Student Affairs
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Women’s Month Ubuntu Dialogue engages Black Lives Matter’s Month Ubuntu Dialogue engages Black Lives MatterCharl Linde​<span lang="EN-GB">​​The Transformation Office of Stellenbosch University (SU) and the SU Museum recently hosted Tiffany Caesar, a doctoral candidate from Michigan State University in the United States, as part of the Ubuntu Dialogues series and Women’s Month. Tiffany shared her insights and experiences derived from the Black Lives Matter movement in the States and her academic research on related topics.</span><br><br><span lang="EN-GB">Tiffany spoke broadly about eugenics and how it still influences the lives and social mobility of the black community and transcends continents. Focusing primarily on structural racism and how it pertains to education, she explained how segregated and poorly funded education and higher unemployment in black communities often lead to a vicious cycle that impacts people of colour throughout their lives. Add to this the way in which the police and the justice system treat people from the black community, the impact of all these issues on families and communities lasts for generations.</span><br><br><span lang="EN-GB">Everyday examples of structural racism highlighted by Tiffany that also still exist in South Africa include the Pretoria High School for Girls case, which made international headlines in 2016 when black pupils’ natural hair was found to be against school policy. Why are white hairstyles universally seen as neat and tidy; why are natural black hairstyles considered unruly and untidy?</span><br><br><span lang="EN-GB">Tiffany also interrogated the notion of meritocracy and the common narrative in the States that people from the black community simply have to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”. Is this fair or even possible in a milieu where poor education, high unemployment and an overt focus on black people by the criminal justice system converge and accumulate?</span><br><br><span lang="EN-GB">After her address, Tiffany was in conversation with Nomzamo </span>Ntombela<span lang="EN-GB">, former Students’ Representative Council president, and then took questions from the floor ranging from topics linking to institutional responses to the renaming of symbols of white power on campuses worldwide and what she describes as a false ideology of colour blindness. Her experiences in the States with regard to the slow pace of change in the higher education sector is that “students have to cry first” before something is done to address the issues that they have about making these spaces more welcoming for students of all races</span><span lang="EN-GB">.</span><br><br><span lang="EN-GB">*Before the event commenced, a moment of silence was held for the death of one of South Africa’s struggle icons Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe and for that of the queen of soul and icon Aretha Franklin.</span><br>
PhD student wins first international Anders Bäckström Prize student wins first international Anders Bäckström PrizeCorporate Communications/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie (Rozanne Engel)<p>​</p><p>The Rev Mwawi Chilongozi, a PhD in Theology student at Stellenbosch University (SU), has won the international Anders Bäckström Prize, to be awarded for the first time during the conference of the International Society for the Research and Study of Diaconia and Christian Social Practice from 12 to 14 September 2018 in Berlin, Germany.</p><p>Anders Bäckström, Professor Emeritus in the Sociology of Religion at Uppsala University in Oslo, Norway, founded the fund in 2014 to support research on diaconia, Christian social practice, welfare and religion and, in particular, to support young researchers in this field. In the beginning of this year, the board of the Anders Bäckström Fund announced that, for the first time, an award for a master's thesis of excellence in the field of diaconal studies, welfare and religion will be awarded.</p><p>The Rev Chilongozi's master's thesis, which she completed in 2017 at SU, was recommended for the prize by her supervisor Prof Nadine Bowers Du Toit at the Department of Practical Theology. The award-winning thesis focuses on the role of the Presbyterian Church in Malawi with regard to maternal health.</p><p>The Rev Chilongozi completed her master's degree within the record time of one year and achieved a very good mark for her final product. A chapter stemming from the findings of her master's will also be published in a forthcoming book.</p><p>“This is the very first Anders Bäckström Prize and, to be the first person to be awarded this prize, I am overwhelmed with this honour. Maternal health is a socio-cultural and developmental issue that needs to be addressed by all people in the communities. I thought that, apart from the government, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations, the church also has a role to play in reducing maternal mortality in Malawi," says the Rev Chilongozi.</p><p>The Rev Chilongozi is an ordained minister in the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Synod of Livingstonia (Malawi) and was the second woman to be ordained in this synod in 2004. Since that time, she has served in several leadership positions within the synod. She has also served on the Christian Service Committee of the Churches in Malawi between 2004 and 2011. She is currently in her first year of her PhD studies at SU.</p><p>According to Prof Bowers Du Toit, the Rev Chilongozi is an extremely disciplined, bright and dedicated student and is excited that one of her students will be receiving this award. “I have deep admiration for her clear vision for the thesis, as it is a key challenge within our African context – and one not often theologically reflected on at the intersection with theology, development and health within this context," says Prof Bowers Du Toit. <br></p><p><br></p>
Successful first fintechathon at SU first fintechathon at SUCorporate Communications/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie (Rozanne Engel)<p>​ <br></p><p>Stellenbosch University (SU), in partnership with LaunchLab and Innovus, held a successful first fintech-themed hackathon recently. According to Camille de Villiers, Technology Transfer Officer at Innovus, the judges were very impressed with what the students were capable of achieving in such a short time.</p><p>“The pitches and ideas were all of such a high standard that the judges had difficulty choosing the ultimate winner. Some of the teams coded throughout the night on Saturday on their mobile cashless solutions. During the pitching event on Sunday afternoon, the student teams presented great workable demos of their apps and cashless mobile solutions," says De Villiers.</p><p>The fintechathon was sponsored by Entersekt and Capitec Bank and happened over the weekend of 17 to 19 August. The aim of the event was to get students to come up with innovative ideas to create seamless payments or information-sharing experiences for consumers.</p><p>“Thirty-six students took part in this first fintechathon making up nine teams. At the start of the event, the industry sponsors set and introduced the problem statements and, at the end, there was a pitching session where the most innovative team with the best solution won a grand prize to the value of R15 000, while there were two runner-up teams each winning a prize of R5000."</p><p>Anita Nel, CEO of Innovus, first welcomed the students and industry experts Schalk Nolte, CEO of Entersekt, and Francois Dempers, Digital Solutions Manager: Innovation at Capitec, then shared some of their experiences in the financial and business sectors.<br></p><p>Some of the perks at the event included a barista offering bottomless cups of coffee, popcorn machines and wholesome meals to keep the students fuelled for focus. The participants also received goody bags, T-shirts and mugs.</p><p>Entersekt and Capitec's developers were available throughout the weekend as mentors to assist the students if they were stuck or wanted to incorporate new or unknown technology into their solutions.</p><p>The pitches were judged by Gerhard Oosthuizen, CTO of Entersekt, Francois Dempers, Manager of Innovation for Digital Solutions at Capitec Bank and Tremaine Hector, successful entrepreneur and alumnus of SU's Business School.</p><p>The winning team consisted of Joseph Visser (BSc Honours Computer Science), Shaun Wurdeman (BSc Honours Computer Science), Ieuan Uys (third year BSc Computer Science) and Elke van der Walt (BSc Honours Computer Science). They created an app called “Disconnekt", which utilises the connectivity of Bluetooth beacons to process payments.</p><p>Uys, one of the members of the winning team, was very excited about being part of this first fintechathon and could not thank Innovus enough. “Winning was an absolute rush and the cherry on the top for the weekend. It also gave us a lot of confidence in ourselves and confirmation of our skill and creativity. I can say that my whole team had so much fun this weekend. We are really thankful for Innovus for the role they played in organising the fintechathon."</p><p>Another member of the winning team reiterated the same sentiments. “I'm so thankful for Innovus hosting such an event; I believe it was a tremendous success. I hope it is the first of many," said Visser. <br></p><p>Photo of Hackathon winners. <br></p><p><br> </p>
Dr Luhabe inspires future leaders at FVZS Honorary Lecture Luhabe inspires future leaders at FVZS Honorary LectureCorporate Communications/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie (Rozanne Engel)<p>​<br></p><p>“We need bold and visionary leaders. We need leaders who can engage where there is no change and we need leadership that educates, inspires and empowers our communities."</p><p>These were some of the inspiring remarks from Dr Wendy Luhabe, who delivered the annual Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert (FVZS) Honorary Lecture at Stellenbosch University (SU) on Tuesday evening, 14 August. The honorary lecture is organised by the FVZS Leadership Institute, which forms part of the Centre for Student Leadership and Structures and the overarching Division for Student Affairs at SU.</p><p>The lecture not only celebrates the life and values of the late former Chancellor of SU but also aims at encouraging critical and stimulating dialogue about our country and our continent.</p><p>Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, was also in attendance and reiterated the remarkable legacy of Dr Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert. He said that Dr Van Zyl Slabbert served as an excellent example of an outspoken critic of apartheid at SU. “This year we honour the critical Matie voices of the past who would not be silenced despite being ostracised and one of those voices belonged to Dr Van Zyl Slabbert. He challenged injustice and helped build bridges across all kinds of divides in the search for common ground in our beloved country. And that has helped us to reach this point where today, in responsibility towards the present and future generations, Stellenbosch University commits itself unconditionally to the ideal of an inclusive, world-class university in and for Africa."</p><p>In her lecture, Dr Luhabe also encouraged South Africans to learn from the past and not be passive citizens. She was not only a friend of Dr Van Zyl Slabbert but is also considered as one of South Africa's most sought-after thought leaders and role models. The theme of her lecture was <em>Leadership choices</em> and she emphasised the importance of building entrepreneurs and nurturing future leaders by helping them to be the best that they can be.</p><p>“Those of us who have succeeded in life need to pay it forward. When we enable others to be the best that they can be, it is a beautiful gift to ourselves as well. If we all just change one life, it will make such a difference in our world," said Dr Luhabe.</p><p>Dr Luhabe is a social entrepreneur, human capital developer, thought leader and author, who has received four honorary doctorates in commerce, including from SU, for her pioneering contributions to the economic empowerment of women in South Africa. Over the past 20 years, she has received various international recognitions and awards for her work. In 2014, she was appointed Honorary Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order by the Prince of Whales.</p><p>Dr Luhabe is passionate about leadership development in Africa and intergenerational dialogue with the aim of finding new solutions to Africa's challenges. Her lecture aimed to address some of those challenges and inspire those in attendance to help find solutions. “Each generation has a responsibility to invoke change. All you need to do is show up. Once we show up, we can bring our talents together to build a new and successful South Africa," said Dr Luhabe. <br></p><p>In the photo: Wendy Luhabe. Photo by <span style="font-family:calibri,sans-serif;font-size:11pt;">Henk Oets.</span><br></p>
Maties want to end student hunger with big collective initiative want to end student hunger with big collective initiativeCorporate Communications Division<p><strong> R10 million in 100</strong> days to create sustainable food banks on the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses to ensure that, for the next three years, no Matie has to study on an empty stomach. This is the ambitious aim of Stellenbosch University's (SU) student-inspired <strong>#Move4Food</strong> drive, which will be launched today (20 August) and run until 27 November 2018, which is Giving Tuesday at SU.</p><p>Giving Tuesday has expanded from the United States in recent years to become a global day of giving.</p><p>Students, staff and alumni will engage in a wide range of peer to peer fundraising activities, like participating in the upcoming Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on 23 September 2018, to raise funds for the cause. Olympic Games silver medallist and SU alumna Elana Meyer challenged Maties rector and vice-chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers to take part in the race, and he accepted.</p><p>Earlier this year, De Villiers participated in the Cape Town Cycle Tour with alumni and friends of the University to raise money for student bursaries, and he is already practising hard for the marathon in September. He has previously run the 'Big 5' marathons – Boston, New York, London, Chicago and Berlin.</p><p>“One student that goes hungry on our campus is one too many," says De Villiers. “I am putting my time, energy and money into fighting student hunger – and I challenge staff, students, donors, alumni and friends of the University, as well as the general public, to do the same. Let's team up to help our students finish their race."</p><p>Over 60 runners have already signed up and 20 <a href="">fundraising pages</a> have been created. Among others, the SU Registrar, Dr Ronel Retief, have entered the 10km race.</p><p><strong>Launch event</strong></p><p>The launch event on Monday 20 August takes place on the Rooiplein on the Stellenbosch Campus. The event includes a mini-concert at 12:00 while a fundraising concert will take place in the Endler Hall in Victoria Street at 13:00. Entrance fee is anything between R10 and R100 or a non-perishable food item.<br></p><p><br> </p>Food insecurity prevalent food insecurity and the need for the most basic items are becoming more prevalent among students in South Africa. Despite perceptions that SU maintains a privileged position, at least 6 in every 100 newcomer students (first years and first-year postgraduate students) at SU are at risk. This translates into 465 newcomers (out of a total of 7744) – compounded by students in other years.<div><em><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="Move4FoodGetInvolved.jpg" src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Move4FoodGetInvolved.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:450px;" /></em></div><p>“No student should be without food or basic needs," says Mr Ben Moolman, Student Representative Council member for Strategic Initiatives and Leadership Development. “We want to create a sustainable solution for students. Although the need goes far beyond food, this is now the most urgent need."</p><p>With the recent announcement of fee-free education, there is a general perception that students from working-class families receive financial support that covers all their university costs. “Not so," says Karen Bruns, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations. “There are caps on each expense component, like tuition, accommodation and food allowances. This results in shortfalls that the student is still liable for. The most pressing times for students are at the beginning of the year when students are still waiting for funding to be approved and just before final exams, when the food allowances dry up," she explains.  </p><ul><li><em>Those who want to support #Move4Food can sign up to run in the Cape Town marathon or make an online donation to the cause: </em><a href=""><em></em></a><em> </em></li><li><em>There are various other ways to #Move4Food as well, including virtual races, activity tracker challenges, sports days, commuting to work and making a cash donation. Visit </em><a href=""><em></em></a><em> for some fun suggestions.</em></li><li><em>Send an e-mail to </em><a href=""><em></em></a><em> for more information.</em></li></ul><p><em>  </em></p><p><strong>MORE ABOUT FOOD INSECURITY</strong></p><p>A recent study by the National Research Foundation has revealed that more than 30% of university students are food insecure. These findings were announced at the National Colloquium on Access to Food for Student, hosted in the Western Cape this week, seeking to find solutions to an emerging 'hunger crisis'.</p><p>Discussions centred on the effects that hunger plays in the student dropout rate. “If people are hungry‚ they cannot concentrate‚ they become stressed and anxious. A number of these students are working on top of studying and this‚ too‚ affects their academic performance," says Stephen Devereux of the National Research Foundation.</p><p><em>(Source: </em><a href=""><em></em></a><em>)</em></p><ul><li><strong>Click </strong><a href=""><strong>here</strong></a><strong> for an article on food insecurity<br><br>Picture: </strong><em>Elana Meyer challenges Maties rector to participate in the marathon </em></li></ul><p><em>  </em></p><p><br> </p>
Integrated annual report now available annual report now availableCorporate Communications Division<p>A copy of SU's integrated annual report – as approved by Council on 18 June – was delivered to the Minister of Higher Education and Training ahead of the deadline of 30 June. The rest of the print run arrived at SU during July (copies available from CCD), and a PDF version has been available on the annual report page of the University's website since June (<a href="/english/Pages/Annual-report.aspx?TermStoreId=d4aca01e-c7ae-4dc1-b7b2-54492a41081c&TermSetId=7989b2c1-6fd7-4cbf-a8ae-07ebb77dc18b&TermId=d5d68007-88cb-4e48-8328-b4bfbdb6694b">click here</a>). </p><p>The report is a <strong>rich source of validated information</strong> on how SU manages to be a responsible corporate citizen that is mindful of its impact on society, the economy and the natural environment.</p><p>“Although the 2017 report deals mainly with the activities of the past year, we also look further back in time with a view to our commemoration of one hundred years as a university in 2018. Do read this report – it is accessible and will make you proud to have a connection with SU," the Editor, Mattie van der Merwe, said. </p><p>“We honour SU's pioneers by placing each of their portraits next to those of the current management. A raised bar in faculty colours appears on the right-hand pages as a symbol of our pursuit of excellence in all our core activities. The statistics in the report have also been marked with these colours throughout to show how far the faculties and administrative divisions have come in achieving the University's strategic goals (see p. 7 of the Annual Integrated Report 2017)."</p><ul><li><a href="/english/Documents/2017/SU-Annual-Report-2017-links.pdf">Click here</a> to download a PDF-version of the latest (2017) Annual Integrated Report (23MB).</li><li>The Report is also available in printed format. To request one, please contact <a href=""></a> or phone 021 808 9923.​<br></li></ul><p><br></p>
SU hackathon promoting entrepreneurship hackathon promoting entrepreneurshipCorporate Communication/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie (Rozanne Engel)<p>​​<br></p><p>Ever wondered how life would be if you could order your food at the Neelsie while you're still elsewhere?</p><p>Imagine student life improved with great new on-the-go capabilities using your mobile phone to help you and your friends get more done, more quickly and more securely.</p><p>Creating seamless payments or information-sharing experiences for consumers has become a key differentiating factor for many businesses and institutions.</p><p>Innovus is therefore challenging you and your team to show us what you can do in the fintech-themed hackathon to be held from 17 to 19 August at the LaunchLab on Stellenbosch Campus.</p><p>The hackathon is sponsored by Entersekt and Capitec and is organised by Innovus in partnership with the LaunchLab and Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p>Innovus is looking for 40 talented student programmers, designers, builders and engineers to come together to learn and, from there, to develop and share creative ideas to solve industry-relevant problems in innovative ways. The two industry sponsors will set and introduce various problem statements at the beginning of the event and at the end of the event the teams pitch their solutions. The most innovative team with the best solution will win a grand prize to the value of R25 000.</p><p>According to Nolene Singh, Manager: Technology Transfer, Innovus and Commercialisation, the aim of the hackathon is to foster an entrepreneurial spirit on campus and to create entrepreneurial awareness. “It is Innovus and the LaunchLab's goal to increase the number of quality ideas entering their business development and support programmes by providing entrepreneurship support and creating an innovation culture among the students across all faculties at Stellenbosch University. Increasing the entrepreneurial and innovation culture across Stellenbosch University campus is of great importance to create and sustain a successful innovation knowledge region in the greater Stellenbosch area."</p><p>Besides the participants being mentored by SU industry partners and sponsors Entersekt and Capitec during the hackathon, the event may also lead to job opportunities for graduates, parallel career development for young researchers and a positive impact on the local developer community through the sharing of innovative ideas and through networking within the community.</p><p>Students who are interested in applying for the hackathon will need the following skills:</p><ul><li>Mobile programming (iOS, Android or Cordova)</li><li>A basic understanding of how to use SDKs and APIs (SOAP)</li><li>The creativity to design simple and rewarding experiences</li></ul><p>Students will also be able to use the following technologies:</p><ul><li>Alexa speech API</li><li>Bluetooth beacons</li><li>QR code or barcode scanners</li><li>NFC tokens</li></ul><p>Entries are open to SU students only and closes this afternoon (14 Tuesday 2018).</p><p>Visit <a href=""></a> to enter. <br></p><p><br> </p>
Qunu 9 share Madiba experience 9 share Madiba experienceCharl Linde​​Nine youth leaders from Stellenbosch University (SU) recently shared their experiences with the university community after travelling to the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha and Qunu, the birthplace of Madiba, during the winter recess to meet with other young leaders from Walter Sisulu University (WSU). The visit was a collaborative project between the Transformation Office and the FVZS Institute, and formed part of the #SAYouth100 campaign. Students primarily reflected on how histories, visions, languages and challenges shaped institutional cultures and leadership practices at both institutions, and how these practices could be transformed to deepen democracy.<br><br>Upon their departure, SU’s Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation, Dr Leslie van Rooi, encouraged the students not to approach the visit as SU representatives, but rather as South Africans. The students took this to heart and captured their experiences throughout the journey in a documentary, which includes voice-note reflections, cellphone footage and original film shot by one of the participants, Gideon Basson. At a special screening of the documentary as part of the FVZS Leadership Institute Discourse Café series on 26 July, the ‘Qunu 9’ shared their stories. Some reflected on the role of former President Mandela and his values in society today. Others spoke about their personal interactions with the WSU students – to some, suddenly being in the minority during the visit was an alien feeling, while other participants experienced the same when arriving in Stellenbosch. Further discussions centred on leadership issues, inter alia why there is a culture of collective leadership at WSU, though such an individualistic student leadership culture at SU, the challenges associated with each, and what this means for students who rely on these structures to have their voices heard. <br><br>After the documentary screening and reflections by the participants, audience members were afforded the opportunity to ask questions. Important and sometimes difficult issues were raised. For example, audience members questioned why the students had visited Qunu and not Kayamandi. Participants debated this – to some, the very rationale behind the visit was to remove the group from the Western Cape and send them somewhere where SU was not a dominant force in the community. Other questions focused on the way in which Madiba is represented today: Do we see only one side of him? Where is Mandela the freedom fighter? Why is Winnie Mandela so often omitted from the conversation about Nelson Mandela’s life, not to mention the conversation about the anti-apartheid struggle? As events drew to a close at the SU Museum, a number of students and participants moved the discussion to the Transformation Office and continued the debate well into the evening, covering a diverse range of topics arising from the Qunu trip.  <br><br>SU hopes that this dialogue between the institutions will result in broader collaborative projects in the leadership field, as well as further, similar projects with other universities across South Africa. The Transformation Office would also like to remind students of the ongoing Let’s Share series, which invites students to visit the Transformation Office every Friday during lunchtime to raise any issue in a space conducive to unrestrained conversation.<br>
Another successful Toasties for Tummies successful Toasties for TummiesAsiphe Nombewu/ Corporate Communication<p>Staff and students at Stellenbosch University (SU) came together in the Neelsie on the Stellenbosch Campus on Friday (27 July 2018) to make 10 000 sandwiches at the annual Toasties for Tummies event. Organised by the student society Golden Key, it formed part of SU's Mandela Day celebrations.<br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p>People with cell phone click<a href=""> <span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-4" style=""><strong>here </strong></span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-4" style=""> </span>to see the video<br></p><p>Toasties for Tummies was started not only to feed the less fortunate but also to help community feeding schemes and save them a day's food.</p><p>Organisations benefitting from the 2018 Toasties for Tummies include Love to Give, Child Welfare, Feeding in Action, the Kylemore Charity Foundation, the New Life Community Project, the New Superman, the Ark, the Kuyasa Youth Programme and the Night Shelter.</p><p>“This day is an opportunity for staff and students to network and socialise outside of the lecture rooms. People might wonder what a difference a sandwich makes to one's life but would be surprised at how much it matters to the beneficiaries," said Michelle Michelle Pietersen, Project Manager at the SU Division for Social Impact.</p><p>Echoing Pietersen's sentiments, Ms Rene Hector Kannemeyer, Head of the Maties Community Services, said: “Today was our responsibility to coordinate the activities around Mandela day, we chose food security as our focus because we know that we would be relieving a lot of organisations which provides food to students, pupils and people who do not have access to food on a daily basis."</p><p> Zabby Samsoedien, the owner of the company that has been supplying the initiative with French polony for over three years, said: “This is definitely not the last time we are working with Stellenbosch University. We have a good track record and all our products have been cleared and marked as safe to eat."</p><p> Stand-up comedian, actor, radio and television voiceover artist, Wayne McKay was the master of ceremonies at this year's event.</p><p><br> </p>
Three Maties selected as 100 Young Mandelas of the Future Maties selected as 100 Young Mandelas of the FutureRozanne Engel - Corporate Communications / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​​<br></p><p>“Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth, those who care for and protect our people."</p><p>It was with these wise words that former South African president and global icon Nelson Mandela addressed young people at the dedication of Qunu and Nkalade schools in Qunu, Eastern Cape, on 3 June 1995. Twenty-three years later, three Maties are carrying his vision forward.</p><p>In celebration of what would have been former president Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday on 18 July 2018, News24 set out to honour 100 young South Africans who embody the characteristics that Mandela was best known for. Current postgraduate student at Stellenbosch University (SU) Lindo Makhathini and SU alumni Nathaniel Japhta and Farai Mubaiwa are among the nominated 100 young South Africans.</p><p>“It is quite an honour to be amongst individuals who have contributed significantly to their communities in diverse ways. I'm truly grateful for the recognition. However, this not only affirms my good deeds but also encourages me to do more," says Makhathini.</p><p>She is currently completing her BSc (Hon) in Geology and was nominated for her leadership in empowering women in the geology and mining sectors. She is the president of the Western Cape Society of Economic Geologists and Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits. She is also the deputy chairperson of the Black Management Forum Student Chapter in the Western Cape and is an executive committee member of SU's Earth Sciences Society.</p><p>According to Makhathini, being in a leadership position is a very daunting task that requires a substantial amount of hard work, dedication and, to a degree, individuals who are open to criticism. “My goal has always been to break social barriers by exploring frontiers that no one (or very few) has dared to explore before, not only to benefit mankind but also to impact the environment positively. To ensure that women leaders of the future have role models to aspire to, I believe it is our responsibility to assume these positions in the fight towards gender equality."</p><p>SU alumnus Nathaniel Japtha says that he is also very humbled by the accolade and believes that more young people should take on servant leadership, which was modelled by Nelson Mandela. “To be echoed in the same breath as Tata Madiba is significant and reassuring that I am on the right track. What I've learnt on my personal Mandela journey is the younger generation particularly struggle with patience. Madiba was in jail for 27 years, yet we want success tomorrow. I've found that, if you humble yourself, you will be lifted up. Break down barriers by engaging people with different cultures and backgrounds. Learn as much as you can. If you do this, you will be successful."</p><p>Japtha grew up on the Cape Flats, which has been riddled with crime and poverty for decades. Yet, despite those circumstances, he pushed barriers in the sport, corporate and social impact arenas. He has excelled as a chartered accountant, helping Cipla South Africa save over R100 million in its last financial year as the lead project manager. He is also a successful entrepreneur and, in 2017, he formed the Pro 226 Africa non-profit. This organisation's agenda is focused on connecting youth to opportunities and equipping talented young people to take up opportunities in sport, education and business.</p><p>“Communities across the Cape Flats are in desperately hopeless situations, especially our young people. When schools don't have maths teachers, when parents are desperate for a future for their children and when you get asked for a job every day from young willing people, you have no choice but to heed the call. The organisation is a call to action," says Japtha.</p><p>Another Maties alumnus who heeded the call to action is Farai Mubaiwa. She describes herself as a change-maker, an African feminist and a youth leader. While studying towards her Accounting degree at SU, she co-founded a youth-led organisation, Africa Matters, in 2015. The organisation was created to counter the negative narrative and perception of Africa, which is perpetuated by the media and bought into by young Africans. The organisation also aims to equip the emerging youth demographic with the skills and tools to contribute to the continent's growth and has since reached at least 12 000 youths across the continent.</p><p>“We are growing exponentially and, from our base in South Africa, we now have ambassadors in Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia. In the next five years, we want to have ambassadors in at least 20 African countries. These ambassadors will receive training from us and we will support them in running projects to benefit their communities. We believe that changing the narrative is directly linked to empowerment. When you change the negative narrative of Africa, African youth are encouraged to contribute to the growth of Africa because they, too, believe in Africa's potential," says Mubaiwa.</p><p>Mubaiwa believes that every young person should learn from the legacy of Mandela and help to change the image of South Africa and the rest of the African continent. “It is an opportunity if we, as youth, step up and contribute positively to our society. This means we must lead well, be intentional, be bold, be innovative and, most importantly, serve communities around us. We are not the Dark Continent but, rather, we are the continent of light and opportunity, with passionate youth to lead us forward." <br></p><p>Photo supplied. From left: Farai Mubaiwa, Nathaniel Japhta and Lindo Makhathini. <br><br>*Photo on website landing page by Erhardt Thiel, taken in 1991 in what was the Neelsie passageway, upon Dr Nelson Mandela's first public address at SU.​ <br></p><p><br></p>