Adapted by: Liscka Hendricks (Alumni Relations)

Alumnus leads SABC Marketing 

Themba Gwejela BA (Media Studies, Communication & Culture) '06 has been appointed as SABC's Head of Marketing from August 2021.
Before his SABC appointment, he was the founder and managing director of Mahusiano (Pty) Ltd, a strategic marketing agency established in 2014 with fellow Mandela alumnus, Solethu Maku. The company assisted clients in various industries with strategic brand projects and campaigns including General Motors Sub-Saharan Africa.
Gwejela’s 16 years of work experience has been largely in corporate South Africa, working with some of the country’s leading brands, including FNB, Metropolitan-Momentum, Old Mutual, Discovery, Liberty Life and the Eskom Pension & Provident Fund.
Gwejela shares “I am really looking forward to taking the SABC brand into the future. The SA Media industry has seen a lot of changes in recent years and there is a greater need for media brands to adapt, my task at the SABC is to take this much-loved South African brand into that future, building brands is something I am passionate about”

Local company bags Exporter of the Year Award

Accoustex, a Gqeberha (former PE) based manufacturer of automotive components was announced as the overall winner of the Eastern Cape Exporter of the Year 2021 awards last week.

OVERALL WINNER: Accoustex team leader Nontsikilelo Meleli, left, executive directors Weza Moss and Andre Swartbooi, and supervisor Gavin du Plessis with the overall 2021 Exporter of the Year award won by the company
Executive Director, and Mandela University alumnus, Andre Swartbooi Diploma in Management ’12 said, Accoustex exports to 12 different countries as an indirect exporter. Over the past year, the Acoustex Group increased its direct and indirect export turnover 24% and achieved a Level 1 BBBEE rating. The company which employs 160 people, faced serious competition to bag the title.
“We didn’t expect to win as there was a record number of entries, and we were up against the best, but we are very grateful.” 
Moss said the company had been deliberate in rehiring workers who were retrenched from other companies in the automotive sector as they already had skills to develop their company further employing a further 20 people with the new contract.
Aside from the auto components it manufactures, the group also has a company called BlueTech that manufactures medical laminate gowns for medical staff, which is 100% exported.
Article Source: Heraldlive
Written by: NOMAZIMA NKOSI - 02 September 2021
Adapted by: Liscka Hendricks (Alumni Relations)

International recognition for computer science Prof’s work #R2bP

Professor in Computing Sciences at Mandela University, Jean Greyling, has been selected as one of ten winners in the Future Learning category of the international, Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2021.
Falling Walls is a unique international platform for leaders from the worlds of science, business, politics, the arts and society. The Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year will be announced on 15 September, and should Jean’s project be awarded the title Breakthrough of the Year 2021 in Future Learning, he will be invited to present his work to a global audience at the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin on 9 November.
Jean’s project was selected as one of the ten winners from over 70 finalists in this category.
The key question asked at Falling Walls is: "Which are the next walls to fall in science and society?" All contributions to Falling Walls 2021 carry the theme of breaking walls. Jean’s entered project, the coding app, TANKS (developed in 2017 by one of his former students, Byron Batteson) will be breaking the wall of needing a computer to learn how to code. The app introduces coding to learners between the ages of 10 and 14 using tangible tokens and image recognition, without the need for a computer.
“The outstanding quality and relevance of your research impressed the international Falling Walls Jury“ said Chairman of the Board, Prof Dr J├╝rgen Mlynek.
The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the dawn of a new era of freedom by breaking barriers both physical and imaginary in Germany and around the world. Three decades on, the night of 9 November 1989 has become a symbol of changing status quos and overcoming divisions of all kinds.
Drawing inspiration from this historic moment, the Falling Walls Conference is driven by the desire to find out: which are the next walls to fall in science and society.
Since its inception, the conference has become a unique global platform connecting science, business and society through a shared commitment to create breakthrough solutions to challenges across borders and disciplines.
The ten Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2021 will be presented live on stage in Berlin and broadcast via livestream to a global audience.