Change the world

Top nursing graduate wants to heal the world, one patient at a time
Kenyan-born Abdalla Mohamed wanted to become a cardiac surgeon, but could not afford to pursue his dream.
Instead, the Nelson Mandela University student chose nursing, and achieved this year’s best first degree performance across all seven health sciences faculties at the institution.
The newly capped medical professional says that South Africa initially inspired him to choose heart health as a career.
“As South Africa was the first country to have a successful heart transplant, I wanted to learn from the pioneers,” says Mohamed, 27, who earned a Bachelor of Nursing Science (Honours) earlier this year.
“I also wanted to honour former President Nelson Mandela’s call to ‘change the world’, one heart at a time, by working as a scrub nurse alongside cardiac surgeons.”
Mohamed achieved 82% for his degree, and hopes to work for Doctors Without Borders one day, since placing the needs of others before your own is important for self-discovery, he says.
Read article here: Nelson Mandela University News 

‘Farm on wheels’ a boost for food security in South Africa
A prototype of a mobile greenhouse that can grow anything all year round has earned an award for Nelson Mandela University geoscience lecturer Dr Gaathier Mahed, who is passionate about food security and sustainability.
The HotBox is essentially a farm on wheels in an urban setting, cultivating herbs and vegetables and monitoring itself.
“Food security is a major issue in the Eastern Cape and many parts of the world,” says Dr Mahed, who received an Emerging Innovation Excellence Award at the university’s Celebrating Excellence Awards on 27 November.
The event honoured students who were top academic achievers, as well as staff in areas of research, learning and teaching.
“We wanted to create a solution to help people grow their food without them worrying much about the process of growing it themselves.
The effective use and monitoring of water in soil, which has major implications for agricultural activities and therefore food security, is at the centre of Dr Mahed’s research.
The hotbox is equipped with sensors to regulate itself, meaning that soil maintains optimal moisture levels and the box’s temperature is regulated to grow fresh greens in the best way possible, he says.
Born and raised on the Cape Flats, Dr Mahed graduated from the University of the Western Cape, earning multiple degrees, and has a background in water and sustainability. He has consulted on earth science projects with diverse stakeholders, including the Water Research Commission and City of Cape Town.


Talented Gqeberha teacher says short story fiction key to understanding sexual violence

Nelson Mandela University graduate Cassandra Tregoning has earned accolades for her research on sexual violence representation in South African short fiction. 
The Pearson High School English teacher achieved a remarkable 87% for her English honours degree this year, clinching an Honours Award: Social Sciences and Humanities at the university’s Celebrating Excellence Awards on 27 November.
“Society and literature are in constant conversation, and I examined its connection as it relates to a serious, sensitive issue in South Africa. Literary analysis can illuminate how we think about perpetrators and victims,” says Tregoning, 27, who lives in the city with her partner, Rio, matriculated at Collegiate High School and has taught at Pearson for three years.


Tregoning’s treatise, ‘Short Fiction on Relentless Reality: South African Rape Narratives’, argues that short fiction has an important place in the South African literary context, as it was often used in protest writing.
Read article here: Nelson Mandela University News 


#GRADUATION2023 - A master’s degree with distinction after many years of struggling

After a long and difficult road, Siyabonga Sirayi, associate lecturer in Business Management at Mandela University, managed to obtain his MCom degree in business management, cum laude, at the University’s Summer Graduation - a dream come true since his undergraduate days. And he is already working on ideas for his PhD.
“From the start of my studies, I told myself to be the master of my destination, Siyabonga says, who hails from a rural area, called Gxwalibomvu, near Mthatha, where he matriculated at Lutubeni High School in 2012.


Transferring and simplifying information in a manner that people can understand and use to make informed decisions, has always been his dream job, which he realised when he discovered his passion for lecturing.
This was already during his Diploma and BTech in Management Practice, when he started tutoring and training at workshops.
Growing up in the  rural areas, there was limited access to information, careers, and the internet and the schooling system was not up to standard. Also, Siyabonga only touched a computer for the first time in his first year at university and consequently failed his computer course that year. 
Read article here: Nelson Mandela University News