Back row f.l.t.r: Shanice Cyster, Tammy Minnaar, Namelani Dlamini, Curtley Olyn, Bradley Tito, Aamina Bardien, Nomalungelo Kunene & Amy Jansen.
Front row f.l.t.r: Betty Abrahams (SAICA), Ilse Frans, Prof. Kobus van Schalkwyk, Sybil Smit, Amber de Laan & Gail Fortuin.
Back row f.l.t.r: Tebogo Mabusha, Khanyisile Zulu, Siphesihle Ngema, Collins Mathebula, Vumani Nkomombini, Hingis Hoop, Dhilshaad Adonis, Du-Wayne Slamet & Felicia Mafa.
Front row f.l.t.r: Betty Abrahams (SAICA), Ilse Frans, Prof. Kobus van Schalkwyk, Sybil Smit, Amber de Laan & Gail Fortuin.
Student Highlights 2019
Siphesihle Ngema, Felicia Mafa & Vumani Nkomombini graduated cum laude.
We are very proud of Bradley Tito and Curtley Olyn, who were ranked 16th and 19th in the CTA class, respectively.
Curtley Olyn, as well as another 2019 CTA student, Melanie Jacobs will join the Stellenbosch University staff as academic trainees in 2020. Both are very dedicated students and great ambassadors of the values of Thuthuka.
A key aspect of the Stellenbosch Thuthuka programme is to encourage Thuthukans to participate in activities and initiatives that develop their professional and personal skills to ensure that a well-rounded professional enters the profession.
Vele Bongwe represented Stellenbosch University at a Summer school program at Kuhne Logistics University (KLU) in Hamburg, Germany for a two-week period. Most of the students at KLU are doing their post-graduate studies in Logistics, Supply Chain and Business Management. She attended a short course on digitalisation presented by different professors from the host university.
Vele describes Hamburg as a beautiful city with fantastic public transport. She learnt some German to make communication a little bit easier. Vele said that the weather in Hamburg caught her off-guard: “Hamburg weather is the same as that of Stellenbosch. I went during summer, but all my days in Hamburg there was nothing summer about it. It was full of unexpected rains and cold wind." Vele says that being a Summer school participant was a life-changing experience and that she came back a different person.
The social portfolio includes the organising of social events for the Thuthuka students, from watching movies to ice-skating. The final social activity for 2019 took place at the Grand West Ice-Skating rink on 27 July, where we could all skate together while listening to some great music and having a good laugh. At the end of this event, it showed that even though there were people who didn't know how to skate, they tried and did not give up! When someone fell, Thuthuka students helped one another to get back up again and to carry on skating. It was beautiful to see how people helped one another. The quote of the day came from Raymond Mwebe (who was more down on the ice than up) when he said: “Ice-skating is just like BAcc – if you fall down, you just have to get up and try again".
The first academic prize giving of 2019 served to recognise Thuthuka students (including pilot students) who performed well, based on their final results of 2018. Since the awards were based on 2018 results, the first years of 2019 were not eligible for any awards.
The second prize giving recognised Thuthuka students who performed well during the first semester of 2019. The awards are based on the progress marks of the first semester and are received by all year groups including honours students. Students were awarded with certificates along with a special award sponsored by Mazars.
The prize giving motivates all Thuthuka students to work hard, and it further encourages students who are achieving good grades to maintain these high academic standards. It also recognizes and awards students' academic achievements and efforts and inspires them to continue doing well.
One of the group leaders wrote the following in their year-end report: “I have learnt how to work well under pressure. I also learnt how to plan my time and meeting deadlines accordingly. As students we are used to being told what to do, how and when, however I noticed with my portfolio that the project managers had little involvement, which taught me how to make rational decisions on my own and take full responsibility for my portfolio".
Community service– May 2019: Charity Fun Run
The Thuthuka group decided to have a fun run to raise funds, by means of registration fees and contributions, to donate to charity. The fun run was open to all Thuthuka students as well as the public. The total distance of the run was 5.5km. Water sachets, an apple and something sweet were given at the finishing point as participants were asked to bring their own refreshments. Positive feedback was received immediately by the participants, who said they love the initiative. Some people also offered to help organize the event in the future, while others wanted to have such a run every term. The event was a great initiative, and everyone participated in the event, even if they were walking. Not only were they doing good by signing up for the event, but they were also having a great group activity do with friends whilst being active.
Welcoming week is the Thuthuka orientation week where we connect with the newcomers on the bursary. The week started with a formal session where we welcomed the newcomers with their parents and/or guardians present. This was an information session about the bursary and the society. The week was filled with team-building activities, activities for newcomers to get to know each other better, an amazing race around the campus and informative sessions on what to expect for the year to come. We also taught them a new Thuthuka song that they later sang to the society at the first group meeting. At the end of the week they were assigned a mentor as a form of additional support. The event presented a space for the newcomers to connect with each other, the group leaders as well as the mentors.
On the 3rd of May the first-year committee held a braai day event that was aimed at creating an environment for the newcomers to connect with each other as well as their respective mentors. On the day they played games such as 30 seconds, cards, dominoes and we had an icebreaker to start off the event which was an elimination race. The newcomers we able to have fun and take a break from academics.
On 2 August a self-reflection event was held. The purpose was to find out how the first years were coping, their adjustment to the Stellenbosch University environment and what challenges they had faced over the past semester. The aim was to allow them to think about how their perspective about life and academics has changed since they have been in university. This was done for them to see how much they have grown and see how their behaviour has also changed. There was also a discussion about their academic performance and how they feel towards the degree now that they have had a feel of what it is like. With this event we wanted to create a safe place for first years, which allowed them to be vulnerable with their emotions and to share their difficulties or good times with the rest of the group. We also wanted to make them realise that they are not alone and that there are a lot of structures in place that are available when they need help. The session was very well planned, and the facilitators did a great job in maintaining the workshop and ensuring that it runs smoothly. Every student listened attentively as others were sharing their experiences. The mentors also shared their experiences to show the first years that being vulnerable is not a weakness, which made it easier for them to feel safe and be more willing to speak. The workshop clearly showed us as mentors how much the first years have grown over the first semester of university, and which of them still need help. Overall, the event reinforced the importance of Thuthuka in their lives and instilled pride within them.
Stellenbosch Thuthuka Society
Stellenbosch Thuthuka has a formally registered university society to implement community outreach and team-building events. The students take responsibility and arrange all activities on their own.
The values of leadership and serving your local community is an important goal of the Stellenbosch Thuthuka Society. Our Thuthuka Society is run by the students. The Thuthuka First Year Committee was established in 2018 to facilitate the transition from school to a new student at Stellenbosch University. The mentors help the students through peer support with the normal adjustment struggles, as well as additional help for the added feeling of social, cultural and economic difference.
The group leaders for 2019 were:
- Dhilshaad Adonis (chairperson)
- Siphesihle Ngema (vice-chairperson, academic portfolio)
- Abdurazak De Jongh (treasurer, community service portfolio)
- Carmen Arendse (secretary, social portfolio)
- Marona Hopane (media, social portfolio)
- Brent Pontac (media, community service portfolio)
The first-year committee for 2019 consisted of:
- Akhona Gqiyaza (chairperson)
- Hingis Hoop (vice-chairperson)
- Tshepang Mateta (treasurer)
- Nonkukhanya Dube
- Ntsako Maluleke
- Ismail Marungisa
Lungelo Ngobese presents at the Student Leadership Summit - October 2018
(excerpt from the official SAICA press release)
Through SLS, SAICA reminds chartered accountancy students that leadership is not determined by your title or your technical expertise, but rather by your ability to uphold your values no matter the resistance you may face. SLS does this by inviting students around the country to apply their minds to issues of national and professional importance. They think about how, as young professionals, they can use their skills to help solve these issues.
Lungelo Ngobese made Stellenbosch Thuthuka very proud as he clinched the winning spot for his insightful and solution-driven essay detailing the contributions chartered accountants must make to improve the communities from which they come. When it came to selecting the winner, the judges' choice was unanimous. Lungelo's thought leadership piece was so solution-driven and well-thought out, that they all knew they had found the winner upon reading his essay.
The summit included workshops hosted by Deloitte on how to pitch a business idea, business innovation and encouragement to 'just do it'. The finalists were given the opportunity to question what leadership means and were challenged to commit to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as developed by the UN.
Magneil Isaacs pays it forward in his community
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Dis my visie elke keer wanneer ek terugploeg in my gemeenskap."
Magneil Isaacs is a Thuthukan who already lives the Thuthuka mantra of “Pay it forward". He is from Cloetesville in Stellenbosch and in his experience, there were not many positive models for him to emulate as he embarked on his academic journey towards becoming a Chartered Accountant. Therefore, he started a mentorship programme where he offers his support to two learners who live in Cloetesville. He specifically helps them with mathematics and accounting homework - it offers them a positive model and motivation to endure in spite of the circumstances. He enjoys finding ways to communicate mathematics and accounting principles in a way that they can understand and apply it more efficiently.
We received a generous donation of branded jackets from Deloitte to mark our milestone 10 years of Stellenbosch Thuthuka. We are wearing our tops with pride on campus. Initiatives like this one contributes to the Thuthukans' feeling of belonging to a network and community. It is an expression of our unity.
International Trips – July 2018
A key aspect of the Stellenbosch Thuthuka programme is to encourage Thuthukans to participate in activities and initiatives that develop their professional and personal skills to ensure that a well-rounded professional enters the chartered accountancy profession once they graduate. The Thuthuka students below proudly share their travel adventures as successful applicants of the international exchange programmes.
King's College Summer School Experience
Written by: Siphesihle Ngema
In July this year, I had the opportunity to study a short summer course at King's College London in the UK. During my three-week stay in London, I was able to study in and explore the awe-inspiring city of London and the experience was nothing short of amazing, especially because it was my first time out of South Africa. It was without doubt one of the most liberating and phenomenal experiences of my life, through which I was able to engage in the topic of International Business at one of the world's top 25 universities, King's College.
The course that I studied enabled us to broaden our knowledge of international business, politics, and finance and to gain insight on business events occurring all around the world. I managed to make incredible friends from all around the world and during our free time, we explored London's landmarks together, tried out different foods, went shopping and took loads of pictures. We visited attractions such as the London Eye, London Bridge, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, British Museum, The Shard, Monument and Sky Garden Lounge. We shopped at London's Oxford Street, visited a number of markets and we took the Thames River Cruise which were all breath-taking and definitely worth every pound spent.
I am truly grateful to my mother and the SU International Office for making this possible for me, and I highly appreciate the support and well wishes that I received from the Thuthuka Project managers, my family and my friends. I would definitely encourage every student to apply to study abroad because it is indeed a great way to learn, travel and to grow.
Summer school visit to University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Written by: Tori Minnaar
I was selected to attend the summer school exchange to the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and it was an enriching experience that no one will ever be able to take away from me, it is something I truly feel fortunate enough to have done. I made incredible memories and lasting friendships. I would highly encourage everyone to do something similar, sometime in their life.
I chose to do the course on “The Entrepreneurial Mindset", which was more of a self-discovering journey and helped you to understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, as well as entrepreneurial skills that you will be able to use one day to start your own business. We spoke a lot about things that people are generally too afraid to speak about, like your fears, failures and risks. The course was presented in a circle setup that was more interactive than what I am used to at Stellenbosch. It had a lot less people, which allowed you to be more comfortable to speak about certain topics with other people and the professor. I found the course very interesting, quite different and I really enjoyed it.
We got the opportunity to go to Venice, Lake Bled and we visited the most beautiful gorges and waterfalls. On the first evening, we had an international evening, which gave you a chance to get to know someone else's culture and basic knowledge about food and drinks from each country. We had a tour of the city, a historical Slovenian evening, neon light party, salsa dancing and many more fun planned events hosted by the university.
It was weird being back, in the sense that I was different but everything here was still the same. My perspective on many things changed. Mainly things like cultural differences and people and how to approach them or how to not get offended and to realize that we all come from different backgrounds and that judging is not always the easiest way out.
Overall, my experience was worth all the stress, additional grey hair, tireless nights and endless emails for funding. I would just like to say thank you to everyone who made this dream a reality!
It is true what they say, once the travel bug bites you, it really does bite you and I honestly cannot wait to go abroad again!
Prize giving – March and July 2018
This initiative has raised the bar for academic performance amongst the Thuthukans due to the healthy competition it creates since its introduction two years ago. The first academic prize giving held in March 2018 recognises Thuthuka students who performed well during 2017. The second prize giving, held in July 2018, acknowledged their 2018 mid-year performance.
Costume Party - July 2018
We were very excited while planning the long awaited costume party. In 2017 we had the first Thuthuka formal dance and we decided to continue this as an annual activity but to change the theme to be a bit more sociable and relaxed. We had great fun as we danced together, laughed and sang karaoke. We all really relaxed and the different year groups continued to hang out after the party ended because we enjoyed each other's company so much. This was a really fun team-building activity. Congratulations to the prize-winners for wearing creative, interesting and thought provoking outfits. A special shout-out to Ms Meyer, project co-ordinator for bringing the IFRS textbook to life.
Community Service Initiative – May 2018
This year we planned to implement a community service initiative, which would have visible outcomes and long-term benefit to the recipients. Since Stellenbosch Thuthuka is an academic society, we place importance on academic achievement and hard work. We decided to contribute to recruitment by aiding Grade 12 learners with their online applications. More particularly we focused on pupils with good potential, the correct university entry requirements and those from under-resourced schools and communities, who face daily obstacles in accessing tools and resources to start and complete an online application. We wanted to expose these pupils to Stellenbosch University, which they did not consider as an option for tertiary education before. We collaborated with Nathaniel Japhta, a Stellenbosch University alumnus who formed the Pro 226 Africa; Stellenbosch University Department of Student Access; the Finance Department; and FHARGA computer labs to rollout the project.
Pupils were pre-selected from The Leadership College in Mannenberg, Stellenzicht High in Grassy Park, Heideveld High and Cloetesville High. Members of the Pro 226 Africa non-profit organisation also joined in.
The pupils arrived on campus early on the morning of 12 May 2018. There was an introductory presentation in the Van der Sterr building by Janicke Dill (Student Affairs). After Janicke presented, we then went to Fharga in the Neelsie, where Ilze Gelderblom from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences Student Affairs office lead the application process step-by-step with the students. Each Thuthuka student was paired with a pupil to help him or her. We are very grateful that the application fee per student was waivered in order to remove the financial and administration burden from the students.
After the application process, we shared a meal and spent time together. The meal was donated by Minister Albert Fritz of the Western Cape Department of Social Development. We did a campus tour to familiarise pupils with the facilities and to ignite excitement about their forthcoming tertiary career. Dhilshaad Adonis, who matriculated from the Leadership Academy, addressed the pupils to inspire and motivate them to remain focused on their goal to gain university entrance.
We have learnt that a number of these applicants received notice of their provisional acceptance to Stellenbosch University and this gives us great pleasure!
Hike - February 2018
On the 10th of February, we hosted a hike at Coetzenburg. This was a chance for the first-years to meet their seniors and socialise with them in the scenic environment of Stellenbosch. This encouraged peer relations across the year groups who do not usually have opportunities to meet. It is beneficial for the first-years because they get a view of the next few years and see what they are working towards more concretely. We enjoyed a meal together at the dam and sang all the way. We really enjoyed each other's company.
Every month we hold a group meeting to update everyone on activities and plans. We usually have an influential and inspiring guest speaker and we were privileged to host Rushdie Salie, trainee at EY, at one of the group meetings. Rushdie shared her experiences as she entered the working world. The students gained insights into the importance of consistent hard work and the opportunities that await if they stay committed to the programme. She encouraged the students to go for their dreams and to work hard in life for what they most desire.
The First Year Portfolio - a new approach to supporting
From her own experience as a first-year and then her experience while serving as a group leader in 2017, Shanice Cyster understood the difficulties associated with the transition of starting as a new student at Stellenbosch University. There are the usual factors linked to the jump from school to university, but for some there is an added feeling of social, cultural and economic difference. That is why she campaigned for the establishment of a Thuthuka First Year Committee to facilitate this transition through peer support.
The mission of this portfolio is to create a student-mentored space where each Thuthukan is linked to a peer mentor from within the society, to assist them throughout the year from welcoming week until year-end, and not just at the beginning of the year. Akhona Gqiyaza, Brent Pontac and Carmen Arendse availed themselves to support Shanice in this endeavour.
Three events were held for the first-years. First, they held a briefing on the history of Thuthuka, the programme, mission and intended outcomes. They shared the programme values and tried to encourage a sense of belonging and pride, so that first-years see their value as members of the Thuthuka community and do not merely blindly participate. Each first-year created a memory capsule, which they will refer to again in a few years' time.
Usually there is very little time to socialise because they focus on academics, so during second term they hosted a braai and games day to strengthen the first-years' membership and relationships through team-building. At this event, students had the opportunity to learn more about each other in a casual social setting.
The final event was a workshop facilitated by Ms Michilene Meyer, the project co-ordinator, who has professional training in psychology and social development. The focus of the workshop was identity and adjustment to life at SU. This workshop was invaluable and students requested that we continue with this initiative because it offered a safe space for them to share and critique the factors that were difficult to manage as they navigated university life at SU.
Welcoming week - January 2018
The first term began with a successful five-day welcoming programme for our new first-year students, where the students signed their bursary contracts, engaged in an afternoon filled with exciting activities, put their best foot forward in a Maties Dance workshop and received a breakdown of what they could expect this year. They wrote a new Thuthuka anthem that they sang proudly to the rest of the group at the first group meeting. We were very pleased to host the families of the new Thuthukans and showcase what the programme would offer this year.
This year we initiated a new portfolio, the First Year Committee, that was formerly introduced during welcoming week.
We sought to emphasise the importance of self-care and well-being, therefore we included a hike as one of our social team-building activities. The event offered a platform for the newcomers to bond and start building new relationships.
Meet the Thuthuka Society Executive for 2018
The leadership team of 2018 was elected at the annual Thuthuka Society elections in August 2017. Our proud new leaders were Tori Minnaar (Chair), Shanice Cyster (Vice Chair), Dhilshaad Adonis (Secretary), Curtley Olyn (Treasurer), Worren Figeland (Community Service Portfolio) and Raymond Mwebe (Social Portfolio). We thank Tori Minnaar and her team for their hard work and commitment during 2018.
Tori Minnaar said that the first term was a transition period between the incoming and outgoing members. It was a time where interaction between the two sets of leaders was encouraged, so that the incoming team could adjust quickly. They planned and led their first group meeting, which had an emphasis on being well balanced, and staying focused on retaining the bursary through consistent work and commitment to the programme.
December 2017 Graduation
We proudly supported our B.Accounting and B. Accounting (Honours) graduates at their graduation on 6 December 2017. We are excited for the new journey that the honours graduates will start when they go to their work placements in January and we wish the B.Accounting graduates well as they embark on their honours year. Many of the third year students are not in these photos because they opted to graduate at the March 2018 ceremony.
STELLENBOSCH THUTHUKA SOCIETY PROGRAMME: ACADEMIC AND OTHER INITIATIVES
FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 2017 TO DECEMBER 2017
The following contributions were written by Thuthukans as they reflect upon the activities of the 10th celebration year of Stellenbosch Thuthuka.
A warm Stellenbosch Thuthuka welcome
The official welcoming for our first years took place on 19 January. This year a whopping 35 students joined the family! We were happy to have Prof. Kobus Van Schalkwyk, the Deputy Director: Transformation and Social Impact in the School of Accountancy and representatives of SAICA, Mr. Christiaan Vorster and Ms. Betty Abrahams present.
The week included many fun and informative activities like the “Amazing Race" around Stellenbosch, an academic session where students received Mazars goodie-bags and a de-briefing titled “University 101" to help them adjust to this new environment.
They thoroughly enjoyed the dance session presented by Maties Dance Society where they put their best feet (and in some cases left feet) forward. In celebration of Stellenbosch Thuthuka's 10 year anniversary the students came up with interesting war cries. We thank the Thuthuka senior students and project managers for taking some time out to welcome the new members to our family.
The socials provide dedicated time for Thuthukans to meet and make new connections with each other especially since we rarely have the opportunity to interact with other year groups. Many lifelong friendships and support networks are established during these moments together.
We had great fun at Pulp Cinema for our movie day on the 17th of February. It was a relaxing afternoon after the first few weeks of serious academics. We could barely contain our composure as we laughed out loud for the stand-up comedy movie “What Now?" by Kevin Hart.
The students celebrated the 10th anniversary of Stellenbosch Thuthuka by hosting a dance to mark the achievement. We celebrated those who came before and left their legacy behind and honoured the current students. This event was significant as it was the first dance hosted and it is a symbol of the type of community we have grown into. There is so much support and comradery amongst the students and that is what makes Stellenbosch Thuthuka so special.
We were joined by donor firmsand SAICA representatives who came from across the country to enjoy the celebration. Our key note speaker was Mr. Sandile Philip, president of SAICA Southern Region. He shared his journey on how he became a CA and gave the students words of inspiration and encouragement in a relatable manner because he shared so much of the same student experience as we do. It is encouraging in moments when we feel despondent and self-doubt to see that successful people overcame similar struggles.
We held our academic awards ceremony which is aimed at rewarding and acknowledging those students who have worked hard throughout the year. The awards ceremony also included social awards that highlights the unique and different personalities of the Thuthuka students. And of course the night was finished off with dancing!
At the end of the evening the dance was a huge success. Everyone enjoyed themselves with good food and good conversation.
And the award goes to…
In an ongoing effort to promote academic excellence, Stellenbosch Thuthuka held its bi-annual academic prize giving on the 28th of February and 21st of July 2017. Since its inception in 2016, Thuthukans have accepted the challenge to raise the bar and aim for better results in order to secure a place amongst the top achievers who receive awards for top five placement, cum laude in professional subjects, the RJR award for achieving 60% in all subjects, and most improved.
We were grateful to have SAICA's Graduate Placement and Transformation Officer, Ms. Teboho Moephudi at the first awards evening to hand over the certificates. In her address she encouraged the Thuthukans to start shaping their professional image now and to remember that every decision and action ought to be executed with utmost integrity. She also motivated us to fly the SAICA and Thuthuka flag high. Ms. Marion Veldtman from the Auditor-General South Africa handed over certificates at the second awards evening on 21 July at the dance.
A special congratulation goes out to Chad Adams, for collecting the most awards for the night and obtaining his degree cum laude. Further recognition goes out to our project managers Mr. Amber de Laan for obtaining his Masters in Accounting and Mrs. Gail Fortuin who obtained her Masters in Accounting cum laude.
The generous hands of our sponsors SAICA, Mazars and the Auditor General South Africa contributed immensely to the success of the event. We appreciate their support.
A Thuthukan wrote:
On 31 March we visited the Jesse Keet Children's Home in Idas Valley, the Middelvlei Primary School and also prepared meal packs.
There are no words to describe the memorable day I had. A day filled with laughter, joy and to see those children's faces lit up as the Thuthuka students were playing games with them or just painting their faces were the greatest moments. The Thuthuka Students really did a great job, every one of them was eager to lend a helping hand where they can; they came there open-minded and willing to participate in any activities that were asked of them. I I can absolutely say that this event was a true success and I am sure that for the short while that we spent with those children we made a significant change in their lives and gave them memorable moments that they will cherish forever.
Thuthukans proudly representing SUTBF
Adrian Samuels secures placement for academic traineeship
We are very proud of Adrian Samuels who graduated with BAccHons in 2016 and secured a placement for academic traineeship in the School of Accountancy this year. He has been described as a diligent employee who is committed to his training. Previously Mr Amber De Laan was a trainee in the School and subsequently became a lecturer here. We believe that Adrian will continue to set a high precedent and also encourage other Thuthukans to explore this opportunity.
FirstRand 4in1 winter school
Chad Adams (BAccHons student)
The FirstRand winter school experience is filled with both fun and hard work. The various group activities and tasks really challenges your ability to think and adapt in a pressurized work environment which provides great exposure and a taste of what it would be like to be a CA (SA) in the banking industry.
We also had time to listen and converse with quite a few of the executives as well as the current trainees within the group and it was really intriguing listening to their opinions on the current economic climate, innovation within banking and what banking may look like in the future.
I found the experience invaluable and would definitely encourage any student remotely interested in going the TOPP route to apply for this programme.
Lungelo Ngobese (BAcc third year student)
The Cape Townians arrived on Sunday and the five of us met up with some of the current trainees who gave us a run-down of their experiences and what to expect during TOPP articles in the brand.
The week officially started with an induction programme at FirstRand where we met some of the driving forces behind the group, the organisers of the programme and our team mates for the week. We then rotated around the head offices of each of the brands, starting with Rand Merchant Bank in Sandton, First National Bank in Bank City (Johannesburg), Wesbank in Randburg and back in Sandton for the closing. The week entailed lots of group activities such as the share game, developing a credit application for a merger and a case study. We gained a lot of insight from the interactions we had with the various CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, former trainees and our peers from other universities.
Business Summer School in Germany
My name is Gavral Speelman and I am a BAccounting Honours student at Stellenbosch University and I am a bursary holder of Thuthuka Bursary Fund. On recommendation from my lecturer mentor, Professor Rudman, I applied at our International Office at Stellenbosch for a summer school programme. The University of Stellenbosch provides students with the opportunity to apply for summer and winter schools which are short term academic courses hosted by various universities during the summer or winter of the northern or southern hemisphere. These courses can range from 1 to 6 weeks and offer a great opportunity to experience tertiary education outside South Africa.
Fortunately I was successful in my application and I attended the Business Summer for BSc &MSc students: “Doing Business in Europe" from the 12 June to 30 June at the EBS Business school in Germany. The university is situated in a small vineyard town: Oestrich Winkel. The program includes students from various parts of the world such as China, UK, and Turkey. It was an amazing experience, everyone was friendly and I have made friends that I will treasure.
Our framework dealt with understanding the European Economy and looking at Germany's economy specifically. The programme is well-rounded as it supplements its course content with company visits. We went to the Audi car Manufacturer in Heidelberg and a day visit in Strasbourg which is situated in France to visit the European Parliament and Council of Europe.
The content of study I found to be particularly relevant and useful in some of my subjects at Stellenbosch University, including a variety of topics ranging from Economics of the European Integration and Automotive Marketing and Distribution Management. I started out with little knowledge and left with a good understanding how Germany economy remained stable. What I liked about the course is that the lectures required us to participate in class and analyse information critically which was a different type of classroom environment than I was used to. Fortunately the class work was manageable which allowed us to travel in our free time. I was able to travel to Cologne and Frankfurt.
As a Thuthuka student we are encouraged to broaden our horizon and develop our outside class skills and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to do so. This is a great opportunity if you are willing to place yourself outside of your comfort zone and fully engage with the lecturers. And take this as a learning experience where you can grow as a person. This is also the opportunity to form networks with people from all across the world.
Minister of Social Development commends our Society
As part of the 10 year celebrations the School of Accountancy held a donor appreciation breakfast on 12 October 2017. The chairs of the Society who led from 2015 to 2017 and the incoming Chair for 2018 had the honour of meeting the Minister of Social Development in the Western Cape, Minister Albert Fritz. He was very enthusiastic and proud of the initiatives and work which is being done by the society to make a social impact in our communities.
Stellenbosch Thuthuka Society
Stellenbosch Thuthuka is unique because the Stellenbosch programme is the only one in the country which has a formally registered society to implement community outreach and team building events. The overarching principle is to "pay it forward" so we are committed to continuously engage with our communities to promote the profession by working with schools and vulnerable groups. We endeavour to share a message of hope that it is possible to aspire to professions such as this one by being actively engaged and visible to our peers.
Gavral Speelman and her team have concluded their very successful 2016 term as group leaders. Many of the initiatives and activities in 2016 were planned and implemented by Gavral and her team and yielded excellent outcomes. We are very sad to bid them farewell as group leaders and wish them well for the future.
2016 Group Leaders: Lungile Tshabalala, Orlando Van Schalkwyk, Gavral Speelman, Lucian Forbes and Steven-Lee Brown
Our new group leaders will take up office from January 2017. They have the important task to run the welcoming programme for our new first years and also to ensure the smooth running of student activities and initiatives throughout 2017. We look forward to supporting them in their roles. The new leaders are Lungelo Ngobese (Chair), Carlo Arenz (Vice Chair), Cee-Jay Plaatjies (Treasurer), Ashly Martin (Secretary), Shanice Cyster and Levi Lombard (members) (they are pictured below with Jo-Ann Strauss, one of our guest speakers to inspire the Thuthukans in 2016).
2017 Group Leaders: Cee-Jay Plaatjies (Treasurer), Shanice Cyster, Lungelo Ngobese (Chair), Carlo Arenz (Vice Chair), Ashly Martin (Secretary), and Levi Lombard with Jo-Ann Strauss (middle)
Visits from Jo-Ann Strauss and the Auditor General South Africa
The students have a group meeting every month where we host individuals from the Profession, the business world and other sectors to share their inspiring stories and tips on building their careers. In October we were very excited to meet Jo-Ann Strauss who is a former Miss South Africa, entrepeneur, television and social media personality and a member of the executive boards of Stellenbosch University Business School and Media 24. As an alumnus of Stellenbosch University EMS faculty who shares a similar background with the Thuthukans she was able to truly connect with their experiences as first generation Black and Coloured university students. And, at the same time she was able to impart her knowledge as a business woman and mother on how to plan ahead and use the current opportunities presented to them to build careers that flourish.
We were also honoured to host Marion Veldtman and Luthando Mehlomakhulu from the office of the Auditor General of South Africa at our August meeting. Luthando shared his personal and professional story with the Thuthukans as a motivation to continue working hard as they prepared for the end of the year.
We thank AGSA for presenting gifts to the academic prize winners at the prizegiving which also took place that night.
Academic Prize Giving
The second Thuthuka academic prize giving was held in August to acknowledge student performance during the July assessment period. Marion Veldtman from the Auditor General of South Africa presented the certificates to the prize-winners.
FIRST YEARS with Marion Veldtman
Ernst and Young Hoodie Sponsorship
We were very privileged to receive a sponsorship from Ernst&Young which enabled us to give every Thuthukan a customised Stellenbosch Thuthuka hoody. It draws attention on campus and is a conversation starter for our students to inform others about Thuthuka and their journeys so far. It has contributed to our group identity and a shared comradery amongst us. #ThuthukaTuesday offers our students a and project team an opportunity to proudly wear the hoodies and make a collective impact.
Third year and honours Thuthukans are linked to a mentor from the Profession who can provide practical career guidance and general life skills as they prepare for their future in the professional world. We host an annual meet-and-greet function to introduce each mentee to their mentor and for the honours students to reconnect with their mentors. This relationship potentially continues to grow throughout the career of the mentee if they consistently and continually engage with the mentor in the personal and professional space.
The project team was very proud to watch our 2016 third year and honours graduands walk across the stage at the Stellenbosch University December graduation. They have completed the first part of their journey to becoming a CA(SA)! It has been a difficulty year with many disruptions and obstacles, but these students remained steadfast and committed. We would like to congratulate Chad Adams who passed his degree Cum Laude.
THIRD YEARS: Byron Atkins, Lucian Forbes, Kristen Brown, Siphesihle Mnguni,
Orlando Van Schalkwyk, Gavral Speelman, Ilse Louw, K-Lynn Van Rooy, Sandile Mabaso,
Chad Adams (cum laude), Ilse Louw, Andisiwe Shasha, the project team (Tanya Cairncross, Gail Fortuin, Sybil Smit, Amber De Laan and Michilene Meyer) and Steven-Lee Brown.
***PHOTO TO FOLLOW***
HONOURS: Chantelle Petersen, Courtney Apollis, Justin Musapho, Alvern Malgas, Uwe Jacobs, Petro Andrews, Rory Bell, Lauren Davids, Adrian Samuels, Gretchen Busch, Jamie Ramplin, The project team (Tanya Cairncross, Gail Fortuin, Sybil Smit, Amber De Laan and
Michilene Meyer) and Gershwin Job
On 7 April 2016 Thuthukans, Gavral Speelman and Steven- Lee Brown, held a workshop titled "Developing Leaders" which was presented to the first years. The purpose of the workshop was to equip the first year students with the necessary tools to develop into leaders and help them realise the importance developing their skills. The world is continuously changing therefore it is important that as students we should be pro-active to enable ourselves to reach our goals and use our time to gain skills that will be useful in our careers.
Nicolette Jacobs was our guest speaker. She is a chartered accountant and obtained a Master of Business Administration thereafter. She is currently a partner at PwC and is President of South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), Southern Region. She is an example of continuous progression within her field and is always setting new boundaries for herself to ensure that she continues growing as a person.
Students who engage in extra activities offered by the university open themselves up to opportunities in which they will learn so much more than the class room experience. Thuthuka Stellenbosch prides ourselves on producing well rounded students as we understand how it important it is to develop those skills outside of class and develop into leaders. We also believe in a model of peer mentoring and knowledge transfer which is why we, as seniors, took on the chance to present this workshop.
The third year and Honours Thuthukans visited The Ark, which is am organisation offering a place of refuge for the homeless and those who were once outcasts of society. It also provides rehabilitation services and shelter to the destitute. We started the visit with a tour of the facilities which brought us face to face with the reality of those who are invisible to society. We were touched by the fact that these people had not had contact with their families in many years, if any, and that we were filling a crucial human need of contact and acknowledgement.
We proceeded to play the much anticipated main event of the day: A Thuthuka versus the Ark dominoes and checkers tournament. While some of us played, others served cool-drinks and snacks to players. The day ended with a vote of thanks and a prayer.
Those who were anxious about visiting The Ark returned to campus with a new perspective and understanding that poverty does not merely exist in textbooks as theories but that these are real people living this reality daily. We were touched by the words of an Ark resident when he advised us,
"Where we are today, is only by God's GRACE, and you must do better." And, we will strive to do just that!
Community service day
On Friday, 8 April 2016, we held our annual community service day. Our goal was to make a tangible difference so about 120 students worked together to make a success of the day. This year we planned a few activities to benefit two beneficiaries. The first and second years visited the Jessie Keet Childcare in Idasvalley, where they entertained the toddlers. We did a handover of 200 sandwiches made by the students from money which they had collected. 'n Variety of tinned food, pasta, beans and samp were also handed over.
Mrs Felicity Thomas, who received the goods on behalf of the childcare, expressed that she was totally overwhelmed with gratitude. We want to thank the undergraduate BAcc students for their contributions and for enthusiastically participating in the drive for tinned goods. A special shoutout to the first year Fin Acc class who earned bragging rights due to the fact that they beat the seniors with an overwhelming lead and their boxes bursting at the seams.
February 2016 Academic Prizegiving
The group leaders implemented an excellent student led initiative to recognize and award our students' academic achievements and efforts. It aims to motivate all students of the Thuthuka programme to continue working hard, to encourage those who are achieving good grades, and to maintain high academic standards. The first award ceremony took place on 1 February 2016 and we were fortunate to have Mr Nthato Selebi from SAICA in attendance to present the awards. He was our guest speaker at the group meeting that day and it aligned perfectly to coincide with the first ceremony. The awards include the Top 5 per year group, Most Improved Award, The Cum Laude Award (1st-3rd Year) and The Honours Award. The RJR Award, named after Prof. Riaan Rudman, is awarded to those who achieve above 60 percent for each subject in that year based on Prof. Rudman's legacy of "never failing a subject".
On the morning of 20 February, the Thuthukans went to Strand Beach for the first social. These events are held as part of the team building aspect of the programme to facilitate cohesiveness and peer support. The different year groups do not often interact with each other, so this was a perfect opportunity to meet the new first years and also engage with others in a relaxed setting.
Within a matter of minutes the first games of volleyball, "touchies" and soccer were started. This ensured for many fierce battles in the sporting codes throughout the day (all in great spirit of course).
After building up a sweat from the games, many students took to the water to cool off. The water was perfect in spite of the slightly overcast weather. There was also the opportunity for those to laze on the beach and soak in the few sunrays that did peek through the clouds on the day.
All in all the day was a big success and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone present. We hope to do so again in the summer of 2017!
Visit from Sizwe Nxasana and SAICA
We were honoured to host the NSFAS Chair, Mr Sizwe Nxasana, on 16 February when he addressed all the Thuthukans. His message was insightful and encouraging. The students asked pertinent questions about the profession and he was able to offer guidance and information from his own personal journey and his experience in high level leadership positions which enriched the Thuthukans knowledge and perspective.
January 2016- Welcoming Week
We held our annual orientation programme from the 20th to the 27th of January 2016 for the 25 incoming first year Thuthuka Bursary holders. We understand that the move from high school to university is a big transition so Stellenbosch Thuthuka endeavours to make the adjustment easier. The word Thuthuka means "to develop" and our hope is for the newbies to develop into well rounded chartered accounts. The aim of the orientation programme is to give to give a brief introduction to the years ahead and information about the Thuthuka Bursary Programme, the university and the profession.
Throughout the course of the week we held academic sessions in which we provide practical advice and techniques. We also introduced all the support that will be available and encouraged the newbies to use these facilities to their advantage. Senior students shared their experiences of how to maintain a balanced academic life and how Thuthuka encourages and facilitates it. As part of the programme we provided a support system to the students by assigning each student to a lecturer who will be there to mentor and guide them throughout their studies on the path to becoming a chartered accountant.
It is important for Stellenbosch Thuthuka students to build interpersonal and communication skills by getting to know each another, thus building networks which is vital especially given our chosen career path. We hosted team building exercises and games so that students can learn more from one another in a fun setting.
We could see the impact of the welcoming week in the way that the first years became a cohesive group and gained confidence by the time that classes commenced.
SAICA CEO addresses Stellenbosch Thuthuka
Mr Terence Nombembe, CEO of SAICA and former auditor general of South Africa, was our esteemed guest speaker at the Thuthuka Stellenbosch group meeting held on the 17th of September 2015. He captured the attention of the Thuthukans with his motivational, inspiring speech which filled them with a sense of pride at the realisation of the important role they would fulfil as future CA(SA)s. He ended the session with an opportunity for students to voice their opinions, comments and contributions for the growth and development of the profession, which made everyone feel valued.
Thuthuka Society Group leaders
The meeting on the 17th of September also marked the end of the 2015 group leaders' term and the announcement of the new leaders for 2016. We bid farewell to Matthew Williams (Chair), Leighton Meyer (Vice-Chair), Gavral Speelman (Secretary), Timwen Hendricks (Treasurer), Kristen Brown and Danielle Swartz. During their term they led the community service project at Rietenbosch Primary School by planning and co-ordinating a fun day for the learners. They also arranged team building social activities such as the Business Games and Masterchef Thuthuka Potjiekos Competition which encouraged the Thuthukans to get to know each other and foster new linkages to strengthen their networks.
2015 Group Leaders: Gavral Speelman, Danielle Swartz, Kristen Brown,Leighton Meyer, Timwen Hendricks and Matthew Williams
During the previous meeting on the 20th of August nominees presented themselves to the Thuthukans with a short speech on their vision and proposals for the year. An election followed where the new group leaders for 2016 were chosen. They are Gavral Speelman (Chair), Orlando Van Schalkwyk (Vice-Chair), Lungelo Tshabalala (Secretary), Steven-Lee Brown (Treasurer) and Lucien Forbes. We wish them well and every success as they lead us for 2016.
The Stellenbosch Thuthuka Bursary Fund is passionate about giving back to the community and we are actively involved in community projects throughout the year. The Thuthuka Society started a new initiative this year called, Donation Week. We held a donation week every term termly for students to donate items such as clothing and non-perishable food which would be donated to different projects each term.
In September we made a contribution to a Norsa Community Centre in Wellington. Norsa Community Centre is situated in Wellington and its main focus is aimed at guiding children within their community to reach their full potential. One of the projects that are run at the Norsa Community Centre is that they facilitate foster care programs and family adoptions. In addition to that they provide counselling to women and families facing crisis pregnancies. Norsa cares for children as young as new borns.
Charlene Steyn , a third year student studying at the University of Stellenbosch engaged with the women working at the centre and found that there was a great need for basic necessities. Including baby formula, baby clothes, toys, baby has toiletries. We were very pleased to hand over our donation which will make an impact in these children's lives however small it might be. We would like to continue the initiative and continue to give back to the community in different ways. Information on the work which Norsa does is available at the following link http://www.norsacommunitycare.org/
Master Chef Thuthuka
The Thuthuka Bursary Fund is a well-known organization across all Universities in South Africa. Stellenbosch has differentiated itself by being the only Thuthuka Program that has developed a society structure for the members of the bursary fund. Within the Thuthuka society, various events are held for the benefit of the students, ranging from community service to social events on a termly basis.
On 31 July 2015 we hosted our very own Master Chef Thuthuka. Students were given the opportunity to show case their cooking skills. Thuthuka students were placed in teams and had to come together to make the best chicken potjie. The competition required leadership, initiative, and creativity.
We asked the Thuthuka Honours students to do us the honours of judging the potjie competition. The judges found it a difficult task as most dishes were too good to rate one above the other. However the creamy pasta chicken potjie edged out everyone. There were various other awards such as the worst potjie and the neatest team.
The Master Chef Thuthuka was a huge success. It was amazing to see how enthusiastic the students were. Every Thuthuka student displayed dedication and teamwork, whether it was trying to keep their fire from dying or burning their onions. The day filled with conversation and fun. Thuthuka Stellenbosch Society believe that having a balanced lifestyle is a very important factor for achieving success. Our aim for the day was that the students interacted with one another, got to know one another and build networks that will be useful in future endeavours.
Community service project report
On the 17th of April 2015, the Thuthuka bursary students of Stellenbosch embarked upon their annual community service project. The project was a fun-day with the kids (Grade 2 and 3) at Rietenbosch Primary School in Stellenbosch, in collaboration with MGD. The afternoon was spent hosting +/- 200 kids with +/-100 Thuthuka students. The project incorporated physical activities, educational activities and an inspiration station.
There were 8 stations consisting of a jumping castle, slippery slide, face-paint, various sports games and two educational stations. The educational stations consisted of a speed maths station (with flash cards) and an educational & motivational play. The play was designed to have a motivation on the kids to relay the message that they could become what they wanted to be, they should never give up and that hard work eventually pays-off. At the end of all the activities each child received a meal (including a packet of chips and drinks) to feed their hungry stomachs.
The aim of project was to have fun with unprivileged kids and to motivate them but there was also another purpose. The goal was to set a foundation for future community service events to be built-on and improved. Therefore the Thuthuka students created a long-sustainable platform for future leaders to work from. The success of the project did not only come from the Thuthuka group but the collaboration with MGD. With the help of MGD, the Thuthuka group were able to get resources, support and expertise which only helped to strengthen the planning for the event and to be ready for crisis which might have occurred.
The project was a tremendous success. The kids of Rietenbosch Primary enjoyed there day fully. The smiles on their faces and the happiness made the project worthwhile. We hope that this day had an impact on them for the better. The group leaders and Thuthuka management team would like to extend gratitude all the Thuthuka students for the help and support for making this day a reality. A special thanks must be made to C3 Catering Service, for providing the kids a well-feed meal. This project was hopefully the stepping-stone we need to build better and stronger community events.
Thuthuka Social event- 24 April 2015
After a long process of trying to decide on exactly what to do at the next social event, the group leaders of the Thuthuka Bursary Fund decided to have an entertaining games day with the rest of the bursary holders. It would in the best interest of the students to keep them intellectually stimulated for the long weekend ahead. Hence on the afternoon of Friday the 24th of April, the students engaged in a board game called The Business game, which was initiated by SAICA. The game resembles many characteristics of the well-known Monopoly game, which meant that students were familiar with majority of the basic rules of game. However, the game was quite a challenge as it required students to use their accounting skills to buy property as well as manage their finances to their benefit.
We started the day off by welcoming everyone to the first social event for the year. Thereafter Mrs Smit used an ice-breaker activity to divide the students into groups. The students were asked to create a group name which lead to the creation of interesting names such as; The White Collars, Black Friday, IAS 7 and many more creative accounting related ideas. Once this was done the students were asked to form pairs within their group. Each pair was sent to a different business game board where they would represent their team. The game required them to engage in economic activities such as the buying of shares, the selling of finished goods, acquiring loans, making repayments and many more. They were not only expected to think on their feet but also to work together in a team to make informed financial decisions.
The Thuthuka students thoroughly enjoyed this game to the extent that they did not want to stop playing. Once the game reached completion, each team gathered together to count the actual cash they had on hand. The group leaders then tallied the amounts and confirmed the winner of the game. Once this was done the students enjoyed delicious pizza and fizzy cold drinks. The day was not yet over as we had a guest come over to do a team building exercise with the Thuthuka students as a whole. In this exercise the students had to interact with one another and work together as a unit. When feedback on the social event was given, it was nothing but positive. The students enjoyed the business game as it had a special accounting touch to it which made it even more interesting than the original Monopoly game. We definitely look forward to playing this game in the future again and use it to improve on some of the mistakes that we might have made with the social event.
Looking back and moving forward
Please click this link for archives on achievements, community projects and memorable moments in Stellenbosch Thuthuka's past…