TUT ALUMNI NEWSLETTER
Vol2 No4 | 2017
It’s Dr Lillian Dube now
Notice of Convocation Meeting
Kwa-Mhlanga campus alumni rekindle old friendships
Jackey fuses electronics with music
Published by the Advancement & Partnerships Office
Pretoria Campus, Building 21: 221
Staatsartillerie Road, Pretoria West
Private Bag X680, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: +27 (0)12 382 2804
Can you believe 2017 is now spoken of as the year that has been! We hope the year was good to you and you have kept to those often illusive New Year’s resolutions that you set out in the beginning of the year. To help wind down the year, spare a moment and catch up with the latest at your Alma Mater.
We also wish to invite you to join the University community in congratulating Prof Lourens Van Staden on his appointment as TUT’s Vice Chancellor and Principal effective from 1 January 2018 as per the Council meeting of November 24, 2017. Council acknowledged Prof van Staden’s four decades experience in higher education and particularly his unrelenting commitment to serving the poor and the working class of the country.
“He has predominantly focused on working at historically disadvantaged institutions, including the former Technikon Mobopane East, Soweto Campus (currently University of Johannesburg), as well as Technikon Northern Gauteng, where he, amongst others, held the positions of Dean, Vice-Principal: Academic and Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal” read the Council Statement of 28 November 2017.
In this issue
In keeping our tradition of celebrating excellence, we have flagged in this issue a well renowned actor and television personality, Dr Lillian Dube who was conferred with an honorary Doctorate Degree during our Spring Graduation ceremonies. Also read about the multi-talent Jackey Masekela who doubles as an Engineer and Musician. Our Beat also caught up with the former Kwa-Mhlanga Campus alumni in their moment of nostalgia. They met at Toppieshoek to rekindle friendship and keep the TUT flag flying.
Our Beat team wishes you and your loved ones a safe and restful end of the year and festive season. This is our last issue for the year and we are looking forward to future engagements in 2018
YOUR VIEW MATTERS
Win yourself this awesome Multi-pin USB Charger
Au revoir Molotsane
Our office is closing off the year with a bitter/sweet feeling, having to sever ties with our talented Senior Communication Officer, Mr Kefentse Molotsane. Bitter, because he was one of the innovative young minds that helped to keep our ship afloat, also credited as the brain behind this newsletter. Sweet on the other hand because he is chasing a dream that contributes towards this fast growing world of multimedia communications. We wish Molotsane all the best in his new career.
Editor: Kefentse Molotsane
Contributors: David Sedumedi, Willa de Ruyter, Bongani Mtshwene
All you have to do is answer the following question (don’t fret, you should get the answer somewhere in this edition): Where was the Kwa-Mhlanga campus alumni reunion held?
Please send your answer, name and contact number to email@example.com before or on 15 December 2017. Please mark the subject field: COMPETITION.
Only registered TUT alumni can enter.
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We have almost come to the end of an exciting academic year, packed with highlights and achievements.
Update from the VC
You may be aware that the position of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal was advertised recently, in view of the imminent expiry of my contract. I am humbled and honoured that the TUT Council, after a rigorous interview process, decided to appoint me for a second term.
I look forward to ongoing engagement with our many stakeholders, including the all-important TUT Alumni. Our next meeting will be the TUT Convocation meeting on 7 December. You will find more detail about the meeting elsewhere in the publication.
I always look forward to my annual engagement with Alumni and this year was no different. For almost four decades, TUT has been instrumental in the training and provision of competent journalists to the media industry. This milestone was celebrated in grand style at Leriba Lodge, during the 2017 Annual Alumni engagement that focussed on Alumni from the Department of Journalism. The Advancement and Partnerships Office (APO) hosted the event.
In September the TUT community converged to talk about the serious issue of Transformation at TUT. This was not only a talk-shop, as a University we are serious about bringing about much-needed changes that will make this People’s University the number one choice of future generations.
Following from the 2017 Transformation Summit, a Transformation Framework was drafted, circulated to the TUT community for inputs and the final document submitted to TUT Council for scrutiny and approval. On 24 November, Council approved the document and now the big work will start. From January 2018 onwards the implementation of the recommendations will start, while the impact will be measured on an ongoing basis.
The stature of TUT’s Council members was reaffirmed with President Jacob Zuma’s appointment of two Council members to the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Board and the Commission for Gender Equality respectively.
Congratulations to Mr Ronald Lamola, legal expert on the Council and the Chairperson of the Tender Committee of Council, who was appointed to the MDDA.The President has also designated Ms Lulama Nare as the chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality until 31 March, 2019.
I continue to be delighted by the many ways in which TUT impacts communities country-wide through community service and other projects. One of the most recent successes was the launch of an innovative programme to educate Venda based small scale-subsistence farmers in becoming successful commercial farmers. Sixty farmers, including the Village chief, participated in the first phase workshop at the end of October 2017.The programme was developed and introduced in response to the outcomes of research findings of a SARChI research chair research programme – the Phytochemical food network to improve the nutritional quality for consumers.
In closure, I would like to wish everyone a blessed and joyous festive season. Please treasure this time with family, friends and loved ones and take care on the roads.
Untill we talk again, all the best.
Prof Lourens van Staden
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
The Theunis Bester Hall on the Pretoria Campus was abuzz when celebrated actress, Lillian Dube (72), received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University during one of its Spring Graduation ceremonies on, 18 October.
Considering her rise and success in the entertainment industry, it is hard to believe that her career as an actress wasn’t exactly planned.
She couldn’t have imagined that an impulsive act, some thirty odd years ago, to audition for a role could have led to a career that has included parts in high profile television shows, such as Generations, Mopheme, Soul Buddyz, Mponeng, Skwizas (produced by her own production house), nor that she would appear in films like Cry the Beloved Country, Sweet ‘n Short, Oh Shucks I’m Gatvol, There’s a Zulu on my Stoep, The Ring and African Skies.
“My mother always told me that hard work pays off. I am humbled to be honoured in this way, especially when very few institutions have recognised the industry and its role players to be worthy of such,” she told e-TUTor after receiving the degree. She thanked TUT for its visionary leadership in this regard and said that she is proud to be associated with a people’s university.
Ms Dube is perhaps best known for her Soul City alter ego, Sister Bettina. 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.
She says the role has helped save her life and that of many South Africans in the honest way it assisted them to deal with life’s ups and downs. Ms Dube, with her signature mellifluous voice, loves helping people, and if she cannot help them, she at least wants to be able to make them laugh.
The humanitarian nature of Sister Bettina is also evident in Ms Dube’s own life.
She has put her weight behind several organisations, such as CANSA and Cancervive, of which she is an ambassador. As a cancer survivor she gladly volunteers her time to awareness and related initiatives.
This year, she is part of a recently launched charity television show, featuring celebrities doing charitable work in various communities.
In addition, she is the co-founder of the Lillian Dube National School Shoes Project and the Celebrities for Good Causes Foundation. The former was established after Ms Dube realised that children are still denied access to learning opportunities simply because their parents cannot afford school shoes. The project aims to raise 70 000 pairs of school shoes annually that are distributed to needy school children from disadvantaged families and communities. In 2015, the Lillian Dube National School Shoes Project distributed more than 32 000 pairs of shoes to needy children.
Ms Dube’s professional footprint also extends beyond Mzansi’s borders. A theatrical production that she starred in, Curl Up and Dye, successfully toured Scotland and Germany.
It is no wonder that she has received recognition from far and wide. This includes receiving the National Order: The Officer of the Most Loyal Order of Ramats’eatsana from the Lesotho Government for her contribution, not only to the arts, but also to the Sotho culture (2016), a South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) for Lifetime Achievement, Performance and Social Activism (2011), and two Artes Awards for Best Actress (1986 and 1990), among others. This is in addition to the multiple acknowledgements for her selfless contribution and active involvement to improve the lives of her fellow citizens.
Ms Dube’s Honorary Doctorate is the fourth to be conferred by TUT since its establishment in 2004.
It’s Dr Lillian Dube now
Friendships between former Kwa-Mhlanga campus graduates were avidly rekindled on 14 October, when a group of over 100 alumni met for their second annual reunion at Toppieshoek Outdoor Recreation and Leadership Development Centre.
Prime amongst the aims of the reunion, was to keep the TUT flag flying high amongst the Kwa-Mhlanga campus alumni.
The campus, which offered Management Sciences courses was closed in 2002, but this never deterred this group of alumni who managed to maintain contact since 1994.
Danie Ferns, Deputy Director: Advancement and Partnerships Office (APO), welcomed the guests and spoke briefly about the importance of maintaining close relationships with former students.
“One of the attributes of great universities worldwide is dependent on two factors, either a prosperous medical school or illustrious alumni. In our case, TUT has invested a great deal of resources in cultivating a responsive and engaged alumni community. The University must therefore leverage these connections and expertise of alumni for the greater advancement of the University.”
“Regular and meaningful contact between alumni and their alma mater is of utmost importance for a mutually beneficial relationship between graduates and the University”, Danie added.
The group donated clothing and also raised funds for needy students.
Prof Mark Hay, Strategic Support to the Vice-Chancellor, spoke to the group about some of the University’s initiatives which were geared at transforming the institution, and the significance of alumni engagement. “It is important for alumni to contribute to the University and community. This can happen via student mentorship, talks with staff, offering Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities or contributing to the TUT Bursary and Scholarship fund.”
John Mnyakeni, alumnus and co-organiser, said: “The event was a success, we had fun and it was inspirational for most former students who still believe in making a difference.”
John added that he was excited to build cohesive thought from the group and to make a difference in the lives of fellow South Africans, especially students.
“The professional function of this initiative is meant to be an empowerment tool that will go a long way,” John concluded.
The group mentioned that it would be pleasing to see the University initiate Short Learning Programmes (SLP’s) in the Management Sciences Faculty. The alumni went on to enjoy the rest of the day reminiscing about their good old varsity days.
Multitasking is slowly becoming the new norm for men in the Engineering world. Many engineers are now adding freelance work on top of their regular career commitments. Jacky Masekela, a graduate from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, is such a man.
He is a passionate athlete; who has completed both the comrades’ marathon and the two Oceans marathon. He’s also a musician and most of all he’s a “father figure” to more than 300 students that reside at TUT’s Kollegehof residence where he works as a residence advisor.
“I am in charge of day to day running of the residence which includes meetings with the Residence Committee members to run activities, orientation program for first years and liaising with other staff members in other departments. I also run programs such as the Green Campus Initiative as a Coordinator for the Pretoria Campus”, he says.
The 36-year-old from Diepkloof, Soweto, says he loves meeting new people from different walks of life and contributing in a small or big way to how the students get to think and making sure they are able to be independent thinkers who can contribute to their communities and to the country positively.
Growing up, being an engineer was always the path that he wanted to follow.
“I have always wanted to be an Engineer and at some point in my life I was exposed to electrical engineering, however, I came across sound engineering as a course and it appealed to me seeing that I could fuse my passion for both music and engineering.
“On the flipside, my mom didn’t entertain none of that; she wanted me to pursue Electrical Engineering since I had been speaking about it for some time and that’s how I ended up here at TUT.
Jackey says although it wasn’t that easy during his first year, he did have fun nonetheless.
“My undergraduate was an eye opener for me, we had so much work as first year students in engineering, and when one was registered for six subjects it was as if they were registered for twelve since each subject had a practical to it; including mathematics.
“How could math have a practical? Was it not practical in its presentation? We asked ourselves these questions but still we soldiered on.
“I enjoyed the work ethic such a course could bring”, he added.
The one other thing that Jackey enjoys most apart from being a ‘good Samaritan’ is playing his violin.
“I started playing the violin in Diepkloof and went on to enjoy a fun filled musical experience filled with touring the U.K, the US and New Zealand. Music is my passion and I have always wanted to pursue a solo project and I have
Jakey has just released his single called Banna Le Basadi which is a track about urbanisation and how people left their beautiful homes to pursue a better life in the city. The single is available on iTunes, google play, Spotify and Amazon.
“I will release the full album in September once all recording has been completed” he says.