WHEN DID YOU COMPLETE YOUR STUDIES AND WHAT QUALIFICATION DID YOU OBTAIN? I completed my studies in 2018 and graduated the following year with a B Tech: Multimedia, cum laude and the best overall average.


WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY DOING? I’m a Junior Animator and Designer at a full production agency, called Monarchy.


HOW DID YOU COME TO KNOW ABOUT THIS COMPETITION? I was on the Gautrain on my way home when a stranger saw me illustrating on my iPad. He asked for my number and weeks later sent me the competition details and suggested that I enter.




TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR ENTRY. The competition challenged participants to design messages to the youth about corruption. Being an idealist, I provided a call to action similar to that of posters designed in the apartheid era. Those posters were bold, unapologetic and in your face. In my video, I wanted to show how the majority of the population suffer, in such a way that it could speak to someone from any country.


WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU HEARD THAT YOU CAME SECOND? I was ecstatic because I was about to see a part of the world that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would see. I’m beyond grateful for that.


DID YOU ATTEND THE AWARDS CEREMONY, AND, IF SO, WHAT WAS IT LIKE? Yes! I felt so important. Rubbing shoulders with government officials and leaders was insane. I won a medal presented to me by The Prosecutor General of Russia, Yuri Chaika (who is about to be replaced) and a tour of Moscow.


WHAT ARE THE BEST MEMORIES YOU HAVE OF YOUR STUDIES AT TUT? Honestly, the Arts campus is the best place to study. I felt inspired and motivated being around all those talented people. It felt like home.


HOW WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE A PROSPECTIVE STUDENT TO STUDY IN THIS FIELD? Find something you love and it won't feel like work. If you want to study design, do not take criticism personally. Finish before the due date, so that you can improve on what you have. Never stop creating. Ever!



Students say who inspires them


Ephrain Ntombela



Ms CurvyBody SA shares
photos & words of wisdom


Accolades for

young artists

Formidable four reach out to visually impaired

Vol12 no4 2020

Letters of Hope trailer

Three alumni students of the Department of Visual Communication (Motion Picture Production) put their weight behind two feature films that premiered earlier this year. NALEDI BOGACWI and her husband, VUSI AFRICA, respectively produced and directed the film Letters of Hope, while MARIUS DE NYSSCHEN was the Director of Photography and a Colourist in the post-production of the film Vergeet my nie. Set in 1976 apartheid South Africa, Letters of Hope tells the story of the 16-year-old Jeremiah, who really wants to be a policeman and can’t understand why his father won’t let him. His father is the local postman and expects Jeremiah to follow in his footsteps. Both Naledi and Vusi are enrolled for M Tech studies at TUT. Naledi is also a part time lecturer. Vergeet my nie is based on a 90's love story of Mardaleen Coetzer and Hugo Derks. Portrayed by Marguerite van Eeden and Sean-Marco Vorster, the couple are introduced to one another on the North-West University's campus in Potchefstroom. He falls head over heels in love, but she doesn't return his affections.

Vergeet my nie trailer

KEEP FOCUS! Behind the lens of this edition’s cover image is talented Visual Communication (Photography) student TSHEPO NHLAPO.

Two Musical Theatre alumni bagged awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical or Music Theatre Show at the coveted Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards. TSHEPO NCOKOANE (top) received the award for Best Supporting Actor in Kinky Boots, with EARL GREGORY (bottom) bagging the award for Best Performance by a Lead Actor in the same show. The Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards are amongst the most coveted within the South African Performing Arts fraternity, honouring theatre excellence since 1965. With the current lockdown making the prestigious annual red-carpet event impossible, the theatre industry got the chance to celebrate in a virtual space.


The 25-year-old was born and bred in Nongoma, Kwazulu-Natal in what he describes as an underprivileged upbringing. “I had to work very hard to be where I am today,” he says.


Ephrain was raised by his grandmother, Agrinet Ntombela, under difficult circumstances, but his passion and dedication made him a cut above the rest.


“I never knew my parents. Although, they were alive, they did not take part in my upbringing,” says Ephrain.


A music lover at heart, Ephrain started his music journey when he was in Grade 8. “I sang in school choirs ever since I was in primary school. I also led an isicathamiya (singing style popular amongst Zulu-speaking people) group from Grade 11 until matric. I won Best Artist Award in 2013, which encouraged me to do music,” he adds.


Despite all the challenges Ephrain faced at home, he managed to register at TUT in 2017. Being a TUT student exposed him to hip-hop and the possibilities to record and release his first album.


“Where I come from, there are no recording studios. I arrived at TUT and engaged with many young musicians representing different genres. They introduced me to rappers and people who own recording studios,” he says.

Due to financial difficulties, Ephrain says he could not record his music immediately, but used his smartphone to share it through his YouTube channel.


This channel grew steadily and propelled his fan base to such an extent that he released his first album, titled Iphupho lam’1. Ephrain is currently working on his second album, titled Iphupho lam’2, which will be released on 2 October 2020.


He says he hopes that his album will include a song for every emotion.

TUT final-year Legal Assistance student and popular hip-hop artist, Ephrain Ntombela (25).

Emerging hip-hop artist and TUT final-year Legal Assistance student, Ephrain Ntombela, is ready to drop his second solo album later this year. Nomsa Ngubeni met the up-and-coming muso at the Soshanguve-South campus before lockdown.

Watch Ephrain’s latest music video below.

Video is a call to action

D'Angelo September (25), an alumnus of the Department of Visual Communication, came second in an international competition which challenged youth across the globe to design posters and videos aimed at developing a zero tolerance within society for corruption. The competition, titled Youth Contest of Social Anti-Corruption Advertising – Together Against Corruption!, is organised by the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation.

D'Angelo September (25)

Honestly, the Arts

campus is the best

place to study.
It felt like home.

Ms CurvyBody SA wants to

Koena Matlala, Ms CurvyBody South Africa 2019 winner, says she is on a mission to put an end to body shaming. The 31-year-old Public Management student, who hails from Polokwane, Limpopo, caught our eye last year when she bagged the title. She shares with us her photos and words of wisdom.

• The Ms CurvyBody SA competition is a woman-owned South African entity formed in 2016 by Mapule Mphaki and has received funds from various companies and individuals.

“With my crown, I will teach women to know and understand that, no matter how society sees them, whether they are slim, fat, thick, light-skinned or dark, they are enough and made in the beautiful image of God.”

“While representing South Africa in Spain at the

Top Curvy International competition, I was

approached by an agency from Italy

and offered an opportunity to

work with them.”

“Plus-size pageants do not promote obesity, but embrace different body types.”

“My main aim is to teach women how to love and accept themselves as they are, because they are often judged, especially when they are plus-size.”


Environmental Science

PEARL MODIADIE, South African television presenter, radio DJ, actress and producer, best known to TV audiences for presenting the SABC 1 music talk show Zaziwa. She’s young, intelligent, driven, pro-active and a hard worker. I also like her personality. She motivates me to work hard and to become someone better.”



TEBOHO "TSIETSI" MACDONALD MASHININI, the primary student leader of the Soweto Uprising that began in Soweto and spread across South Africa in June 1976. He stood up for what he believed in, made sure that the student demonstrations are successful and peaceful. His soul will rest peacefully for what he has fought for.”

In view of Youth Day that was celebrated on 16 June, Heita! asks seven students who are the people that they look up to, and why.


Public Finance & Accounting

BONANG MATHEBA, South African television presenter, radio personality, businesswoman, producer, model and philanthropist. She is self-driven, smart, beautiful, independent and a big inspiration to young women like me.”



MAESELA LEDWABA, a friend and fellow student. He is young and has established his own brand, Thakgi’s Clothing, in spite of ups and downs. He is trustworthy, delivers and is business minded.”


Entrepreneurship (Masters)

DINEO RANAKA, radio and television presenter, actress, DJ and TV producer. She is fearless, unapologetic, multi-talented, true to herself and stands her ground. She uses her voice in a good way.”


Public Relations

DJ ZINHLE, well-known DJ and businesswoman. She’s been broken a lot of times, but persevered. She’s a great mom and influencer.”


Legal Assistance

“I look up to MYSELF.
I know where I come from and where I’m at now. I’m inspired by my ability to always do more for myself and my family. I don’t look at someone driving a big car and say I want to drive that car one day. I’m going to use the distance from where I am, to where I want to be, as an inspiration.”

Information and Communication Technology students Siphamanda Mqcina (21), Clifford Chibi (23), Philanjalo Ndlovu (26) and Emmanuel Mahlangu (21) live one of the University’s core values, Care. The four from the Soshanguve South campus has come up with an invention that assists visually impaired people to find their way much easier.

Speaking about how they came up with the idea, Philanjalo recalls as follows: “One day, we were walking on Campus and a fellow student patted one of us on the shoulder to enquire about something. When we looked at him, we noticed that he was blind and could not navigate his way. This deeply touched us and we immediately sat down and discussed ways that we could assist him and other visually impaired students.” says Philanjalo.


“We asked ourselves: How can we help that person with the knowledge that we have?” This impromptu brainstorming session quickly led to the invention of the C4Me” (See for Me) device.


The device assists the visually impaired by pinpointing their exact location, their destination and voice instructions on how they can reach their destination. Most importantly, it alerts the user of any obstacles on the way.


“The device will help the visually impaired to move about freely and know exactly where they are going. Users will not have to seek any help from others. The sensor data issues directions, it answers phone calls, reads messages and also assists in reading money to facilitate financial transactions, if required,” says Clifford.


After the inventors noticed that the device is working, they decided to enter it for the Red Bull Basement University competition, a global platform for students to innovate and co-create positive change. They were overwhelmed when they heard that they were selected to represent South Africa at the Red Bull Basement University Workshop 2019 in Toronto, Canada that is planned for December 2020 (in view

of the Covid-19 pandemic it could not be confirmed if the event will continue). Teams from 27 other countries will also pitch their ideas on how to improve student life at the event.


Emmanuel says their biggest challenge right now is getting developers and sponsors on board to assist them in manufacturing the device.


“In spite of our struggle for funds, we are very excited to compete at the Workshop, where we will be showing off our African technology talent, as well as see ideas from other students,” Siphamanda concludes.

The C4Me formidable four, Siphamanda Mqcina (21), Clifford Chibi (23), Philanjalo Ndlovu (26) and Emmanuel Mahlangu (21).

C4Me four has

The C4Me device.

Visit the TUT website for Covid-19 updates and related news.




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











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