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Language Activism Students


Anani Nongama

Applied Sciences

In order to improve the postgraduate experience I suggest that CPUT create a writing club.

I am Anani Nongoma, I grew up in a small town called Lusikiski, in the Eastern Cape Province. In Cape Town, I stay in Woodstock. I started studying at CPUT in 2015 and am currently enrolled as a second-year Master’s student in Environmental Management.

My research focuses on the factors impacting on solid waste disposal practices at the District Six Campus of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. In a sentence: waste is unavoidable but waste disposal practices can be managed.

You can watch a video of Anani explaining his research here.


Sihle Mlonyeni

Applied Sciences

Name of degree: Master of Environmental Management

Dissertation title: Influence of Wastewater Treatment Plant Discharge on the Water Quality of the Veldwachters River, Western Cape

I’m originally from the Eastern Cape, but I grew up in Cape Town (Western Cape, South Africa). I now live in Kuils River. I started at CPUT in 2014 and hope to graduate with my Master’s at the end of 2021.

My study is focused on the ecological effects of the Veldwachters River. I look at the physiochemical properties, microplastic occurrence and ecotoxicology of both the effluent and receiving river water. … remember why you started.

The best part of my CPUT journey has been being accepted to study at CPUT in the first place. And I consider it an achievement to be able to work on my own, to analyse and collect research data and learn new things.

I would love to see CPUT improve by having it introduce more languages than just the three used currently.

My advice to other students is to work hard and never give up. Every time you wish to give up, remember why you started, and as the late Nelson Mandela said, “It all seems impossible until its done”.

Listen to Sihle explain her research in English & isiXhosa here.


Ziyanda Phike

Applied Sciences

Name of Degree: Master of Food Science & Technology

Dissertation Title: Proximate composition and fatty acid profile of South African Sardines (Sardinops sagax ocellatus) using conventional techniques and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)

Ziyanda is from a small village called Machubeni in Lady Frere, Eastern Cape. She currently lives in Guguletu, Cape Town.

In 2010 she was accepted at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) for a National Diploma in Food Technology. She recently completed her Master’s in Food Science & Technology from CPUT and is currently enrolled for a Diploma in Animal Production. Her Master’s research focused on proximate composition and fatty acid analysis of sardines using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as an alternative to conventional techniques. Ziyanda has a keen interest in evaluating alternative feed resources for animals.

My advice for succeeding at postgraduate studies is to NEVER GIVE UP!

My greatest achievement was completing my Masters degree when everything seemed impossible and I was close to just giving up. My advice for succeeding at postgraduate studies is to NEVER GIVE UP! Always persevere. If you fall down, get back up and try again. Or as Thomas A Edison said: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Ziyanda explains her research in an English and isiXhosa video here.


Aline Mwilambwe Kasongo

Business & Management Sciences

My name is Aline Mwilambwe Kasongo. I am currently staying in Cape Town, Goodwood. I graduated with my Master’s in Business Administration and the title of my thesis is social media as a communication strategy at a selected university in Cape Town.

… the best part of my time at CPUT has been the opportunities given to grow intellectually and think critically …

My hope was to complete my Master’s and graduate in 2020, but now my hope is to do so at the end of 2021. I studied the role of social media as a communication strategy.

Speaking about my career at CPUT, I started in 2010, in Public Relations Management. I graduated then decided to continue my studies in BTech, and later, I decided to pursue my Master’s in Business Administration. Through this journey at CPUT, the best part of my time at CPUT has been the opportunities given to grow intellectually and think critically, and to be able to graduate and have my degree.

One thing I’d like CPUT to improve for postgraduate students is the assignment of supervisors. I know of students whose work is greatly delayed because a supervisor was assigned late.

My suggestion is that CPUT should assign a supervisor as soon as possible so that the students are not delayed in their research. Another suggestion is doing away with course-based courses. We have students who end up with a subject that is only studied for one week and then the student has to wait a whole year to start with research, Can this be a reviewed?

You can watch a video of Aline explaining her research in English & French here.


Nokuphiwa Udoakpan

Business & Management Sciences

Name of degree: Master’s in Business Administration

Title of dissertation: The impact of over-the-top Television services on pay-television subscription services in South Africa

I started studying at CPUT in 2019 and hope to graduate with my Master’s in 2021.

The best part of my time at CPUT: We were in syndicates groups during the coursework; therefore, we had to interact with different people from different backgrounds with strong personalities. This taught me about teamwork, flexibility and being agile. I also enjoyed the research element. It shaped my critical thinking, time management skills, my ability to work independently and my patience.

“My biggest highlight is publishing my first paper. I cannot describe the feeling! Thanks to my Supervisor, Prof. Tengeh.”

What I’d like to advise CPUT postgrad students: My advice for thriving at postgrad studies is to listen to your supervisor. They have walked the path before. You may think you know it all, and sooner or later, you’ll realise that they are right. It’s like the saying goes, “Mother is always right.” Although you are bound to disagree on things, listen objectively. Don’t be too sensitive; receive constructive criticism. Have reasonable engagements, and take your supervisor along with you through all stages of your research.

Lastly, read each day. Write, even if it is one paragraph per day. Ask questions when in doubt, join the Ubuntu Postgraduate Forum, make time for family, and don’t neglect the God factor in your research studies. Above all, enjoy the ride! It is more about the impact and learning; not just the ‘degree’ – the higher grades are a plus.

Watch Nokuphiwa explain her research in English and isiXhosa here.


Genevieve Lentz

Education

Name of Degree: Magister Educationis

Title of Dissertation: Blended Learning as an academic writing intervention programme for first year students’ academic writing

Through my study I hope to assess how face-to-face- and online teaching and learning can improve academic writing. My hope is to graduate in 2021. “Imagine a postgraduate-student-orientated space that provides mediation in the process of academic writing…”

I grew up in Bonteheuwel, which is situated on the Cape Flats, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. And I currently live in Monte Vista, also in Cape Town. My CPUT journey started in 2018 as part of the nGAP Programme (The New Generation of Academics Programme). The nGAP Programme is a Higher Education and Training Initiative that enables newly-recruited lecturers to benefit from teaching development and research development opportunities.

The best part of my postgraduate experience has been passing my degree Summa Cum Laude. This achievement exceeded not only my own expectations but it affirmed that I am as good an academic as any other.

I would like more support being given to postgraduate students in terms of their writing. The Writing Centre at CPUT is primarily for undergraduate students. Postgraduate students could largely benefit from a postgraduate-student-orientated space that provides mediation in the process of academic writing. Providing one-on-one consultation sessions to students where they can discuss their writing, explore new ideas and look at the general academic conventions such as writing structure, referencing would do a great deal for both the institution and its students.

Watch Genevieve explain a bit more about her research here.


Jean Balep

Engineering & the Built Environment

Name of Degree: Master of Engineering in Energy

Title of dissertation: Controller optimisation of an evacuated tube solar water heating system

The aim of my research is to design a solar water heating system to substitute the original electric heating element system at the Belhar community centre here in Cape Town, and thereby reduce the expense of power utilisation.

I come from Douala, Cameroon, and started my CPUT journey in 2015. I was doing a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering at the time. And I hope to graduate from this degree in 2022.

A standout experience for me at CPUT has been doing a training in sailing. It was such an amazing experience.

My only suggestion for CPUT to improve is to give more financial support to postgraduate students.

Here Jean explains his research in English & French.


Mlandleli Mario Ligwa

Engineering & the Built Environment

Name of Degree: Doctorate in Electrical Engineering, DEng

Title of Description: NOMA based Cooperative multicasting for High Reliability ( 5G multiple access to improve network coverage)

I grew up in Eastern Cape province, in a small town called Elliotdale, but now I reside in the suburb of Kraaifontein in Cape Town. Sacrifice… At the end you will see results.

I started studying at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2002, previously known as Pennisula Technikon. I was doing my National Diploma in Electrical Engineering. I obtained a Suma Cum laude in my Master’s Degree in 2019, and that was my best motivation to continue with my Doctorate studies. I hope to graduate in 2022.

Sacrifice. be enthusiastic to learn new things. Be inspired and work hard. At the end you will definitely see positive results.

Here Mario shares his research in English and isiXhosa.


Faubert Souza

Informatics & Design

My name is Irenée Marie FAUBERT SOUZA and I was born in Port-Gentil, GABON. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Science: Environmental Planning from Keimyung University in South Korea. Before coming to South Africa in 2017 to pursue my studies, I received honours for excellent academic achievement and this certainly helped me gain admission to a prestigious university such as Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

I have completed an MTech in Town and Regional Planning from the Faculty of Informatics and Design with the following topic: Green Networks for Sustainable Development in African Cities: A Case Study of The Two Rivers Urban Park, Cape Town, South Africa. The research was carried out to determine how green networks of cities can improve urban sustainability. This study promoted the principle of ecological emulation and has also contributed to the research process of sustainable urban development in Cape Town.

… choose a topic you are passionate about …

It would be difficult for me to pin down a favourite moment during my time at CPUT. I was afforded the opportunities to meet new people, get to know a little more about South African culture through other students but above all to receive new knowledge from passionate and dedicated lecturers.

I’m grateful to this institution for preparing me for a successful future. I want to thank the Centre for Postgraduate Studies (CPGS) for the comprehensive induction they provide for all new graduate researchers, the numerous seminars and workshops in research methods and all the tools they have given me to excel and conduct my research.

Doing research can be overwhelming, which is why it is important to choose a topic you are passionate about and that can keep you motivated throughout the research process. My advice for succeeding at postgraduate studies is very simple, to be organised, not to brood over failures and above all to stay positive.

Faubert shares her research experience and focus in this English-French video.


Lelethu Ntlola

Informatics & Design

Name of degree: Master of Technology (MTech): Public Relations Management

Title of dissertation: Assessing how a South African financial service institution’s client care department uses social media to interact with its stakeholders

Description of my topic in one sentence: My topic aims to assess the gaps that are found within financial services institutions with the use of social media to engage or interact with their stakeholders.

I grew up in a small town that is right next to Lesotho called Matatiele (which was derived apparently from a saying “Ma dada ayile” which means “the ducks have flown”), Eastern Cape, South Africa. I went to primary and high school at a multiracial school called “King Edward High School” or Hoërskool King Edward. Nowadays, I live in Bellville in Cape Town. I then enrolled at CPUT and started my academic career in 2013. I obtained my National Diploma in Public Relations Management in 2015, and in 2016 I graduated from my BTech in Public Relations Management.

Only do your postgrad studies when you are mentally and emotionally ready.

The best part of my time at CPUT involve some academic achievements: Top first year achiever in End User Computing (EUC) in 2013, Top achiever in academics in 2014.

In addition, it was great being able to work for the institution during graduation preparations and work for the student accommodation South Point Woodstock residents where I assisted in student queries to management. I am hoping that I will be able to add to this list: obtaining a MTech in Public Relations Management as a postgrad by the end of 2021 or in April 2022.

Things I would like to see improved at CPUT are as follows:

  • CPUT service delivery especially the admin side of things.
  • Punctuality in trying to resolve a student query without passing the student from one admin person to the next with no resolution to issues.
  • CPUT should try and ensure lectures and the institution itself tries to put themselves in the shoes of every student in terms of background and circumstances that each student comes from and is faced with. Sometimes students are expected to perform the impossible with little to no financial support….

My advice to those who wish to succeed at postgrad studies:

  • Only do your postgrad studies when you are mentally and emotionally ready. It sure is a bumpy and sometimes lengthy ride which could through you off your intended timeframe to graduate.
  • Know that once you are in this journey you are in it to win it, you can’t be wasting money unnecessarily.
  • Choose a supervisor that is aligned to the topic you intend on pursuing. A supervisor who conducted a research in a similar field to your research so that it is easier to interact and express your thoughts on why you’d like to pursue this research . . . I was very lucky to have Dr. Hermon Ogbamichael.

Watch Lelethu as she shares her research in English and Sesotho.


Mkhululi Grawe

Informatics & Design

Name of degree: M Tech: Public Relations Management

Title of dissertation: The use of social media for employee communication in selected South African municipalities.

This study is about social media use for employee communication in local municipalities’ communications departments and the focus is the O.R Tambo District Municipality.

… make time for your studies, especially when juggling work and studies …

I grew up in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, and started studying at CPUT in 2018. I hope to graduate in 2021.

The best part of my time at CPUT as a postgraduate: Initially, I was afraid of doing a Masters, but I had to do it. One of my takeaways is that I developed a culture of reading broadly about public relations and social media. One of the challenges was that social media keeps on evolving, which means I have to keep up with new developments about social media. Also, interacting with people who are experienced in research opened up my mind and helped me to develop a greater interest in research.

What I’d like to see improved at CPUT or Advice for succeeding at postgrad studies: There is always a need to improve even though my experience of CPUT does not point to any moments of disappointments. This is because the staff members at CPUT are generally helpful and always eager to assist prospective students. The first few people I interacted with at CPUT were Naomi Rice and Dr Blessing Makwambeni; they were helpful and assisted me with the processes of admissions. I would advise postgraduate students to have regular communication with their supervisors. Another thing is that it is always advisable to create time for your studies, especially for students who have to juggle work and studies. Most importantly, students need to do read broadly; that will help in choosing a research topic.

Mkululi explains his research in this informative video.


Mpho Roberta Masondo

Informatics & Design

Name of Degree: Master of Technology: Public Relations Management

Title of Dissertation: Reputation management on social media: A case study of SA female hip hop artists

I Look into the scholarship of reputation management, gender representation and social media management, so my research builds on the knowledge of the relationship between representations of female hip hop artists in South Africa on Instagram as a social media platform.

I grew up in Tokoza Township, Johannesburg, Gauteng, and still call Johannesburg my home. In 2019 I started studying at CPUT, and I hope to graduate at the end of 2021.

Take care of yourself and deal with any arising mental health issues.

The best part about my postgraduate studies is being supervised by Professor Nic Theo, having access to new thinkers and to his vast knowledge on my topic. He responds timeously to my many questions and drafts, and is patient enough with me to get me to the point of not giving up. What I consider a personal achievement is my obtaining a CPUT postgraduate bursary in 2019.

My advice to other postgrad students: Take care of yourself and deal with any arising mental health issues. Be teachable. Don’t quit. Read. Invest in a time management app and lastly, select a topic you are passionate about.

Mpho explains her research in both Sesotho and English.


Nazmia Leite

Informatics & Design

Name of degree: Master’s in Public Relations

Title of Dissertation: Social Media and Agenda Setting: The South African Trade Unions’ Perspective

My study will look at how South African trade unions are using social media for agenda setting. I started at CPUT in 2017 and hope to graduate in 2021. Being at CPUT reignited my fire for academics and the world of media. I enjoyed being around people from different backgrounds and hearing their views on the world. It was a huge achievement for me when I completed my proposal and got approval from the ethics committee. I didn’t think that I could reach that point. Read, read, and read some more.

I grew up in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, Western Cape, and now live in Muizenberg.

My advice for those wishing to succeed at postgrad studies: You are capable. Read, read, and read some more. Take in all the knowledge that you can. And always, always be teachable and greedy to learn.

Watch Nazmia explain her research here.


Alda Ngeufack

Health & Wellness Sciences

Name of Degree: MSc in Biomedical Technology

Title of dissertation: The effect of the organosulfur garlic compound BisPMB for HPV16 and HPV18 pseudovirus infection in vitro.

My research considers an aspect of the Human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most frequent sexually transmitted infection known to be responsible for most cervical cancer occurrences worldwide, especially in less-resourced nations.

I started at CPUT in February 2018 with my BTECH in Biomedical Technology, which I graduated in December 2018 Then enrolled with my Master in 2019, and I hope to graduate in April of 2021.

My best time at CPUT relates to my participation in the CPGS conference 2019 where I presented my Master’s research project and learnt so much about other postgraduate students projects. That was a very good experience.

I grew up in the Centre province of the town of Yaounde in the country Cameroon, so my suggestion for CPUT would be to please give more opportunities to international students (of which I am one) regarding CPUT activities and endorsements in their respective faculties.

Aldy explains her research here in English and French.


Nqobile Felicia Ngubane

Engineering & the Built Environment

Name of Degree: MEng: Chemical Engineering

Title of Dissertation: Process optimisation and technoeconomic analysis of briquette production from corn stover

My project aims at recovering value added product (briquette for energy) from solid waste which is abundant in South Africa.

There are always people around who can help you with what you are struggling with. Or they might know people who can help you.

I came from Nkomazi, Mpumalanga, South Africa to come and study at CPUT in 2012. I now stay in Bellville and hope to graduate by the end of 2021.

To me, my greatest achievement is this: I successfully designed, installed and commissioned a briquette pilot plant and complied with standard compliance procedures. The plant is now in use by the institution.

I would advise postgraduate students to do this: Always ask for help when you need it. There are always people around who can help you with what you are struggling with. Or they might know people who can help you. Also, if you are not getting good results for your research, it is okay to change direction. Do not stick with something that is simply not working.

Here Nqobile explains her research in both siSwati and English.