Change the world


From Olympic swimming pools to India’s cricket stadiums, from TV adverts that make us laugh and think to the banking tools that protect us from risk, from cars to recruitment, alumni from Nelson Mandela University are making a difference in diverse fields and in all parts of the world. 
At its annual Alumni Awards on December 7, the university was proud to honour nine outstanding alumni using their talents, expertise and passion to build exceptional careers, while also serving the societies they live in. 
“Our 2021 award recipients span a broad age spectrum, which reflects the power of the lifelong connection from which we draw experience and wisdom. Collectively, they represent the global reach of Mandela University as well as a cross-section of different disciplines, economic sectors and industries,”said Mandela University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa. 
In the alumni achiever category, honouring those who have reached the peak of their professions but continue to go further, there were four recipients, all change agents and thought leaders in their fields.
Among them were Mike Abel, founding partner and CEO of top-five creative agency M&C Saatchi Abel and M&C Saatchi Group South Africa, who is regarded as one of Africa’s leading advertising specialists, with clients including Nando’s, Takealot, Standard Bank and Lexus.
Nigeria-based Hilda Kabushenga Kragha, a recruitment expert managing teams across five countries, who is determined to tackle Africa’s unemployment challenges, was another recipient, along with Prof Vivienne Lawack, who is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academics at the University of the Western Cape. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she has gone to great lengths to ensure teaching and learning continues for every student. 
The fourth recipient was US-based Dr Michael Ferreira, whose 30 years in the automotive industry have taken him all over the world to his current position as Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Donlen Corporation, a global fleet management company previously owned by Hertz. 
In the Rising Stars category, honouring alumni aged 40 and under, there were also four winners, including Delaine Mentoor, who made history as the first ever female coach of an Olympic water polo team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and Anrich Nortje, who plays cricket for the Proteas and is currently the fastest bowler in world cricket. 
Another recipient was Thembinkosi Josopu, who has been working to uplift society for the past 17 years, serving in some of the country’s most notable governance structures, including the National Economic Development Labour Council, the National Skills Authority, the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the African Peer Review Mechanism. 
Dr Mark Nasila, who is the Chief Analytics Officer in FNB’s Chief Risk Office, received his Rising Star award for blazing a trail in digital innovation to reduce risks in the banking sector.
The final category – a Special Award, honouring lifetime achievement – went to Ken Ramjee, a retired electrical engineer now in his 80s, who contributed significantly to his field, and continues to serve on a number of engineering organisations and structures, both here and abroad. Ramjee has also used his skills to support the university over the past 40 years, serving as a mentor to students, a moderator, stand-in lecturer and advisor. 
“The incredible calibre of our alumni is something we are really proud of – and being able to honour them through these awards is always a highlight of the university year,” said Khwezi Blose, President of the Alumni Association.
You can view the full profiles our recipient on the Alumni website
To view the 2021 Alumni Awards Ceremony Premier follow click on the video below: