Here at Heita! headquarters we were quite tickled when we received an email enquiry all the way from New Zeeland. Marion Dupper wrote: Hi Heita! Somebody brought us a navy t-shirt from South Africa - on the front in yellow are the words HEITA [the coat of arms] and ZA. But we have no idea what Heita means. Can you help? Of course we can. We let her know that Heita! is an informal way of saying Hello! or Hi! in South Africa. We guess, Marion googled Heita!, found the publication on the Internet and subsequently contacted us. We’re glad we could assist, Marion. Small world!

The best part of being a lecturer is the satisfaction of knowing the extent of the

progressive contribution one has made to change the lives of others  – LUCEY MOROPENG, Lecturer of the Year (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment).



To win this Mug set, please send your name and cell number to on or before 31 March. Mark the subject field: COFFEE


Heita! popped into the TUT Arts Gallery where B Tech: Fine and Applied Arts students of 2015 exhibited their work.

This painting by JC Bolke caught our eye.

This striking image was captured by EULANDA LESHABA, a Visual Communication (Photography) student.



there is a way

The words “I can’t” don’t feature in Donovan Botha’s vocabulary. The 22-year-old completed his National Diploma in Visual Communication (Photography) last year, in spite of a visual impairment which has made life challenging, to say the least.

Donovan was born prematurely (two months earlier) which badly affected his retinas. The purpose of the retina is to receive light that the lens has focused, convert the light into neural signals, and send these signals on to the brain for visual recognition.


He has had several eye surgeries and currently has 50% sight in his right eye and only 25% in the left.


However, where there is a will, there is a way. After completing Grade 12 at the Prinshof School for the Visually Impaired, Donovan was adamant that he wanted to study photography. This love was sparked by an old film camera he found in his parents’ house many years ago.


He was “over the moon” when he was accepted at TUT’s Department of Visual Communication to follow his dream – the first visually impaired student ever to study at the Department.


Except for receiving his notes and exam scripts in a bigger printed format and being allowed to use a voice recorder during lectures, he got no other special treatment.

“It was challenging and sometimes I wanted to give up,” Donovan admits. “I only realised my limitations after leaving school, because at school I operated in a more protected environment.”


“It is difficult to be independent if you have bad eyesight. Not being able to drive is one of the biggest stumbling blocks. But I am practicing, just in case.”


He stayed in res (Tempo) and used the bus to travel to campus back and forth. He says his parents, Sharon and Jan Botha, are a big source of motivation.


As a result of his bad eyesight, he uses the automatic focus setting of his camera most of the time (except for studio photos) and edits his images to perfection by using a big computer screen.


He focuses on architectural photography and would also like to pursue web design in future. His other big love, or obsession as he calls it, is cars. “Isn’t it ironic since I can’t drive?” he says wryly. His favourite car is the 1958 Plymouth Fury.

Asked about this prime example of “against all odds,” Dr Waldemar Bussiahn, Acting Section Head, Program Coordinator and Lecturer at the Department of Visual Communication: Photography, says: “Donovan is an excellent example of perseverance and hard work. His positivity is inspiring and his love for photography shows in the way he operates.”




Donovan Botha (22)

“It was challenging

and sometimes

I wanted to

give up...”


One of Donovan’s images.

Ten months ago Mbali Mavundla (23), a third-year Journalism student who will be writing for Heita! this year, began bodybuilding as a way of dealing with depression. She tells us of her journey.

"At some point in my life, I felt like I was suffocating in my own skin. I swear, I never felt so close to death. This was shortly after my mother’s passing. Without a warning, my world shattered and she was gone. I lost 'home.' After that, all I knew was drowning in a bottle of red almost every day. It kept me from sleepless nights and the nightmares when I did manage to get some shut eye.


That’s when I put on weight and caught the flu regularly. I hated what I had become. One day I had the sudden urge to just run, literally run away from everything. I put on my running shoes and I knew what to do. There was something about running wild in the cold winter evenings in the open fields back home. Some Frank Ocean on my headphones, the tears running down soothed the deepest corners of my pain.


That’s where it all began, I picked up some of my dad’s fitness magazines and started reading. They have always been there, but I just never bothered myself with them. My dad has been into weightlifting for as long as I can remember. My brothers too, but I never took interest. I was introduced to a whole new world. I saw fit bikini models who looked amazing with muscles. I told myself that that is what I wanted. I instantly fell in love.




Bodybuilding gives Mbali


I moved from eating normally to having seven meals daily to accommodate my bodily needs. I started eating clean – more vegetables on my plate and more protein to feed my muscle growth. I prepared my own meals with the help of YouTube clips and fitness magazines.


My entire life changed for the better, as I spent more time in the gym. My father was with me every step of the way. I remember last September when I got home and he had put together home-made weights for me to train with him as my coach. Seven months later, I entered my first in-house bodybuilding competition with TUT and made it to the top six.


Bodybuilding is still a male dominated sport and I would like to inspire more young women to join. In the next two years, I plan to earn my PRO card as a fitness athlete and also recruit more than a handful of women to join me on this journey!"


Mbali Mavundla (23)


The home-made weights Mbali’s father made for her to train.


This year, TUT introduced a new orientation programme for first-time entering students to support their successful transition from high school to university. Heita! went to have a look at some of the fun events.

Soshanguve Campus first-years SAY CHEESE as they take pictures with their mentors after a long day of fun and games.

After DANCING the day away with their new peers, the Ga-Rankuwa Campus first-years are geared up for the rest of 2016.

TUT ROCKS! Each first-year received a branded t-shirt welcoming them to the TUT family.

First-years from the Faculty of Management Sciences CELEBRATE the end of their orientation programme by taking pictures with performers at the Pretoria Campus.

COLOUR SPLASH! First-year students at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment started the year on a colourful note.

First-years at the Arts Campus busy with a CHALK DRAWING activity which was part of their orientation. They were treated to fish and chips after creating their masterpieces.




   Students get their

hands dirty in the Karoo

Eight Architecture students in their fourth year, braved the harsh Karoo at the end of 2015 to restore a 116-year old mud house with lots of sentimental value to its owners. But, it wasn’t all work and no play.


The team in front of the mud house before restoration.

In 1900, a trekboer (farmer) named Du Toit built the mud house on the farm Brandhoek. After the tragic death of him and his wife’s two-year-old son they were extremely saddened and decided to leave the house and moved 7km up the road (which links the towns Touwsriver and Laingsburg) for trading purposes.


Recently, the current owners decided to restore the dilapidated building. They contacted the Department of Architecture to assist them to protect it from any further decay.


The brief included that the existing roof had to be replaced and extended and to add a bathroom and stoep. Due to soil movement and rain damage during the past 100 years, wide cracks also had to be fixed.

André Roodt, Architecture senior lecturer and supervisor of the project, ensured that the team was well prepared. All the building material were delivered to the farm (which is only accessible by a 4X4 vehicle) in advance.


The team was quite amused when they arrived on the farm where a trailer, normally used to transport horses, took them to the actual site.


Due to the extreme midday temperatures, work commenced at 5:30 until 10:00. Their siesta time was put to good use, playing with the farm animals, swimming in the dam, horseback riding, quadbiking, or just catching up on lost sleep. At 16:00, they put shoulder to the wheel again and worked until 22:00, with only short breaks to appreciate the incredible sunsets behind the most amazing mountain ranges, among others.

Clay used in the restoration was strengthened with straw to form the desired cob mix.  Transporting this mix from the mixing plant to the house was challenging, but fun.


The cob was molded into hand-sized balls. The team then formed a line and passed the balls from the one end to the other where the plasterer stood ready for action. Interestingly, the same method was applied thousands of years ago.


After a day or two, students took on specific roles to ensure the smooth-running of the project. There were clay miners and mixers, water bearers, carpenters, sheet metal workers, gutter and fascia fixers, plasterers, crack fillers and drivers, but the cob ball throwing was a team effort.

At present, Lettas Kraal, the area on which the farm is situated, is a well-known equine quarantine centre for migrating horses, nationally and internationally. The farm has 2 500 olive trees and produces olive oil.


“I am astonished by the students’ creativity, attitude and professionalism. It was an amazing experience,” says André.


Brett Timothy

Khutso Chuene

Michael Burtt

Mbanguli Mathebula

Zezethu Mniki

Ayanda Ndala

Anneke Scholtz

Victor Ornelas

Jackey Masekela speaks to SPHAMANDLA QWABE (21), Chairperson of the All Residences Committee (ARC) at the Pretoria Campus, about his plans for residence students this year.

Jackey Masekela

Sphamandla Qwabe

AS CHAIRPERSON OF THE ARC, WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR ALL RESIDENCE STUDENTS? As leaders, we need to understand some dynamics which hinder development and a conducive space to live in for our residence students. We need to evolve and make our residences non-tribal and non-religious, as not all people subscribe to one religion. A moment of silence in mass meetings should be observed instead. We need to be non-sexist as well. Female residence students are still discouraged and disadvantaged. It can be witnessed in the small number of chairpersons that emerged from mixed residences. We should not promote one gender over another.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet up with the CSRC President as promised in the previous edition. I’ll keep on trying.


HOW WILL YOU ENSURE THAT RES STUDENTS KNOW ABOUT THE ARC AND WHAT IT CAN DO FOR THEM? A programme of one residence, one month, and one event will be put in place, where each residence will get to host an educational programme and a social afterwards. The main idea is unity and interaction between all residences. We are also looking into a donation programme to assist the financially needy students to pay for their fees and buy groceries every month. We would also be assisting with textbooks. Residence visits will be conducted to hear about the challenges encountered by residence students.

WHO IS SPHAMANDLA QWABE? I was born in Newcastle. In Grade 7, I participated in a few drawing competitions and excelled in all of them. I won the Ithala Bank Competition and also  competitions by the departments of Water Affairs and Forestry and Justice in 2008. In the same year, I was awarded Best Technical Drawing Student and Artist of the Year at my school. After matriculating, I wanted to study Medical Science at UKZN, but ended up enrolling for an IT course at TUT. It was here that I was encouraged to serve people and to be an advocate for students. My love for science triumphed over IT and I later on enrolled at the TUT Arcadia Campus for a course in Veterinary Technology.



success tomorrow is determined by the actions and decisions you make today. Never be fooled by material things and entertainment. If it is hard to do, you are doing it correct. If it is easy to do, you are doing it wrong. Study hard. You will not regret it.

WHAT DRIVES YOU AND KEEPS YOU FOCUSED ON ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS? My background keeps me focused. I grew up in a working class family. My mom and grandmother went through a lot of suffering while raising me. What drives me is the thought of making them proud and giving them the life they did not have. I also enjoy assisting people and when they are thankful, it gives me great pleasure.


Heita! is an electronic student newsletter of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).


It is edited and published by the Directorate of Corporate Affairs and Marketing.



Gerrit Bester

TEL 012 382 4306









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.


All work and no play make Jack (and Jill) a dull boy (and girl).


The winner of the branded Powerbank Set is RAYMOND VAN REENEN, a Distance Education Policing student, all the way from McGregor in the Western Cape.


It’s easy! All you have to do is answer the following

question (don’t fret, you should get the answer somewhere





BAPHELILE SAMBO (20), a Journalism student at the Soshanguve Campus, is the winner of the competition featured in Heita! Vol8 No.1 2016.




win R300

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