Change the world


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

Double doctorate in Business Management

Dr Conrad van Greunen will be receiving his second PhD in Business Management at Nelson Mandela University on 15 December, both supervised by Prof Elmarie Venter.
Dr Conrad van Greunen (far left) also received his first PhD in Business Management supervised by Prof Venter.
Dr Van Greunen’s second doctoral research focused on “Team-related factors influencing intra-team knowledge-sharing in knowledge-intensive businesses”.
The research findings established that the factors team psychological safety, team development competition, cultural intelligence and age significantly influence intra-team knowledge-sharing behaviour.
Several practical recommendations were made to enhance the businesses’ competitive advantage.
Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News

International collaborative research on student entrepreneurship support inspires master’s study

Student entrepreneurship support at South African public universities to mitigate youth unemployment is the focus of a collaborative project between Nelson Mandela University, University of Pretoria, and Ghent University in Belgium.

This topic has inspired the Master’s study of Research Assistant in Business Management Riyaad Ismail to graduate cum laude on 15 December.

Under the supervision of Business Management’s Prof Shelley Farrington, the study entitled “Student Entrepreneurship Support at South African Public Universities” highlighted the best practices in the university-based entrepreneurship eco-system framework.

Past (establishment) and current (operational) challenges experienced by student entrepreneurs in their business ventures were investigated.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News


Developing a cultural teaching strategy for teaching sexual concepts in Xhosa rural secondary school

You too can make your life-time change” says Ayanda Simayi, whose PhD research, developed a teaching strategy that enabled her rural teacher colleagues to name initially avoided sexual concepts in the Life Sciences curriculum.

Ayanda, a Science lecturer in Nelson Mandela University’s Faculty of Education, graduated on 14 December with her PhD in Education.

As Life Sciences teacher for 27 years and a Deputy Chief Marker for Grade 12 Life Sciences, Ayanda heard from teachers how culture prevented them from talking about sexual concepts and processes, which form part of the curriculum.

This drove her to investigate how terms such as menstruation, sexual intercourse and sexual parts were shared in the classroom. 

Read full story here: Nelson Mandela University News


Promoting local musicians and successfully navigating the music industry

It is essential for music creatives to focus and educate themselves on music business and music law to be successful in the ever-changing music industry and working world.

Jazz pianist, sound engineer and music technology lecturer Robyn Henneberry focused her master’s in music research on how local musicians can successfully navigate the music industry by adopting a protean career (driven by the individual and not the organisation).

Robyn graduated cum laude at the Nelson Mandela University graduation on 15 December, after completing her Master’s in one year and seven months. Her supervisor was Music’s Prof Alethea de Villiers, whom she praises for her “exemplary dedication and support”.

This is the first South African study to address the adoption of a protean career among independent local music creatives, says Robyn.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News


Patience, passion and perseverance breed success

Patience, passion, and perseverance have marked the doctoral study success of Gabriel Kwadwo Twumasi, who graduated with a PhD in Business Management at Nelson Mandela University on 15 December.  

Born in Kumasi in Ghana, Gabriel started with a three-year Post-Secondary Teacher Certificate (Diploma in Education) and a Bachelor of Education (Honours) at the University of Cape Coast.

After he moved to South Africa, he worked for the Eastern Cape Department of Education. During this time, he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma, and a MPhil degree (specialising in HIV/AIDS Management) at Stellenbosch University.

Gabriel also pursued an Advanced Certificate in Project Management at the University of Cape Town. He now belongs to various scholarly networks, such as the Council for Economic Education (CEE) in New York, USA.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News


Master’s research on innovative treatment for colon cancer

The research of Nelson Mandela University student Itumeleng Zosela introduces an innovative treatment, namely nanoparticles, which are only toxic to cancer cells and not normal cells. The treatments currently available have severe side effects, damaging normal cells and not only the colon cancer cells.

Itumeleng graduated at the University’s Graduation on 14 December with her MSc in Nanoscience Cum Laude on the topic In vitro evaluation of bridelia ferruginea extract gold nanoparticles for the treatment of colon cancer.

Human Physiology’s Prof Saartjie Roux was her supervisor and Prof Hajierah Davids the co-supervisor.

She is already registered for her PhD in Physiology focusing on Nanoscience, testing the same nanoparticles on human tumour cells as well as on an animal model to see if they will have the same effects.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News


Addressing online misinformation and fake news with technology

Software Engineer at Property24 Cape Town Okuhle Ngada addressed the problem of online misinformation, commonly referred to as ‘fake news’ by using technological approaches, such as machine learning and deep learning technology.

He graduated with his Master’s in Information Technology Cum Laude at Nelson Mandela University’s graduation on 14 December. 

This is a very relevant problem, and the issue can be seen today with the high volume of COVID19-related misinformation, says Okuhle. 

“As for the underlying machine and deep learning technology, this is currently a hot topic and I would definitely use it for business problems that require some sort of prediction capabilities, he says.

Combatting fake news is a complex task and given the immense scale and speed at which online stories are produced, manually fact-checking each one is not possible and therefore automated solutions are needed.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News


Assisting organisations to better comply with marine and environmental legislation

Protecting our environment and endangered marine life and the immense importance of the ocean, was the reason behind Andrea Govender’s Master’s in Accounting research, which created environmental awareness from an auditing perspective.

She also developed a corporate governance framework for organisations to better comply with marine and environmental legislation.

Andrea, who is a lecturer in Accounting at Nelson Mandela University, graduated on 15 December. 

Together with her supervisor Professor Houdini Fourie, she embarked on a Master’s in Accounting topic that joined forces with the Oceans Sciences Campus at the University.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News




Researching indigenous Black South African family businesses and the African culture

Business values in indigenous Black South African family businesses are influenced and shaped by their African culture, and the philosophy of Ubuntu. And parents are the most influential familial socialisation agents.

These are among the findings of the research of Welcome Kupangwa, who graduated with his PhD in Business Management at Nelson Mandela University on 15 December.

His thesis entitled “A framework for transmitting and entrenching values in indigenous Black South African family businesses” focuses on the nature and role of values in these businesses.

The study investigated how values are transmitted from one family generation to the next, and then being entrenched and incorporated into the businesses’ organisational activities.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News



Mandela Uni alumnus wins national creative non-fiction award

Social Work alumnus Mzoli Mavimbela, 31, recently received the Creative Non-Fiction Award from SALA and Write Associates in collaboration with the National Department of Arts and Culture for his book MASIBUYEL’ EMBO KONAKELE PHI NA?

The book shares the rituals of amaXhosa, genealogy of the amaXhosa nation, the importance of traditional medicine – imithi, traditional songs and dance, and umqombothi among Xhosa people, from the author’s perspective on his culture and revitalises the importance of ukuzingca ngesiNtu sakho (being proud of your culture).

“I am speechless and cannot describe how I feel about this award,” he says.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News






PhD student selected for African/German geosciences training programme

Mandela Uni Geosciences PhD student, Carla Dodd, was selected for the specialised African/German field training programme (Train-ME2) as part of a group of only eight postgraduate students from across Africa.

The Summer School took place in November with participants from six different nationalities (Nigeria, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe). The Summer School is a training course that focuses on bio- and geological sampling techniques in both aquatic and terrestrial environments and the application thereof in palaeoecology.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela Alumni News


Mandela Uni computer science student’s app receiving global attention

Computing Sciences honours student, Marco Venter, has developed a smart phone security app that is already creating waves in Germany and the United States.

Uniface, as his app is called, uses face and voice “passive liveness recognition” technology.

While reading up about trends in artificial intelligence, Marco got the idea for his app and explained that passive liveness detection for both face and voice was developed and used globally for the first time at the beginning of this year but has only been used in the e-commerce sector. It has never been used to open a locked door. And this is what his app does.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News






Finance for the greater good

From microfinance and empowerment of women to improving financial literacy and helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses are what three recent student academic award winners have in common.


“Microfinance’s efficacy in promoting sustainability of women-owned SMMEs”, was the topic of Kundai Koti’s (centre in the photo) Master’s degree by dissertation in Development Studies. She was the award winner for the best Social Sciences and Humanities master’s with an average of 82%.

Kimberley Welsh (right) received the Vice-Chancellor’s award for the Best Postgraduate Student in Social Sciences and Humanities with an average of 93% for her Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning and Kristin Giddy received the Best First Degree in the Business and Economic Sciences Faculty award for her BCom Accounting Sciences (Computer Science & Information Systems) degree with an average of 85%.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News


Four Mandela Uni students in GradStar Top 100

Four Nelson Mandela University students have made it through the to the prestigious GradStar Top 100.

GradStar is a programme that recognises the top 100 students across the country based on leadership qualities and readiness for the workplace. Over 8000 entries were received this year which were narrowed down to the best 100. Many of the Top 100 students have received job offers from major employers as a result of being recognised through this programme.

The four Mandela Uni students included in this year’s list are language studies student, Azrah Rajah, accountancy student, Nkazimulo Kubone, law student, Liso Zenani and MBA student, Gary Sayster.

Read full article here: Nelson Mandela University News