TUT ALUMNI NEWSLETTER
Vol2 No3 | 2017
Over 10 years in his job and still loving it
TUT holds its own among best in university rankings
Arts Faculty is on top of its game
TUT alumna wins Loerie Award
“My mind is not blind”
Veronica Motloutsi - A force to be reckoned with
Published by the Advancement & Partnerships Office
Pretoria Campus, Building 21: 221
Staatsartillerie Road, Pretoria West
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Tel: +27 (0)12 382 2804
Call for the submissions for the naming and renaming of TUT facilities: second phase
The Naming and Renaming Committee has completed the first phase of renaming process and the EMC is taking the process forward. I really appreciate the work that is being done by the committee. At a meeting held in August 2017, the committee resolved to proceed with the second phase of this process.
We, therefore, invite stakeholders to make submissions for any facility deemed fit for consideration in the naming and renaming process. The submissions should be in line with the Policy on Naming and Renaming of TUT Facilities. Upon receiving submissions, the committee will prioritise the process.
Please download the Policy on Naming and Renaming of TUT Facilities and the submission form below to guide your submission. All submissions should be addressed to the Chairperson, Prof HM Sirayi, and the submission email is MarotholiSB@tut.ac.za.
Prof Lourens van Staden
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
YOUR VIEW MATTERS
Win yourself this awesome Branded Flask
All you have to do is answer the following question (don’t fret, you should get the answer somewhere in this edition): What is the name of the Company founded by Mari Lee?
Please send your answer, name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org before or on 31 October 2017. Please mark the subject field: COMPETITION.
The winner for last edition’s competition is Pensive Mpshane. Only registered TUT alumni can enter. Good luck!
Editor: Kefentse Molotsane
Contributors: Willa de Ruyter, Gerrit Bester
This publication may contain third party advertisements and links to third party sites. The Tshwane University of Technology does not make any representation as to the accuracy or suitability of any of the information contained in these advertisements or sites and does not accept any responsibility or liability for the conduct or content of those advertisements and sites and the offerings made by the third parties.
It is once again an honour and privilege to share some highlights of the past quarter from your Alma Mater with you.
Update from the VC
Congratulations to all successful students who will receive qualifications during the Spring Graduations ceremonies in October.
Welcome to our Alumni Community. During the ceremonies, TUT will also award two honorary doctorates:
Celebrated actress Ms Lillian Dube, best known for her Soul City alter ego, Sister Bettina, will be honoured for a life time in the entertainment industry. She was born in Orlando East, Soweto, 72 years ago. She chose the series over other projects, time and again, since it has given a voice to people who previously couldn’t speak up for themselves, especially women.
The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) is also privileged to bestow an honorary doctorate degree on an individual who has dedicated a large part of his life to the advancement of engineering, science and technology, which is this University’s heartbeat. Congratulations to Prof József (Joseph) Karger-Kocsis, who was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1950.
Another undisputed highlight was the highly successful 2017 TUT Transformation Summit, aimed at giving a multiplicity of University stakeholders and role-players a voice in the process to advance institutional transformation towards becoming a people’s university.
Having had some time to reflect on two days of rigorous debate and discussions during the TUT Transformation Summit 2017, three things really stood out for me.
Firstly, the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment of a wide variety of stakeholders to embrace the opportunity to engage with brutal honesty on the TUT we currently is, and the one we would like to become. While words were not minced during the debate and discussions, the level of maturity with which some of the tough transformation issues were embarked upon, was refreshing. I am very encouraged that it was abundantly clear that there is a lot of goodwill around to assist and contribute to the transformation of beloved TUT.
Secondly, I realised that, despite the merger of the three former technikons, in the 13 years since the inception of TUT, there is much still to be done to become a truly transformed University aligned with the South African Constitution. In honesty, we still have a long way to go.
Thirdly, it became vividly clear to me, and this excites me, that we have the potential, intellect and ability to become a great South African University that is locally relevant and globally connected.
The end of August also saw the academic and research excellence at TUT being recognised during the annual Academic Excellence Awards.
What made this celebration even more exciting was the University’s emergence as the number one university of technology in South Africa. It has also been ranked 13th among universities in the country in a new university ranking focusing purely on academic quality, the 2016 – 2017 University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP).
In addition, the University has moved up one position since the 2015-2016 rankings. The results highlight the performance of 16 South African universities among 2,500 higher education institutes (HEIs) across the world.
As the Vice-Chancellor, the academic and research project of the University is very close to my heart and I am delighted by the outstanding performance of the University both at a local and international level.
Finally, students living with disabilities and who experience different and unique challenges have now been given a voice through ThisAbility, a newly formed structure at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and other academic institutions in the country.
Until we talk again, all the best.
Prof Lourens van Staden
VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL
TUT has emerged as the number one university of technology in South Africa while it has also been ranked 13th among universities in the country, in a new university ranking focusing purely on academic quality. The 2016 – 2017 University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) results highlight the performance of 16 South African universities among 2,500 higher education institutes (HEI) across the world.
URAP differs from other widely published rankings, since it does not exclude the lower-end institutions, particularly in developing nations; making it the most comprehensive global ranking in the country to date. The ranking is based on six academic performance indicators. Since URAP is an academic performance based ranking, publications constitute the basis of the ranking methodology.
Quality, quantity, and citation of publications as well as international research collaboration performance are used as indicators.
The overall score of each HEI is based on its performance over several indicators, including current scientific productivity, research impact, research quality and international acceptance. Data is gathered from the Web of Science and other sources which provide lists of HEIs.
Most ranking systems currently cover up to 500 top universities around the world, mostly representing institutions located in developed countries. According to URAP, universities from other countries around the world also deserve and need to know where they stand among institutions at global and national levels, which resulted in the launch of URAP.
The top four universities in South Africa are the University of Cape Town, followed by Wits, UKZN and Stellenbosch University. In terms of universities of technology, TUT is in the lead in 13th position, followed by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Durban University of Technology (DUT) that occupy 15th and 16th positions respectively. TUT has moved up one position, from 14th to 13th place, since the 2015-2016 rankings.
TUT Alumna, Mari Lee, who completed a National Diploma: Business Communication, walked away with this year’s Gold campaign Loerie Award in the shared value category for “The Abashintshi Social Mobilisation” Project.
The Loeries are South Africa’s top advertising and communication design awards and have been running for 32 years. They are all about ‘recognizing, rewarding and fostering creative excellence’ and encompass every area of brand communication.
Mari was given a taste of the Loeries in 1998 when TUT sent their top 10 students to the awards ceremony hosted then at Sun City.
She is in possession of an Honours degree in Business Communication and a Master of Arts of Philosophy degree, both obtained from the North West University.
Mari is passionate about strategic communication and specialises in using business communication strategies in developmental settings.
She has won numerous international awards for her work as a communication professional, including being recognised as the Best of the Best by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in New York in 2014.
Mari is the founder and CEO of a company that is globally accredited called Dev-Com which was founded in 2005.
“Before that, I worked part-time for Nedbank as temp worker doing most of the front line functions in the bank, i.e. teller, enquiries, etc.
“Whilst studying, I worked with other agencies to implement development communication programmes like Khomanani – the first ever HIV/AIDS campaign in SA in 2001, and Vukani-Ubuntu, who trained the first black goldsmiths in SA”, she said.
“I love that I can use my influence for a good course; as communicators, we have skills to influence our world, and not just to be passive in the social narrative”, she added.
Her company has won 23 local and global awards in the past 12 years (PRISMs, IABC African Silver Quill Awards, IABC Gold Quill Awards, etc.) and finally her dream was realised this year.
“I set the career goal to win a Loerie and I am thrilled that that dream has come true, she concluded.
wins Loerie Award
You’ll have to look really far to find a bigger inspiration than Rebone Mogale (25), the first blind Education student studying at the Soshanguve-North Campus. She shared her story of hope with us.
Rebone was born the second of four children in a rural village called Ga-Matsepe near Groblersdal in the Limpopo Province.
Until the age of 16, she lived a fairly normal life, doing the things that teenagers typically do and dreaming of a bright future. Then, her life unexpectedly took a 360 degree turn.
Her vision had deteriorated severely and she was forced to drop out of high school. “I couldn’t manage any longer and the school had no knowledge of how to accommodate a visually impaired learner,” she recalls.
In the hope of putting a name to her condition and to find professional help, her desperate parents, Sharon and Johannes, relocated to Alexandra, north of Johannesburg. It was at the St Johns Hospital where she was diagnosed with a form of Glaucoma, a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve.
Rebone was told that there was no turning back. “It was a very difficult time. I lost a lot of friends.” The go-getter had to make a decision: sink or swim.
She chose the latter and later on returned to school to repeat Grade 8. This time round, she enrolled at institutions that catered for and understood her needs, firstly at the Sibonile School for the Blind, and thereafter at the Filadelfia Secondary School, where she completed Grade 12 in 2013. “There I met people who were born blind. I realised that I actually still had a lot to be thankful for,” she says.
When enrolling at TUT’s Department of Primary Education for a Bachelor of Education earlier this year, she received mobility training to be able to find her way around the campus, including her residence. She needs special software, such as JAWS (Job Access With Speech), the world’s most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on a PC. She is still to get these important devices to assist her to succeed in her studies.
It’s a daily challenge with ups and downs, but Rebone is coping with the support of friends and staff, such as her guardian angel, Dr Mumthaz Banoobhai, Head of the Department of Primary Education, who looks out for her.
Her other role models are Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, Deputy Minister of Social Development, who is also an alumna of TUT, and a former Maths teacher at Filadelfia, Ms Maseko, who is blind, but persevered to become a Maths teacher even though she was discouraged to do so.
Rebone’s long-time goal is to own a school, consisting of mixed learners (abled and disabled). She believes that such integration is vital to create a society where people from different backgrounds and with different abilities can better understand one another.
“My mind is not blind. I’m able to do anything that I wish.”
Neville Ndlala (36), an alumnus from the Department of Integrated Communications, is the spokesperson for the Greater Tzaneen Municipality and is enjoying his job. Neville, who holds a National Diploma in Business Communication from TUT, which he completed in 2004, is responsible for ensuring that the municipality has a good image and caters for its people’s needs.
Neville has been with the municipality for 10 years; he started off as an intern, then moved on to become an assistant communication officer and later a communications officer, until his appointment as spokesperson for the municipality since 2012.
He says he has always had a thing for writing. “Growing up, I have always liked writing. I would watch TV with my dictionary in hand, writing down every word that I didn’t understand, simply because at school we were taught English in Xitsonga; so there was always a need for translation”, he says.
His dream of being a writer was boosted when he was awarded the Best English Matric Learner award, which was handed by the former MEC for Education, Mr Edgar Mushwana and former Reserve Bank Governor, Mr Tito Mboweni.
Like any other kid who watched a lot of TV, Neville also wanted to be on the big screens. “I wanted to be a TV presenter; however, I was told that due to the scars on my face, I would not be able to qualify for such a job; I never really thought of anything else besides the normal lawyer-doctor dreams”, he indicates.
The Giyani-born spokesperson says being the voice and image of the municipality, he always needs to be extremely cautious about what he does or says. “My conduct is always under scrutiny and my words can always be twisted; so I always have to choose them carefully,” he adds.
Neville says he wishes to, one day, write a book about his experience as a public servant.
Veronica Motloutsi -
A force to be reckoned with
Veronica Motloutsi, an esteemed member of the TUT Council and Alumna of TUT says women should stop competing to be on top in the man’s world.
“There are many programmes to develop and empower women, however, the culture of some of these organisations is not changing but delaying the progress.
“Women still have to deal with unconscious bias. We need more women activists, and women who are willing to support other women”, she says.
Veronica grew up in Soshanguve were both her parents and grandparents contributed a lot to her upbringing. “It took a village to raise me”, she says.
“My parents were very strict and encouraged me to focus on education”.
She holds a National Diploma in Information Technology and a M Tech in Business Information Systems which she obtained in 2001 and 2007 respectively.
She says, growing up, she moved from aspiring to be a social worker, crime intelligent officer to a dietician.
“We never had career guidance growing up. I initially wanted to study to be a dietician at the then Medunsa, but due to financial issues, I opted for to study at the former Technikon Northern Gauteng, found the shortest queue, which was the Information Technology and that’s how I got in.
“It turned out to be the best career decision, however, I encourage people to research and truly understand what they want to be”, she added.
She is the Executive Head of Commercial Operations for International Markets at Vodacom. Her role entails managing the delivery of customer facing channels in all Vodacom markets to achieve an unmatched customer experience, and this includes online customer care, and retail operations.
In this role she is recognised as one of the Vodafone’s 100 inspiring women across all the markets. This was based on her contribution to strive towards improving gender equality across the company.
“I really love my job working in the African region. It is very interesting to work in multiple markets; transforming the lives of people using digital means”, she says.
Veronica spent her career in the architecture and governance space, assisting companies to implement sets of management practices to determine the level and extend of IT investment, making investment decisions, track IT performance and the Return on Investment.
This year, Veronica, was announced as a finalist in the 2017 Standard Bank Top Women Awards.
The Standard Bank’s Top Women Awards recognise those individuals who have stepped up and shaped women’s roles within the private and public sector.
For a decade and a half, South Africa’s premier gender parity platform, ‘Standard Bank Top Women’, has awarded outstanding women leaders and gender-strong companies across a host of market sectors. Their journeys to success ignite the ambition of Africa’s women to pursue their own goals in business, government, science, technology and other fields, while showcasing the robust business performance that results from having more women in leadership roles.
Her advice to other women who aspire to acquire a top position is to be aware of what is going on so as to counteract any changes in the movement or direction.
is on top of
The Faculty of the Arts once again demonstrated why it is considered one of the University’s flagship faculties, albeit the smallest. During a showcase held on 28 June and highlighting the fascinating research and artistic output of six departments, staff shared their know-how – the golden thread throughout the presentations being that they are all on top of their game.
In his welcome address, Prof Mzo Sirayi, Dean of the Faculty, delved into cultural planning and the decolonisation of urban space. “When considering South Africa’s present condition, areas where British colonialism and imperialism have had a pronounced impact is with respect to urban planning and design, imbalance of land distribution as well as race-based control of space and infrastructure carried forward by apartheid-era legacy city-planning policies,” he said.
“When speaking of decolonisation, in the context of urban development, it is largely understood as a corrective measure that uses alternative urban planning approaches to address colonially-imposed Eurocentric and apartheid-planning approaches. Cultural planning would offer South Africa an approach to urban and township planning that adequately address many of the country’s prevailing urban challenges, such as crime, violence, unemployment, traffic congestion, public space, pedestrian zones, degeneration and so on,” he added.
The Faculty’s footprint clearly stretches far beyond this country’s borders. Vocal Art lecturer, Pierre du Toit, journeyed through his performance in The Mandela Trilogy, a Cape Town Opera production conceived in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday. Du Toit portrayed four different characters in 31 performances of the opera that was staged in some of the most prestigious venues in the world, among others the Teatro Aligheri, Ravenna in Italy.
Still on a musical note, Dr Roland Moses, senior lecturer for Jazz and Popular Music, introduced the audience to the fluid piano, internationally acknowledged as a revolutionary musical instrument with no tuning restrictions and opening new avenues in music education. Unlike a conventional piano, with Western notation, the instrument is not limited to one particular cultural tuning and offers an immense diversity of scales and modes from all around the world, as well as individual ‘bespoke’ tunings.
In addition, Dr Moses played one of his compositions that combined Indian ragas and time signatures with jazz harmonies performed on a ‘prepared piano.’ This is achieved by manipulating the strings of the piano to change the instrument sound, similar to that of a Sitar (an Indian classical instrument). His research interests also encompass teaching advanced jazz improvisational techniques, by simplifying these techniques into smaller units. His doctoral studies focused on the performance praxis of the Indian Pentecostal church musicians and investigated the impact of demographics on their music making.
Students of the Faculty are fortunate to be taught by the best creative minds in the business. Part-time lecturer and illustrator, Brent Swart, is an excellent example of such an educator. Since graduating with a Graphic Design qualification, Brent has started a very successful illustrating business. One of the most interesting projects he has been involved in includes developing local emoji’s as part of a far-reaching campaign for Coca Cola. The campaign was lauded all over and had a massive online presence.
Acting Head of the Department, Herman Botes, shared information about how they build bridges through graphic design. The Department’s students annually interact online with their peers at the Rockland Community College in New York, by, among others, sharing videos and designing advocacy posters on a range of social issues. Botes said the project has boosted cultural awareness of students. This interaction is part of the COIL project hosted by the State University New York. The project’s team members were invited to the Durban University of Technology (DUT), also a COIL member, earlier this year to inspire DUT lecturers to develop international e-learning interactions.
Currently, Botes is co-editing a book, Education Citizen Designers in South Africa, with Prof Elmarie Constandius, supervisor for his doctoral studies at the Stellenbosch University (SUN). The book will be released by SUNMEDIA later this year.
Prof Rudi de Lange, Research Professor at the Department, reflected on a paper he compiled which deals with misleading advertising, in particular a certain testosterone stimulator that claims to be scientifically tested using pictorials of how it can turn you into a Muscle Mary. In his research Prof de Lange, among others, found that advertisers are, in fact, able to mislead consumers (with impunity) and that consumers have little protection.
Dr Owen Seda, Head of the Department of Entertainment Technology, elaborated on one of his research projects: Dominant masculinities and gendered silences at selected monuments and national heritage sites – Perspectives from Southern Africa. It pointed to various similarities between theories that inform the different art disciplines and to a scope for collaborative research at the Faculty.
Fine and Applied Arts
In her presentation, Dr Runette Kruger, Head of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, gave details of a paper she and colleague, Carol Kühn, will deliver at the University of Johannesburg later this year, titled The National Heritage Monument Project: Politics, Problematics and Possibilities. The paper interrogates and critiques this form of commemoration, asking the question whether it suits the heroes it commemorates.
In giving an overview of his artistic output, it became clear why Retief van Wyk, lecturer at the Department, is referred to as the father of contemporary glass in South Africa. The title was given to him by Dr Gerry King, a renowned artist and designer specialising in contemporary glass and whose work is exhibited, collected and published internationally and held in some twenty public museum collections worldwide. In an article, Lights on the Dark Continent, published in craft arts INTERNATIONAL, Dr King lauds Van Wyk for his immense contribution to the development of contemporary glass for the last two decades. Many of Van Wyk’s graduates have become leaders in the glass industry.
Drama and Film
Dr Francois Human, senior Film lecturer, deliberated on the impact of the Uncanny Valley-effect on the perception of animated 3-dimensional human like characters. The term Uncanny Valley is used in reference to the phenomenon whereby a computer-generated figure or humanoid robot bears a near-identical resemblance to a human being.
The film fundi is also writing an article, Sweet Symbolism: Semiotics in the film Chocolat. “The metaphors are so cleverly intertwined in the film that two-thirds of viewers probably don’t even notice it. Some of the vehicles for symbolism and metaphors in Chocolate are objects (props and costumes), music (sounds, words and names), colour (brightness), and staging (nature),” Dr Human said.
Prof Bett Pacey, Associate Professor, gave an overview of her involvement in research focusing on South African theatre and popular entertainment, the latter including street theatre, carnivals, puppetry, pantomime and storytelling.
According to the Head of the Department of Fashion Design and Technology, Prof Anne Mason, the Department has a strong social consciousness, by focusing on product development and promoting fashion enterprises, among others. Prof Mason unpacked two research projects in this regard, namely Integrating eco-fashion into textile and fashion design education in Nigeria, and Environmental implications of textile consumption maintenance and disposal practices of consumers and apparel traders in Kenya.
Giving more insight into her personal and professional life, Prof Nalini Moodley-Diar, Assistant Dean, in her presentation, titled Looking Forward Looking Back, linked the dots that shaped her. She is a passionate proponent for bringing Indian art and culture, which is often side-lined, to the foreground. In this regard, she will deliver a paper, titled Challenging Perspectives on the Indian Diaspora – Post-Mandela; Post-Apartheid; Post-Colour Bar; Post-Coolie! Challenging POSTS through Institutionalised self-realisation of Indians in SA: A Case Study, in The Hague in October.
Distinguished researchers, Prof Patrick Ebewo, Head of the Department of Drama and Film, and Prof Kennedy Chinyowa, Director: Centre for Creative Industries, concluded the day’s proceedings. The Drama fraternity can look forward to a new book Prof Ebewo has authored, titled Explorations in Southern African Drama, Theatre and Performance.
One of the biggest achievements of the Centre for Creative Industries thus far is the establishment of a Short Learning Programme in Arts Entrepreneurship that is rolled out in five provinces and sponsored by the National Arts Council