FNB Namibia announced the promotion of Florentia Amuenje to Head of Human Resources.
Florentia Amuenje holds a BA (hons) degree in Industrial Psychology; a Master of Arts research Psychology from Rhodes University and a MBA from the Universi ...read more
The late Michael Alan Harmel has been given the Order of Luthuli Award on April 27, 2013. The Order of Luthuli recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict. Michael Alan Harmel was a former member of the South African Communist Party ...read more
Global Shapers Community nominate Rhodes Alumnus
A Rhodes Alumnus, Mr Xolani Nyali, has been nominated to be a member of the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum, Cape Town Hub. There are currently 36 Global Shapers in South Africa, 15 in Cape Town, Pretoria (11) and Johannesburg (10). ...read more
Jean works at the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Office at Geneva as a Multilateral Officer dealing with Human Rights issues among other duties. He has the pleasure of working with South African diplomats in Geneva . Jean is an enthusiastic ...read more
Marine Biology Honours Old Rhodian, Leigh de Necker has been awarded SA colours for underwater hockey and will be going to Hockey world Competition 2013 (under 23) in August. ...read more
University support, scholarships help young entrepreneurs
University students who start their own companies are on the rise, says Alex Fraser, who is chairwoman of Silicon Cape Initiative, a non-profit organisation that seeks to attract new businesses to the Western Cape.
Rhodes University Master's student Andrew Lynch is one such student who began his own business at university.
Marikana Commission evidence leader Advocate Mbuyiseli Madlanga has been appointed as the new Judge in the Constitutional Court. ...read more
Talented alumni, Ms Natasha Joseph, Mr Stephen Grootes and Ms Verashni Pillay, are flying the Rhodes University flag high in the South African media industry. The three are among the top achievers recognised by The Media magazine under the banner: top 40 under 40s editors in South Africa. ...read more
Koos's Xhosa Bible grammar honour
AN AFRIKAANS church "Dominee" who retired before most of this year's Rhodes University graduates were even born, has earned his PhD for a paper on Xhosa Bible grammar - almost 60 years after he studied African languages.
A pair of former Rhodes University students are using their personal experience of living in student residences - and their strong business partnership - to change the face of student living in Port Elizabeth. ...read more
Chris and Nikki got married on the 15th December 2012 and had been together for 5 years prior. They are currently living in Johannesburg and had their wedding in Kenton on Sea in December. Chris has retired from professional triathlon now ...read more
Since completing her (M.Ed (TESOL) QUT 2001) she has been involved in a number of fields in various positions, has attained qualifications in Psychology and Linguistics (Rhodes) Choral Conducting, Voice and Vocal Issues (Qld Conservatorium/Griffith), Montessori Education (London Montessori Centre) Languages (UNE) Education and English as an Additional Language (Queensland University of Technology) and has been fortunate to have travelled extensively. ...read more
RU student helps fund studies
THE heart-warming story of an ex-miner who walked from Peddie to Cape Town to enrol in university has inspired a weekend car washer to help fund the old man’s theology studies.
Van Wyk Smith celebrated for lifetime contribution to language.
A RETIRED Grahamstown English professor who spent more than half a century teaching thousands of students – and wrote several acclaimed books – has received a top award for distinguished service to language.
Anyone paying attention to the triathlon scene in Taiwan in recent years is sure to have noticed the rise in participation among female athletes, some of whom are earning endorsement deals for their healthy beauty. A local cycling magazine recently featured several accomplished young triathletes on its cover, looking every bit as good as professional models (but far healthier and more radiant). ...read more
STANDARD Bank Group CEO Jacko Maree, who has been at the bank for more than 32 years, shed a tear yesterday as his newly appointed successors, Ben Kruger and Sim Tshabalala, and a packed house bid him farewell at the annual results presentation. ...read more
A NEW ERA AT STANDARD BANK Headline earnings grew 10%, boosted by its operations in the rest of Africa, which posted a significant 69% rise STANDARD Bank Group joint CEO Ben Kruger said at its annual results presentation yesterday the bank expected its offshore operations to turn profitable this financial year ...read more
Director and Chief Investment Officer of Foord Asset Management. Dave Foord founded Foord Asset Management in 1981 with Liston Meintjes and has built it into the company it is today. He began his career at Old Mutual in 1978 and then started his business three years later. ...read more
IT was the sort of dream deal that the shareholders involved won't forget. But for Rod Baxter being at the centre of the famous Consolidated Minerals bidding war of 2007-08 was an experience he never wants to repeat. ...read more
South African born Tony Granger has been admitted as a freeman of London. Individuals who have made a significant impact in their field are invited to take up the Freedom to acknowledge their contribution. ...read more
Dr Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela has been appointed the municipal manager of Nelson Mandela Bay. Dr Msengana-Ndlela, 47, who was born in Cala and has three grown-up children, will be returning to her home province. ...read more
Executive Director, Daniel Galloway was ecstatic that The Fugard Theatre received a staggering ten nominations for the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards for productions presented and housed at The Fugard in 2012. ...read more
SUN INTERNATIONAL has appointed Graeme Stephens, its director of new business development, as chief executive from February next year. ...read more
The invitation extended this year to SA born composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen by the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival (JIMF) is of significance, especially in the context of SA classical music. ...read more
Ryland Fisher has more than 30 years of experience in the media industry as an editor, journalist, columnist, author, senior manager and executive. ...read more
Everyone will have a voice on TV' THE queen of radio is going to tackle big
issues on the small screen again! SAfm presenter Siki Mgabadeli will present a
10-episode current affairs show called The Big Debate. ...read more
COMING to the Midlands, fresh from a successful performance at the Musho!
International Festival of One and Two-Hander Theatre in Durban, is Tristan
Jacobs' Hambre Del Alma. ...read more
New head of AFU in Eastern Cape inspired by apartheid injustices to study for career in law. ...read more
LIAM Pedersen spent much of his childhood with no electricity, plumbing or books.
Now he is building space exploration robots for Nasa in the search for life beyond our planet.
Nikiwe was awarded the Hubert Humphrey’s Fellowship and has taken special leave from eTV's News Night, which she co-anchored with Jeremy Maggs. Each year, up to 15 Humphrey Fellows arrive at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University
Congratulations to Judith who has been appointed as a Judge in the Western Cape High Court. She obtained her BA degree from the University of Cape Town in 1983 and her LLB from Rhodes University in 1985. As an articled clerk and attorney until 1994, she gained experience predominantly in the areas of civil and criminal litigation. Her main area of interest has been family law and she ...read more
Rebecca Davis studied at Rhodes University and Oxford before working in lexicography at the Oxford English Dictionary. After deciding she’d rather make up words than define them, she returned to South Africa in 2011 to write for the Daily Maverick. Source: Daily Maverick ...read more
Alistair Mokoena, previously head of marketing at ABSA Retail & Business Bank, has joined Drftfcb Johannesburg as managing director. Making the announcement, Draftfcb CEO, John Dixon, said he regarded the signing of Mokoena as a 'big signing' for the agency, which has scored several other goals over the course of the year. ...read more
"Thando Zono brings South African roots to streaking UMass field hockey". Brought up in Grahamstown, her field hockey career began at the age of eight and whilst at Rhodes, she was recruited by former UMass coach Justine Sowry, who convinced Zono to come to Amherst without ever seeing the campus. ...read more
Rob competed in the World Canoe Marathon Championships, 13-23 September, 2012 in Rome. Paddles from 40 nations took part and whilst Rob was unable to repeat the successes of 2011 with 2 gold medals, he did manage to bring back some 'tin' in the form of bronze and silver medals, coming 3rd in the K1 and 2nd in the K2 (Masters) events that he competed in. ...read more
Lisa MacLeod has won Woman in Business of the Year in the South African Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2012. Currently an assistant editor at the Financial Times Lisa has been involved in most of the strategic newsroom integration projects at the FT over the past nine years, and been part of the senior management team for the past few years ...read more
Six Old Rhodians were nominated for the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2012. Bailey Snyman,Daniel Friedman, Michael Markovina, Lindile Mpanza and Melini Moses. ...read more
Triathlete Chris Felgate (2002) and Rower Micheen Thornycroft (2006) have qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games. ...read more
Cablekiosk.co.za, a new online store which launched this week, was conceived when Rhodes University student, Andrew Lynch was looking for a replacement iPod charging cable. "I looked online and in stores and received such poor service and ridiculous prices - I felt like I was being ripped off." He searched abroad for alternatives. "I convinced a company in China to manufacture a small batch of cables and ship them to me, for a lower price than a single cable in South Africa! I kept one cable and put the rest on ...read more
Liam Pedersen was born in Cape Town, South Africa before moving to the squats of London, thence to the Greyhound bus terminals of the USA before being deported from Mexico and ending up in Colombian jungle where he avoided school and spent idyllic days fishing from a dugout canoe. Eventually polite society caught up with him and he went to Chile, learning ...read more
Two-time SAMA nominee Pebbles is back with another soulful offering featuring Zubz who is also an Old Rhodian (1996) , Nothende, Kabomo and RJ Benjamin. ...read more
Carte Blanche producer, Kim Cloete, has won this year’s Brandhouse Responsible Drinking Media Award for best broadcast for her story on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. Kim was also named Brandhouse Journalist of the year. ...read more
Adam has been writing about the international bunkering and shipping market since 2010, when he joined the Bunkerworld news service. He is the current editor of the Bunker Bulletin - Petromedia's print title focused on the global bunkering sector. In this capacity Adam has expanded upon his ...read more
Africa Celebrates SKA Bid Outcome:
Two of our Old Rhodians were spotted at the SKA media press conference. Prof Justin Jonas, Associate Director: Science and Engineering at the SKA South Africa Project and Dr Adrian Tiplady is the Site Bid Manager. ...read more
As a director of Prinsloo, Tindle & Andropoulos Inc, a commercial law firm, Michael Denenga has helped a number of international banking groups including boutique offshore hedge funds to set up their operations in SA. ...read more
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) had a unique event at the Los Angeles Museum featuring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and an Honorary Graduate of Rhodes, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu in conversation with Robert V. Taylor, author of the recently released book, 'A New Way to Be Human.' ...read more
'Kwani?' Managing editor Billy Kahora has been shortlisted for the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing . The 13th Caine Prize shortlist was announced by Ben Okri OBE, the new vice president of the Prize. Billy has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and post-graduate ...read more
A committee of University of Wyoming Student Alumni Association (WyoSAA) members has selected Donal Skinner, Department of Zoology and Physiology associate professor, as this year's Outstanding Faculty Award recipient ...read more
Paula Heron has just been awarded the NCAS (National Consortium for Academics and Sports) 2012 Steps Award for her work as a civic leader. Her tireless efforts with the Tri 4 Freedom organization, which raises awareness of human trafficking, ...read more
Gregor Röhrig spent a good part of his 20s capturing street life across the globe – watching people and their daily going-ons.
His fascination with ordinary people has translated into his exhibition, Streets of Our Lives, which you can see at the Alliance Francaise Du Cap Art Gallery in the Mother City.
The Wits Justice Project has started 2012 with several new members and a plan that will see it become more active in advocacy, writes Tshepo Tshabalala. With Iranian-born Nooshin Erfani as newly appointed project coordinator, the team aims to do nothing less than improve the justice ...read more
Cameron Bellamy (2001), Ryan Palmer (2001), Greg Pienaar (2000), Gordon Simpson (2000) Micheen Thornycroft (2006), Sam Wells (2000), Richard English (2002) and Thato Mabelane (2001) are all participating in the Ubunye Challenge with the aim of raising £250 000 (almost R3 million), the campaign hopes to give half of the funds raised to the Angus Gillis Foundation and the other half to the Africa Foundation to assist in early child development. At the moment, Cameron and members of the Angus Gillis Foundation are choosing five different sites around the Eastern Cape at which to place five Edutainers to act as crèches. ...read more
Steve Linde – Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Post
Steve Linde was appointed editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post in July, 2011, after serving as managing editor, news editor and night editor at the paper over the past 14 years. ...read more
Eating chips from Porto’s, a fish and chips shop that has “placed Newcastle on the map” was an almost daily occurrence for Penuel Mlotshwa and his family.
Even as a little boy, the 26-year-old says, he thought the shop should export its product beyond the borders of the KwaZulu-Natal town. ...read more
A SENIOR member of the Society of Advocates of Namibia, Harold Geier, has been appointed as a judge of the High Court. President Hifikepunye Pohamba appointed Geier to the High Court bench on a recommendation from the Judicial Service Commission with effect from April 1, it was announced from the chambers of Chief Justice Peter Shivute on Friday.
Geier has been practising law as a member of the Society of Advocates of Namibia since 1990, and is a past president of the Law Society of Namibia. ...read more
After Rhodes Hans spent 5 years working in Johannesburg; first as an analyst programmer in logistics at UTi Worldwide, then as a developer in online gaming at Dariel Solutions, and finally as a consultant at Mint Management Technologies. In 2006 he was recruited by Microsoft and moved to Seattle to work on the Internet Explorer team. ...read more
Announced as one of the four 2012 winners of the Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary, Nicola will be given a platform to write, direct, cast and perform plays over during the year, under the mentorship of the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, ...read more
As CEO of one of SA’s big-four banks, Sim Tshabalala is driving expansion into Africa
Sim Tshabalala, the chief executive of Standard Bank South Africa and one of three deputy CEOs of the Standard Bank Group (Africa’s largest banking group, with assets of R1.34-trillion and earnings of ...read more
Rob Maclean (1973)
Rob MacLean excelled at the Canoe World Championships in Singapore last year by winning TWO Gold Medals. In the Master's events, he won a gold medal in the K1 (single canoe) and a day later, with his SA partner, Enslin van Riet, a gold in the K2 (double canoe) event.
The Old Rhodian Knocking On Heavens Door Group (1965 - 1975 ORs') heard that he might not be able to defend his titles in Rome, to be held September 2012, due to funding constraints. As friends and true Old Rhodians, they have decided that there is a need to try and raise the necessary money to send Rob to Rome. Rob advises that he has every intention of defending these titles in Rome, should he be able to raise the finances. He is already training seriously for the event and we know he is determined to get to Rome. The Knocking On Heavens Door Group have arranged a Golf Day on Thursday 14 June at Westlake Golf Club,in Lakeside, Cape Town.
Click here for full details of the Golf Day.
Portia Maurice-Mopp (1983)
Portia Maurice is Chief Officer of Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group Limited. She is also a member of the Vodacom Group Executive Committee. Maurice was previously Vodacom’s Chief Officer of Public Affairs and Sustainability. She has been Chief Executive Officer of environmental management company Tedcor and Nehanda Group, a women’s investment company of which she remains a non-executive board member. She spent five years as a General Manager at the MTN Group. Maurice is a Non-Executive Director of Ga Ra Geng Travel. She is a former journalist, she has worked in a range of media houses including The Argus, Mail & Guardian, Sowetan and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
Joey Wishnia (1960)
The world premiere of Shakespeare and Me, features veteran actor Joey Wishnia.
Joey Wishnia, recipient of the 2010-2011 Lifetime Achievement in Theatre award from the Colorado Theatre Guild, studied at Rhodes University and received a teaching diploma in speech and drama from Trinity College, London. He came to the U.S. from South Africa in 1983 and established himself in Denver as an actor and director. He has written this personal story of a Shakespearean actor.
Matthew Lester (1980)
The topic of conversation at this years launch was “How will the 2012 budget affect your business going forward?” This question and other issues affecting entrepreneurial growth were discussed at the Kelvin Grove Club on 9 March 2012 during the official Cape Town launch breakfast of the Sanlam / Business Partners 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year® Awards.
The seminar featured an address by Professor Matthew Lester, tackling the 2012 budget and its impact on South African entrepreneurs. Lester, whose credentials include a BCom CTA (Rhodes) and H Dip Tax Law (Wits), is a tax professor at Rhodes University and the winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s award for distinguished teaching in 2001. He also won the SAICA Southern region Honours Tie 2009. Apart from teaching at Rhodes, he also lectures to a wide range of South Africans on money matters and writes the popular weekly column ‘Tax Talk’ in the Sunday Times.
Tony Granger (1970)
AfricaPositive’s UK director, Tony Granger, helped pioneer the UK’s successful Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) which has generated £12billion (R120 bn) in private investment funds into the SME sector. Ted Sceales discusses the huge positive impact that an EIS could have on wealth and work creation in Africa with Granger.
Caroline Rowland (1987)
Founder and Executive Creative Director of the company, New Moon, Caroline Rowland is the winner of Woman in Business of the Year at the SA Business Club Business Awards 2011. Some of her main achievements in the category that she was nominated for are:
Credited by The Observer as being one of the ten most influential people in the Bid for the London 2012 Olympics.
Entrepreneur of the year finalist 2007.
Creative Strategy Advisor to successful Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Bids. Campaign included development and production of 6 films for Sochi 2014 and 11 films for PyeongChang 2018.
Creative Strategy Advisor to successful Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Bid. Campaign included development and production of 19 films over 14 month campaign.
Source: The South African
Bailey Snyman (1996)
Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Dance 2012 Bailey Snyman (33) grew up in Kimberley in the Northern Cape. From a very young age he knew that he wanted to spend his life on the stage and to pursue his vision of how the arts can potentially challenge perceptions and ideologies.
It was at the National Arts Festival where he encountered the First Physical Theatre Company in a programme of work titled Declarations (1993). “The First Physical Theatre Company had such a fresh approach to making theatre,” said Snyman. “This collaboration between the different art forms made me realise what I wanted to do.
Snyman was determined not to give up on his ambition. He went back to Kimberley to write his Matric exams and was hopeful of finding the money to study Drama at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. He completed a Masters Degree in Choreography and Contemporary Dance Studies and followed on to work full-time for the First Physical Theatre Company for three and half years under the artistic guidance of Professor Gary Gordon and Juanita Finestone-Praeg.
Alex Lenferna (2007)
Forty-seven young people from 18 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America are meeting in Germany to discuss environmental projects they implemented in their communities. From Rhodes University is Alex Lenferna (2007) representing South Africa in the 2011 Bayer Young Environmental Envoy 2011.
Presenting his project, Alex said: "I formed this because I realised that for students climate change is the highest calling of our time. I also realised that young people have the knowledge, but not the platform from which they can share it. Seacc SF provides an inter-disciplinary platform for students to engage with environmental leaders.
"We started a challenge at our university residences to see who could reduce their energy usage the most. The one with the lowest usage wins a prize, but the students are also more aware of saving energy," Lenferna said.
Seacc SF was started at Rhodes University, but has now spread to Fort Hare University, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the Walter Sisulu University.
"When we talk to students we realise that we are talking to the converted so we try and move into squatter camps and teach the people there about conserving the environment," Lenferna said.
He said his organisation was aimed at harnessing the power of the youth to change the world.
Lindile Mpanza (2004)
Congratulations to Lindile Mpanza who won a CNN African Journalist award in the tv feature category on the 25 June 2011. Lindile graduated from Rhodes in 2008 with a Bjourn degree and was the first recipient of the Carte Blanche scholarship. Lindile wrote to the Alumni Office, "I'm proud to say Rhodes was the stepping stone and foundation for my blossoming career."
3rd Degree producer wins CNN award
3rd Degree producer Lindile Mpanza was announced as one of the winners at the prestigious CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards on Saturday 25 June 2011 in Johannesburg.
The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Competition is highly respected amongst journalists on the Continent. Mpanza won for best TV Feature for her piece entitled “Silence of the Innocents” that tells the story of young girls who are abducted, raped and forced into marriage in the Lusikisiki area of the Eastern Cape.
Patrick Conroy, Group Head of eNews says: “We are extremely proud of Lindile’s achievement. She told a very important story that needed to be exposed. Thanks to her tenacity the rest of South Africa can never claim it did not know about the plight of these young girls. Lindile handled the piece with great sensitivity and poise, and it touched thousands of viewers. We congratulate her and the rest of the 3rd Degree team for an outstanding piece of investigative journalism.”
Mpanza has been working for 3rd Degree for two years as a junior producerand studied journalism at Rhodes University where she specialised in TV.
“I’m very excited because it’s a great achievement for me to have won such a prestigious award at the age of 25. I feel honoured for the acknowledgement. I couldn’t have done it without help from the 3rd Degree team,” says Mpanza.
“When I first started working on the story, I had no idea what I was going to find because I was dealing with a community entrenched in tradition, and mainly with men who do not want to talk about, or be criticised for, a cultural practice that has gone horribly wrong. It was a bit challenging, but I’m grateful to the young girls who were willing to talk about their experiences.”
Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans
The Mail & Guardians Top 200 Young South Africans features 19 Old Rhodians!
Nic Dawes, Editor-In-Chief of Mail & Guardian wrote, "Nine out of 10 people profiled in the Mail & Guardian's 2011 line-up of 200 Young South Africans are new to the list, which is the product of the combined talents of our in-house research team and an avid bunch of social-media contributors, who weighed in on our website, along with Facebook and Twitter.
In the end we chose them for their impact, their creativity and the resonance of their values with the project of building the South Africa that we all want to live in: vibrant, prosperous, equitable, diverse and hungry for the challenges of growth and change."
ARTS AND CULTURE
James Cairns (1994) - Writer/director/performer
"When you need to make a strategic decision, ask yourself: 'what would China do?'"
It's pointless taking James Cairns seriously. He's old-school comedy; the kind that turns a stepladder, some clever "toons" and a few lighting effects into an alternative reality filled with characters you want to either hug or hit. Either way, you have to care because his genius is always tangible, even if his props aren't.
On stage Cairns is a physical theatre practitioner par excellence, morphing between characters like a man possessed. Offstage this writer, director, television actor and comedian is as skilled and sharp as a Swiss Army knife. His plays, Rat and Brother Number, received standing ovations; his one-man tours de force, The Sitting Man and Dirt, beat Andrew Buckland to win the 2010 Naledi award for Best Performance in a One-Person Show. That's the league he's in. And he's only just beginning to climb the imaginary ladder. - Cat Pritchard
Wayne Thornley (1996) - Director
Back at Rhodes University, where he studied acting, Wayne Thornley never imagined his first involvement in a major motion picture would be as the director of a full-length animated movie. But sure enough, in 2012, when Zambezia (Triggerfish Studios) hits movie theatres, Thornley will get to see his name lead hundreds of producers, animators and CGI characters on the credit roll.
It's a big deal for someone who fell into animation after seven years of slogging it out as an actor and director on live-action films. Luckily, 33-year-old Thornley is in love with the freedom of the animation process. "I want wind, I get wind," he says. "I want a talking elephant, I get a talking elephant. It's amazing."
The family adventure story is racing against two other CGI animated features currently in production to be the first to come out of South Africa. Oversees, the film has been eliciting gasps from production studios when they learn how small Thornley's budget was. All thanks, he says, to the incredible family of producers and animators he has been working with. - Eric Axelrod
Jon Savage (1996) - Musician / 5fm DJ
Beyond love, Jon Savage's father gave him the best gift a parent ever could - he showed, by example, that there are no limits in life. It's what inspired Savage to do things like run his own film company, start a band, convince Lenny Kravitz to send a birthday wish to an infatuated friend and, characteristically, shoot for the stars.
As the lead singer of Cassette, Savage's charisma, energy and "wont-take-no-for-an-answer" attitude have been instrumental to the band's success. They are also, most likely, what landed him his latest gig - hosting 5FM's
Power Nite of Rock.
And when he's not performing or playing music he's composing it. Savage wrote the original score for the South African musical Streets of Gold and intends to focus more on that field. With his sights set on original music composition, a solo album and a daytime radio show, it seems clear that, for Savage, the sky truly is the limit. - Lu Larché
Bongani Ndodana-Breen (1994) - Composer
Bongani Ndodana-Breen shatters any conception that the world of classical music is a stuffy, Eurocentric anomaly in modern South Africa.
In 1998 he became the youngest classical composer to win a Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music. He is also the only composer from Africa to have been featured in a concert comprised entirely of his own works in the prestigious Composer Portraits series at the Miller Theatre in New York.
Like many South African classical artists Ndodana-Breen has found more fame and fortune abroad than at home, but his latest work, Winnie: The Opera, which premiered in South Africa in April, looks set to change that.
Ndodana-Breen is inspired by his heritage, and traditional Xhosa music feeds into much of what he does as a contemporary classical musician. He hopes to continue in this vein, writing more "operas and other works that continue to give a South African voice in classical music". - Lisa van Wyk
Rob Van Vuuren (1994) - Comedian, Actor, Writer, Director
Who says men can't multitask? Not Rob van Vuuren. The blonde-moustached godfather of all things zef may be better known as Corné's sidekick Twakkie, but Van Vuuren isn't just a comedian. He's also an actor, playwright, director ... and a ballroom dancer.
Since he graduated with honours in drama from Rhodes University in 1997 Van Vuuren has been a regular on the nation's TV screens, not only as Twakkie in SABC 2's The Most Amazing Show, but, as a presenter of SA's Got Talent and Crazy Games. In 2008 he donned top hat and tails to win the celebrity dance competition Strictly Come Dancing. This year he bagged the inaugural Comic's Choice breakthrough act award.
But Van Vuuren believes the best is yet to come, otherwise "there would be no reason to keep going".
His most valuable lesson in life? He channels his inner Twakkie and answers: "Don't be kak!" - Aphiwe Deklerk
Refiloe Seseane (2000) - Founder: 18Twenty8
Refiloe Seseane is the real deal - she's got the face for television, the voice for radio and the brains for economics. And she's conquered them all.
By 28 she had an honours degree in economics, played a lead role in Generations, worked as a business analyst for a major bank and still found time to mentor young learners at the non-profit university, TSiBA.
But something didn't sit well. She knew she could do more, be more, give more. And then it came to her - mentorship. It was something she had wished for as an 18-yearold girl from Benoni, trying to find her way in the world. So, in 2008, Seseane started 18twenty8, a non-profit organisation that offers support and resources to high-potential young women, aged 18 to 28, exposing them to opportunities their socioeconomic constraints might never allow.
At the heart of the programme is the 18twenty8 Big Sister Network, a mentorship programme that matches a girl to a professional woman for added support, exposure and growth. Seseane and her team also run workshops for Grade 11 and Grade 12 girls at disadvantaged community schools and assist their "Little Sisters" to apply for bursaries, scholarships and jobs.
It has enabled Seseane to combine her love for communication and economics. When she's not presenting and accepting awards like a trained television professional she is mapping out sustainable business models and trying to balance the ever-increasing demand for mentors against the limited supply her Gauteng-based operation allows for.
It's not hard to see why she walked away with the youth in philanthropy award at last year's Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards. Here's hoping she gets the support and resources she needs to take her vision global. Or at least national. - Cat Pritchard
Melita Steele (2001) - Climate & Energy Campaigner: Greenpeace
It must feel good to wake up in the morning knowing you're doing something to change the world.
Melita Steele does. She goes to work every day and puts her energy into campaigning for the planet's biggest environmental crisis: climate change. Her task? To mobilise Greenpeace Africa's "energy (r)evolution"; convincing government, business and ordinary citizens that renewable energy - not coal or nuclear power - must be the cornerstone of our energy systems. Before it's too late.
It's been two years since Greenpeace launched in South Africa but already Steele is starting to see changes at a community level. Successes like the Solar Fan Park - from which they beamed the World Cup matches into a township using screens powered by the sun - prove to her that it can be done. It comes as no surprise that Steele, a lover of the great outdoors, spends most of her downtime in nature, savouring the same things she works so hard to protect. - Lu Larché
Milisuthando Bongela (2003) - Columnist, Fashion Writer, Co-Owner Mememe, JHB
Fashionista, opinionista. Both words describe multitalented Milisuthando Bongela. After joining the fashion circuit in 2007 as a fashion assistant and writer for Cosmopolitan this Rhodes journalism graduate began doing PR for local labels and trend analysis for Dion Chang's agency, Flux Trends.
In 2009 Bongela joined AAW!, a specialist project management company that works in the arts and creative industries, as an assistant project manager, and helped to bring local outdoor art installations such as Mary Sibanda's Long Live the Dead Queen to central Jo'burg.
While continuing to freelance as a fashion writer, which won her a Sanlam fashion journalism award in 2008, Bongela travelled to New York and interned with Fashion TV. She recently became co-owner of Jozi's first branch of the renowned fashion boutique. Mememe, after successfully testing the waters with her series of pop-up shops, which stocked local designers, under the label Pulchritude. - Lynley Donnelly
Sam Reinders (1996) Photo Journalist
If Sam Reinders had a flashback of her 33 years on planet earth, it would resemble something from LIFE magazine: George Bush kicking back on Air Force One, a 28-car cavalcade snaking through Washington DC, pensioners, punk rockers, shack dwellers and urban princesses, whatever her eyes have seen her Canon has captured. Just about.
As a freelance photojournalist focusing on longterm reportage Reinders has won a Mondi Award, for her Open Society Foundation Media Fellowship on acid mine drainage, worked with World Press Photo and taken photographs for a National Geographic travel guide.
If her work is as varied as her clientele the one commonality is her passion for the human condition. It's a skill she learnt at Rhodes University, crafted during her masters in visual communication at Ohio University, and only really confronted during her internship at US News & World Report. Part photographer, part journalist, Reinders is always a full-time humanitarian. - Cat Pritchard
Sarah Wild (2003) Science and Technology Correspondent: Business Day
Business Day's science and technology correspondent, Sarah Wild, believes science is cool - and she's on a mission to prove it.
Wild, who won a Siemens Profile merit award in 2009, says it's all about demystifying the jargon and finding a human angle. "I could study a star for the rest of my life," she explains, "but I'd rather tell people about science." Wild joined Business Day as a sub-editor in 2007. Just two years later, after a stint at the Sunday Times, at just 24, she was appointed deputy news editor, her "biggest challenge ever".
In 2011 she returned to the newsroom's science desk. Since then she has focused on a range of topics: from acid mine drainage to the fate of South Africa's first satellite.
The Rhodes graduate is currently studying for her master's in English. But, as her surname suggests, she enjoys a walk on the wild side. Her dream? To climb Tongariro volcano in New Zealand this year. - Aphiwe Deklerk
Natasha Joseph (2000) - News Editor: Cape Argus
When news of Chris Hani's death broke in the Sunday Times newsroom Natasha Joseph was there. The time Joseph spent in her journalist father's office fuelled a fascination with the pulse and impact of news - making her certain that journalism was the only career for her.
As news editor of the Cape Argus Joseph sees the real stories of Cape Town - the good, the bad and the ugly - land on her desk. Luckily her razorsharp wit (fellow students at Rhodes will remember her as an outstanding stand-up comic) helps her to withstand the weight of her work; a job she's so good at she won the 2010 1st for Women Insurance Women in the Media "Rising Star" award.
Believing in the enduring relevance of newspapers, she'll fight to keep them going and to work on them and will, undoubtedly, one day, join the ranks of her media heroes: her father Ray Joseph, Redi Thlabi and Ferial Haffajee. - Lu Larché
Siki Mgabadeli (1996) - Radio and Television Presenter
What is Siki Mgabadeli's favourite thing? Talking. That's why she feels she's got the "best job in the world".
The 31-year-old Rhodes graduate presents SAfm's Morning Talk with Siki every weekday morning. "As a nation, we are hungry for information and I think that's healthy - it certainly helps the debates I'm able to have on radio," she says.
She also co-hosts Africa Inc - a show about black economic empowerment - on SABC 3. Her commitment to "removing the jargon" from economic news coverage won her Sanlam's financial journalist of the year award in 2006, and she hasn't looked back since.
Mgabadeli's love of media is in her blood. Her grandmother was a trailblazer, who wrote radio dramas in isiXhosa: one of the first women of her generation to do so. Mgabadeli needed that same spirit when she entered the world of financial journalism - especially when CEOs talked to her "like a two-year-old" during interviews. They don't do that now. - Sipho McDermott
Mbali Ntuli (2008) - Federal Chairperson: DA
This bubbly and well-spoken graduate of Rhodes University is a prime example of what Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille calls "growing our own timber".
In 2008 Ntuli graduated from the DA's Young Leadership programme, which serves as a finishing school for the best and brightest the party can find. Two years later 23-year-old Ntuli was elected to the party's youth leadership - the second in charge to be exact.
It was an easy choice. As head girl of Wykeham Collegiate, a private school in Pietermaritzburg, Ntuli won accolades for public speaking and leadership and went on to win the local mock junior presidential election in 2004.
While studying politics, psychology and sociology Ntuli founded the DA Student Organisation in Grahamstown and, soon afterwards, became DA youth chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal. She is also a debating trainer for loveLife and was chosen as the Investec Young Women in Finance Graduate in 2009. - Mandy Rossouw
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Rebecca Kahn (1997) - MA student in Digital Asset Management: Kings College London
History is written by the victors." But even these wise words from Winston Churchill might not be taken into the digital future. It depends on who's in charge.
The question of who will take our culture into the digital age is the subject of 32-year old Rebecca Kahn's master's dissertation at King's College London. More specifically, she is looking at how national libraries in transitional societies like South Africa go about digitising their archives and how this will affect the national identity.
In Kahn's digital laboratory it's "the cultural version of the human genome project". Her current focus is on the past, but she is hyper-aware of what this information means to the digital future.
"Twitter didn't power the Egyptian revolution; it was a tool used by very smart people who understand how communities operate, how information flows and how to talk to each other."
Connecting people and information is also key to Kahn's work on the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, a project that aims to create the first unified space in which researchers, teachers and policymakers can share their material on the Holocaust.
But it's not really the size or scope of the project that makes Kahn excited to be working in the digital space; it's the passion. Like the morning she observed a group of volunteers build Afrikaans Wikipedia or the work she does as a community manager for Peer 2 Peer University, a grassroots open-education project that leverages free educational materials to enable high-quality education in any subject, including cyberpunk literature and programming in Python.
If she can make information accessible to ordinary citizens, teachers and policymakers, she's happy. But what she really wants to do is make government take hold of South Africa's digital future, before big corporations like McDonald's own the rights to our history and culture. - Cat Pritchard
Zama Katamzi ( 2006) (MSc at Rhodes) - Researcher: Hermanus Magnetic Observatory (HMO)
Astro-scientist Zama Katamzi is star-struck. Her dream is to go into space, "not as a tourist, but to do experiments".
The 28-year-old researcher from Claremont, Durban, is based at the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory (HMO) in the Western Cape, which she describes as "a vibrant place of knowledge". The HMO is part of a worldwide network that monitors the Earth's magnetic field. Katamzi's research focuses on the ionosphere: a layer of the atmosphere that affects radio communications.
Katamzi completed her BSc in physics at the University of Cape Town before winning a scholarship that took her to Bath University in the UK. She'll obtain her doctorate in radio astronomy from Bath later this year.
"I am driven by challenges," she says. "Men should not feel they're entitled to certain disciplines. I love to prove that I can also do it!" Future plans? For Katamzi, the sky's the limit. - Ngoako Matsha
Neil Blakey-Milner (1997) - Application Operations Engineer: Facebook
If they made a South African version of Social Network 32-year-old Capetonian Neil Blakey-Milner could star in it.
The Rhodes graduate is currently working at Facebook's headquarters in California as an application operations engineer.
After obtaining his BSc in information science he worked for several start-up technology companies, including Yola, a websitebuilder and hosting service for small businesses. But working with Facebook, under his idol Mark Zuckerburg, might be his biggest achievement yet.
"I am soaking up a lot of Silicon Valley know-how in building teams and companies. I believe I can bring that back to South Africa," he says.
When he's not online he enjoys watching TV and is a Joss Whedon addict. "I've watched every episode of every TV series and movie he has been involved with. I don't know how I am going to wait until 2012 to see The Avengers," he says. - Aphiwe Deklerk
Sam Wilson (1998) - Digital Storyteller
If brevity truly is the soul of wit Sam Wilson, South Africa's first award-winning "mobilist", may just claim the crown as the wittiest Wombat (the character he assumes at animation studio Clockwork Zoo) in the land.
Cleverly condensing action-packed adventure into screen-sized bytes, Wilson's mobile fiction - including the bilingual Kontax series he wrote for the Shuttleworth Foundation's M4Lit literacy project - has turned tens of thousands of teens' cellphones into on-hand portals to a wildly alternative world.
With self-confessed attention deficit disorder and techno-junkie tendencies, Wilson is a gutsy digital fiction frontier explorer. Testing the limits of both technology and his imagination, he writes 140-character "genre stories" on Twitter, screams tweets atop mountains and streams it on YouTube, produces book trailers, writes computer games and is busy completing his first novel, Commedia, all of which fall outside his day job as a scriptwriter. But, as Wilson continues to prove, he's quite brilliant at fitting everything in. - Lu Larché
Siphokazi Magadla (2004) - Lecturer: Rhodes University
When 24-year-old international relations specialist Siphokazi Magadla won a Fulbright Scholarship to complete her master's degree in the United States she certainly followed her motto: "Come in and just devastate!"
In 2009 the outspoken Magadla, who hails from Nqeleni near Mthatha, was elected vice-president of the Ohio University African Students Union, the second-largest student organisation on campus. She also won a graduate student award from the US's National Association of Black Political Scientists.
On her return to South Africa she worked as a research consultant for the Institute for Security Studies, where she focused on the role of women in conflict resolution. Now Magadla lectures at Rhodes University in African security and development and plans to embark on a PhD later this year.
"I grew up very shy, but I had to break out because I realised that if you don't speak up, things don't change," she says. - Ngoako Matsha
Vashna Jagarnath (2011) History Lecturer: Rhodes University
Thirty-two-year-old Vashna Jagarnath is a history buff. It's a fascination she first developed when she was young and one she intends to take into old age. During her early academic career she studied the history of Indian film in South Africa and the "social construction of race" in the coloured community of Sydenham, Durban, during apartheid. Last year she was awarded a prestigious Kresge Lectureship by her university for her focus on "subaltern or bottom-up history" - history that reflects the perspectives of ordinary people.
She is now studying the "intellectual development of Mahatma Gandhi while in South Africa" and draws on contemporary South Asian history because of its striking parallels with present-day South Africa.
Jagarnath is a member of Cliohres, an association of historians from European Union countries. Because of her interest in film, has contributed a chapter to an academic book on Indian films she has also adjudicated at the Durban International Festival in 2009. - Thabo Mohlala
Alumni In The News
Mahreen Chenia (2007)
Mahreen Chenia’s interest in Journalism started at school when she hosted a Youth and legal televison show as well as did news reporting at Channel Islam International. It was this engagement with current affairs and news that inspired Mahreen to attend Rhodes school of Journalism and Media Studies where she qualified in 2009 with a BA in journalism (televison production and editing) and Sociology.
Mahreen jumped straight into the media industry, working for Supersport Blitz as a reporter and presenter. In a bumper football year, Mahreen was accredited as an official 2010 Fifa World Cup journalist, reporting for Supersport from Nelspruit – one of the host cities of the tournament. A few months later, she was also the officially-accredited journalist at the Caf African Women’s Championship, hosted by South Africa.
In the current year she has covered stories in every sporting code. Interviewing many South african sports personalities like Natalie Du Toit (Olympic Gold Medalist), Victor Matfield (Springbok and Bulls Captain), Pitso Mosimane (Bafana Coach), Greame Smith (proteas test captain), Bongani Khumalo (Tottenham Spurs) and many others. She was also had the privilege to meet Jerome Valke (SG FIFA), Stylian Petrov (Aston Villa & Bulgarian Captain), Linford Christie (Olympic Gold Medalist) and Richard Hill (English Rugby flanker)
The Springboks Supports club is one of her new projects as she gets ready to rally support for the Mighty Springboks ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
Mahreen is the embodiment of enthusiasm when it comes to her work, and has enjoyed a number of accomplishments in a fledgling career that promises so much more in the future.
Tracy Hammond (2003)
Tracy Hammond attended Rhodes University from 2000 – 2003 where she achieved a BA Honours in Politics, Industrial Sociology and Human Resource Management. Upon leaving Rhodes she moved to Johannesburg where she entered the market research industry at the very bottom as a fieldworker.
From there she worked her way up to the position of Account Director of Social Research in 4 years and then left to start her own business. She now runs Angus Hammond Africa, an organisation specialising in Corporate Social Investment and African Research. The company has clients in South Africa, Cote D’Ivoire, DRC, Dubai, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.
Development of this business had meant relocating to other African countries (Kenya and Ghana) where great opportunities to learn and travel were presented and taken advantage of! Best such experience was working with unemployed women in rural Kenya to start a sustainable and successful business – which was achieved in the still running and very profitable ‘Tea Stop’.
Tracy is on the board of Directors for Crèche-on-Wheels and facilitated the design, product sourcing, sponsorship, packing and distribution of the first 10 mobile crèches in Hillbrow, South Africa.
She is also a fund-raiser and project administrator at The Nkanyezi Stimulation Centre for children with multiple disabilities in Orlando West Soweto. Her involvement has facilitated a massive improvement in facility infrastructure as well as assisting in sourcing monthly running costs.
She is a regular writer for Africa The Good News.
2007 Rhodents Graduated As Fellows of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
During the first weekend of April six Rhodes University alumni graduated as Fellows of the prestigious Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. Tsheki Kolobe, Lwandle Gaga, Nabila Mulla, Sipho Khumalo, Yasmin Sitoto and Blaise Dobson were on hand at a gala event in Cape Town to accept their Fellowship awards.
Mr Allan Gray, a Rhodes University alumnus himself, was on hand to congratulate the Fellows on their achievements and wished them well on their future endeavors.
Tsheki Kolobe and Lwandle Gaga are continuing their studies with Tsheki reading towards his Masters in Economics at the University of Cape Town and Lwandle embarking on her LLB at Rhodes University. Meanwhile, Nabila Mulla and Sipho Khumalo are based in Port Elizabeth working at Absa Business Bank and Deloitte respectively. Yasmin Sitoto and Blaise Dobson have now relocated to Cape Town. Blaise has taken up an internship at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation as Fellow-in-Residence while Yasmin is working at Nedgroup Investments.
The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is a non-profit organisation that was established in 2005 as an education and development catalyst to assist a generation of high growth entrepreneurial change agents to bring about job creation in Southern Africa.
The Foundation focuses on educational and experiential methods to harness the potential of bright young minds. Through its highly researched learning programmes, it seeks to equip talented young individuals with the skills, attitudes and motivation to become successful high growth entrepreneurial leaders
Submitted by Blaise Dobson
Taz Mukorombindo (1997) - A helping hand in Christchurch.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck near Christchurch on February 22, causing extensive damage to the city and leaving many people in need of assistance.
Road Damage Avonside
Old Rhodian Tazvitya Mukorombindo (1997) has taken time out from his work at Christchurch Polytechnic, where he works as the migrant student refugee advisor, to be out in the community volunteering both for his local church and for the local MPs office. For the past two weeks, they have been involved in door to door visits in some of the most affected areas of Dallington and Avonside in Christchurch, talking to people, ensuring that they are safe, giving them information on where they can receive help, and also offering and handing out food parcels and water. Tazvitya has also accommodated people who have been displaced at his home and helping others who need to find new accommodation.
Tazvitya’s aim is to organize community forums for the ethnic and mainly immigrant based small business that have been affected where in most cases the owners have lost their buildings in the earthquake. He will organize a meeting via his not for profit business association - Canterbury Business Association, alongside the MP for Christchurch Central, Nicky Wagner and also other business associations such as the Chinese Business Association and see how they can best support affected business people. The goal is to look at business recovery packages and see how government can support this, working in tandem with the community.
Submitted: March 2011
Marita van Rooyen (2006)
Venture’s Marita receives highest journalism award
Marita van Rooyen of Venture Publications received the Journalist of the Year award, two first prizes and a third prize for print media, at the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Namibia’s annual awards ceremony in Windhoek in October 2010.
She was awarded a first place in the category Environmental and Tourism for Bitten by the tourism bug, an article about young people inspired by their jobs in tourism published in Travel News Namibia. She also won first place in the sports-writing category for Hot, hard and awesome, an article on adventure running published in Travel News Namibia; and third place in feature writing for Images of an ancient wonderland, an article on Skeleton Coast Safaris published in the Air Namibia in-flight magazine, Flamingo.
Joel Kaapanda, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, said in his address at the event, that the MISA Namibia Media Awards acknowledged excellence in journalism. The awards served as a benchmark against which journalists could compare the professionalism of their work. “The media awards recognise, encourage and honour outstanding achievement,” he said.
The MISA Awards were established in 2003 to provide a platform for showcasing Namibian journalism.
Andrew Chin (1987) Participates in the Patagonia Extreme Cold Swim Challenge.
Extreme Ice Swimmer, Andrew Chin, left Cape Town on 11 February with four other South Africans, Ram Barkai, Toks Viviers, Kieron Palframan and Ryan Stramrood and successfully completed the Patagonia Extreme Cold Swim Challenge. This consisted of three of the world's toughest cold water swims.
On 15 February they succeeded in swimming 4km across the Strait of Magellan in Chile in wind gusts of around 60km/hour and in rough and cold water.
Then, on 19 February, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, they completed a 3.2km double crossing of the Beagle Channel, starting near Puerto Williams in remote southern Chile, swimming across to Punta McKinley on the Argentinean coast, and swimming back to Chile.
On the last swim, they became the first in the world to swim around Cape Horn, the southern-most tip of South America, notorious for its treacherous and icy ocean. They will spend the next few days making their way to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they will mark their achievements at a small function at the South African Embassy.
Source: Leap Communications
Thomasin Dewhurst (1991)
Thomasin Dewhurst is a respected artist who moved to the USA in 2000. She has been invited to exhibit her work in a solo exhibition entitled The Emergent Body: Paintings and Drawings at the Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio. The exhibition ran in January and tied in with the Manifest Gallery's exploration of the human figure, including the nude in contemporary art.
Dewhurst works both as an artist and an art instructor in the Bay Area of the US. As a teacher of both children and adults, she was recently officially recognised by the district's School Board for 'outstanding enrichment to the arts and music education of elementary students.' As an illustration of her versatility, Dewhurst will, at the same time as the Manifest exhibition, have new drawing work showing at the Fontbonne University Fine Art Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri.
Picture source: Manifest Gallery - Full Story
Dr Sandile Malinga (1991)
Dr Sandile Malinga has been appointed as the CEO of the newly launched South African National Space Agency (SANSA). Dr Malinga, who hails originally from Soweto, did his first degree at the University of Swaziland and then enrolled for the two-year BSc Honours programme in Physics & Electronics at Rhodes in 1991. He went on to an MSc in 1995 and a PhD in 2001 focusing on meteor physics, with the distinction of being the first black South African to obtain a PhD in space science. He also commenced his working life at Rhodes, taking up a position as a Temporary Lecturer and assisting with lab work and tutorials.
Fellow researchers remember him as a motivated and excellent student, and expected him to do great things.
Dr Malinga finds himself heading up an extremely important growth initiative for the country. The establishment of the South African National Space Agency and the development of an industrial base for space-related infrastructure is part of the government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), which will focus on key areas to boost the country’s financial capacity and which will create up to 2.4 million jobs by 2020.
Prof Jonas of the Physics and Electronics Department describes Dr Malinga as “a fantastic ambassador for Rhodes” and says he looks forward to ongoing interaction with him in the future.
Photo courtesy of Financial Mail
Full Article: http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13481:minister-pandor-welcomes-the-appointment-of-dr-sandile-malinga-as-south-african-national-space-agency-ceo&catid=90:science-a-technology&Itemid=204
Tony Granger (1970)
Shropshire IFA and leading author of financial planning books, Tony Granger, who lives in Shrewsbury, has been awarded a lifetime achievement award at a ceremony in London recently. Tony was born in South Africa but has lived in Shropshire for over 25 years, and still maintains business links with South Africa. He is the author of 14 best selling books on financial planning, including pensions, investments, inheritance tax, school and university fees funding, business wealth creation, business protection and succession planning and others.
2010 winners at SA Business Awards
Four South African businesspeople walked away with top prizes at the inaugural SA Business Awards prizegiving ceremony in London
email@example.com Rebecca Davis
Trimega Laboratories CEO Avi Lasarow emerged as the big winner, bagging himself the coveted title of Business Leader of the Year. The winners in the categories of Entrepreneur of the Year and Innovator of the Year respectively were Peter Bauer, CEO of Mimecast and Carmel Suthons, Director of North/South PR. A Lifetime Achievement Award went to independent financial advisor Tony Granger.
Independent financial advisor and author Tony Granger was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. “The key contributing factor to my success is the ability to reduce complicated issues to make them more easily understood by the consumer,” he said of his success.
Jodie Davies-Coleman (2003) and Prof Mike Davies-Coleman (1977)
Father and daughter team up on Sea Slugs! Sea Slugs
Mark Venning (1982)
Graduated with a B Com in 1986 and now lives in Chile with his wife, Carolina and their two children, Robert (14) and Victoria (12) where he is the GM of Murray and Roberts Cementation for Latin America. Mark sent us insight into the Chile mine rescue.
The incredible Chilean miners rescue was pretty much a South African affair in many respects.
When news of the disaster came out Anglo American immediately offered to send a reverse circulation exploration drilling machine owned by a related company of Murray and Roberts/Cementation (Terra services) to the site. The drill had been working at the nearby “Mantoverde” copper mine, owned by Anglo and Anglo paid for the drilling. It was that drill rig that miraculously discovered the miners 700m underground. The famous first images of the miners were taken by a camera which was lowered down this hole and it was later used to lower food and supplies to the miners. This kept them alive for 3 months underground.
At the same time a M&R Cementation controlled company called Terracem was mobilizing a huge "raise boring" machine to drill a hole big enough to rescue the miners. This was called "Plan A". The machine was a "Strata 950" owned by a Murray & Roberts subsidiary, Cementation Canada. This machine is "slow but sure" and did not get to the miners as the "Plan B" machine got to them first.
The "Plan B" raise boring machine which eventually drilled the hole that rescued the miners was working at a mine jointly controlled by Anglo American and Xstrata called Collahuasi at the time of the accident and they sent the drill rig to the site. It performed the remarkable job of reaching the miners with a hole large enough for their extraction.
South African companies coordinated by M&R assisted in the design of the capsule which extracted the miners and Boart Longyear, of South African origin, assisted in the drilling.
All in all, it was a team effort with various critical spare parts for the successful "Plan B" drill rig provided by Murray & Roberts. We are delighted that this remarkable rescue was performed without a single injury and we are proud of the role that Cementation, Murray and Roberts, Anglo American and Boart Longyear played in it.
There were of course many Chilean companies involved and the Chilean government really did an excellent job of coordinating (and paying for) the entire rescue.
David Lipschitz (1986)
After two and a half years of struggling in the South African Renewable Energy market, David has completed his first "off the grid" Power Station installation.
Listen to an interview with David on YouTube
Top Woman of the Year in Business 2009/2010 and Top Young Woman Entrepreneur by Top woman in Business and Government.
Johanna Mukoki was awarded the Top Woman of the Year in Business 2009/2010 and Top Young Woman Entrepreneur by Top Woman in Business and Government.
The annual Top Women Awards (TWA) is the networking event of the year at which Top South African companies and Successful business individuals who contribute every day of the year to the empowerment of women are celebrated.
The Butcher Brothers
Golden Ovation Award Winner, The Butcher Brothers, directed by Sylvaine Strike is playing at The Market Theatre to rave reviews. Set in a tiny butchery somewhere in South Africa's past, told in mask and mime, it has a cast of four Old Rhodians, Jaques De Silva (2004), Wesley Deintje (2003), Mongi Mthombeni (1999) and Daniel Buckland (1999). The story follows a retired ballroom dancer, (Mongi Mthombeni) burdened by tragedy and unable to move a few steps past the bottle and his old, loyal worker Boy (Jacques da Silva), who really is the engine that keeps the butchery ticking over. Between them a comfortable routine has developed, with the gnarly masked Boy propping up the severe-faced dancer, epitomised by their daily routine of preparing the meat, which has become something of a knife-gnashing dance set to tango. Their routine is shattered with the arrival of a baby and the strange rather dark route their lives take. The interactions between the characters and then the baby are charming and seem to be what brings out their emotions best and it is these emotions that grab your attention and keep them as the play disappears along its murderous lanes. Emotions? One asks when there are no words or facial expressions to convey such emotions, well that’s the beauty of masked mime, through their bodies, and the actors give to their large unmoving, unchanging heads the most incredible array of feeling. It is a strangely beautiful story that stays with one long after the masks are removed. and bows taken.
Published: Wed, 8th Sep 2010
Source: Citizen, written by Annette Bayne
RHODIANS INVOLVED IN SA SOLAR CHALLENGE
SA Solar Challenge is underway - with four Old Rhodians involved - Race Director, Winstone Jordaan (1986), Comms and Media Chief, Jonathon Rees (1987) ( Proof Communication Africa), Social Media guru, Philip van Zyl (1987) and Official Photographer, Nikki Brand (2006). A fifth Old Rhodian, Anzet du Plessis (2006), joined the team in Bloemfontein. (Read her story below)
The South African Solar Challenge is an epic, two-week race in solar-powered cars through the length and breadth of South Africa. Teams from around the world build their own cars and design their own solar-powered engineering systems.
They then race those same machines through the most demanding terrain that solar cars have ever seen (around our beautiful country). The primary objective of the event is to promote Science and Technology in general and renewable energy and clean mobility in particular. The challenge sees a collaboration between scholars, students, private individuals and various industry and government partners, to work together to have a safe, technology rich event.
A fifth Old Rhodian, Anzet du Plessis (2006), was asked by a newspaper in Bloemfontein to do a story about the SA Solar Challenge passing through Bloemfontein. Her Old Rhodian enthusiasm and efficiency led to her being invited to join the race and within ten minutes of the invitation her arrangements were made and she was in the Tokai team combi! Read Anzet's story
New director-general of agriculture appointed
Langa Zita (1986) has been an African National Congress (ANC) MP for about 10 years and while in Parliament he was chairman of the environment and tourism committee. He has now been appointed Director-General in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
One of his priorities of the department would be to assist the more than 500000 small-hold farmers in the country to become commercially successful.
Source: Business Day, Wyndham Hartley, 7 September 2010
Full Story (temp link) : http://www.businessday.co.za/Articles/Content.aspx?id=120230
Lisa Macleod appointed managing editor of the Financial Times in London
Juggling an annual budget of $54-million and managing a network of hundreds of staff in more than 25 countries is all in a day’s work for Old Rhodian Lisa Macleod (1991).
Source and full story http://www.theherald.co.za/article.aspx?id=600125
Rhodes alumni involved in the Soccer World Cup
The 2010 Soccer World Cup is over and the world has acknowledged that the tournament was a resounding success. It all seemed to run so smoothly that it is easy to forget the vast amount of organisation that went into making it the triumph it was.
Rich Mkhondo, Chief Communications Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee, is an alumni, but he wasn't the only Rhodian involved. Four alumni played a role in the Content Team of the Communications Department. They are Marisa Berndsen (Rodrigues), Karen Johnston (Steward), Francois Rank and Duncan Alfers.
The team was responsible for developing the strategic communications plan for the Organising Committee and managing the production and dissemination of all content for the organisation. This included online content, video crews, publications, speech/column writing for spokespeople, newsletters, fact sheets and crisis communications.
Berndsen, a BJourn graduate, left Rhodes in 2001. Her journalism training aside, the fact that she played for the Rhodes Women's Soccer Team gave her some necessary football know-how! After graduating, Berndsen joined Creamer Media as a features writer before heading for London, where she worked as a financial journalist. She returned to a role as Deputy Editor of 'Business in Africa' magazine, moving to be Publications Editor at 'South Africa – The Good News'.
In 2008 Berndsen joined the Organising Committee as Publications Coordinator and went on to head up the Content Team. She is expecting her first child in November and is looking forward to setting up her own business.
Rank graduated from Rhodes in 2001 with a BJourn and a PDEM. He started his career at the Weekend Post and the Herald in Port Elizabeth, later moving to Johannesburg as online news editor for the Sowetan and, following that, as a senior reporter for the Sunday Times. Of his time working for FIFA, Rank says it was an honour to be a part of it all. Watching the world's media change their perspective on South Africa was, for him, one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.
Originally from Johannesburg, Johnston graduated with a BA in Journalism and Politics in 2000. Her memories of her time here are many and varied and, as she explains, there is a lifelong legacy of shared experience that each Rhodent carries with them. “It's probably one of the reasons our little team worked so well under pressure,” she says.
After travelling overseas, Johnston took on the role of writer and photographer on a yacht circumnavigating Africa as part of an environmental awareness campaign. Stints in the banking and non-profit sectors followed, but when the opportunity came along to work with the Organising Committee, she jumped at the chance. Johnston and her husband are taking some time off to travel now that the tournament is over.
Duncan Alfers left Rhodes with a BJourn in 2005, and formed a company with two of his fellow graduates, aiming to get involved with media for the World Cup. When that did not work out, he joined Intelligence Magazine, working in online media, and from here he moved to FIFA, thus fulfilling his original goal.
The last word goes to Bernsden: “Although I am sad that it is all over, it has given me such confidence in what this country and its people can achieve and has inspired me to continue to work towards improving it.”
First for Women Rising Star Award winner
The 1st for Women Insurance Women in The Media Awards 2010 acknowledge the up-and-coming talent in the media and industry legends. Natasha Joseph, the news editor from The Cape Argus and a Rhodes 2003 graduate, won this year’s Rising Star Award.
Joseph was selected from a pool of quality nominations. "Each year our judging panel finds it particularly exciting to see the new crop of up-and-comers making a difference in the industry," says Gordon. "It appears that there are more and more women entering the sector and being given opportunities to move up the ladder. Against all nominations though, one name stood head and shoulders above the rest, Joseph, the news-editor from The Cape Argus”.
Joseph has worked in newsrooms since she was 10 years old, "I grew up watching my father working in newsrooms around the country, and he let me tag along sometimes," says Joseph. She graduated from Rhodes University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2003 and spent some time working as a freelance journalist before joining Rhodes University’s Communications and Development Division in 2005.
Natasha has been published in the Cape Times, Seventeen, Stage, The Big Issue (Cape Town), Femina and the Laugh it Off Annual. She is the daughter of newspaperman Ray Joseph.
In the past, the winner of the Rising Star Award has been a young woman to watch. Joseph joins peers including Redi Direko, presenter for Talk Radio 702 (2008), Siki Mgabadeli, then presenter on CNBC (2007), Tembisa Gebeda, then presenter on SABC (2006) and Sbu Mpungose, then editor of Bona magazine (2009).
For the full article click here
Function to honour women who make real difference
To mark Women's Month, influential women in business and government in the Eastern Cape will be honoured at a function to be held on Wednesday, August 4, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Summerstrand.
One of the three winners to go to the final event being held in Johannesburg is Grahamstown based welfare and community development activist Diana Hornby (1980), who works at the Angus Gillis Foundation. Her accolade was won in the welfare and related community project sector. The Foundation works with extremely poor people in rural areas, with a focus on empowerment and self-directed development.
Source: The Herald, 28 July 2010 - Gillian McAinsh
Innovative Individuals: Lauren Clifford-Holmes (2004)
Lauren Clifford-Holmes (2004), multimedia editor of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian Online has been acknowledged as this week's "Innovative Individual", in honour of her tireless efforts to introduce and promote multimedia storytelling in South Africa, by Innovative Interactivity (II)
22 July By Tracy Boyer
Speedo Ice Swim
Andrew Chin (1987), Craig Parkins (1987), and Patrick Doonan (1988) participated in the Speedo Ice Swim Africa in Fraserburg, near Sutherland – the coldest town in SA - in the Northern Cape. The swim marked the launch of the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) and was also aligned with the World Cup’s 1Goal campaign and celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday.
In what is believed to have been the most extreme conditions ever swum in Africa, with the temperature in the icy dam being 4C, Craig (who was also the event organiser) and Patrick completed the 600m Endurance Swim while Andrew completed the one mile to become one of the first members of the IISA which requires a minimum of a mile swim in water sub 5C with no swimming aids and wearing only a pair of goggles, a Speedo costume and a cap!
Head of Speedo SA, Stuart Hopwood said the event was the first of its kind in the world and proved that committed athletes could push the boundaries through careful preparation and by applying their minds.
Edinburgh International Marketing Festival – the first of its kind
Rhodes University has always been proud to showcase its alumni and their many successes all over the world. This year Old Rhodians Tom Holmes (1977) and William Burdett-Coutts (1974) are in the process of launching the Edinburgh International Marketing Festival (EIMF) - the first of its kind worldwide.
The Festival, taking place from 23 to 28 August 2010, aims to promote the role and impact of marketing within our everyday life, throughout society. It also aims to examine what happens when ‘creativity meets commerce’ and how this creativity is the powerhouse behind transforming many of the ways customers, stakeholders and society in general are engaged.
Tom Holmes is the Director of The Edinburgh International Marketing Festival (EIMF) and Founder & Chairman of creativebrief. His website www.creativebrief.com connects buyers and sellers of marketing services by applying the latest and best digital technology, industry knowledge and research expertise. An extensive database provides a unique search and selection service for clients looking to find the most effective creative, marketing and media services to match their individual communication requirements.
Prior to creativebrief Holmes spent over 20 years working with some of the world's leading agencies and brands, including time spent as account manager at WCRS and Saatchi & Saatchi, board director of The Lowe Group and executive vice president of Grey Worldwide.
The Festival’s programme has been uniquely designed by The Marketing Society, creativebrief and The Assembly to demonstrate how marketing permeates and fashions a lot of what we do in our society and how this influence to and from society is ever more prescient as technology, attitude and behaviours change and advance.
William Burdett-Coutts established the Assembly Rooms as the most prestigious venue at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where most of the major names in entertainment and television have appeared over the past 30 years. He is also artistic director of Riverside Studios, a multi-complex arts centre in London which comprises a major broadcast TV facility, live performance studios, a cinema and gallery space.
For more detailed information, visit www.eimfest.com
Submitted by: Harriet Knight
Updated Article in The Independent - 19 August 2010 by Ian Burrell
Interview with President Barack Obama
Sherwin Bryce-Pease (1997)
July 13, 2010
Sherwin met President Obama at the White House and conducted one of the most prestigious interviews of his career. The interview shed light on Obama's views on Africa and included discussions about the tragic bomb blasts that killed 74 people in Uganda's capital, the World Cup in South Africa and Nelson Mandela's 92nd Birthday. Sherwin has been the SABC News correspondent in the USA for two years - since August 2008, based in New York city and incidentally, his very first assignment was covering the convention where Senator Obama was officially nominated as the Democratic Presidential Candidate in Denver Colorado.
Submitted: 13th July 2010
22 OLD RHODIANS IN THE TOP 200 YOUNG SOUTH AFRICANS
The Mail and Guardian published their annual survey of Young South Africans you have to take to lunch. These are young people who will shape our country in the decades to come, in the sporting arena, in public life and in business. Out of the 200 chosen 22 were Old Rhodians which makes Rhodes very proud.
The choices in the edition suggest that South Africa is a country brimming with talent. These are world-class young people who have blazed a trail locally and abroad.
ARTS & CULTURE
Daniel Buckland (1999)
Daniel Buckland, son of the South African theatre legend Andrew Buckland, could have doomed himself to a life of comparison by choosing the same field as his father. But since graduating from Rhodes university with a first-class honours degree, he has shown that he has all the passion, talent and innovation to survive being measured against his famous parent.
After graduating he spent a year working for ubom!
Eastern Cape Drama Company, for whom he co-devised Plunge in 2003. In 2004 he performed in the Mouthpeace Theatre Company's Fuse, a show devised by his father, which toured extensively, played a season at the Edinburgh Festival and was nominated for the stage award for best ensemble; the play won a Naledi award for best cutting-edge production and Buckland was nominated for the best newcomer award. In 2005 he performed in the Fortune Cookie Theatre Company's The Travellers, directed by Sylvaine Strike, which also won a Naledi Award for best cutting-edge production and played at the Adelaide Fringe in Australia.
His career has included a role in the 2008 South African film Jerusalema and, together with his father, he spent a year in Las Vegas, where he played the lead in LOVE, a production by the renowned Cirque Du Soleil, which he considers to be one of the highlights of his career so far.
He formed the Dark Laugh Theatre Company, for whom he produced and directed The Butcher Brothers this year and recently played Hally in Athol Fugard's Master Harold … and the Boys. Wherever his career takes him, Buckland has proved that following in your father's footsteps does not have to mean living in his shadow. -- Lisa van Wyk
Lunch spot: Picobella, Melville, Johannesburg
Lindi Matshikiza (2001)
She's young, talented and beautiful, so why isn't Lindi Matshikiza slapping someone on a soapie already?
It's a question this award-wining actress and rightful heir to the Matshikiza theatre throne gets asked a lot.
The truth is that, right now, she wants you to laugh at her solo stage antics in Bafana Republic, agonise over her conflicts in Closer and even question herco-direction of The Unspeakable Story.
It's this sheer commitment to developing her craft that ensures Matshikiza's name tops the most competitive of bills and that she gets nominated for
Naledis year after year. Right now, the world is her stage, which means tackling every challenging role, audience and director with the hunger of a young Rhodes drama graduate and the dedication of a passionate professional. But if Hollywood calls, don't be surprised if she answers it, even if the love of theatre runs deep in her veins. -- Cat Pritchard
Lunch spot: Kebab braai stand, Cyrildene, Johannesburg
BUSINESS & LAW
Nick Ferreira (1999)
Research Clerk, Constitutional Court
How do you reconcile a government's obligation to uphold its citizens' basic human rights with the limitations imposed by time, cost and capacity? It's a question that has troubled Nick Ferreira and to which he has dedicated the better part of a decade, studying through the prism of philosophy at Oxford University.
But there's absolutely no doubt in his mind: questions of feasibility are a simplistic way to undermine communities' fights to access their basic rights. Now a clerk for Justice Edwin Cameron at the Constitutional Court, Ferreira is on the cusp of becoming an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar, where he plans to use the power of litigation in favour of greater equality and social rights.
Ferreira, who realised relatively late in his career that he wanted to be a lawyer, studied simultaneously for his DPhil at Oxford and his LLB at Unisa to catch up -- a superhuman feat by any standards. --Lionel Faul
Lunch spot: Trieste Café, Greenside, Johannesburg
Rob Burrell (1997)
Managing Director: mukuru.com
Rob Burrell is a serial entrepreneur of the Richard Branson kind. At 31 he has already tried, unsuccessfully, to shoot an independent film and launch an international calling card to get around restrictions in Zimbabwe, his homeland.
A diehard innovator with a desire to help his fellow Africans rise above their restrictive environments, Burrell set up Mukuru.com, an online platform that enables Zimbabweans, and other dispersed nationals, to transfer money back home.
In six months Mukuru.com grew its customer base from 300 to 10 000 and later picked up a swanky innovation award. The idea may have started in London, where he spent six years building a following for his band, Mann Friday, but its heart is firmly rooted in Africa.
So what's next? MukuruMusic -- a socially conscious platform that will enable grassroots musicians to sell their music and collect royalties online. -- Cat Pritchard
Lunch spot: Bombay Bicycle Club, Cape Town
Tembeka Ngcukaitobi (2000)
Director: Constitutional litigation Unit, Legal Resources Centre
Tembeka Ngcukaitobi was the most junior member of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in Grahamstown when the groundbreaking social grants class action suit, Ngxuza v MEC for Welfare, went all the way to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the LRC won.
As the only isiXhosa-speaking lawyer in them office Ngcukaitobi criss-crossed the former Transkei, taking statements and explaining the case's implications to the people involved. Now he directs the LRC's constitutional litigation efforts from Johannesburg, having spent a year as clerk to former Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson and seven years in interest litigation with Bowman Gilfillan.
Ngcukaitobi also serves on the South African Law Reform Commission, which advises Parliament and the executive on the constitutionality of laws from both the pre- and post-apartheid eras.
"I am dedicating the skills at my disposal to resolving the structural inequalities in our society, be it as a lawyer, an SC [senior counsel], a policymaker, or a judge," he says. --Lionel Faull
Lunch spot: Mastrantonio, Illovo, Johannesburg
Eusebius McKaiser (1997)
Political and Social Analyst
Eusebius McKaiser could variously be described as a public intellectual, an analyst, a commentator or a moral philosopher. But labels don't concern him.
"What matters to me is getting to grips with the social and political topics that matter, in ways that make people sit up and take notice," he says.
McKaiser writes a Friday column for Business Day, and presents a weekly late-night politics and morality show on Talk Radio 702. He's also working on his first book, "an autobiographical account of what it was like for a black kid to belong to the first generation of coconuts to attend a former Model C school" . In the future, he plans to present a hard-hitting TV interview programme, modeled on the BBC's HARDtalk, and then to enter party politics.
"Far too few academics -- and especially philosophers -- do enough to make themselves relevant." We're betting that's one thing McKaiser won't ever be accused of. -- Lionel Faull
Lunch spot: Wang Thai, Sandton
Ishtar Lakhani (2003)
National Coordinator: One in Nine Campaign
The One in Nine Campaign is an unapologetically feminist collective of organisations and individuals working for social justice for women.
Ishtar Lakhani, the group's national co ordinator, is responsible for mobilising direct action around particular cases of sexual violence, as well as organising programmes that serve to engage women activists in getting their word out in the media. She has ensured that important cases such as the Buyisiwe gang-rape case were well supported and reported, both outside the court and in the media.
Her upbringing makes her ideally suited to coordinate the innovative visual public campaigns that have become the trademark of the One in Nine Campaign.
Lakhani was weaned on activism and the arts. Her mother is a gender activist with a fine arts degree, her father ran the Communikon Theatre, which showcased protest theatre.
"I am a part of a collective struggle against patriarchy and fighting for a world where women have autonomy because I feel it is morally right," she says. -- Lionel Faull
Lunch spot: Jasmyn's, Richmond, Johannesburg
Jen Thorpe (2003)
Feminist Writer and Researcher
"I'm a grassroots kinda girl," Jen Thorpe will tell you, reflecting on her proudest achievement -- a collaborative women's writing project called "My First Time" , which went digital in February this year.
"I was thinking how the significant moments in a woman's life are experienced as some sort of crisis. But there was very little space anywhere for women to talk about these. So every two weeks I invite submissions on a particular theme and the stories go up on the blog
"The stories I receive are powerful. Once the blog picks up, I plan to take writing workshops to places like Khayelitsha and rural areas in the Cape, where women's voices are almost never heard in the mainstream."
Thorpe also works as a researcher and database administrator for Rape Crisis Cape Town, an NGO that offers counselling and court support to rape survivors in the Mother City. -- Lionel Faull
Lunch spot: Caveau at The Mill, Newlands , Cape Town
Dr Rebecca Hodes (2000)
Deputy Director aids and Society Research Unit: University of Cape Town
At 28, Dr Rebecca Hodes's list of academic achievements is longer than the waiting list at Chris Hani-Baragwanath.
The founder of the students HIV/Aids Resistance Campaign at Rhodes -- the most active student group of its kind in the country -- Hodes won a scholarship to undertake her graduate studies at Oxford, where she wrote her doctoral thesis on HIV and South African television.
But instead of adding to South Africa's growing "brain drain" , she brought her knowledge to the Treatment Action Campaign, whose policy, communication and research department she managed before joining UCT's Aids and Society Research unit.
A passionate writer, who admires the style of Ariel Levy, Hodes takes her activism to heart and paper, communicating issues around sexuality and racy activist strategies to theatrical politicians and the patients they refuse to acknowledge.
And though she believes that the era of state-sponsored Aids denialism has past, she isn't about to let an era of "theoretical" advancements begin. Not on her watch. -- Cat Pritchard
Lunch spot: Liquorice and Lime, Kloof Street, Cape Town
Nadine Hutton (1997)
Nadine Hutton has been a photojournalist for 13 years. Now her work has expanded to include film, fine art and performance. She rejects a cold, objective approach to images.
"As a photojournalist my interest is directed towards in-depth documentation of stories that may not necessarily seem newsworthy," she says.
"I tell stories, narratives that are a neglected part of the process of the past decade and which have important implications for the understanding of South Africa." Much of her work is concerned with social issues, which include the rights of women and the dispossessed and "those whose voices are rarely heard above the furore"
This personal approach was apparent in 2006 when she documented her own mother's story as a survivor of gender violence and won a Ruth First scholarship.
Since then, she has been a finalist at Spier Contemporary, and has been selected to be artist-inresidence at The Bag Factory. Recent projects include work relating to the World Summit on Arts and Culture and facilitating a video art workshop aimed at artists who have little experience of digital media.-- Lisa van Wyk
Megan Kakora (2001)
Online Editor:Cosmopolitan online
As online editor of South Africa's biggest women's glossy, Megan Kakora manages, oversees and liaises on all marketing and management issues and assumes final responsibility for all design and content. So there's really very little downtime.
Luckily Kakora is very hands-on, which is why she studied journalism at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and is constantly looking for new ways to sharpen her media skills.
She may have grown up in Kuils River, dreaming of becoming a magazine editor, but it was the online space that stole her heart, giving her every opportunity to help educate and entertain young South African women through a strong online community. And it doesn't hurt that she gets to interview stars such as John Legend. -- Cat Pritchard
Lunch spot: Royale Eatery, Long Street, Cape Town
Nikiwe Bikitsha (1996)
Senior news anchor: e.tv
Nikiwe Bikitsha has never worked a normal day. From her years as a junior reporter at Cape Talk 567, where she worked "all hours" to impress, to her early mornings at SAfm, where she co-anchored AM Live, a 9-5 day has been as foreign to Bikitsha as some of the stories she reports on as senior news anchor for Newsnight.
At 32, Bikitsha is one of those rare individuals who has the voice for radio, the face for TV and the nose for print, and has pursued all three with the professionalism and poise you would expect from the journalist who "got the exclusive" with Winnie Madikizela Mandela back in 2003.
It's not surprising to find that she put herself through Rhodes university or that she now has her own fortnightly column, "High Heels" , in the Mail&Guardian. But what many don't know is that her velvety voice could have hit Broadway instead of our airways. Lucky us. -- Cat Pritchard
Lunch spot: Allora, Sandton
POLITICS & GOVT
Rulleska Singh (2005)
Media Spokesperson: Mayor of Cape Town
There are not many 21-year-olds who could take up a job as the media spokesperson for the mayor of Cape Town, with a brief stint at Top Billing as her only work experience.
But then Rulleska Singh is not your average Rhodes university journalism graduate.
A self-confessed "A Type" personality with a passion for the public sector, Singh is used to swimming in the deep end.
It doesn't bother her that she's contractually bound to keep her cellphone on or that she fi elds calls from 5:30am to 11pm every day.
Luckily, she's just as comfortable handling queries from the Vietnamese consul as she is preparing for the mayor's address to the World Economic Forum.
It's this variety of challenges and people that inspires her to aspire to becoming a strong, capable leader who affects real change.
Because that's what the public sector means to her -- an opportunity to serve her country. -- Cat Pritchard
Lunch spot: Chai Yo, Cape Town
Ross van der Linde (2004)
Chief Operations Officer: Democratic Alliance
'Powerful policies will solve South Africa's problems, not powerful personalities."
Is this an official statement from Ross van der Linde, former media director of the Democratic Alliance, or a personal manifesto from a liberal democrat who wants to get people debating about real issues not personal agendas?
Either way, it's a politically informed opinion from a 24-year-old who, according to generational profiling, should probably be doing some menial job that doesn't require too much effort or responsibility. Instead, Van der Linde gets to work (read: Parliament) before 8am and spends his day engaging with the press, reviewing draft documents and statements and meeting with MPs.
In his current position Van der Linde doesn't have to choose between his two loves -- media and politics -- which he did when he started out in politics, working in the DA's parliamentary research department. It didn't take long before he was appointed press offi cer, just ahead of the 2009 elections, and then head of the party's media department.
As the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Van der Linde oversees and manages parliamentary operations and focuses on political communications, which means getting the DA's message across and keeping tabs on the political stories being reported in the press.
It's a perfect fusion for a man who graduated top of his politics class at Rhodes university and obtained an honours degree in philosphy, politics and economics from the University of Cape Town, while dabbling in a bit of journalism on the side, including a brief stint as a sports reporter for e.tv.
But politics is definitely this Jo'burg boy's true calling.
It's the reason he's committed to building a competitive political system and why he's so proud to have had a hand in modernising the DA's parliamentary operation. Because effective systems help to promote more proactive policies -- policies he hopes will solve South Africa's problems. -- Cat Pritchard
Lunch spot: Eastern Food Bazaar, Cape Town
SCIENCE & EDUCATION
Adrian Tiplady is the self-professed black sheep of his family. “No one in my family plays any instruments or has anything to do with science,” he says.
So where Tiplady got his talent for jazz and physics is anyone’s guess.
An avid saxophonist, he’s played jazz and classical music at international festivals and is one of the project leaders in South Africa’s bid to host the largest radio telescope in the world, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
He advises the science minister and represents the country on international astronomy and telecoms boards.
When Tiplady was at university he aspired to become a conductor. “It was never my plan to be a practising scientist,” he says. But fate had other plans.
Having selected music and computer studies and looking for a third major subject, Tiplady closed his eyes, flipped through the student manual and landed on philosophy. “ But it clashed with one of my other subjects. So I did it again and landed on physics,” he says.
Seven years later, he completed a PhD in his accidental subject, specialising in radio astronomy and digital instrumentation.
Once he had his PhD he had his heart set on going to Paris to be a jazz musician. But an invitation to become involved in the SKA changed that, fulfilling his ambition to become involved in high-impact events. Five years later, he’s one of the point men in South Africa’s SKA bid.
Tiplady believes the SKA provides the perfect opportunity for African scientists to invest in the knowledge economy, build technical expertise and collaborate with the world’s leading science institutions.
“We’ve already [become] a leading light in the astronomical community in terms of design and engineering,” he says.
The accidental scientist still holds on to the dream that maybe in five years he’ll be playing jazz in a Paris café. Then again, he admits, “maybe I’ll be involved in a scientific project”. -- Faranaaz Parker
Lunch spot: Cranks, Rosebank, Johannesburg
Jason van Niekerk (2000)
Lecturer: Wits University
Jason van Niekerk looks at life from a unique perspective -- one that wouldn’t cross most people’s minds.
He feels that the depth and complexity of human relationships are underappreciated, particularly in Western thought, so he turned to the African theory of ubuntu to explore these issues further -- and this has formed the basis of his doctoral research at Wits.
Born and raised in Johannesburg, Van Niekerk relocated to Grahamstown to do his BA and master’s in ethics and philosophy.
Having been very ill during his high school years he only became part of a community when he went to university. It is this, he says, that gave him a particular appreciation for human relationships, which most people take for granted.
Van Niekerk moved back to Jo’burg in 2007 to do his PhD at Wits, and is currently in his final year. In addition to lecturing at the university he is involved with the fledgling Wits Centre for Ethics, which aims to bring issues of ethics and philosophy into public life. -- Tarryn Harbour
Lunch spot: FOOOD, Cresta Shopping Centre, Johannesburg
Athambile Masola (2006)
Volunteer: Nombulelo Reading Programme
Rhodes University master's student Athambile Masola was eager, in her first year, to work with a student volunteer programme that was really only intended for more advanced students.
"We would go out into the surrounding community and help where we could … we would try to meet any needs that they had," she says.
Masola became involved with a small reading club three years ago and became a volunteer at the Nombulelo Reading Programme.
She was appointed as community engagement councillor of the Student Representative Council for 2008/9 and now coordinates training for the representative council of learners in Grahamstown schools.
"I suppose because Rhodes is such a small campus in the middle of the community, you can't help but notice the issues around you," says Masola, who was recently selected as a Mandela Rhodes scholar.
With a foundation in compassion and first-hand experience Masola is focusing her thesis on foundation-phase literacy in a mother-tongue Xhosa school.
"I am looking into the practice of teaching; what informs what is taught, and how it is executed," she says.
And through the Mandela Rhodes scholarship Masola has forged a relationship with Oxford University Press, because, she says, the resources for teaching reading and writing in mother-tongue African languages are problematic.
"The quality and access to them and how teachers use them is the issue," says Masola who is considering further developing such resources.
"If kids don't have a solid foundation in an African language, how are they ever going to switch over to a complex language like English?" -- Lisa Steyn
Lunch spot: Red Café, High Street, Grahamstown
Janice Limson (1990)
Head of Biotechnology: Rhodes University
In 2009 Janice Limson was promoted to associate professor, a move that, she says, means both a lot more work and a lot more responsibility.
On the plus side, she was granted a six-month sabbatical in January this year, which has given her a lot more time to focus on her research.
In addition to her academic role Limson is editor-in-chief of Science in Africa, the continent’s first online science magazine, which she started nine years ago, and winner of the Highway Africa New Media in Journalism and a National Science and Technology Forum award.
Limson’s research team of 12 master’s and PhD students is working on cancer diagnostics and drug delivery, with the ultimate aim of developing marketable tools for cancer diagnostics. “We’re all about turning research into reality,” she says. -- Tarryn Harbour
Lunch spot: Yellow House, Grahamstown
Preven Chetty (2009)
Facilitator, Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa
In a family of engineers Preven Chetty sticks out like a sore thumb.
He spent his childhood hiking along the banks of rivers, investigating them and cleaning them up -- and this has been his passion ever since.
Born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal, he sees rivers as the current running through life; everything is connected and what happens upstream affects what happens downstream.
After high school Chetty went to Chennai, India, where he studied classical music, becoming proficient on the veenai, a 5 000-year-old Indian stringed instrument.
He returned to South Africa in 2002 and studied environmental science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, later becoming a geography teacher.
Four years ago Chetty joined the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa, where he runs a course in environmental education.
His use of a documentary using cellphones and social networking sites to inspire and motivate communities living on the banks of the Umgeni River to take better care of the water system earned him a place as a finalist in the inaugural Rolex Awards for Enterprise: Young Laureates Programme.
Although he did not win, Chetty still plans to run the project: he’s sourcing funding and hopes to get it off the ground by July.