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We would like to congratulate our Alumni for their hard work and dedication. You have made Nelson Mandela University proud!

Eastern Cape teen accepts degree on behalf of mom who died a month before graduation


A heart-breaking picture of a 16-year-old girl accepting an honours degree on behalf of her dead mother has left many South Africans in tears.
The picture of Akhona Wali, dressed in blue jeans and a black leather jacket, walking onto the stage to accept the certificate from Nelson Mandela University registrar Edgar de Koker has gone viral.
Her mother, Nandipha Wali, 41, a Grade 7 maths, science and technology teacher at Charles Duna Primary School in Gqeberha's New Brighton township, obtained a Bachelor of Education honours degree this year, majoring in educational psychology.
But she could not attend Saturday's graduation ceremony to accept her degree herself because she died of an illness on 31 March.

Graduating sisters pay homage to their father


“Mama uyandibona (mama do you see me), Enkosi mama (thank you mama)” - This phrase has become synonymous with graduation celebrations across the country, with graduates often shouting these words across the stage to acknowledge the role that their maternal figures have played in their upbringing and success.
This has not been the case for the two Mbuyazi sisters who graduated at Nelson Mandela University’s George Campus, during its three autumn graduation ceremonies, held at Eden Place recently. 
The sisters, Snentokozo (25) and Samukelisiwe Mbuyazi (21), pay homage to their father, Bheki Mbuyazi (55), who raised them alone from a young age with resilience, determination and sacrifice. Born and raised in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, these young ladies grew up with the unwavering desire to succeed and overcome any obstacles.
Born into a working-class family, their parents always stressed the importance of hard work and focus, regardless of the obstacles that may arise during the journey. Bab’ uBheki worked as a soldier in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) at the time of their birth.
Their mother, Bongiwe Mbuyazi was working for the local Municipality. Both their parents instilled values around discipline and consistency within their home to ensure that the sisters were always prepared for difficult situations.

Focusing on the human side of financial planning


Given the advances in artificial intelligence and automation taking place in the financial planning industry, Senior Lecturer in Business Management at Nelson Mandela University, Jackie Palframan based her PhD on developing the human side and its impact on value creation.

She will be graduating at the University’s Autumn Graduation with her PhD in Business Management supervised by Business Management’s Prof Elmarie Venter and co-supervisor Prof Shelley Farrington.

Jackie’s research found that financial planners’ social capital (measured as relational, network and cognitive capital), entrepreneurial and psychological capital had a positive and significant influence on value creation in financial planning businesses. 


Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News


Architectural Studies graduate excels as DJ and dreams of stage design


When one of his lecturers told him, he would never graduate with his lifestyle choices, Shaadaan Loonat, decided to prove everyone wrong and become a DJ who studies architecture. 

He will be graduating at Mandela Uni’s Autumn Graduation with his Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS). Shaadaan is a very popular DJ and is booked by event organisers from all over South Africa as a national act. 

“I decided to prove everyone wrong and become a DJ who studies architecture. As an architect I get to explore so much more than just building houses”, he says.

There’s graphic design, video creation, fashion, and music and he plans to apply his knowledge to the entertainment industry as a stage designer. Most successful architects have more than one interest, which gives them the advantage of being success entrepreneurs, says Shadaan, 21, aka DJ shadyiswavy. And many Mandela Uni Architecture alumni are indeed entrepreneurs all over the world.

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News

First graduates in newly introduced Higher Certificate in Renewable Energy



A total of 25 students will be the first graduates to be awarded the Higher Certificate in Renewable Energy at Nelson Mandela University’s Autumn Graduation. Another 40 students have registered for 2022.


“What I enjoyed most about the course is learning more about renewable energy and how it can help save the world in the future. I also liked to see in the labs exactly how it happens from the first step to the last”, says Khanyisile Sihlava, one of the students who are graduating. This is her first qualification, and she plans to work in environmental compliance planning. 

The one-year course starts with the basics of electrical and mechanical energy and then covers a range of renewable energy topics, says programme leader Electrical Engineering’s Professor Peter Freere. 


Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News

Double joy for graduating siblings



Siblings Andisa Tyiwani-Batala and Makabongwe Tyiwani will both graduate with their Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PDBA) at Nelson Mandela University’s Autumn Graduation.


We are both at the pinnacle of our careers and need that extra edge to set us apart. We believe our studies will help us achieve that”, says Andisa.

And the PDBA is on the road to the MBA programme which they intend to work towards. They both completed their undergraduate studies at Mandela Uni and it came naturally that they chose to embark on their postgraduate studies at the same institution.

Andisa (40) is a Credit Manager at Nedbank Business Banking and a mother of three children who had to juggle work and family life while attending virtual classes in the evenings. Despite this, she passed the PDBA Cum Laude averaging 81%.

Makabongwe (42) is a Committee Coordinator at the Eastern Cape Legislature.

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News


Mandela University graduates congratulated for their achievements during pandemic



Nelson Mandela University’s autumn graduation got off to a great start, with three ceremonies for close to 400 George Campus graduates held at Eden Place, in the Garden Route town.


During these ceremonies on Thursday, 07 April 2022, and Friday, 08 April 2022, 396 students were awarded their under- and postgraduate qualifications. Of these, five were master’s degrees and six were doctoral.

Addressing the congregation that included institutional officer bearers, graduates and their families, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sibongile Muthwa, congratulated all graduates for their success despite the challenges encountered and further exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News

First graduate in newly introduced master’s degree in Maritime Studies


New Business Development Manager at the Transnet National Ports Authority, Nozipho Booi, is the first MPhil in Maritime Studies graduate at this year’s Autumn Graduation at Nelson Mandela University.

In addition, Nozipho managed to complete the two-year programme in one year. The programme was introduced in 2020 and currently has 18 registered students. 

Nozipho, 34, decided to explore the theory side of the maritime sector. She wanted to expand her fundamental understanding of the different functions within the sector and how those can be harmonised to grow the sector. 

“I am currently working within my dream area of focus, namely Business Development in the Ports Authority space. The most exciting part is that I am continuously learning new things and my leaders are some of the best sector specialists, who contribute to my knowledge and future growth opportunities”, she says. 

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News





Nursing Science master’s student’s pioneering research


Seven years after graduating with a Bachelor of Nursing Science at Nelson Mandela University, Bizana-born Xolani Dlamini (30) will be crossing the same stage to receive his Master of Nursing in Advanced Clinical Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Science. 

Xolani is also about to complete his first article for publication, reporting his master’s findings and preparing for his PhD. 

His research focused on the birthing process preparedness of first-time mothers in the public obstetric units of the Nelson Mandela Bay Health District (NMBHD). He found no previous similar study and/or literature with a South African context. 

Xolani is an accoucheur (male midwife) who is passionate about midwifery care and lectures midwifery nursing sciences and research at Lilitha Nursing College. He started his master’s programme on a part-time basis while working full-time in a busy maternity ward.  “I have not lifted my foot off the peddle since!. It was a four year roller-coaster, having to overcome endless lists of challenges” he says. 


Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News

Music Alumnus wins top theatre award #R2bP


South African mezzo-soprano and Mandela Uni Alumnus, Siphokazi Molteno, has won the Best Performance in an Opera (for the second time) at the 57th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards held recently.

The Award was for her 2020 portrayal of Dorabella in the Mozart opera, Così fan tutte.

Siphokazi is currently in her first year of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Program was created to identify and develop extraordinarily talented young artists in the realm of opera. She was previously a member of the young artist programme at Cape Town Opera, where she recently sang Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi and the Third Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.


In 2020, she won the Rising Star Encouragement Award in the Glyndebourne Opera Cup and Best Female Performance in an Opera in the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards in South Africa for her 2019 portrayal of Romeo. 

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News

First PhD in Business and Economic Sciences awarded at George Campus


Nelson Mandela University’s George Campus will made history during its Autumn Graduation Ceremony, when Cerneels Coetzee, 56,  received the first doctorate in the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences to be awarded at this campus.

Cerneels, a lecturer and consultant in business management, researched the customer relationship practices and online servicescape (interaction between customers and employees) for an unsought business, such as a funeral home.

His promoter was Marketing Management’s Professor Madéle Tait. His research topic, including the construction of a functional online servicescape, is largely unresearched in academia, says Prof Tait.  

“No, I don’t work in the funeral industry – it was just the industry on which I based my study, he laughs. But I did learn a lot about the industry.” He was once asked for tips on how to market a funeral home, which sparked his interest.  

Article Source: Nelson Mandela University News

Married couple to graduate with a PhD in Nature Conservation


Emily and Samantha McCulloch-Jones, both graduated with a PhD in Nature Conservation at Nelson Mandela University’s George Campus Ceremony on 8 April.

Emily (30), who obtained 89% for her master's in Nature Conservation, was the winner of three top awards at the University’s Academic Awards ceremony in 2019.

She won the best Master’s Degree by Dissertation in Science, Engineering and Technology award, the Rupert Gesinstigting Academic Award and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence as the best postgraduate in Science, Engineering and Technology. She also obtained her BTech cum laude from Mandela Uni. 

Emily was known as “the fern lady” as her research focused on invasion biology; and particularly, alien ferns, their ecology and distribution globally. She also focused on how trade influences their invasion potential as well as a source of introduction for alien species.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News

Mandela alumnus on the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine research and development


Mandela Uni alumnus Gerhardt Boukes (38) who holds a PhD in Biochemistry, is part of a team making the first mRNA vaccine for human use on the African continent.

“This is a tremendous honour and achievement. We want people to have access to the most effective prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines (and other medicines) available on the market.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic Africa and other low- to middle-income countries (LMICs) were last in line to receive lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. We cannot allow this to happen again!”, says Gerhardt.

He is the Chief Scientist at Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines and focuses on the research and development (R&D) of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

Gerhardt, is based in Cape Town and works closely with other teams at Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines who oversee production, quality control/assurance and regulatory aspects of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. Part of his job is to identify new and improved technologies for vaccine R&D and production.   

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News

Ex-Madibaz hockey star lands Great Britain coaching post


Alumnus and former Madibaz hockey player Jody Paul, would not “in a million years” have envisioned himself as the assistant coach of the Great Britain women’s team.

The 45-year-old ex-South African star was last month appointed to the position with the national team after spending 15 years heading the hockey programme at the University of Bath in England.


During that time Paul, who played 38 times as a defender for South Africa and went to the 2004 Olympic Games, also took on various coaching roles with England age-group teams.

He said he saw the national appointment as a step in a different direction to his previous positions.

“Until now, I have been involved in the U21 and U18 environment, which is all about developing players to potentially play senior international hockey,” said Paul.

“Now I see my role as one which is about performing on the world stage.”

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News