ISSUE #6 March 2021
OFFICIAL UJ ALUMNI MAGAZINE
The Vice- Chancellor and Principal USA Alumni Engagement
Making connections around the world
UJ Students score in Under 21 Currie Cup
Prof Adri Drotskie: UJ’s new School of Management set to elevate commercial professions in South Africa
First student cohort of fully online, accredited qualifications
become UJ graduates
4 Len Wolman:
UJ IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Johannesburg came into existence on 1 January 2005 as the result of a merger between the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), the Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR). Prior to the merger, in 2004, the Daveyton and Soweto campuses of the former Vista University had been incorporated into RAU. UJ is one of the largest comprehensive contact universities in South Africa from the 26 public universities that make up the higher education system. UJ has a student population of over 50 000, with close to 3000 international students THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE UJ CONVOCATION 1 Prof Boitumelo Diale: A message from the President of the Executive Committee of the UJ Convocation 2 Ms Zanele Anathi Modiba: Deputy President of Convocation and Member of Exco 2 Mr Msizi Smiso Khoza: Member of Council and Member of Exco 2 Ms Mukovhe Confidence Tshilande: Member of Council and Member of Exco UJ ALUMNI IN THE USA 3 Prof Tshilidzi Marwala: Vice-Chancellor and Principal USA Alumni Engagement 5 Boitumelo Makona: Paving her own way
Founder, Chairman and CEO of Waterford Group
Rank in the World
Rank in Africa
Rank in South Africa
QS World University Rankings (QS WUR)
Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings (THE WUR)
Allegro Dinkwanyane: Entrepreneur and M&G’s top 200 young South African 13 14 Aobakwe Makoku: Bidvest Wits Premier Soccer League club executive
University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP)
2020 - 2021
U.S. News and World Report’s Best Global Universities Rankings (BGUR)
Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings (THE UIR):
6 Duane Schroder: From Intern to Vice President 7 Philip Myburgh: From Roodepoort to New York City WEBINARS 9 The Vice-Chancellor and Principal USA Alumni Engagement 9 2020 Convocation AGM 10 The Future of Mining 10 An Equal Byte of the Apple 11 Pioneering Centre to advance the study of Race, Gender and Class 11 Conversation with the Executive Committe of Convocation ALUMNI MOVERS AND SHAKERS 16 Dr Stella Bvuma: Newly appointed Board Member of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) 18 Charmaine Maphutha: Non-Profit Extraordinaire and M&G’s top 200 young South African 19 Sizi Matthews Botsime: Education Influencer and M&G’s top 200 young South African 20 Chantal Riley: Award-Winning PR and Reputation Specialist INSIGHTS 21 Prof Adri Drotskie: UJ’s new School of Management set to elevate commercial professions in South Africa 23 Prof Saurabh Sinha and Prof Angina Parekh: UJ’s top executives explain how the Institution steered the 2020 academic year 27 Prof Tshilidzi Marwala: Restore the legitimacy of the state to revitalise our economy 30 Prof Rory Ryan: First student cohort of fully online, accredited qualifications become UJ graduates SPORT 33 UJ Students score in Under 21 Currie Cup
QS BRICS University Rankings (QS BRICS)
Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings (THE EEUR)
QS Under 50 University Rankings
Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings (THE YUR)
17 Funeka Montjane: Chief Executive at the Standard Bank Group
QS Graduate Employability Rankings
Stay Connected www.uj.ac.za/alumni
In this edition, you will find some of UJ’s recent success stories, that is why the magazine is called ALUMNI IMPUMELELO, which means success in IsiZulu. Through this publication we take time to celebrate some Illustrious Alumni, Events and Research. We invite you to follow us on social media and update your contact details on the UJ website. This will allow us to re-connect with you and for you to share in UJ’s journey. This journey includes positioning UJ as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Don’t forget to register on the UJ Alumni Connect to gain access to job opportunities, mentorships and more.
Prof Kinta Burger
Mr Nell Ledwaba
Dr Tinus van Zyl
Mr Lubuto Kalenga
The Executive Committee of the UJ Convocation
Prof Boitumelo Diale: A message from the President of the
Ms Zanele Anathi Modiba: Deputy President of Convocation and Member of Exco Video link:
Executive Committee of the UJ Convocation
Dear Members of the UJ Convocation
2020 was difficult but as the Convocation Executive Committee, we thank you for supporting the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in ensuring we complete the year. During the annual general meeting (AGM) in October 2020, I announced to members of the Convocation an opportunity to win a bursary for two Short Learning Programmes in 4IR and Artificial Intelligence. I wish to congratulate the following candidates on being the successful recipients of the bursary. 4IR FOR PROFESSIONALS IN BUSINESS Ms Minandi Visser Ms Kebuileng Nelisiwe Mathutho Radebe
Mr Msizi Smiso Khoza: Member of Council and Member of Exco Video link:
Mr Moses Lekwadu Ms Seipati Sebolai Ms Zamathembu Mthembu
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR PROFESSIONALS IN BUSINESS Ms Mpho Monamodi Mr Dzudzanani Ntsandeni
Mr Mdu Mbuthuma Ms Mphume Mgabhi Ms Sihle Mangcipu
I hope this opportunity will add value to your professional development. I wish you all the best in your studies. Furthermore, I wish to inform you that Ms Mandy Wiener has resigned from the Executive Committee of Convocation, effectively from 20 January 2021. The resignation is due to work and other commitments. The Executive Committee of Convocation would like to express its sincere appreciation for her valuable contribution during her term.
Ms Mukovhe Confidence Tshilande: Member of Council and Member of Exco Video link:
Prof Boitumelo Diale
President of Convocation University of Johannesburg
ALUMNI IMPUMELELO 2
UJ Alumni in the USA
Len Wolman: Founder, Chairman and CEO of Waterford Group
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Waterford Hotel Group, Len Wolman, counts his blessings for successfully having completed a course in Hotel Management at what is now the University of Johannesburg because he “got a great grounding and education at the hotel school”. Management, says the head of the hotel group, was a vital component that he has learnt and used throughout his career. However, one of the most critical elements he learnt from lecturer Dr Reinet “Dok” Mornet was “how important relationships are and building those relationships”. “To this day, even though he’s retired, I still get a text on my birthday, or a phone call. And that relationship has existed from when I attended the hotel school … that
translated into me reconnecting with the hotel school and that involvement has continued throughout these years.” Wolman, who will lead the UJ Alumni Chapter in the US, says that being successful means having more successes than failures or difficult periods. Having grown up on a farm just outside Delmas, about 100 km outside of Johannesburg, Wolman went on to start a successful career in the US by applying his education to secure a job, and his Green Card, in his chosen field. He says that Alumni connecting and networking with one another is crucial. Wolman returns to South Africa once a year to visit his parents-in-law and, while in the country, calls on the Head of the School of Tourism and Hospitality to understand changes
being implemented, deliver guest lectures, and connect with students. Waterford Group has set up a programme with UJ to offer students internships within the organisation and is involved in events at the School, while Wolman provides mentorship to young learners. “I would not have accomplished what I have in my career, had I not had those opportunities. I think it’s important and incumbent on us to give back, to connect, and to give young students graduating and other alumni the opportunity to achieve their full potential and success by helping them in the way that we were helped along our careers.” Links to the video interview are below.
Prof Tshilidzi Marwala: Vice-Chancellor and Principal USA Alumni Engagement
Video link, Part one: https://youtu.be/cIO7LelUXRo Video link, Part Two: https://youtu.be/RT0KjemeKw4
UJ is widely regarded as a model for other universities in leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution conversations in South Africa, the African continent, and the world.
world rankings and he emphasized the importance of strengthening relationships with Alumni and the University. “Although many of you have not been students for some time, you are part of the UJ community, some of you may have graduated from our legacy institutions, the Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit or Wits Technikon.” He says the trajectory of the University is that we are going to play a meaningful role in the new normal that is upon us, as
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal USA Alumni Engagement was held virtually on 17 September 2020. “We never planned to have this engagement as such, we were planning to come to New York to talk to you so that we can see how we can work together, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic we will have to do it with technology,” said Prof Marwala. In his address, he spoke about the way in which the University had climbed to higher positions in the
To view his full address, visit https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=DjYD4BMpTHU
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Duane Schroder: From Intern to Vice-President
do in the future. Here we are 19 years later, and I am still in the career that I studied for.” From Reservation Agent to General Manager of several hotels in South Africa to fulfilling key roles in American establishments, Schroder has also achieved several commendations in his life, including the 2007 Radisson President’s Award as well as improving business and satisfaction metrics. However, Schroder count among his career highlights the practical experiences that students were afforded while studying. After graduation, he worked at Caesars Gauteng for about six months in the reservation department and, while working there, he heard that he had been selected as the recipient of the Internship Program for Waterford Hotel Group in the US. Having left South Africa in 2002, he has grown his career with Waterford Hotel Group over the past 18 years. This opportunity, he says, was the single biggest “moment of my career” and put him on the trajectory to where he is today. Having the opportunity to be mentored by other University of Johannesburg alumni, such as Len Wolman, and be a part of his organisation, was also “career defining”. Looking ahead, Schroder aims to continue growing the Waterford Hotel Group, and is also a dedicated family man. “I will ensure that my children are afforded the opportunities I was, specifically for their education.” He also spends time developing people, either through mentorship of people he works with or being involved on the board of the UJ School of Tourism and Hospitality. “Any area or time that one can dedicate to assisting other people has an effect on that person that cannot be measured. While the effort might be small, the impact is large.” Perhaps these are qualities Schroder inherited from his mother, whose drive to educate continues to inspire him. “There is a lot to be said for the foundations that are built at a young age and how that shapes your focus and adaptability in difficult times.”
US-based Boitumelo Makona, who is currently a Senior Consultant in Accounting Advisory for CrossCountry Consulting, is one of those people who sees herself succeeding at something, and sets about doing it. Having set her sights on a degree in commerce during her high school, and after falling in love with the University of Johannesburg campus, Makona has been working in the United States since 2019 after initially having had a successful career in South Africa. Born in the Eastern Cape, Makona spent the first few years of her life in Mqanduli with her grandmother before moving to Johannesburg to live with her parents. Initially, she lived in Lawley (south of Johannesburg), until her father passed away when she was 11. She then moved to Lenasia South with her mom and siblings where she lived until she completed matric. At school, “I was very dedicated to my work and was probably one of the few children who enjoyed being at school. My father encouraged a strong work ethic and always said I could do anything I put my mind to. These lessons stuck with me even after he died.” Makona also attributes some of her success to “amazing teachers who contributed to this culture, who were supportive and cultivated a great learning environment”. As a result, Makona wanted to be a teacher, but she realised that someone could teach even if they weren’t in a classroom. “Over the years, I focused on my strengths as well as other things I was passionate about. This pushed me in the direction of accounting. I also discovered that a career in commerce would create endless possibilities and I could achieve great financial success so I would be able to help others.” A university degree was always on the cards, although it took Makona a while to decide what to study. She started collating information about various options in Grade 11 and then attended open days at the University of the Witwatersrand and Johannesburg. “I then went to the UJ open day to join some of
BOITUMELO MAKONA: paving her own way
you’ve planned it, so you always need to be open to change. What you have planned for yourself isn’t as great as what God has planned for you.” Working even harder to fulfil a promise to finish the degree, she made Top 10 in her class of over 500 students in 2015 and was then chosen as one of the Academic Trainees for the 2016 year at EY in Johannesburg. It was here that her dream of being a teacher was also fulfilled at that point and the ACC200 class she was assigned to added so much to this passion. After her tenure with EY, it was time to decide whether to “stay with this great company or move out of my comfort zone”. Makona chose to move to the States and is currently staying in Missouri. Currently, Makona is planning a wedding and hopes to be fortunate enough to help more students who need funding and provide other support to get through school. “I was given a chance by those who believed I could achieve great things and I want to be able to do that for someone else.”
my friends. I spoke to a few people and walked around the campus. For some reason, I just saw myself there as a student. My favourite part was the fountain area on the way to the student centre and one person told me that was where all the graduates took pictures. I just felt right at home.” Makona felt so at home that she only applied at UJ, and was extremely relieved, and excited when she received her provisional acceptance letter. She started with a BCom Accounting degree in 2011 (this was before they introduced the Bachelor in Accounting Science course) which she completed in 2013 before completing a BCom Honours in Chartered Accounting (also referred to as CTA) in 2015. Among her varsity highlights, she counts being accepted to stay at the Kruinsig Ladies’ Residence, while her low point was having to repeat a year to finish her CTA, which she couldn’t finalise due to personal reasons. “This was definitely one of the lowest points in my life, I felt like I had failed at life. As horrible as this was, this is where I learned one of my greatest life lessons. Not everything goes according to how
“Growing up, I had aspirations of becoming a pilot and flying huge airplanes for the rest of my life. I applied to be part of SAA Cadet Training programme but, unfortunately, I was not selected for that course.” Instead, he studied a National Diploma in Hotel Management at what was then the Technikon Witwatersrand, which he finished in 2001. In 2004, this diploma was converted into a BSc degree. Schroder, who has a rich history of climbing the ladder in the hospitality sector, says education has always been a priority for his family. “It forms the basis for the entry to your career of choice.” His mother ensured the children were educated, and his pre-admission requirement of six months’ experience in his chosen field has also stood him in good stead. “Those six months working in hotels after High School was a great way to get experience and determine if this was something that I wanted to
Duane Schroder, Vice-President of Operations for the Waterford Hotel Group in the United States, was never the best scholar, but a family commitment to education and having to spend six months in his chosen career before being able to study helped him grow his career internationally. Schroder, who was born in Kempton Park and raised in Edleen in west Kempton Park until he moved to the United States in 2002, describes himself as being a less than stellar scholar in primary and high school, even though education is a priority for the family. “As a scholar, I probably could have applied myself a little more to my studies, but I was able to make it through high school, even if it did give my mother additional unneeded grey hairs.” Schroder, a former Edleen Primary School and St Benedict’s College student, moved into the hotel industry early in life, despite his dreams of being a pilot.
ALUMNI IMPUMELELO 6
Philip Myburgh From Roodepoor t to New York City
workplace caught me unaware and I was not prepared for what it took to land a job.” He eventually started his career in Strategy consulting with Ernst & Young, and aggressively pursued opportunities in the United States, despite being told these were impossible to get. “About 18 months after I started working, E&Y won a global transformation program with The Coca-Cola Company. I wormed my way into an interview and two weeks later I was invited to join the programme team in Atlanta, Georgia.” After marrying Sandra, they both hunted for positions in New York City, where they relocated after a year of moving to Atlanta. “Over time, our careers took us to Africa, Asia and Europe, yet we always found our way back to New York City, where we currently reside. New York City is our ideological home and a logical evolution from our beginnings in Johannesburg.” Looking ahead, Myburgh believes that Africa holds potential solutions to many of the problems the world is facing today. “While there are obvious challenges, I anticipate that Africa will enter a growth period. My PhD is focused on leadership and disruptive change in Africa and is essentially a ‘bridge’ back to Africa. At the same time, my wife is managing a social impact fund benefitting Southern Africa. We anticipate that in future we will spend more time doing development programmes in Africa.”
Philip Myburgh, currently Head of People Experience, Design and Delivery for American International Group in New York, found his time at the University of Johannesburg to be a personal revolution.
going to university would unlock those opportunities and bring purpose. And it did.” At university, Myburgh leveraged the opportunities it offered. “I joined a rich variety of interest groups, sang in the University Choir, participated in community events and attended almost all the cultural offerings that UJ hosted. I embraced this time to expose and define myself beyond my origin.” Although he didn’t enjoy law as much as he had hoped, he realises, looking back, that he may have been too immature to appreciate the gravitas of what it took to prepare for a legal career. “I remember very little of what I studied during my first four years of university. Yet, my participation in organized student life, the cultural exposure, and the social learning and interaction laid the foundation for my being and future life.” Myburgh, who met his wife, Sandra, while at university, graduated with a BCom Law, an Honours in Industrial Relations and a Master’s in Human Resource Management. He later did an MBA at INSEAD in Singapore and is currently completing a PhD in Leadership and Performance at UJ. After university, it took him a while to get his first job. “When I started looking, I seemed to be over- qualified and under-experienced. Every good job opportunity at that time seemed to require a CA with three years of working experience. I share this because the difficulty of transitioning from university to
Myburgh, who grew up in Roodepoort, was raised by his
teacher parents to value learning and education highly. “I was a gifted student and my parents sacrificed much of their personal time and means to get me to participate in learning opportunities.” As a parent, he now realises how little he appreciated their sacrifices at that time. “I was a late bloomer and, to my father’s disappointment, terrible at team sports. I could, however, always differentiate myself with schoolwork, although this did little for my socialization. I often felt somewhat disconnected at school, which set a low baseline for my university experience.” It was always expected that Myburgh would go to university. Because of his academic talent, he could almost study anything that he wanted to. It came down to interest. “I was interested in business and dabbled in debating at school, so I enrolled for a BCom Law at what was then the Rand Afrikaans University.” Although Myburgh did not have specific dreams about what he wanted to do in life, he hoped that there would be more to life than what he had been exposed to at that time. I knew I wanted an international career and I hoped that
ALUMNI IMPUMELELO 8
The Future of mining The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Alumni Office hosted a special virtual event presented by the UJ Chair of Council, Mr Mike Teke and the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, in partnership with the Department of Mining and Mining Surveying (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment).
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal USA Alumni Engagement The Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Tshilidzi Marwla, virtually hosted USA based alumni alongside influential speakers from the University as well as Mr Len Wolman. In order to continue to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Alumni Office hosted webinars to engage alumni internationally and nationally.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyarfvk-uYo&feature=youtu.be
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjYD4BMpTHU
ALUMNI AT THE UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG CORDIALLY INVITES YOU TO A DISCUSSION ON THE FUTURE OF MINING Presented by the UJ Chair of Council, Mr Mike Teke and the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Tshilidzi Marwala , in partnership with the Department of Mining and Mining Surveying (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment). DATE 20 October 2020 TIME 16:00 (SA time) RSVP by Wednesday, 14 October 2020 by clicking on the link http://bitly.ws/9wAy or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
INVITATION Vice-Chancellor and Principal USA Alumni Engagement The University of Johannesburg (UJ) invites all USA alumni to join the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala in a virtual Alumni engagement. DATE 17 September 2020 TIME 16:00 (SA time) RSVP by Wednesday, 14 September 2020 by clicking on the link http://bitly.ws/9wAx or emailing email@example.com
An Equal Byte of the Apple What’s the connection between voice commands that couldn’t be recognised, airbags that would kill rather than save, artificial hearts too heavy for the chests they were meant for, the low availability in marginal communities of sanitary towels, and a quarter of the people holding tech jobs? The answer is a single word – women. We’re living at the time of a global watershed, and there’s a revolution happening around us – the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), to be exact, and although it’s changing everything, it’s not necessarily changing everything for everybody in the same way. While there are certainly global inequities in access to technology, with communities in the developed world experiencing things very differently from those in developing countries, within those disparities is another, universal disparity, one felt almost equally in every country – the disparity between men and women as agents, workers, and contributors in the world of technology. Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hztDBJcEVQw&list=PLHyv3RyvdiToBX2MBbabH7CutNp2e Vfhe&index=1
2020 Convocation AGM The University of Johannesburg (UJ) hosted its first ever virtual Convocation Annual General Meeting.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYz2zvsGbiw&feature=youtu.be
2020 UJ Convocation AGM
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Get your E-Academic Record at no cost Visit: https://www.uj.ac.za/academic-records
Pioneering Centre to advance the study of Race, Gender and Class
The establishment of the Centre for the Study of Race, Gender and Class is one of the most exciting developments in South Africa’s academic landscape and exemplifies the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) aim of elevating Pan-African critical and intellectual inquiry. Video link: https://www.uj.ac.za/newandevents/Pages/Pioneering-Centre-to-advance-the-study-of-Race-Gender-and- Class.aspx
Conversation with the Executive Committee of Convocation The Executive Committee of the UJ Convocation recently held a webinar focusing on graduate employability in the context of COVID-19
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWxIDaSlgf0
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ALUMNI MOVERS AND SHAKERS
to UJ in Grade 11 when one of the university scouts came to our high school to tell us more about what the university offered. I remember keeping the orange UJ pen they gave us, and I told myself that one day soon I will be studying at UJ.” What followed was a BA in Journalism, which she completed in 2011 with Communications and Philosophy majors. Dinkwanyane, who has plans for a postgraduate degree in either Journalism or Philosophy and an MBA, also studied Social Media Marketing at the University of Cape Town. The highlight of her time at UJ was learning about the entrepreneurial opportunities available. During her final year of studies at UJ, Dinkwanyane launched an
entertainment blog, Orgella Online, an online journal covering music, celebrities, fashion, and events. “I just kept going with my blog. It took only a few months to get over a million hits, and then, from around April 2012, advertising clients started coming in,” says Allegro. And that was the start of what has today become the Orgella Group, a diverse group of companies invested in several industries including media, communications, farming and property. A 2017 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 Honouree, Dinkwanyane believes that she owes her success and life lessons to the grace of God over my life.” Ironically, my first name Mogau means Grace and I believe in the power of names.”
As a result, she turns to faith when she is facing difficulties, and also relies on her supportive friends and family. “My two-year-old son, Elohim, is also my greatest motivator.” As for the future, Dinkwanyane says she is currently concentrating on trying to stabilise her businesses and make sure that it is prepared in these uncertain times, as well as exploring new ways of doing business. “We’re living in uncertain times and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of setbacks for everyone, including entrepreneurs, especially small to medium businesses.” Dinkwanyane is also looking forward to launching a few new projects in the next two years.
Allegro Dinkwanyane: Entrepreneur and a M&G top 200 young South African
Allegro Dinkwanyane, Founder and Group CEO of the Ogella Group, was born in Limpopo and raised between Lebowakgomo, 45 km southeast of the Limpopo capital of Polokwane, and Pretoria, and also split her schooling between these two towns. From there, this academic and competitive young lady climbed the ladder of success to launch a company specifically focused on online and broadcast media. She is one of the youngest owners of a 100% black-owned media company in South Africa. Dinkwanyane says, during her schooling, she was “always quite the academic and very competitive in sports”. Apart from her attention to her studies, she played a part in the debate team and was a prefect in secondary school. “I really enjoyed school, and I’m still friends with my high school best friend who I met in Grade 8.” It’s maybe no surprise, then, that she wanted to be an athlete and become a runner after she left school. She changed her mind and decided to become a singer before realising that entrepreneurship would open doors. “I started to take entrepreneurship more seriously when I discovered Oprah, and from the influence of my mother, who also juggled a business while working as a teacher.” Dinkwanyane says she always wanted to further her studies at university, even when she didn’t know how her mother would raise the money. “I studied really hard so that I could apply for a bursary or scholarship. I knew I wanted to go
Aobakwe Makoku: Bidvest Wits Premier Soccer League club executive
Makoku started school at BonaBona Primary School and, with two schools in between, Matriculated at Kalahari High School. He describes himself as “one of the bright personalities” and wore several hats, including
Chartered Accountant Aobakwe Makoku has been exposed to life at different levels of societal segments during his life journey, having grown up in a village (Tsineng Village in Kuruman), moving to a mining town (Hotazel) and then later moving to Johannesburg, all in pursuit of education and a better life. “This has refined my people skills, which I regard as one of the most valuable assets that I possess. My ability to connect and click with people effortlessly makes me stand out and get the optimal value out of each relation and interaction,” says the accountant.
that of soccer captain and Representative Council for Learners member.
His early career ambitions were to stand out and be counted and be an exemplary figure for those coming after me in the villages I grew up in. “More than riches and power, I wanted to have influence to effect change that matters, be a beacon of hope and show
ALUMNI IMPUMELELO 14
imparting financial education while simultaneously learning farming skills. What makes Makoku stand out from the pack, he believes, is his background as a village boy and often having to dig deep for inspiration. He adds that he owes it to himself and the village to be true to himself, as he considers himself an export of the region. “I can’t afford to let them down.” Makoku’s love for his home region is reflected in his plans for the future, as he envisages himself returning home to plough back all that he has learnt in the world to help improve the lives of his people. He also wants to play more of an active role in advancing the economic participation of African farmers and impact the value chain more as “we are central to the food security of our people and this country”. Makoku is a numbers man whose heart is very much with the people and the community that shaped his upbringing and life focus.
the village child that it’s possible.”
Makoku decided he wanted to go to university when he was in Grade 9 when the time to select subjects for the rest of his schooling arrived. He chose subjects that would later give him options between science, engineering, technology and commerce-related fields.
Dr Stella Bvuma : Newly appointed Board Member of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA)
“I fell deeper in love with Accounting in Grade 11.”
As a result, he studied a BCom in Accounting, which he completed in 2011, and followed that with a BCom Honours (Specialisation in Chartered Accountancy), completed in 2014. Among Makoku’s highlights are being retained as a manager at Deloitte after his articles, secondment to Deloitte Dallas in Texas in 2018 and then being one of the youngest Premier Soccer League club executives and representing Bidvest Wits Football Club on the board of governors. This, he says, was followed by acquiring his first batch of cattle. His passion for combining farming and numbers started after university when he was
Dr Stella Bvuma was born and bred in Limpopo province and is currently the Head of the Department of Applied Information Systems at the University of Johannesburg. Once a student in the same department where she is now Head, she describes herself as courageous, bold, yet a leader with a servant heart and agility. Dr Bvuma was born and raised in both townships and villages in the scenic Limpopo province. She completed her primary schooling in Namakgale township and High School at Lapato M High School, in a rural area just a few kilometres outside Namakgale. Growing up, she never dreamt about going into IT or taking on an academic role, but rather wanted a so-called ordinary career that was familiar, such as being a teacher or a nurse. Then she received a book as a gift from a popular Radio DJ at Thobela FM (Paul Rapetswa) Introduction to Information Technology.
“I then started asking questions about this IT thing, I had never heard of it.” Regardless of what Dr Bvuma wanted to study, a university education was a given as her parents were very insistent about furthering education and furthering studies. “Although they didn’t have much, they always pointed out ‘complete your matric and choose any institution you want to go to further your studies’, so one knew that going to varsity was not an option, but a must.” Her story really started when she went to university, where she started tutoring in her final year. “I volunteered to provide tutorials to a group of first-years who struggled with their studies. I, too, struggled with the same module but on a third-year level.” This meant balancing her own studies with her volunteering, which brought her to the attention of the Head of Department, which led to a paid post and, eventually,
after she climbed the academic ranks, Head of Department. “Academia found me. I never looked for it and I fell in love with most of it.” Dr Bvuma now has a slew of letters behind her name, including an ND IT, BTech IT, Masters IT, and a PhD in IT Management, accomplished this year, among others. The highlights of all this studying are, as she says, too many to mention, along with setbacks and challenges. However, she celebrates both achievements and setbacks as they have “crafted the courageous woman I am becoming daily”. In terms of role models, she counts Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela among the women who have inspired her because of the role she played in shaping the future of our country, South Africa, and her ability to be defiant and fearless. “Another political activist that I resonate well with is Mama Albertina Sisulu. Her generosity to take care of others and even
extended families, her appreciation for education and how she took it upon herself to educate others.” Dr Bvuma also admires another academic, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, who started her education under a tree and became the first black woman in South Africa to obtain a PhD in Maths Education in 2002. Fellow alumni, women who surround her, and classmates during TWR studies also inspire Dr Bvuma, who is gratified by what they have become. A true leader, she believes that leadership is about service. “Leadership is not a title I am given, but the responsibility that comes with it. It actually meant serving.” That, however, does not mean that Dr Bvuma is done learning. She believes that there is a dire need for lifelong learning to enable individuals to access learning opportunities – in different ways, for different purposes and at various career stages.
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Funeka Montjane: CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT THE STANDARD BANK GROUP
bubbly, loud and very open character.”
strongly about education. “My father always says, if we want to be business owners, he does not have a problem with that decision. He just wants us to get that degree first and then we can talk about venturing into business.” Maphutha completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at the University of Johannesburg and is currently busy with her postgraduate degree in Education at the University of South Africa. She says that one of the highlights of obtaining her degree has to be the self-discipline that she learned during the journey of studying. “I think, had I not disciplined myself in my university years, I would not
Charmaine Maphutha (26) is currently an educator at the
Rakediwane Primary School, having returned to her roots in Limpopo. Born in the Ga-Masemola village in Limpopo province, Maphutha started her schooling career in the province that is known for its abundant wildlife. After moving to and starting high school in Groblersdal, her family moved to The City of Gold and Maphutha completed her basic schooling at Mondeor High School, in the south of Johannesburg. As a scholar, she was very popular among her peers, playful and always participated in sports. “I am an extrovert, so I was known for my
Teaching was always on the cards for Maphutha, who only had one thought on her mind when applying to university: get a teaching degree. This was despite those who didn’t believe that she would achieve her life’s ambitions. “I wanted to be that teacher that looks beyond family backgrounds. I wanted to be a teacher that is open about societal issues and tries to find solutions. I wanted to be exactly who I am today.” University was always a foregone conclusion for Maphutha as her parents, both teachers, felt very
Then a big brother from her church congregation gave her a Rand Afrikaans University – the forerunner to the University of Johannesburg – financial aid booklet. There she found an offer from PricewaterhouseCoopers that led to the award of a full scholarship, which included tuition fees, paid residence, textbooks and a stipend. After doing two degrees – Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting, awarded with distinction) in 2000 and Honours in Accounting in 2001 – she went on to do her Master of Commerce degree at the University of Johannesburg, which she completed in 2004. “I love learning. I was always in awe of being on campus every day. I was the nerd who went to look for files in mid-January.” Montjane was a tutor while studying, providing extra maths lessons, which earned her enough to buy her first car. She completed her academic articles before moving to PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2001, where she later became partner. In 2008, she joined Standard Bank as the Chief Financial Officer for Personal and Business Banking in South Africa. She has occupied several other roles in the unit, including Head of Home Loans, Head of Credit and then Chief Executive for Personal and Business Banking in South Africa, a role she has “proudly occupied for the last eight years”.
Funeka Montjane, Chief Executive of Personal and Business Banking for South Africa at the Standard Bank Group describes herself as a proud nerd who has always loved learning. Montjane, who has climbed the ranks at Standard Bank South Africa over the past almost 13 years, started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she also steadily climbed to the position of partner, spending a total of eight years at the accounting firm. Born in Soweto and raised in the former homeland of KwaNdebele, Montjane went to Zithuthukiseni Primary School, Phumzile Secondary school and Fred Norman Secondary School. “I am a proud nerd. I have just always loved learning.” As a child, she was 11 when she saw a job advert in the Sunday Times newspaper for Chartered Accountants. “The salary listed was R10 000 per month, which was more money than I had ever imagined. From that day onwards,
Charmaine Maphutha: Non-Profit Extraordinaire and a M&G top 200 Young South African
have achieved my goal of becoming an educator.”
“I look forward to an exciting chapter at Standard Bank Group in my new role as Chief Executive Officer for Consumer and High Net Worth Clients.” Montjane attributes much of her success to her grandparents, whom she describes as “fantastic”. Although they were not highly educated, they are community leaders and fierce feminists. “They instilled a self-belief and drive in me that I still carry with me today.” When facing challenges, Montjane enjoys daily meditations during which she walks to clear her
Maphutha, who worked while she studied, co-founded the non-profit organisation, the Bopedi Hope Foundation, in June 2016. The foundation assists girl child learners to enjoy school without being concerned about basic necessities such as sanitary pads, school shoes, clothes, toiletries and anything else that is really needed. She says that what makes her stand out from her peers is her strength and resilience. Even though life has been hard, she has made it through and developed her personality, she says. “I am glad I am so self- motivated because it has made this life thing easier.” Maphutha was selected as one of the M&G’s 200 Young South Africans for her work with the foundation, she plans to study further and grow Bopedi Hope Foundation so that it can touch more lives. She would also love to grow her water purification business.
I set my sights on being a Chartered Accountant.”
Always a “ferocious” reader, she realised that, once the CA dream was ignited, she would need to go to an accredited university. “I applied at the University of the Witwatersrand for my undergraduate degree. I then applied for all the financial aid opportunities listed in the Financial Assistance and Scholarship booklet. They all turned me down.”
mind, stay healthy, and practise mindfulness.
“Seeing the present moment for what it is (and not speculating about the future) has helped me to find the clarity and resilience to navigate many storms.”
ALUMNI IMPUMELELO 18
Chantal Riley is a multiple award- winning Public Relations Officer and reputation specialist, working for the Johannesburg-based firm PR Worx. She is the only person to have won the PR Institute of South Africa (PRISM) Award for Best PR Professional twice, in 2014 and 2019.
of which she hopes to incorporate into how she does business in the PR industry. “I’d also like to see my blog thesassyflamingo.co.za continue to grow, and I’m about to launch my own Christian podcast,” she says. Born and raised in the East Rand, Johannesburg, Chantal schooled at Edenglen Primary and High School, then enrolled for a marketing and communications degree at UJ
(then RAU), graduating with a BA Hon Marketing Communica- tions in 2004. “I always knew I wanted to go to university. I started looking into course options in my matric year. The RAU Comms degrees immediately caught my eye. I chose the BA route as I was terrible at maths in high school. Still, I surprised myself by acing my economics business management semester. My parents were very supportive of me, and said that if I were going to go do a degree, I would have to do my honours as well,” says Chantal, who did her honours in 2005, coming in the top five of her graduating class. Chantal says she thoroughly enjoyed her time at UJ. “In fact, UJ got me my first media relations job working at the Cricket World Cup 2003 when it was in South Africa. I also met the most interesting people, found lifelong friends and would be remiss if I didn’t mention enjoying chilling on the grounds near the fountain between classes.” After graduating, she joined PR Worx and had a successful career there since. “I believe I truly have a passion for people – speaking to them, helping them, seeing them succeed. This is what has made me a firm favourite with our clients as well because I genuinely enjoy getting to know them and finding solutions to their issues,” she says. Her strengths, she says, are patience and an ability to remain calm in any situation, which serves her well in crisis communications. “When I face anything difficult, I try and logically think it through. I also realise that no man is an island, and I have a strong core group of friends whom I turn to for advice if I feel like I need a second or third opinion on things. I am also highly competitive and hate losing at anything. I will not lose to a bad situation,” she says. She says she’s looking forward to helping her clients reach their objectives and in doing so, rebuild South Africa’s economy post- lockdown. “I don’t like to sit still for very long, so I am always thinking of the next thing I get involved in and succeed at.”
She recently completed her Science of Wellbeing diploma through Yale University and is doing a life coaching course, both Chantal Riley: Award-Winning PR and Reputation Specialist
Sizi Matthews Botsime: Education Influencer and a M&G top 200 young South African
Botsime is not just an achiever in the classroom, but also beyond it. Among his career highlights, he counts being the district finalist for the National Teachers’ Awards (Excellence in Special Needs Education) in 2014. In 2018 and 2019, he was awarded the Global Teachers’ Award in New Delhi, India. In addition, in 2019, he graduated from the Activate Leadership programme and became part of a network of young South Africans that desire changes in their communities. Looking ahead, Botsime aims to establish an academy for children and young adults living with a disability. The academy will focus on skills acquisition and development, with its primary objective being to empower people living with disabilities so that they can become self-reliant and active citizens in all spheres. A humble man, Botsime believes that one should use the skills and knowledge one has acquired to transform the lives of the people in their community. “I am living up to my philosophy; I use what I have acquired to bring change and development to my immediate community and my country.”
University was put on the cards by his Grade 12 Biology teacher, Mr Mafojane, who gave the class a talk about university during the lesson and encouraged the learners to apply. “Following his talk, I went to the University of the Free State the following day and got the application forms and I applied. I worked and studied hard to meet the admission points then. At the end of the year, I passed my matric with university entry and I got accepted for the following academic year.” Initially, Botsime studied a BA in Geography and Environmental Management before transferring from the Free State to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, where he completed a BA majoring in Psychology and Isixhosa in 2009. The following year, he went to Rhodes University, and enrolled in a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, studying Life Orientation and Social Studies, which he finished in 2010. Botsime followed this up with an Advanced Diploma in Remedial Education from the University of Johannesburg, which he completed in 2016.
Education activist Sizi Matthews Botsime (AGE) is currently a Grade 4 Homeroom Teacher at the Canadian International School of Egypt, where he teaches English, Maths, Science, Social Studies, Art and Physical Education. At the same time, the Rocklands, Bloemfontein-born educator, is an Education Influencer with the international Education Influence network, where he connects educators from around the world. This 2020 M&G Top 200 Young South African was an enthusiastic student whilst attending both the Monyatsi Public School and Tsoseletso High School. Botsime was also very disciplined and committed to his schoolwork, as well as being involved in extra- mural and co-curricular activities, which may explain his career in educating and advocating for better education and his decision to create the Sizi Botsime Foundation, which focuses on empowering children living with disabilities, and their parents. This is perhaps a far cry from his childhood plans to be a lawyer, or a nurse specialising in Psychiatry, but the ethos of wanting to help others is a thread that runs through these choices.
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PROF ADRI DROTSKIE: UJ’S NEW SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT SET TO ELEVATE COMMERCIAL PROFESSIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA
The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) new School of Management, within the College of Business and Economics (CBE), is set to elevate commerce professions in South Africa. The School, under the leadership of recognised business strategist and UJ alumni, Professor Adri Drotskie, is combining the innovation strengths of the Department of Business Management, the Department of Financial and Investment
structured approach for supporting the set objectives. The School has advanced a professional ‘body of knowledge’ for the discipline of management. Through this ‘body of knowledge’ we are set to identify relevant issues or challenges in South Africa and use our joint expertise to dive into them.” Prof Drotskie brings to UJ an avalanche of experience, following her successful stints at Henley Business School,
Management, the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management and the Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management. Says Prof Drotskie: “There is a critical need for management skills across all sectors in South Africa. The very uncertain and challenging world we live in asks for strong management and leadership management within various spheres. It is a specialist field that provides a
gaining international exposure as MBA Director and Head of Research and Faculty Development. As an academic, she specialises in Strategy, International Business and Strategic Marketing. She also has years of experience in the corporate world in management and leadership in the areas of Strategy and Marketing. As a strategist by profession, Prof Drotskie has eight years’ experience in the transport industry, 10 years’ experience in the financial services industry and 12 years’ experience in academia in teaching and learning, research and programme directing on a Master’s level (MCom and MBA). Her combination of industry and academic experience led to competencies such as strategic thinking, managing teams, facilitation, action learning methodology, programme and project planning, strategy development and strategy translation from both a process and systemic point of view and sharing of knowledge. Prof Drotskie concludes: “I am extremely privileged to have joined the UJ family and thankful to have this opportunity to design and continuously innovate a sustainable learning and research platform and experience in management skills where learners and faculty can feel safe, creative and connected through real-time value creation through education.”
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