Vol10 no1 2018
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With her camera, EDINAH NDLOVU (26), a Visual Communication student specialising in Photography, is changing perceptions about people living with albinism. This month’s cover image of Boitumelo Mokoena forms part of a thought provoking series of images the talented photographer has captured for her B Tech degree. Read her story on Page 2.
CHARLES NGCOBO (28), OBED ZWANE (28) AND OWEN FUNANI RAMALAMULA (23), B Tech: Water Care students at the Department of Environmental, Water and Earth Sciences, have won an all-expenses paid trip to Munich, Germany in May. They will participate in the Young Water Professionals programme hosted at the International Federation for Alternative Trade (IFAT), the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management. This follows after the threesome won first prize at the 1st University Challenge Africa hosted as part of IFAT Africa in Johannesburg in September last year. On the day of the challenge, students had to prove their skills and compete against each other in the following activities: Integrated Water Resource Management, Infrastructure Measures from Water Management, Wastewater Management and Energy Management, among others.
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Society’s fixation on appearance and what one should look like to fit in is often the cause of baseless stigma and discrimination. With her camera, Edinah Ndlovu (26), a Visual Communication student specialising in Photography, is changing perceptions and raising awareness about people living with albinism, a condition that is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically.
Edinah Ndlovu (26) uses photographs to raise awareness of albinism.
Being a people’s person, Edinah, who captured this month’s cover image, has always fought discrimination with all her might. However, it was after meeting fellow Drama student, Tebatso Mashishi (24), who lives with albinism, on the University’s Arts Campus a couple of years ago that the drive translated into a passion: To give her photography projects a purpose, and instead of taking only pretty pictures, rather document the plight of people living with albinism for acceptance.
“After meeting Tebatso, I was curious and scared at the same time,” recalls the humanitarian who hails from Tsakane, Brakpan on the Gauteng East Rand. “We chatted about the idea and Tebatso agreed in an instant,” she adds. Her first photo was of one of his eyes – the unique colours fascinated her.
Albinism in humans is a congenital disorder characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. It is associated with a number of vision defects, among others.
“I explored and researched albinism, although everyone discouraged me,” Edinah says. Since people with albinism are used to being side-lined, it took a lot of effort to convince them to become part of my project. Lots of trust had to be established.”
In her B Tech degree mini-dissertation, titled Creating Awareness of People Suffering from Melanin Deficiency Through Documentary Photography, which she completed at the end of 2017, she photographed at least 30 people living with albinism. “Initially, I wanted to capture them in their respective environments, but later decided that a softly lit studio set-up will make them more comfortable, especially since they are light sensitive,” she says.
The end result is a set of simplistic, yet most sensitive images that made some of the participants cry. “After seeing her photo for the first time, one of the participants said that she has never thought of herself as being beautiful. Many had a low self-esteem, suffering years of ridicule and bullying. I wanted people to see the person, the beauty,” adds Edinah.
Edinah says there is still a long road ahead to adequately address the multiple forms of untruths and subsequent discrimination that persist about albinism worldwide. “One of these include that it is a source of misfortune that, in some instances, have led to infanticide,” she adds. It is for this reason that she has decided to enrol for her Master’s degree this year and devote her research to education in the rural areas of South Africa, where superstition about albinism is still rife.
"I wanted people to see the person, the beauty."
WAS IT THE FIRST TIME THAT YOU’VE TRAVELLED ABROAD? No. In July 2017 I got the opportunity to go to Germany for a Management course at the Hochschule Osnabruck University of Applied Sciences.
WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR TRIP? The tour was extraordinary. We visited the most interesting places. Addis Ababa was one of the highlights. I thought our country was the worst when it comes to poverty, only to realise that there are also other very poor countries out there. It made me appreciate what we have. Visiting the Mayor of Camden, Cllr Richard Cotton, in London was another highlight. He was open and shared his plans. A great country needs great leaders with vision, who are also willing to listen to the people they lead. I wish we could have such leaders in South Africa.
WILL YOU RECOMMEND FELLOW STUDENTS TO APPLY FOR THIS SCHOLARSHIP? I will strongly encourage students to apply for this life-changing, one-in-a-million opportunity. I came back a different person. Representing this mighty University of over 60 000 students will definitely change your life and self-worth.
TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE INTERESTING PEOPLE THAT YOU’VE MET. I met many leaders from all over the country and other South African students representing their universities. The interesting part is that we had very different perspectives on issues. We debated a lot and proposed some solutions. We cried, we laughed and did everything together. It was an amazing group of young leaders.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS? To reduce the number of illiterate people in this country. For our country to move forward, we need more educated people, especially the youth. In a small way I try to help. Therefore, I’ve started an organisation called NextStep.org which assists rural learners with applying for higher education. It’s in the youth’s hands to move this country forward.
Bursar looks back at jam-packed UK tour
Katlego Arnold Mashego (23), a B Tech Business Administration student, has just returned from the United Kingdom (UK) where he has spent three weeks on an educational tour as TUT’s Abe Bailey Scholarship recipient for 2017. Heita! asked him about the experience?
A pensive moment in Scotland.
STUDENTS COMMEMORATE STRUGGLE HEROES IN BRONZE
KGAOGELO (COW) MASHILO (23)
Sculpture: Frances Baard (1908 – 1997)
Founding member of the Federation of
South African Women (FedSAW),
Secretary and Treasurer of the African
National Congress (ANC) Women’s
League in Port Elizabeth, 1956 Treason
Trialist, National Executive member of
the United Democratic Front (UDF).
PABALLO MAJELA (27)
Sculpture: Duma Nokwe (1927 – 1978)
10th Secretary-General of the African
National Congress (ANC) (1958 – 1969).
MAMPHUTHI MABOTJA (24)
Sculpture: Dorothy Nyembe (1932 – 1998)
President of the ANC Women’s
Being commissioned to sculpt a life-size bronze sculpture of an icon of South Africa’s struggle for freedom while you are still a student is no mean feat. Heita! met three Fine and Applied Arts students who boast the accolade of having their work displayed at the impressive National Heritage Monument in Pretoria.
> For more information about the National Heritage Monument, CLICK HERE
The Jewellery Design programme at TUT’s Department of Fine and Applied Arts has once again confirmed its standing as one of the best training venues in this sector. Its students are winning top-notch competitions left, right and centre.
Andile Mbeje (25), Omphile Sibanda (26) and Gabrielle Lourens (21) scooped the first three positions in the De Beers 2016/’17 Shining Light Awards, in the order given. The theme was Protecting Nature’s Beauty.
Andile has won a 12-month apprenticeship at the Forevermark Design and Innovation Centre in Milan, Italy. He will work alongside jewellery designers at one of the world’s fastest growing diamond brands.
“I dream of working as a jewellery designer for an international company and am keen to hone my skills in commercial jewellery design,” he says.
Fraser Schenck (25), a B Tech student, was named runner-up in the student category of the prestigious PlatAfrica competition held annually to unearth the country’s top jewellery design talent.
He wowed the judges with his entry, titled Forgotten Triumphs. The theme of this year’s competition was Bold Minimalism. Fraser based his design on the work of Indian architect, Raj Rewal, called the Hall of Nations at the Pragati Maiden in India. Asked about his future plans, Fraser says he has always liked the idea of running his own business. “I have started building an online store and aim to create affordable jewellery ranges for men and women,” he indicates.
Fraser’s awe-inspiring neckpiece.
Meet SA’s top
jewellery design talent
Andile’s collection, Crowning Glory, is inspired by a South African Kudu, with its curled horns, a highlight of its natural beauty.
PROUD ON THE PLATAFRICA PODIUM
TRIO SHINES BRIGHTLY
All the way from Burgersfort in the Limpopo Province is FREDDY MOSHWANA (24) who will enrol for Mechanical Engineering and decided to study at TUT as it was one of the universities offering the course.
training BRADLEY KLEYNHANS (18) hails from Pretoria East. He is following in his brother’s footsteps who has completed the same qualification at TUT.
MARY-ANN MAKOKOE (21) is from Krugersdorp. Being inquisitive about how things work, she decided to study Metallurgical Engineering.
ITUMELENG GAFANE (19) is from Soshanguve and will study Marketing Management. She says students are spoilt for choice at TUT since the University
offers more courses than colleges.
MBONGENI NKOSI (19)
from Tembisa discourages learners to take a gap year before enrolling at university. He took one before deciding on joining the University and says it’s often a waste
of time. He will be studying Human Resources.
SIMON MASIPA (20) from Matoks in Limpopo says he found the registration process all good. He will enrol for Civil Engineering and says he has always wanted to
come to TUT.
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Heita! is an electronic student newsletter of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).
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The winner of the BACKPACK IS: MARUBINI NEUVHIRWA (37), a Master’s student in Cooperative Local Development at the Ga-Rankuwa Campus.
It’s easy! All you have to do is answer the following
question (don’t fret, you should get the answer somewhere
in this edition): WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE STUDENT
WHO USES PHOTOGRAPHY TO CREATE AWARENESS
NOMATHEMBA CHANTELLE SILWANA (20), a Human Resources student at the Pretoria Campus, is the winner of the competition featured in Heita! Vol9 no8 2017.
SPEND THE R300 WISELY.