UJ Alumni Impumelelo Magazine Edition 10

In this edition, we showcase the Faculty of Education, from the leadership in place to profiling some of their prominent Alumni that are moving and shaking in their respective industries.  We also hear from the New Chancellor, the Chair of Council as well as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg (UJ). 

ISSUE #10 April 2023


Faculty of Education Showcased

MACE Excellence Awards winner 2022

Educating the future generation

Musetta Vander: A glamorous Gipsy in the limelight

Message of the outgoing Registrar

Department of Education Leadership and Management: Growing its own timber


Latest Edition

Rank in the World

Rank in Africa

Rank in South Africa

World Rankings

Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) (Shanghai Ranking)









QS World University Rankings (QS WUR)

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings (THE WUR)



Joint 6

Joint 7

University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP)

2022 - 2023




U.S. News and World Report’s Best Global Universities Rankings (BGUR)

2022 - 2023




2022 - 2023




Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)

Webometrics Ranking of World Universities (Ranking Web of Universities)

2022 - 2023




Impact Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings (THE UIR): Overall Ranking





Regional Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings (THE EEUR)





Young Rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings (THE YUR)





Employability Rankings

QS Graduate Employability Rankings (QS GER)



Joint 6

Joint 4

Stay Connected www.uj.ac.za/alumni

Editorial Team

Follow the link to find out more about UJ Alumni

Ms Mareza Christensen

Prof Bettine van Vuuren

Mr Nell Ledwaba

Dr Tinus van Zyl

Mr Victor Khangale

EDITORIAL NOTE 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.


UJ’s Vice- Chancellor and Principal - Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi 1 6 Message of the outgoing Registrar

VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE 1 Message from Prof Tshilidzi Marwala PRESIDENT OF CONVOCATION MESSAGE 2 Message from Prof Boitumelo Diale UJ NEWS 5 UJ team wins 3rd place at the Intervarsity Brewing Competition 5 UJ implements blockchain-based certificates for graduates 6 ABE Bailey Trust awards UK-SA bursary to UJ student 7 School of Tourism and Hospitality Plaque Initiative: Creating world-class facilities for the next generation 8 UJ filmmaker and academic wins Zonta prize at International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 11 UJ Doctoral Student Awarded Life-Changing Fulbright Scholarship EVENTS VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE 1 UJ’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal – Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF CONVOCATION 2 Executive Committee of Convocation – Profiling the new Exco of Convocation MESSAGE FROM THE REGISTRAR 6 UJ’s Outgoing Registrar - Prof Kinta Burger UJ NEWS 7 The new Chancellor – Dr Phumzile Mhlambo-Ngcuka 8 The New Chair of Council – Ms Xoliswa Kakana 9 Celebrating outstanding individuals with Ellen Kuzwayo and Alumni Dignitas awards 11 UJ, TUT and Department of Communications and Digital Technologies launch AI Institute of South Africa EVENTS 14 WILL event with PPS 15 Convocation AGM 17 UJenius event 19 Western Cape Chapter launch and Faculty of Humanities Affinity group launch 21 Retired academics luncheon FACULTY OF EDUCATION SHOWCASED 25 Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education – Prof Nadine Petersen 27 Department of Science and Technology – VARSTEME Prof Umesh Ramnarain may be the game-changer in youth unemployment 29 Department of Education Leadership and Management - Role modelling provides students with inspiration: An alumni’s reflection 13 Learning to thrive in the “new normal” of post-COVID-19 14 Applied Information Systems Alumni Affinity Group launch 13 Law Faculty launches Law Affinity Group 15 UJ launches Zimbabwe alumni chapter 17 Technology drives Generation Z, a generation that wants to be heard 18 Faculty of Health Sciences Affinity Group launch 19 The School of Management open their Alumni Affinity Group 20 Bringing young people on board is important 21 Creating connections and building for the future: Faculty of Education Alumni Affinity Group launch 22 Solving complex security problems in the cybersecurity space FACULTY OF HEALTH SECTION 25 Prof Seheem Khan – building a strong workforce to serve the nation 27 Reimagine the future of medicine and education in the 21st Century of digital technology 29 Prof Heidi Abrahamse appointed to National Health Research Committee 30 Department of Podiatry moving leaps and bounds into the 4th Industrial revolution 32 Technology advances but patients remain at the centre 35 Health innovation makes big strides in 2022 37 Discovery of a two-million-year-old fossil vertebrae 38 Daniella Da Silva, Biomedical Science PhD candidate at the Laser Research Centre, UJ 39 Dr Eric Aniogo an alumnus with a passion for groundbreaking research 30 Department of Education Leadership and Management: Growing its own timber 31 Teaching and learning for an inclusive society as UJ launches Neurodiversity Centre 32 Teaching for learning in a fast-changing world ALUMNI MOVERS AND SHAKERS 35 Forbes 30 under 30 article – UJ Alumni 38 Linford Molaodi 40 Dr Jaco van der Merwe 41 Xolani Sedibe 42 Gift Somakwabe 43 Tommie Meyer 45 Salome Baker 47 Celimpelo Ndebele 49 Musetta Vander HONORARY DOCTORATES 53 UJ honours iconic figures during the 2022 Summer Graduation series INSIGHTS 57 ALUMNI MOVERS AND SHAKERS 41 UJ makes the NYDA board shine 44 Celebrating our alumni’s excellence through the years 79 Nessisa Ngwenya, Nurse educator and Ms Universe Africa 2019 80 Bernard Zipfel, curator of fossil and rock collections 81 Yalekile Lusibane, CFO at South African Diamonds and Precious Metals Regulator 82 Lt Col Lucky (Nhlanhla) Zuma, Officer Commanding 80 Air Navigation School 83 Masonwabe Fuma: Marketer, Social Entrepreneur and Multi-award winning businessman 85 Anele Sikakana, co-founder and CEO of The Iconic Beverage Company 86 Gcina Nomsa Dlamini: Senior International Trade Manager: Europe & UK at WESGRO HONORARY DOCTORATES 88 UJ Confers Doctorate degree on British sociologist, Prof Michael Burawoy INSIGHTS 90 DSI/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation, the 4th Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development 92 We rise by lifting others, by Dr Tebogo Mashifana SPORT 95 Former Banyana Banyana player and alumna appointed Assistant Coach for UJ Women’s Senior Football Team 96 Two UJ women’s football maestros called for national Under-17 camp Decolonisation of knowledge and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) 59 Electric vehicles are the future of motorised transport, but South Africa is still stuck in a carbon past 61 Free trade is necessary to increase Africa’s economic development SPORT 64 UJ trio speak on maiden COSAFA Cup experience, first caps for Banyana Banyana 65 Bongiwe Msomi, Caitlin Rooskrantz shine at 2022 Momentum gsport Awards 66 Michelle Moganedi, Ryan Mphahlele crowned 2022 UJ Sportswoman, Sportsman of the Year

8 The New Chair of Council - Ms Xoliswa Kakana

49 Musetta Vander: A glamorous gipsy in the limelight

Welcome to this exclusive video interview with the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi. With over 20 years of experience in the higher education sector, Prof Mpedi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role. His short-term objectives include advancing academic excellence, enhancing the student experience, and strengthening the university’s partnerships with industry and the community. Before his appointment as Vice-Chancellor of UJ, Prof Mpedi served as the Deputy Vice-Chancelor: Academic. With his impressive background in academia, leadership, and research, we look forward to sharing his insights and vision for the University of Johannesburg.


Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMUyU9PYkF8



Executive Committee of Convocation Introducing the new Executive Committee of UJ Convocation The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is ranked second in South Africa and in Africa, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by Subject. At the heart of UJ’s governance structure is the Executive Committee of Convocation (ECC), a group of dedicated individuals who play a crucial role in shaping the future of the university. Comprising alumni, academic staff, and representatives of various stakeholder groups, the ECC is responsible for providing guidance and support to UJ’s management team, as well as representing the interests of the wider UJ community. In this article, we will take a closer look at the members of the ECC and their vision for their tenure on the ECC.

Mr Leslie Majaha Mpunzi President of

Leslie’s ability to work well with people and to lead others resulted in great success as a tutor and SRC member, when he represented students in academic forums, disciplinary hearings, National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) challenges and academic exclusions (F5 & F7 Appeals) with a high rate of success. Leslie has several years of experience working for international NGOs such as Room to Read, and UNICEF as a research, monitoring, and evaluation specialist for Early Grade Reading Studies (EGRS). His experience in working with cross- functional, international teams has taught him the importance of building trusted relationships and inspiring a shared project vision. Leslie’s passion for skills development and desire to improve learning outcomes in South Africa has enabled him to become a constituent registered facilitator, assessor, and moderator for various SETAs. As an Education Training and Development Practitioner, he also designs and develops learning material and quality management systems, and facilitates training provider accreditations with the QCTO and SETAs.

UJ’s Executive Committee of Convocation and Member of Council Mr Leslie Mpunzi is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Convocation of UJ, occupying the position of President and a UJ Council member. Mr Mpunzi holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies obtained from UJ in 2018. He has tutored and mentored students for five consecutive years in various UJ academic departments. He is a former Student Representative Council (SRC) member with the portfolios Academic and Quality Officer and Treasurer on the Auckland Park Kingsway (APK) campus. He was also appointed by the university management in 2018 to be part of the Student Advisory Council.


of Convocation in South Africa. This will promote the sharing of best practice methods to repeat successes and avoid failures in any of its operations. Through the establishment of this Association, Mr Mpunzi also seeks to investigate plausible ways to identify funding models that could assist with the settling of the historical debt of former graduates of UJ.

towards the University community by encouraging alumni to connect with their alma mater, Mr Mpunzi believes that being a member of Exco will ensure that all opinions with the best interests of the University at heart, will be championed. As the current President, part of his plans is to establish a national Association of Exco Members

There are various reasons why Mr Mpunzi wanted to be part of UJ’s Convocation Exco, besides actively connecting with his alma mater. Chief among those were his ambitions to encourage the idea of an active citizenry, as well as to ensure that the integrity of all UJ graduates’ qualifications was maintained. In his efforts to foster a sense of responsibility, obligation, and accountability

Prof Boitumelo Molebogeng Diale Deputy President of UJ’s Executive Committee of Convocation

Prof Diale is currently the Deputy President of the Convocation at UJ and chairs the South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) Academic Board. She is also a current Visiting Professor at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka (UNN). Until recently, Prof Diale was the Head of the Department of Educational Psychology. Prof Diale is a registered Educational Psychologist with the HPCSA, an Employee Wellness Practitioner and for the past 17 years has run a practice at Clinix Tshepo Themba Private Hospital in Soweto. Until September 2021, Prof Diale was the Chair of the South African

Career Development Association (SACDA).

As the former President of Convocation, she is still very hands-on in her approach to the leadership role of the Exco of Convocation. Three of the main reasons she is still on the UJ Convocation Exco are to see UJ positively impact its immediate community, help grow and support the current student cohort, and promote relations between UJ and its alumni.



Ms Nondumiso Precious-Gift Mvubu

Member of UJ’s Executive Committee of Convocation and Member of Council

Nondumiso Mvubu is a young Town and Regional Planner who has worked in different spheres within the public sector. As a seasoned Town Planner, Nondumiso is fully invested in the housing sector, infrastructure development, and the transformation of planning legislation. Nondumiso’s research and writing are rooted in the social complexities of the housing sector. “My recent research is on the social impacts within the housing sector, as I am obsessed with levelling the playing field within the Built Environment sphere in terms of sustainable urban and rural

planning”, she says. She is currently freelancing for PHEMO Town Planning and Property Development, a black female-owned Town Planning and Property Development company as a Senior Town Planner. They focus on innovating and diversifying the Built Environment sphere through transformational planning practices. Nondumiso is currently a Council Representative and member of the Executive Committee of the Convocation of UJ. Her focus is to see the growth and development of safe housing for students.

Mr Khutso Ephriam Rammutla Member of UJ’s Executive Committee of Convocation

Mr Khutso Rammutla, is on the Executive Committee of the UJ Convocation, serving as a Member. He is currently employed by the University of Johannesburg as a Project Manager for Infrastructure Development in the Facilities Management Department. He holds the following formal qualifications from UJ: a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management, a BTech in Electrical Engineering, a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering, and Project Management and Emerging Leadership Development certificates. He has also completed a Construction Management

certificate at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He is a registered Candidate with both the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) as an Electrical Technologist and the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) as a professional Project Manager. He is also certified with the Agile Foundation as a Project Manager. In his student leadership roles, he served as President of the SRC in 2015 and SRC Academic Officer in 2013, respectively. In his earlier student days, he served as a Deputy Chairperson of the


House Committee at Robin Crest Residence in 2012. The main reason for Khutso to serve on the Convocation Executive Committee is to be the voice of UJ alumni at the university, but also to be a link to UJ alumni in the world of industry, to improve networking

between them. His plan is to create a platform for graduates to maintain access to the University and to remain part of the UJ family, even after graduating. The aim is to create a platform for graduates to be guided and mentored from the student

phase to the employment or entrepreneurial phase by industry experts who are UJ alumni. He believes that alumni have a responsibility to mentor students and to expose them to a variety of fields they could explore with their qualifications.

Mr Nakedi Macdonald Magoro Member of UJ’s Executive Committee of Convocation

education and life in general. The reason Nakedi wanted to serve on the Executive Committee of Convocation was to be an active ambassador for the University through fundraising, developments, and all alumni- related matters. He plans to ensure the institution’s values, standards, and outputs are maintained to remain competitive, and to ensure that the safety of students and staff is prioritised. He plans to give back to the University and its community at large through his unwavering dedication to education, which helps us rethink and reimagine the future. He sees academic & financial mentoring support provided to current students and UJ alumni to be critical in the relations between the alumni and the university. He plans to be involved with the University’s affairs, and to uphold

Mr. Nakedi Magoro was born and raised in Botlokwa Mokomene, Ga-Makwetja, in the Limpopo province. Nakedi is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Quality and Operations Management in the Faculty of Engineering, who has a passion to empower those around him without expecting anything in return, except for them to continue empowering those around them. He believes that leadership is not about titles and positions, but about the lives of those who positively influence others. Nakedi is currently a Financial Officer at UJ in the Division of Financial Governance and Revenue. He is also employed as a House Warden, under the Division of Student Affairs: Student Accommodation and Residence Life, and is a member of the South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA). He enjoys motivating young people about

its ethics and financial policies through fundraising and to keep it financially stable through Convocation. Finally, in conjunction and solidarity with other Exco members, he wants to preserve the name of the institution and promote it.





In this video, we are privileged to interview Professor Kinta Burger, the outgoing Registrar of the University of Johannesburg (UJ). During her tenure, Prof Burger made significant contributions to the institution, thereby leaving a legacy that will be remembered for years to come. With a career of more than 30 years, Prof Burger held various positions in academia with distinction.

Her expertise and experience have been invaluable in leading UJ through a period of growth and development. In this interview, we discuss Prof Burger’s achievements, her thoughts on the future of higher education in South Africa, the future of UJ’s Convocation, and her reflections on her time at UJ.

Youtube Link: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=0sa7-B0UB8M



The new Chancellor Dr Phumzile Mhlambo-Ngcuka

role at UJ, where she aims to steer the institution towards becoming a world-class research-intensive university. In this interview, we will delve into Dr Mhlambo-Ngcuka’s short-term objectives for the university, her vision for the future, and her insights about education in South Africa.

Welcome to this exclusive video interview with the newly appointed Chancellor of UJ, Dr Phumzile Mhlambo-Ngcuka. Dr Mhlambo- Ngcuka is a prominent figure in South African politics and has served as the Deputy President of South Africa and the Executive Director of UN Women. She brings a wealth of experience to her new

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=mBAluZ-0Wig



Profile of the new Chair of Council – Ms Xoliswa Kakana

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=umJk1lmAxS4 its research and innovation capacity, and promoting social justice and equality. Let’s get to know Ms Kakana and her vision for the University of Johannesburg.

Welcome to this special video interview with the newly appointed Chair of Council of the University of Johannesburg, Ms Xoliswa Kakana. Ms Kakana brings with her a wealth of experience in leadership and governance, having held various executive positions in both the public and private sectors. Her appointment comes at a crucial time for the university, as it continues to navigate the challenges posed by the ever- changing landscape of higher education. In this interview, Ms Kakana shares her objectives for the short term, including her plans for ensuring the university’s financial sustainability, enhancing


CELEBRATING outstanding individuals with the Ellen Kuzwayo and Alumni Dignitas Awards

The ceremony was held on Friday 22 November 2022, was marked by Professor Tshilidzi Marwala’s last awards ceremony as VC before his move to Japan. He will be succeeded by Vice- Chancellor Professor Lethlokwa Mpedi. It was also Council Chairperson Mr Mike Teke’s last award ceremony, as his term has come to an end. He will be succeeded by Ms Xoliswa Kakana in 2023. During his welcoming address, Prof Marwala said that many farewells the past few weeks have afforded him the gift of reflection: Honourable Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni (South African Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies) is presented with the UJ Dignitas award by former Vice-Chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala. This strange murky middle ground I find myself in has not only been an avenue for reflection but has also affirmed many of my views about this institution. Our story is truly remarkable and our success in recent years has been nothing short of extraordinary. When I reflect on the facets that have led us to this point – it is indeed the confluence and convergence of excellence and a commitment to community that have been our great definers.




REV DR. PAUL VERRYN: For his dedicated fight against socioeconomic inequality and poverty. The Dignitas Awards recognise UJ alumni for their contributions to the growth and advancement of UJ. The Latin word dignitas refers to the almost physical aura that surrounds a person once he or she has fulfilled an important task. It therefore has the implied meaning of deserving, merit, and worthiness. Dignitas Awards Recipients: MS REFILWE BUTHELEZI: For her passion and tireless contribution to the engineering fraternity. MS MAMELLO MATIKINCA-NGWENYA: For her ambition and excellence

MINISTER KHUMBUDZO NTSHAVHENI: For her continued efforts to elevate society and to address social injustices. In his closing remarks, Vice- Chancellor designate Prof Mpedi alluded to Prof Marwala’s words on excellence: I am certain that our staff and students will continue to find inspiration from your lives, and through your commitment to excellence and community. I leave you with the words of the Kenyan author Shalija Patel. Reflecting on an interview with Kuzwayo in 2006, Patel wrote “These words seem like the answer… As does the memory of a woman larger than exhaustion, larger than the ignorance of those around her, larger than fear,” he said.

Prof Marwala added that the awards aimed at celebrating the greatness of UJ’s people- both directly and indirectly. He said: “These awards, beyond a celebration of excellence, signify the honouring of community servers, who are torchbearers in their own right and have carved a space in the world. It is a recognition of excellence.” The awards are divided into the Ellen Kuzwayo Awards and the Dignitas Alumni Awards. Named after anti-apartheid activist Nnoseng Ellen Kuzwayo, who was also a community builder, the Ellen Kuzwayo awards recognise outstanding South Africans for their extraordinary contribution to

the higher education sector. Ellen Kuzwayo Awards Recipients: OMAR BADSHA:

as one of the youngest chief economists in South Africa’s history.

For his substantial body of art and photographic work that helped catalyse political resistance for change.

A farewell gift made by Mapula Embroideries – a beautiful hand-embroidered cloth celebrating Mike Teke, outgoing Chair of Council at UJ.


UJ, TUT and the Department of

Communications and Digital Technologies launch The AI Institute of South Africa The Artificial Intelligence Institute of South Africa (AIISA) was launched successfully at the Johannesburg Business School on Wednesday, 30 November 2022. The Institute, which aims to help the country become a digital technology powerhouse on the continent and worldwide, is one of the outcomes of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PC4IR), and was launched in a partnership between the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies. Speaking at the launch, UJ Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala (who served as the deputy chairperson of the PC4IR), said the Institute’s launch, in record time, is a realisation of the strategy and specific goals of the PC4IR: In 2019, as my colleagues and I in the PC4IR began to establish the recommendations to assist the government in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital industrial revolution and catapult South Africa into the 4IR, it was apparent that the establishment of an artificial intelligence (AI) institute sat at the heart of our strategy. The recommendation to develop the institute was centred around a need to establish a common base to focus on the application of AI to health, agriculture, finance, mining, manufacturing, and government alongside regulations.



“...it was apparent that the establishment of an artificial intelligence (AI) institute sat at the heart of our strategy. The recommendation to develop the institute was centred around a need to establish a common base to focus on the application of AI to health, agriculture, finance, mining, manufacturing, and government...” said former UJ Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala.

In her keynote address, Minister of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said that the Institute ushers in a new era in South Africa’s digital transformation efforts, stimulating economic growth, addressing unemployment, and creating a positive social impact. I’m hoping that as we launch this institute, with these two universities who host the largest student populations in South Africa of learners who come from historically disadvantaged

His counterpart, TUT Vice- Chancellor Professor Tinyiko Maluleke, shared that South Africa could no longer allow to be left behind in the wave of 4IR: TUT had no choice but to heed the minister’s call that we join hands with the department and UJ in the establishment of one of the most significant institutes established in this country in recent years, namely the AIISA. This key institute will become the nerve centre from which we shall shape our connected future as a country. A digital future which beckons all countries of the world.

backgrounds, that the ‘multiplier effect’ will take place and have an immediate positive impact on those individuals and communities. The Institute will consist of two hubs, one in Johannesburg hosted by the Johannesburg Business School, and the other in Pretoria at TUT. Follow the link to register for one of UJ’s 4IR courses: https://universityofjohannesburg. us/4ir/uj-4ir-courses/







who is a Senior Fiduciary Specialist at PPS. Her address focused on estate planning and the aspects that related to it. She gave a brief rundown of what one needs to know and do in matters of estate planning: During Will Awareness Month, we advise and assist any person who needs to address their financial and estate planning affairs. Drafting a will allows us to leave a lasting legacy behind. In terms of leaving a legacy, it is important to realise that we take ownership of our planning and putting our wishes in place. If you don’t have a will in place, there are certain rules according to our law that governs the process of estate administration, called the law of intestate succession. In terms of this law, unfortunately, we or you don’t have the opportunity to nominate specific beneficiaries or legacies that you want to leave behind. She said the downside of not having a will in place is the fact that your inheritance could end up being managed by the Master of the High Court in the case of surviving minors. “In order to put your wishes into place, you need to draft a will and have it in order. It gives you an opportunity to nominate who your beneficiaries are,” she said. To see the whole event, follow the link: https://youtu.be/4-7D_HWRj3g

From left to right: Ms Amanda Vilakazi - UJ Illustrious Alumni, Mr Elton Hart - Attorney/legal Expert & Manager: UJ Law clinic, Advocate Anneke Le Roux - Senior Fiduciary Specialist at PPS

Will Awareness and the Marital context in Legal Matters

law clinics on the APK, DFC, and SWC campuses. Deputy President of the UJ Convocation Professor Boitumelo Diale gave a brief address about what the institution’s Alumni Office and Convocation had been up to the past four years. Amanda Vilakazi, an attorney who served as a member of the National Council of Correctional Services from 2015 to date, was also part of the discussion. She said whoever is skilled enough to draft a will for someone else, should. “The bank has enough resources and skilled individuals. A financial planner and an attorney have the expertise to draft a will,” she reiterated. The keynote speaker for the event was Advocate Anneke Le Roux,

Many South Africans die with their estates in tatters, not having done enough to ensure those left behind will be able to live comfortably. With National Wills Week having run from 12 to 16 September last year, UJ held a discussion which aimed to educate and create awareness on the importance of having a will and the different marital perspectives, drafting of wills, and other legal matters during Will Awareness Month. This was a partnership between the institution’s Faculty of Law and an insurance company, Professional Provident Society (PPS). Legal expert and Manager at the UJ Law Clinic, Advocate Elton Hart led the 2022 UJ Alumni Engagement edition, where all things legal were discussed. The institution has three



groups and chapters, establishing a wellness programme, and fundraising. In her address, Diale referred to graduate employability as a national crisis that needed partnering with incubators and job funders to prepare students properly for the world of work. She noted that the Convocation’s Wellness Programme saw a rise in mental health issues of community members, and a life health solution provider was called in to provide an alumni wellness programme. She called on alumni to visit the UJ alumni page to learn more about the university’s alumni benefits. Prof Kinta Burger, the UJ Registrar, said the aim of getting a high number of academics and students vaccinated was achieved. Prof Saurabh Sinha, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Internationalisation, reported on the year’s research output and successes. Dr Tinus van Zyl Senior Director: Central Academic Administration (CAA), relayed how blockchain technology was introduced to produce secure digital graduation certificates for

students and employers. Ms Zanele Modiba, Deputy

The former President of UJ’s Executive Committee of Convocation

President of the Convocation, introduced the new Executive Committee of the Convocation: President – Mr Leslie Majaha Mpunzi; Deputy President – Prof Boitumelo Molebogeng Diale; and the three Exco members Nondumiso Precious-Gift Mvubu, Khutso Ephriam Rammutla and Nakedi Macdonald Magoro. T he full AGM meeting is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=kL0xiSrNnsI

Prof Boitumelo Diale, former president of the UJ Convocation, delivered her third and final Annual General Meeting (AGM) address as President of the Executive Committee of Convocation on 22 September 2022. Reporting back to the Convocation, Diale said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic arriving two months into their tenure, the executive committee only dropped

one of its initial plans, namely to build a female residence on the Soweto campus. Other projects were also hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic but are currently in various stages of development. These projects involved building an alumni house for retired academics, establishing a graduate and employment programme, establishing affinity








Attendees at the UJenius club Alumni Affinity group launch

UJenius Club launches Alumni Affinity Group

of the top. We have also created Affinity group chapters, including the recently launched one in the Western Cape. So the opportunities to network are boundless. UJenius Affinity club members have many benefits, said Khangale, including a discounted rate for six months subscription to Mail & Guardian’s premium platform, and preferred partner access to PNet, an online recruitment organisation advertising over 8000 jobs globally. Dalitso Matserechero, representative of PsyCaD, told the audience that the job market today is very challenging, especially now with loadshedding. “It’s now more important than ever to network, to combine our energies.” he said. The UJenius Club focuses on: • Acknowledging and promoting academic excellence as a core component of the UJ student identity. • Bringing together students from

The University of Johannesburg Alumni Office, in collaboration with the Centre for Psychological Services and Career Development (PsyCaD), launched the UJenius Club Alumni Affinity Group on 4 November 2022 on the Auckland Park Bunting Road Campus. UJenius is a vice-chancellor’s initiative to acknowledge outstanding academic performances by undergraduate students, and to offer members additional opportunities for intellectual and professional development. It is one of UJ’s Affinity groups, which aim to gather UJ alumni and provide opportunities for them to socialise and network. Victor Khangale, Communications Officer for UJ Alumni Relations stated: The UJenius club is subject matter- based, and members are among the top 1% of UJ’s performers, so we are in the midst of the top

a diverse range of disciplines to stimulate interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration. • Promoting UJ values. • Creating a social space where UJenius Club members, from different faculties and campuses can interact with each other; to build partnerships and friendships. • Creating opportunities for closer contact with members of the broader UJ community. • Providing UJenius members with privileged connections and benefits, given their academic performance. For more information about UJenius club, click here. https://www.uj.ac.za/teaching- and-learning/academic- development-and-support/ centre-for-psychological-services- and-career-development-psycad/ ujenius-club/


UJ Launches Western Cape Alumni Chapter & Faculty of Humanities Affinity group

Deligates in attendance at the Western Cape Chapter launch

UJ’s Alumni Office, in collaboration with the Faculty of Humanities, officially launched the Western Cape Alumni Chapter and Faculty of Humanities Affinity Group on 18 November 2022, at the Cape Town Lodge hotel. Hosted by the Executive Dean of Humanities, Prof Kammila Naidoo, the event was another milestone in expanding UJ’s alumni and affinity group network. Head of the Politics Department, Prof Bhaso Ndzendze, pointed to the many incentives for being a UJ alumni, including fee 6 months access to the Mail & Guardian premium platform, a free wellness programme, and gym membership worth up to R1000, access to all campuses and their services, as well as to art exhibitions and discounts

at coffee shops. Western Cape chapter convener, Kabelo Mashile, said that alumni were well placed to “push the university forward and repair the issues they had experienced, to improve outcomes for future students. UJ is currently number two in the country and continent. We are aiming for number one.” Alumni are also key to the financial support of new students, said Senior Director of Revenue Administration, Mzwakhe Matukane. Between 2016-2021, with help from alumni and external donors, UJ allocated R921 million to assist students with their tuition fees and other living expenses. “UJ aims to raise R1 billion each year, effective from 2022, to aid in funding students. This is done

through connecting alumni and partnering with them.” he said. Referring to the value of alumni in the Humanities, Vice Dean: Research, Professor Brendon Barnes, said they could use their understanding of the working world to better prepare students for jobs after graduation. They were also well placed to represent the University, and to collaborate and contribute to the progression of UJ in becoming number one in the country and the continent. The establishment of chapters and affinity groups relies on contactable alumni. We call on all UJ Alumni that would like to start a Chapter or Affinity group to update their contact details. Visit https://ujalumni.co.za/ to join Alumni Connect





Retired Academics Honoured at UJ Luncheon

Some of those celebrated at the retiring academics luncheon

collective knowledge that is around the table. We urge you to put up your hand when there is a call for nominations. The convocation is an important structure as it comprises the alumni, current academic staff and also the retired academic staff. Mr Nell Ledwaba, Senior Manager of Alumni Relations, spoke about the retired academics joining their affinity group on alumni connect, as well as joining the Convocation AGM as it happens each year: There are different affinity groups which are faculty-related on the alumni connect platform. We always need guest speakers to share their expertise at these affinity groups. So you can mentor an alumnus or young emerging alumni and that will keep you busy. Professor Bettine van Vuuren gave the vote of thanks, thereby bringing the event to a close.

comes to the wealth of knowledge and experience that you have which is highly valuable”, Ms Kwinana said. Professor Bettine van Vuuren shared some remarks at the lunch and thanked the academics for their contribution to the university: This is to say thank you for your many years of service to the university and other universities where you may have been before. The impact which people like yourselves make on the lives of students is immeasurable and one can never say thank you enough. UJ is very lucky to have had you. UJ’s Registrar, Professor Kinta Burger spoke of the importance of getting involved in UJ’s Convocation, as well as joining the alumni connect platform to offer mentorship: We need you to become involved in the convocation as it’s where you continue to make a contribution and where we can draw from the

On Wednesday 23 November 2022, UJ celebrated its retiring academics with an interactive Retiring Academics luncheon held at the School of Tourism and Hospitality on the APB Campus. Ms Tokoza Kwinana gave the opening and welcome address, stating that going into retirement is not an easy transition for anyone: It is understandable to ask yourself, ‘now what?’ or ‘what am I going to do post-retirement?’ Many see it as a daunting experience, while others may see it as an easy feat as they may have plans put in place for their retirement. The event was held in celebratory style to honour the retiring academics, for whom the University had been a home for many years. It looked to engage the retirees on various offerings available to them through UJ’s Convocation. “There are many possibilities that are there but we are looking forward to engaging you when it




Attendees on the day of the Luncheon


ujfm 95.4 Shaping the future

UJ FM 95.4 is a campus based radio station that seeks to provide quality, relevant, dynamic, innovative and thought provoking programming content which speaks directly to shaping the future. The on-air identity is edgy with an urban contemporary feel with 60/40 programming format. Since inception, UJFM 95.4 has transformed the on-air programming style and content from a previously rock background to one more reflective of the Joburg and UJ student market and incorporates an eclectic mix of urban contemporary music, with Pan-African thought provoking content. UJFM 95.4 firmly entrenches itself amongst the 4 campuses of UJ, the voice of UJFM 95.4 strives to serve as

• The biggest category of their spend is toiletries and cosmetics, followed by food and groceries, then take aways, then mobile telephony, with hair and beauty fifth! • A Students are also taking greater responsibility for managing their debt.

a platform for healthy engagement amongst the community and promote a radio programme dedicated to positioning UJ as a 4.0 leader as well as a leading University in Africa Broadcasting over a 100km radius from the campus, the station grands opportunities to registered UJ students. With the stations’ young and vibrant look and feel, the UJFM 95.4 listener can be described as confident, edgy, and fashionable and a young star who knows what he wants, loyal to brands and choose ambitious and trend conscious. From a calm, creative style of programming and informative weekdays to explosive, loud and thought-provoking weekends, the versatile team will bring you a weekend that will surely keep your feet tapping. UJFM also offers opportunity to advert your services or products. • Students are spending 4% more annually since 2013, up to an incredible R39 billion. Here are some other facts: The South African student market and is spending more than the average South African consumer; • Students spend on average R2,944 per month, totalling R35,328 per annum, which is higher than the average South African. • Students now make 64% of their purchases online. • 39% of students save between 20 - 40% of their monthly income, while one in five students save 40- 60% of their income every month.

To take advantage of the advertising opportunities that UJFM offers you may contact 011 559 1655 or email anathis@uj.ac.za or ujfmsales@uj.ac.za



Africans had tuned into a radio stations, with most people still

Did you know that UJFM has its own free downloadable app? Yes, the Stream app is available on Apple store , Google Play Store and Windows. The App has some of our key interviews for post listening, some of the interviews you can find on the App are studio interview with Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi our incoming Vice-Chancellor as well as our outgoing Vice-Chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala. Radio is a universal mass medium in South Africa. According to Business Live ‘’In 2021, about 80% of South

listening on traditional radio sets and in particular, high listenership among young people, who listen to radio as a source of both news and companionship’’ This proves an upswing trajectory when it comes to sustainable of radio as form mass medium, with radio celebrating 100 years in South Africa this year, UJFM’s mission is to inform, educate,

entertain internal and external audiences about University of Johannesburg developments.



An activist in education: PROF NADINE PETERSEN , Executive Dean: Faculty of Education

computer scientist or other ‘big’ careers, some of which I don’t even remember,” she said. However, a turning point came in the unlikely form of an education inspector – who around 30 years ago played a vital role in the school process – who made a career in education sound valuable, enjoyable, and something I could enjoy. It also helped that there were education bursaries available to children from financially constrained backgrounds, and from designated groups. Failing her first year studying a BA in Education at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) all those years ago, is something Petersen is not ashamed of. In fact, it’s what

When Professor Nadine Petersen, Executive Dean: Faculty of Education at UJ and her team of 130 staff across five academic departments, four SARChI Chairs, four research centres and an administration division strap on their boots in the mornings, they do so with one mission: to turn their students into good teachers and empower other educational practitioners and researchers who will hopefully go on to do great things in, and for, the country’s education sector. Education has not always been a career choice for many students. Just 10 years ago, when the Faculty introduced its Foundation Phase programme, Petersen recalls having to scrap around to actively

look for at least 60 students who wanted to study the programme. They ended up with 56. Fast-forward to today, and that very programme is overwhelmed by more than double the number of applicants, all vying for a coveted space in what will be the launchpad to their careers. Yet for Petersen - the eldest daughter raised by a single-father in Bosmont, Johannesburg - teaching was not her initial choice of career, and today she laughs at the irony of having had an educator father, and not initially wanting to become a teacher but then eventually becoming one herself. Petersen explains: I had these dreams of being a



One of the ways the faculty is supporting its students is through investing and prioritising peer- led initiatives such as the Edu- Community Group, where 3 rd and 4 th year students peer-train 1 st and 2 nd year students. The faculty will also be looking to reintroduce their successful excursion programme that is geared for 1 st year students to meaningfully integrate them into the faculty, and introduce a level of support that is approachable for them. She concluded: “I believe education is where we lay the foundations of justice and care for others in society. We are moving into a fast- changing world, and education is where we set the foundation for young people to develop. If we get that wrong, we doom millions of young people to a hopeless life.”

had the orientation programmes we do now, we would have been given supplementary support, none of which were there 30 odd years ago.” She obtained her BA in Education following her studies at both the Rand College of Education, and UNISA respectively. Petersen works tirelessly to ensure that first-generation students are supported academically, and that the teaching profession is producing top talent for the sector, and for society at large. She smilingly points out that: There has been a shift in the way in which teaching is perceived as a career path. I believe more people are seeing education as a viable, exciting, and honourable career path. We’re hoping at one point, we get to a place where it’s harder to become a teacher than it is becoming a doctor or a lawyer.

helps her motivate young people to change their lives. “I’m not ashamed of it - I was a first-generation university student, I had no idea what was going to be expected of me, and back then the institution still had pervasive racism,” she explained. She added that “I couldn’t afford the books, I didn’t have the resources and I had these lecturers who couldn’t care less about a black child’s experience. I found that the institutions in those days weren’t really geared towards first- generation black students.” But she is also quick to admit that she may have been a little lazy too. “I came into it with an orientation that it would be easy because high school wasn’t bad for me, and I thought varsity wouldn’t be too bad either. Yet also, I didn’t know where to ask for help.“I didn’t fail badly – but I think if the university

Students and Faculty staff members


VARSTEME may be the game-changer in youth unemployment

Technology-enhanced learning driven by VARSTEME can be a game-changer in addressing youth unemployment. An individual well-grounded in STEM education will likely have well-developed higher order thinking skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking and creative thinking. The World Economic Forum, however, reports a worrying shortage of qualified scientists, engineers, and other STEM- related personnel in South Africa. Ramnarain elaborates: This is a sector that we need to be driving strongly to stimulate economic growth and address joblessness. We have a severe skills deficit in STEM, and so the youth need to be inspired to take up post-matric studies in these areas. For this to happen, they need to experience STEM subjects in an exciting manner. STEM learning experiences such as inquiry-based learning in science promote higher-order thinking, such as creativity and critical thinking in learners. These skills are needed to solve the sustainability problems we encounter in the global world today. Ramnarain wants learners to know the world of STEM is for more than scientists and engineers. He says we are at a crossroads where essential decisions must be taken to find sustainable solutions to challenges such as climate

The new virtual augmented reality research and teaching (VARSTEME) hub at UJ’s Science and Technology Education Department in the Faculty of Education, will accelerate innovation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education fields. The hub, located at the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus, was launched last year and is designed to create one of Africa’s primary academic centres dedicated to virtual and augmented reality in STEM learning. It will support research and education initiatives with the potential to deliver game-changing breakthroughs. Since its launch, the VARSTEME hub has become a leader in UJ’s Metaverse initiative. Prof Umesh Ramnarain, Head of the Department, who initiated the VARSTEME hub, says there are great expectations for the hub and that he expects it to be a significant feature of the faculty. The VARSTEME hub aims to equip pre-service and in-service teachers with knowledge and skills in using advanced learning technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality (VAR) in STEM education. Associated with this goal was the research agenda to pursue studies on the efficacy and pedagogy of VAR. The economic backbone of South Africa rests on development and

IRRESPECTIVE OF WHERE YOU LIVE, HAVING AN EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND IN STEM IS PURPORTED TO GIVE YOU THE EDGE IN SECURING EMPLOYMENT. change and, more directly for South Africans, the energy crisis we experience. Worldwide, careers of the future will be based on STEM. Irrespective of where you live, having an educational background in STEM is purported to give you the edge in securing employment. The new social and economic demand for higher-order intellectual skills accompanying the global information technology revolution has implications for the educational experiences provided to young people. “All citizens need to feel empowered to participate in discussions and debates on STEM- related issues. STEM is not merely what we experience in the classroom but refers to all

we experience daily.”, Ramnarain expands.

His advice to future students is to seek out opportunities related to STEM. STEM is not an exclusive area for a select few as is sometimes portrayed to us. The field is vast and varied. Ramnarain continues:

innovation in STEM, explains Ramnarain:



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