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30 NRF-rated researchers at the University”, he said. “And these are not the academics that we have hired who were already rated”. The state of education in SA “My biggest concern about the state of our education system in the country is that we do not have a plan and good pipeline to ensure that there is synergy between basic and higher education”. Fond memories of UJ Although he is now focused on growing Univen’s stature, Dr Nthambeleni has fond memories of UJ as “a great university” that contributed to shaping his career.

I am glad that I did not come here as a stranger to the issues that the university is facing”. A vision for excellence Dr Nthambeleni’s vision is to improve Univen’s academic and research rankings and position it among the top universities in the country and on the continent. “My vision is to position the University of Venda for impact. The university has a big role in providing to the needs of the country by producing graduates that will meet the human resources demands of the country. The University of Venda should be known for

its excellence in teaching and learning. We also have to prepare our students to compete and benefit from the digital revolution that is brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. He believes that Univen has already made strides in becoming one of the universities of choice in the country. “The only difference between us and other universities is that we have not been funded optimally in the past as compared to other institutions. Over the former ten years, the University of Venda has made good advancement in terms of our research output. To date, we boost

Nomndeni Mdakhi


Nomndeni Mdakhi is an entrepreneur with the advancement of women at heart. She has been instrumental in founding a number of initiatives, including Fuse Acadamy, a deejaying school for girls established in 2009 to help more women to break into the entertainment industry, and EDITS TALKS, which exposes

“I love creating brands and seeing ideas come to life,” she says. In 2016, Mdakhi established EDITS TALKS, a platform for budding female entrepreneurs to share their knowledge and experiences, and learn from successful role models in order to improve their business acumen and grow. “We all know that starting a business can be a tricky and lonely endeavour. For that reason, many look for a mentor to support and guide them during their new business

female entrepreneurs to business opportunities.

In 2011 Mdakhi established EDITS COMMUNICATIONS, a marketing agency helping entertainers position their brands and leverage collaborative opportunites with corporates. This agency now specializes in creating insights-driven strategy for brands whose primary target audience are black females.

startup,” says Mdakhi. EDITS TALKS has been

able to attract an excellent calibre of speakers, from all over the world, in the media,



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