Vol8 no5 2016
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THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD: Fine Arts alumnus PULE CHOBANE (28) with a pencil sketch of Dr Ezekiel Moraka, Acting Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) and DVC: Student Affairs and Extracurricular Development. Pule plans to enter his artwork into the Sasol New Signatures competition later this year.
Visual Communication (Photography) student EULANDA LESHABA captured this striking image.
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Stephen Mokoka (31), Nike-sponsored athlete and third-year Sports Management student, shares his athletic journey with Heita! He will be representing SA at the forthcoming Rio Olympics (5 000m and 10 000m athletics events) starting on 5 August.
He hails from a village called Six Hundred in Mahikeng, where he was raised by a strict grandfather. He is the oldest of three brothers of his late mother, Winnie. He started running at primary school with no intention of ever taking it to a professional level. He says he always thought if he had to take sport seriously, it would be soccer.
Stephen’s career sky-rocketed when he joined TUT. This was after he realised the countless opportunities that came with being a professional athlete. From there on, he has dedicated himself to a level of no return. He has smashed a number of records since, accompanied by growth with every competition on the track – the biggest one being the 2012 London Olympics.
“The 2012 London Olympics experience was overwhelming. You have to measure up to a certain level of greatness to qualify. So, for me, that has been my greatest experience since I started this sport. I wasn’t only representing myself, I was representing TUT and the country. It was tough, but it was the year in which I ran my personal best,” he explains.
Stephen adds that even though he trained hard physically, he wasn’t mentally prepared for the experience. As great as the journey was, it came with other challenges he didn’t prepare for. There was the “outside of the country” experience, being at the Olympic village for the first time, media attention and pressure from everyone else, even though they all meant well. He ran his personal best that year, securing the 49th position at the event.
Stephen admits that balancing university life and being a professional athlete is hard work and demands extra discipline. He manages because he has a supportive team behind him. “They won’t let me fail on either one of my pursuits. It’s as if I have this big family supporting me – my manager, my training partners and my wife, Zinhle. Sometimes, I think they should do the running because they know my schedule better than I do. They even remind me ahead of time to start training for a specific competition,” he says.
“When I think about Rio, I feel my adrenalin levels rise. This time around, I will be less excited, since I’m familiar with the territory. I won’t be distracted by the less important things. I will just focus on my running. My role models and rivals will be there, so I have to be the best version of myself. I have ran with some of them before, and I will be meeting others for the first time. My goal is to make it to the top 10,” he concludes.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT STEPHEN
He trains TWO HOURS every morning.
He runs 320KM A WEEK when preparing for a full marathon.
His ROLE MODEL is 43-year-old South African long distance runner, Hendrick Ramaala,
who holds the 10 000m record set on 22 February 1992.
He is running TOWARDS HIS RETIREMENT and will be headed for a different path soon.
TUT student Stephen Mokoka (31) will be participating in the forthcoming Olympic Games.
“Think before you post,”
“South Africa is a human trafficking hotspot and, unfortunately, the perpetrators are using social media to get hold of their victims,” says Cleopatra Mbatha (25), a first-year Marketing Research student and a human trafficking awareness activist. She warns students to think before they post.
Cleopatra Mbatha (25)
HOW DID YOU BECOME A HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS ACTIVIST? When I met a human trafficking survivor, I knew right away that I needed to do something. I then became involved in the preparations for marches to create awareness in and around Gauteng.
YOU RECENTLY ATTENDED THE COUNTER TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS CONFERENCE IN AFRICA. TELL US MORE. It is held every three years. At this year’s event, which attracted participants from seven African countries, a project called Taxis against human trafficking was launched. It aims to sensitise truckers and taxi drivers, who are often lured into working alongside traffickers, of this crime.
YOU SAY THAT ADDING YOUR LOCATION TO SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS, AND CHECKING IN HAVE MOVED PERPETRATORS FROM THE STREETS TO THE NET. SHOULD I GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA ALTOGETHER? Social media gives young people an opportunity to say what they want and when they want to. Unfortunately, traffickers are going through these posts at this very second. Be careful what you post. Ask yourself if it’s really necessary to tell 5 000 people exactly where you are. At the conference, it was stressed to make people aware of the dangers of so-called first day at school posts including full names, names of schools and that of relatives. This information can be used to build trust with a young child.
DO YOU HAVE ANY CYBER TRAFFICKING STATS FOR SA? It is always said to be at 5% and less. The face of human trafficking changes daily (bone or sexual or organ trade, for instance). Over 27 million people are trafficked every year (only known cases).
YOU’RE ALSO A MISS EARTH SA (MESA) AMBASSADOR? WHAT ARE YOUR DUTIES? It is a leadership programme that aims to empower women to become active in their communities concerning wildlife conservation, recycling and social issues. MESA has equipped me with the tools to play an active role to find solutions for these challenges.
TSHOLOFELO LETIMELA (18)
Legal Assistance (First-year)
It’s wrong. I’m totally against it. These women are selling their bodies for money and that’s pure prostitution. I’m sure this cannot be the only way out.
THEMBA SITHOLE (21)
Public Management (Second-year)
These are naive little girls who are under too much pressure from society to fit in. I can’t say it’s wrong, but they must know that in the process of sacrificing themselves, they will lose a lot, and not just their identity.
TSHEGOFATSO KOMANE (20)
IT Communications and Networks (Second-year)
The statistics could be true. When our parents send us to varsity, half of the time they do not have the finances to make sure that we complete our studies. Having a tight budget is hard. You cannot get everything you want and you meet students who are much more privileged than you. It’s then that you fall into the trap of wanting to fit in. When someone offers you the easy way out, you’ll take it.
PIETER GROENEWALD (26)
I don’t try to form an opinion before I get all the facts, so I won’t judge and say it is wrong or right. Money is a huge part of today’s life. If someone wants the easy way out and someone else is willing to offer that, then why shouldn’t they take it? It’s just a problem if the men are married. Then it’s also immoral. But, if they keep it safe, I don’t see any problem with it. Men give their women money all the time.
JENIQUE DE LANGE (20)
Hospitality Management (First-year)
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having an older partner to take care of you financially. They are much more mature than our peers and they’ll show you the world and teach you things. So, it’s a life experience more than anything, really.
TUMELO MANGKE (21)
Mechanical Engineering (First-year)
The numbers don’t lie. That’s the sad truth. I feel bad for our sisters who use every excuse to get the easy way out. There are free schools in our townships where they can at least get a matric certificate and then apply for financial aid to help them get through tertiary. It’s too much of a risk to put themselves in danger of contracting STDs and HIV, possibly ending up with a baby. These are less exciting statistics.
TO VIEW COMMENTS, CLICK ON ANY IMAGE ABOVE.
A total of 14% of relationships involving female tertiary students are based on transactional sex, according to research by the Higher Education and Training HIV/Aids programme. This is known as the blesser or sugar daddy phenomenon where an older, wealthier man is the blesser and a young woman is the blessee. We went on a walkabout to get your views.
YES OR NO FOR BLESSERS?
Tips to avoid
What can I do to prevent landing into the hands of human traffickers? Cleopatra Mbatha gives us advice.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I REALISE THAT I’M BEING STALKED ON SOCIAL MEDIA BY SOMEONE I DON’T KNOW?
HOW CAN I MANAGE MY SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES BETTER?
WHERE CAN I GET INFORMATION ON / REPORT CYBER TRAFFICKING?
The Human Trafficking Hotline is 0800 555 999
Victims in Gauteng can call 011 355 9918
The Student Mentor @ TUT Programme is a unique mentoring programme developed by the Directorate: Student Development and Support. It recognises that students prefer to discuss their problems with fellow students rather than with lecturers/staff members. Heita! speaks to a mentor and mentee who are advocates of the programme.
MENTEE: Thando Mveyishi (21)
STUDYING: Education (First-year)
HOW HAVE YOU BENEFITED FROM THE MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME, AND HOW WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OTHER STUDENTS TO MAKE USE OF IT? There’s a big adjustment one needs to make from high school to university and it doesn’t happen overnight. The teaching style is different and you are expected to do half the work yourself. Having a mentor helped me fill those gaps and helped me to understand the content better. When my classmates approach me for help due to the improvement in my results, I refer them to a mentor, so they can also get help.
MENTOR: Lisbeth Kutu (22)
STUDYING: Education (Third-year)
WHY DID YOU BECOME A MENTOR AND WHAT HAS IT MEANT FOR YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT? I struggled a lot during my first year. I didn’t have a mentor until late in the year. Only then did I find it easy to unpack my workload because I had help and a better understanding of my modules. I’m training to be a teacher. Being a mentor is preparing me for that role. Mentoring other students is like experiential learning. I get to experience different characters and know how to deal with them so I will not have difficulties in future. I’ve gained confidence and people skills.
MENTOR vs MENTEE
Jackey Masekela speaks to Marcia Lebambo, Senior Campus Officer at the Ga-Rankuwa Campus and part-time lecturer in Entrepreneurship. This go-getter wears many hats and has achieved so much for her 28 years.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF. I’m from Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga and hail from a small village, called Orinocco A, Hlamalani. I used to be a Residence Manager at the Soshanguve-North Campus. I’m really passionate about the development of marginalised communities. I recently completed a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and I am currently pursuing a PhD, focusing on policies and rural entrepreneurship development. Although I wear many hats, I remain a simple village girl who came to Gauteng to claim her piece of gold. I’m still digging though.
WHAT DRIVES YOU? To see my community in better conditions. Being raised by parents who were uneducated, and the first person in my family to receive a university qualification, reminded me that I represent my entire community. I have to rise above the narrow confines of my individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. I’m driven by knowing that God has given us power to be and do anything that we want in life. The choice lies with us. I’m also inspired by ordinary uneducated and unemployed women who use whatever resources available to sell fruits and vegetables to pay for their children’s education. I ask myself daily: if they can do it, what stops me? If the late President Mandela could move the entire world from behind prison bars, what’s actually stopping me?
YOU’RE THE FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF A RESIDENCE NEWSLETTER AT THE SOSH CAMPUS. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT YOU’VE ADDRESSED? The newsletter was aimed at changing the image of the Soshanguve Campus; and facilitating communication between students and management. The Soshanguve Campus is known as a previously disadvantaged and violent campus. But behind these negatives, there is so much vibrancy and beauty in its students and the community at large. The campus is very diverse with languages, culture and beliefs, and the activities taking place become the focus of our newsletter. Students are also given an opportunity to suggest, critique or compliment the services rendered by various departments, with a special focus on the Residence Department. We wanted to change the students’ mind set and remind them that despite the obvious infrastructural challenges, they are responsible for making the campus what they want it to be.
SPELLING BEE IS ONE OF YOUR PASSIONS. Coming from a rural school where the level of education was very poor, I didn’t have confidence when I joined TUT as a student in 2005. I felt like I didn’t belong and that affected my level of participation in University activities and opportunities that were given to students. I then told myself that when I complete my studies, I’ll go back and help kids from previously disadvantaged schools to learn how to read and write. That’s how the idea of Spelling Bee came about. The initiative was also motivated by improving the quality of basic education in the country, especially schools in rural areas and townships. Coupled with the rapid pace of social media and technology, writing has become a challenge globally, especially for leaners in marginalised communities. I believe that if you cannot spell the word, you cannot read, and if you cannot read, you’ll not be able to write. We literally go from school to school requesting collaborations from teachers, principals and parents. It’s very challenging because it is self-funded. But, it’s worth the hassle.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MARCIA? Currently, I’m focusing on completing my PhD so that I can spend more time on my community projects, such as entrepreneurship seminars, Spelling Bee and my business, called Mashakoane Consultancy, that assists postgraduate students with research and offers advice to entrepreneurs on different business needs. I’m also hoping to use my experience to write books that will tell the real African story and then share it with the world. But, for now, I’m taking it one day at a time.
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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.
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It’s easy! All you have to do is answer the following
question (don’t fret, you should get the answer somewhere
in this edition): NAME THE STUDENT WHO WILL BE PARTICIPATING IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES.
LUCY NKOSI (22), a Legal Assistance student at the Mbombela Campus, is the winner of the competition featured in Heita! Vol8 No.4 2016.
SPEND THE R300 WISELY.
The winner of the STEAK KNIFE AND FORK SET is PONTSHO MATHEMANE (21), an Animal Production student at the Pretoria Campus.
All work and no play make Jack (and Jill) a dull boy (and girl).