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Mandela Uni scientist wins top science communication competition

Finding ways to treat diabetes using indigenous knowledge about natural remedies has won Dr Nehemiah Latolla of Nelson Mandela University the top place in the FameLab International science communication competition.

Dr Nehemiah Latolla, a phytochemist and researcher at the Nelson Mandela University was awarded first place in the International FameLab 2022 competition. In his winning talk he shared the bitter-sweet memory of homecare health, having to drink a mixture of Aloe Ferox in magnesium salt growing up. It was this experience that piqued his interest in the chemistry of plants. His current research at Nelson Mandela University looks for new, cost-effective, less-toxic medications to treat diabetes.

Medical chemistry straight from our back garden. Diabetes is the second leading cause of death due to disease in SA, after tuberculosis.

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Mandela University team wins silver in BRICS high tech international industry competition

A team of staff, postgraduate students and alumni, under the umbrella of the Business and Economic Sciences Faculty recently won a silver medal in a BRICS high tech international industry competition with their business concept for a safe playground.
Their submission competed against teams from Russia, Brazil, India and China as well as Ghana. 
The assignment brief was to develop an innovative project for a new product, taking into account all the lifecycle stages. The team’s safe playground design is geared towards minimising injuries when children use swings, slides, merry-go-rounds, horizontal bars, and other gymnastic items, at any time of year and in various indoor and outdoor conditions. 


As a business competition, the team had to develop the life cycle of the product involving, marketing, HR management, financial management and project management, with all team members bringing their own specialist skills to the competition. Deputy Dean Prof Michelle Mey recommended the team when a Russian contingent from BRICS approached her. 
Mandela Uni Law graduate announced as South African Rhodes Scholar-elect for 2023
Ten outstanding young graduates from Southern Africa have been announced as the Rhodes Scholars-Elect for 2023. 
For the first time ever, a Nelson Mandela University candidate has been included in this prestigious cohort - 23 year old Law graduate, Liso Zenani.
The National Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarships for Southern Africa, Mr Ndumiso Luthuli, announced that Rhodes Scholarships have been awarded to ten academically excellent and exceptional young leaders, from across the Southern African constituency (comprising South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and eSwatini), to further their post-graduate (Masters and Doctoral) studies at Oxford University in the United Kingdom commencing October 2023.   
Liso holds an LLB (cum laude) and is currently serving articles at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr in Johannesburg. While at University, he served in various leadership capacities, including as President of the Madibaz Debating Union, Secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Student Movement and Chairperson of the Southern African Universities Debating Council.


Nelson Mandela University's Cheslyn Gie steps into top hockey coaching job

The continued development of the national men’s hockey team was on the mind of Nelson Mandela University’s Cheslyn Gie after being named interim head coach last week.
Madibaz Sport hockey manager Cheslyn Gie has been appointed interim head coach of the national men’s hockey team following the resignation of Garreth Ewing 
Gie takes over from Garreth Ewing, who has stepped aside after being at the helm since the conclusion of the 2018 World Cup.
Having served as assistant manager at numerous international tournaments, including the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Madibaz Sport hockey manager is well acquainted with the team.
His immediate focus will be on preparing the players for the FIH Nations Cup in Potchefstroom later this month and early December, followed by the World Cup in India in January.
Mandela Uni student off to Commonwealth rowing champs 
Alex Ennis, a master’s student in Human Movement Science, has bee selected to participate at the Commonwealth Rowing Association Beach Sprint Championships in Namibia.
She recently competed in the South African Coastal rowing team that participated in the Africa Beach Sprint Championships in Tunisia, resulting in her selection to participate at the Commonwealth Rowing Association Beach Sprint Championships from 29 November to 4 December in Namibia.
Alex competed in the quarterfinals, semi-finals and final B of the championships in Tunisia and placed 4th in the CW1x (single) and 5th in the CMix2x (mixed doubles). Based on these performances, Alex was selected to participate in the Commonwealth Rowing Championships. 
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Mandela Uni Physics student wins poster prize at conference
Mandela University master’s in Physics student, Luchian Pullen recently won a poster presentation prize for his research at the 21st Student Symposium in the Natural Sciences at North-West University. 
His supervisor at the University’s Centre for High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), Dr Johan Westraadt, says Luchian will also present his research at the upcoming Microscopy Society of Southern Africa (MSSA) conference in Johannesburg in December. 
Luchian’s project specifically focusses on developing faster and more representative techniques for imaging dislocations in steels, which is one of the most important features for predicting mechanical properties.
This work not only contributes to the safe and economical operation of the Eskom power plants, but also finds use in many other materials research areas where dislocations need to be imaged. Luchian hopes to do his doctorate under Dr Westraadt’s guidance. 
Handover of playground initiative – KaziPlay – at two Gqeberha primary schools
Nelson Mandela University’s Departments of Human Movement Science and Architecture, together with Mandela University alumnus and architect Jacques Theron from the company Werk, have completed enhancements to playground and ablution facilities at two under-resourced schools in Gqeberha.
KaziPlay is a sub-component of the KaziBantu Project, ( a specially tailored school-based intervention, and aims to consolidate the practice of physical education and to ensure the physical literacy and healthy active living of school children and teachers in South Africa.
KaziPlay is a playground and sanitation intervention to enhance playground and ablution facilities at schools situated in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Gqeberha.