Sunday, 13 March 2022

Learn how to be a champion

It's a big period coming up for the CPUT Boxing Team, which is ranked number four by the University Sports South Africa (USSA).

The team put in “blood, sweat, and tears” in preparation to take on boxers from universities across the country at the University of Mpumalanga at the end of April.

“We have already started with our programme and we have participated in two tournaments already – one in Durbanville on 26 February and another one in DuNoon, on 5 March.  On the 12th of March we will be fighting in Khayelitsha,” said Mvemve Mdingi, the team manager.

Mdingi who is also the Faculty of Education Senior Phase Lecturer and Further Education and Training write out Co-ordinator said they welcome every student interested in becoming a world champion one day and that they accept both starters and experienced boxers.

“We would like to welcome all students, both males and females, to join our sport of boxing. Boxing is one of the sporting codes that encourages discipline and self-determination. It is good for self-defence and fitness. Come let us help you learn how to be a champion. We have a very busy calendar this year our boxers participate in district, provincial and national SANABO [South African National Boxing Organisation] championships. Some of our boxers have been selected to participate in the Western Cape Open Boxing Champions League that will commence on the 21 March 2022 until 17 December 2022.” 

The team trains from Monday to Friday from 17:00 to 19:00 at the Bellville campus Stadium Club House.

In the USSA 2021 games held in December in Richards Bay, the team performed very well coming home with nine medals, one gold, five silver and three bronze. Lumka Mswelanto received the best Female Coach of the Tournament medal while Aphiwe Ntluzwana was elected to be in the national executive of USSA.

Mdingi boasted that a B Ed (Intermediate Phase Teaching) student, Likho Nxele competed in the SANABO National Youth and Elite Championships and received a gold medal.  “She then went on to represent South Africa in the international African Union Sports Council Region 5 Games held in Lesotho where she received a silver medal.”

AUSC is composed of 10 African Countries in the SADC region.  Mdingi added: “There is a great potential that she will be going to England to compete in the Commonwealth Games in July this year. Mdingi expressed his gratitude to the support given to boxing by the Head of Sport Department, Siyabulela Mkhwalo.

“CPUT has great potential and talent and once the Covid-19 pandemic lets go of us, a lot can be achieved. The plan is to grow boxing into other campuses like Mowbray and District Six in year 2022 to increase level of competition,” Mdingi continued

“Boxing is one of the best sports in helping anger management which is one of the reasons that we have lots of people in prisons. Boxing also teaches students the importance of practicing and preparing to achieve goals.”

CPUT and a range of partners celebrated International Women’s Day with the inauguration of the Think-Tank on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE).

The event, which was held at the Cape Town Hotel School, was livestreamed to an online audience and received national news coverage.

The theme was: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, opened the event and said the pandemic and its accompanying negative regressive effects must not stop us from continuing to grapple with the issues of gender inclusivity.

“As a university of technology, it is critical that we accelerate the careers of women in technology and reinforce authentic leadership in these spaces. Role model visibility in science and technology is critical to attracting more women to this field.”

Honourable Thandi Modise, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans and CPUT Chancellor, was the guest speaker.

Modise said that while significant strides had been made to empower women and to promote gender equality, women still bear “a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment”.  

“Our collective efforts to promote women empowerment and gender equality must be intensified. We owe it to the many martyrs who have laid down their lives for an equal and non-sexist society.”

She said the event, held in partnership with UN Women, is “a bold and very strong statement that CPUT remains a progressive leader among its peers on women empowerment and gender equality”.

Ayanda Mvimbi, a programme specialist for UN Women, congratulated CPUT for being a champion university “to accept and launch the think-tank for gender equality and empowerment of women”.

“I want to emphasise the need for involving academia in gender equality and women’s empowerment. The research expertise can bring in much needed data and evidence-based solutions that’s required to accelerate the achieving of gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow.”

Prof Driekie Hay-Swemmer, Executive Director in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, spoke on the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestigious STEM schools programme and said Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) were all fields still predominantly occupied by males.

Hay-Swemmer said the Vice-Chancellor believed that girls need to be exposed at a young age to the different careers available to them in STEM.  

“We would like to become the hub of STEM education in the Western Province. A beacon of hope and excitement, where the barriers and myths of maths are broken down. We wish to establish a world-class research chair in STEM education doing longitudinal studies, train and upscale educators and, besides that, be part of the next generation of scientists within a technology enabled environment.”

The list of speakers and respondents included: Prof Beatrice Opeolu, Faculty of Applied Sciences; Ella Mangisa, Ilitha Labantu (CPUT partner); Dr Simon Nsengimana, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences; Tshitso Mosolodi, Snake Nation (CPUT partner); Nanga Codana, SRC President; Prof Tembisa Ngqondi: Dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Design; George Mvalo, Chairperson: Universities South Africa  Transformation Managers’ Forum and Nonele Ganyile, SRC Secretary General and a commitment pledge was signed by the various partners.

Nonkosi Tyolwana, Director: Centre for Diversity, Inclusivity and Social Change, thanked the speakers and organisers.

The Department of Clothing and Textile Technology in partnership with the Cape Town Society for the Blind (CTSB) produced 100 graduation gowns for the non-profit organisation (NPO). 

The Salt River based NPO offers various training courses throughout the year and in the past hired gowns for their graduation ceremonies, which was not a financially viable.  Their mission is to develop the abilities and skills of blind and visually impaired people by offering training, career development and small business skills, with courses ranging from six to 18 months. The graduation ceremonies take place on an annual basis.  

“As the goal of the project was to produce  100 graduation gowns, the project’s main purpose was to simulate the actual product development and manufacturing processes as applied in the clothing industry,” explained Nina Drotskie,  a lecturer and Cooperative Education Coordinator in the Department of Clothing and Textile Technology.  CTSB Occupational Therapist, Shaakirah Karjieker, added that the project derived from CTSB’s search for patterns to create their own graduation gowns.

“We usually hire the gowns but that was proven to be quite costly. We approached CPUT and we were made aware that due to Covid-19, many students in the Clothing and Textiles Technology department were struggling to find internships/placement. This is when the project was initiated.”

The project involved CPUT 4th year students creating 100 graduation gowns for CTSB.

“We thought it was a wonderful idea to assist CPUT as they needed a special project to assist their 4th year students to complete the practical component of their studies. We also created a space for two CPUT students to be placed in our weaving department for three months to complete their practical.”

This was separate from the graduation gown project.

“It was a wonderful collaboration that benefited many students. We look forward to future placement and projects with the University,” Karjieker added. 

Drotskie stated that the students were divided into teams and were required to develop and generate all technical information required to produce the product.  Students were supplied with actual garments and needed to create a size chart, technical drawings, garment breakdown and provide recommendations on manufacturability.  “Using their initial research, they drew up allocation of work tasks, established times and rate of work to be able to produce the product within the required time. The patterns were generated and graded by the Technology Station’s patternmaker, Leon Coetzee, and cut work completed by Fezile Gqotile within the department’s sewing labs,” she said.

CTSB took the first delivery of the garments in December 2021, and the balance was handed over at a ceremony which was held recently at the Centre. “Students were fully supported by staff at CTSB and completed projects related to alternative materials to cane for the final year project. Placed in an environment which supports differently abled individuals was inspiring to the students and they were happy in contributing to the project,” Drotskie enthused.

“We are extremely grateful for the contribution and assistance from the staff at Cape Town Society for the Blind, who were part of the product development from the start.  Special thanks to Shaakirah Karjieker, Marisa Teles and Sandra Dreyer for driving the project from their side.” 

Reflecting on the project, Karjieker said: “I would like to thank CPUT and Nina Drotskie for their hard work and effort. I can easily say that CPUT, especially the Clothing and Textiles Technology Department truly care about their students and their future. The standard of service is amazing, and it would truly be a pleasure to work alongside the university again.” 

An inspiring group of dedicated CPUT staff members has played a crucial role to help ensure the health and safety of the university community during the pandemic. More than 15 000 vaccinations have been administered at the CPUT Vaccination Centre, and our vaccinators have been right at the frontline. We are sharing some of their stories:

Sarah Roberts strives to serve the community and to promote health and she has done just so while working at the CPUT Vaccination Centre.

Roberts, a professional nurse, joined the centre in January last year as a vaccinator.
“Nursing has always been my passion because it is to care for people,” she said.

She added that one of the highlights of working at the Centre has been to see so many people interested in the vaccine.

“Vaccination is important to everyone in the community and to minimize the statistics.”

Roberts is a widow and mother of three daughters and three grandchildren and hopes to further her studies.

FNB CPUT began their Varsity Shield title defence with a 38-7 win against hosts FNB Rhodes.

Two converted tries, by No 8 Eely Pieters and right wing Christopher Andrews, gave the champions a 14-0 half-time lead.

Lock Moegamat Toffar crossed the line early in the second half for FNB CPUT, before the Stallions finally got on the board in the 54th minute, when outside centre Jano Roux scored a converted try.

FNB CPUT claimed their bonus-point try through flank Keanan Solomons and flyhalf Feghon-Leigh Snyders’ fourth conversion made it 28-7. 

Outside centre Björkan Hendricks and replacement Duran Alexander then scored late tries to round off a convincing victory.

FNB Varsity Shield Round 1 results and scorers:

FNB UFH Blues 13 (8) – Tries: Kamvelihle Fatyela, Migcobo Bovu; Penalty: Keith Chiwara.

FNB TUT Vikings 3 (3) – Penalty: Mauritz Maritz
FNB Player That Rocks: Migcobo Bovu (FNB UFH Blues)

FNB WSU All Blacks 22 (22) – Tries: Sicelo Tole, Ayabulela Zono, Lwandile Mapuko. Conversions: Mapuko (2), Penalty: Mapuko

FNB UKZN Impi 23 (8) – Tries: Menzi Mabaso, Tristan Trollip, Devandré Adendorf; Conversion: Jarryd Nicholl; Penalties: Dawro Kock (2)

FNB Player That Rocks: Menzi Mabaso (FNB UKZN Impi)

FNB Rhodes 7 (0) – Try: Jano Roux; Conversion: Siyolise Mabodla.
FNB CPUT 38 (14) – Tries: Eely Pieters, Christopher Andrews, Moegamat Toffar, Keanan Solomons, Björkan Hendricks, Duran Alexander; Conversions: Feghon-Leigh Snyders (4)
FNB Player That Rocks: Feghon-Leigh Snyders (FNB CPUT)

Written by Varsity Shield

Well-known TV and radio presenter Tracey Lange was the speaker during the Media Department’s first lunch time talk for 2022.

The bubbly Kfm and Tussen Ons presenter spoke about how she has used language as a resource to connect with audiences on radio and TV throughout her career.

She is known for her ability to communicate with her audiences in both English and Afrikaans.

Journalism lecturer Sisanda Nkoala said the main objective of this year’s series was to get journalism students and anyone interested in the role of journalism in society, to hear from professionals in the space, “and then deliberate on the centrality of news media in how we live our lives”

“The advent of social media and the development of phenomenon such as disinformation, have raised questions on the place of news media, given that nowadays ‘anyone’ can create and share content online. The speakers in this series will talk about their journeys as media professionals and reflect more deeply on their views on why the craft of journalism is still important, perhaps now more than ever.”

Nkoala said last year’s speaker series had been extremely well received.

“The series was opened up to anyone to attend and we had requests from other journalism education entities for requests to share some of the sessions. More importantly, our students were able to network virtually with media professionals and use that opportunity as a means of getting mentored. The speakers themselves were extremely impressed with the engagements.”

During the online talk Lange shared with students how she started her career at a law firm and got into a broadcasting career by chance.

She started helping out at a community radio station in Somerset West and said “the doors opened up from there”.

Her first paying job in radio was at Good Hope FM where she initially read the news on weekends.

“Within four months they offered me a weekday position, drivetime position, because it was only the breakfast and drive time newsreaders that read English and Afrikaans.”

“I put in the work and people started realising that I can easily do English and Afrikaans and switch between it quite comfortably. And now it’s something that people know me for.”

Lange told students that much of what she had achieved has been because she took initiative to make the calls and send the emails and encouraged students to “open themselves up to just about any opportunity”.

Enthusiastic lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual (LGBTQIA+) community members and other members of the CPUT community recently converged at the Poolhouse for an event to mark the launch of the Queer Unicorns Student Society.

CPUT Queer Unicorns is an organisation that creates a safe, open, intersectional and equitable space in the university which enables the minority to be free in their pre professional space, to fully participate and contribute with their outmost potential, explained the organisation’s treasurer, Ananinonke Mtalaliso. “Most importantly, the organisation consciously carries affirmations for individuals and all sexual identities. Enforcing advocacy and diversity is our priority,” Ananinonke continued.

“Our mission as an organisation is to establish and entrench a human rights culture in our society as laid [out] in our constitution.”

She added that the organisation firmly believed that the “post-apartheid transformation process for our society involves the prevention of discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity and removal of patriarchal and hetero normative privilege with this we uphold the six values enriched with freedom, equality, human dignity, non-discrimination, non-racism and non-sexism”.

“You are not what people say you are, you are what you know yourself to be and what you love.”

Student Development Officer: Student Governance and Leadership Development, Melani-Ann Hara, coordinated the launch and is providing support to the CPUT Queer Unicorn Structure.  Hara said she was very proud to work with the structure and the executive team.

“This is the very first time ever that we have hoisted the LGBTQI flag at CPUT, I am very proud to be part of this event.”

She said it was a momentous moment for all those who were involved in the establishment of the structure. “An event which proudly celebrated the CPUT LGBTQIA+ community. The launch was enjoyed by all and celebrated our diversity and emphasised the need for the CPUT community to become a more inclusive space for all,” she said.  

The students have put in the hard work throughout last year, meeting with the relevant CPUT stakeholders to build  a LGBTQIA+ Student Structure which has support and a strong foundation to provide a safe space for all and an inclusive CPUT environment. Queer Unicorns secretary, Kabelo Rapholo said: “It is all our responsibility to ensure CPUT spaces are safe and inclusive for all, stand up against discrimination, hate crimes and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community. I would encourage all CPUT students and staff to educate themselves and engage with the CPUT Queer Unicorns Student Society and the activities they will roll out throughout the year. It is up to us to create a truly inclusive CPUT for all.”

 Addressing the guests, Director: Centre for Diversity, Inclusivity and Social Change: Office of the Vice Chancellor, Nonkosi Tyolwana said: “We are here today with the understanding that ending marginalisation and exclusion of LGBTQIA+ people is a human rights priority – and a development imperative

“We are here together to break down the barriers that prevent LGBTQIA+ people from exercising their full human rights. When we do that, we will liberate them to fully and productively contribute to our common economic progress. The investments we make in eliminating intolerance and hate will bring huge benefits across the university agenda.”

Bellville SRC Chairperson, Lutho Xakayi urged the LGBTQIA+ society to be patient with those who are not familiar with them and urged the society and its structure to educate those who are still in the dark about the LGBTQIA+ community rights. “This is a transformation that we have been fighting for,” Lutho said. Head of Student Governance and Leadership development, Sammy Elie pronounced the University’s support for the students’ achievements. “Never undermine what you have achieved today, we endorse what you’re doing.”    

Written by Aphiwe Boyce