Greystone Accountants offers training to Entrepreneurs

By: Sisanda Ngongoma

Port Elizabeth- Shingle Rusere is the co-founder and the director of Greystone Accountants which is a blacked-owned accounting firm, in Port Elizabeth.  

Mr Rusere opened by saying, “I want to help young people rise up and start their own business. This is all about growing our economy, entrepreneurship development and  imparting the youth with enough skills so that they can manage their own selves and their companies, I also want to see them contributing in growing the economy of the country”.

As we were celebrating World Entrepreneurs Day on the 21st of August, the Nelson Mandela University hosted a student’s entrepreneurship week, the next day Greystone Accountants, in partnership with NMU, NYDA, Standard Bank and other exhibitors from private and public sectors that promote business and entrepreneurship development had discussions at the university’s Missionvale campus. The discussions where under the theme “Start Rising” the public sectors, private and independent bodies where there to empower young entrepreneurs, guide and educate them on the importance of having a reasonable startup capital and address problems of patriarchy.

The panel discussions where also on guiding the youth on how to write up business plans to get funding. Mr Siyabulela Maliza who is an Entrepreneur and Nelson Mandela University Alumni, was one of the speakers on the panel. Maliza emphasized the importance of education in the entrepreneurship industry, “stop waiting for opportunities to came to you. Knock on the doors and look for them”, he advised. Maliza said that the country needed a youth that was willing to work, beacause no one will build South Africa except the youth. The entrepreneurs were also educating the youth on the role of being a leader and being independent from government.  “You choose to be poor or you choose to be rich, entrepreneurship is a way of reducing unemployment. You can change your back ground if you change your mind set”, Rusere mentioned. He also added that being part of the youth of today has challenges but also responsibilities. “Your poverty, hardship or poor background must motivate you to wake up and change your future. The youth of today has a lot of resources at its disposal to make it in corporate South Africa, they must just change their mind set”, he continued.

Mr Rusere advised in closing that the youth must start small when they are approaching organizations to fund their entrepreneurship ventures, saying that they cannot ask for huge amounts of money, they must think first.

Rusere concluded by saying that it is important to have a profile that shows you can handle large amounts of money and what you have done so far.  

Being Human(E) in the 21st century.

By: Charmaine Blose and Esethu Matetu

Port Elizabeth- There was a conference held at the Nelson Mandela University North Campus Conference Centre from the 22nd to the 24th of August, held by the faculty of Arts in partnership with CANDRAD. The conference was titled under the theme Being Human(E) in the 21st century and the legacy of Madiba at Mandela University.

Decolonising education is a massive topic among universities in our country. The Nelson Mandela University is no acceptation, through social semiotics which are now playing a role to acknowledge and perhaps correct effects of pre-colonial ideologies in their institutions. Through critical discourse in what is defined as public art, one would remember when the Rhodes statue was taken down, how UCT African students erected shacks at the university to identify black space within the institution and the public art at the Nelson Mandela University will be the Madiba shirt and the recently erected Mandela Bench. These two public art monuments are critically portraying the transformation within South African universities to include African leaders’ achievements as intellectuals.

One of the panel speakers Viwe Ndayi elaborated on how our institutions do not assist the black students. “African students can’t locate themselves in the institution as Africans when you look at the architecture, curriculum, interior design and the people surrounding you. Which leaves one very frustrated and sometimes overwhelmed”, she said. So now universities including the Nelson Mandela University are using public art to find identity and create their own African presence and also as another way of decolonizing education at institutes of higher learning.

Pedro Mzileni said,“In characterizing the type of university we would like to have when its named after Nelson Mandela as a leader of the student movement 12 months ago I emphasize the following, number one as this generation of students and young people we are inspired by the young Nelson Mandela who got arrested for being the commander in chief of the struggle. Number two, I emphasize that naming a university after Mandela that its children of apartheid victims as students carries a serious obligation on the side of the university leadership to do everything in its power in daily lives to practically change the living and learning conditions of the students and the working conditions of its lowest rated labour force. I emphasize number three that the ultimate destination of the revolution would be the higher education system that can be accessed for free which as an Africanized curriculum that reflects the true identity of its African communities, it must have a curriculum that offers a self punctuating content that a black child can see themselves in, a graduate of that curriculum must be able to use it as a liberating work point to unlock their true potential for preparing future for their selves, family and community.”

He concluded by saying that in other words the higher education named after tata Mandela should be about human condition.

Political decisions affect the economy.

By: Sisanda Ngongoma

Port Elizabeth- Professor Raymond Parsons from North West University visited the Nelson Mandela University Business School in Second Avenue Campus. The professor was in the University to deliver his speech about how politics are affecting the economy of South Africa and why the economy is affected by politics.

The lecture was called “strategic Conversation” and professor Parsons unpacked some of the economic issues faced by the Country. He opened his lecture by saying, “the presentation is based on the fact that the more South Africa’s house is kept in order, the stronger its ability to deal with any global economic headwinds”.

In South Africa the mantra is if we want to get the economics “right”, we have to get the politics “right” as recent political events have gain demonstrated. The professor said that  the political change from the Zuma era to the Ramaphosa was one the biggest in South Africa’s economy since 1994, he also said that it damaged the economy of South Africa in the beginning of it but with a quick recovery. The professor talked about the appointment of Ramaphosa as president of South Africa saying that there were some positive possible factors about his appointment, saying that the election did immediately create a more favorable political environment and a better national mood, given his leadership ability, credibility and his skill set. He also mentioned that Ramaphosa has done a good job on trying to address some of the issues that were faced at time like addressing the state capture, streamlining Cabinet and improve governance and accountability and also his commitment to create an investor-friendly environment and wanting to raise $100bn in investment over next five years, as he had already stated china invested on South Africa during BRICS Summit.  

He carried on saying, “despite some achievements in recent years, in the past decade South Africa and its economy have been largely damaged by some of poor economic decision-making that is continuing even now and mismanagement in key policy areas affecting the economy. The failure of National Development Plan, state capture as a ‘weapon of mass corruption’, weakening of key institutions like NPA and other economic costs of a ‘lost decade’ is that in recent years economic growth has gradually drifted into a ‘low growth trap’.

The increasing number of people has made South Africa poorer because the youth is unemployed. Professor Parsons said that according to the National Treasury Stats SA from 2007 to 2018 GDP, Investment Ratio, Unemployment, Public Debt to GDP and Credit rating had been massively decreasing and that the credit rating was stable but in 2018 it went to Junk Status.

Professor Parsons also stated that South Africa’s economy in 2018 had been recovering rapidly from a financial crisis after so many scandals. He also mentioned that there were other glitches such as cost of delivery and performance failures, key state-owned enterprises like Eskom, the finance mismanagement, load shedding and excessive electricity tariffs. He carried on saying that the perception of South Africa in a global context was no longer regarded as ‘special’ because its ranking indicators were decreasing from 2017.

He said in his conclusion,“In a nutshell, it can no longer be business as usual in South Africa because a strong anti-business sentiment has developed -not only in South Africa- for various reasons, including recent bad corporate behavior and financial scandals like junk status and state capture”. He also added that markets and business needed political support, yet their very functioning often eroded that support. “Therefore business needs to take long term view of its commitment to the South African economy.  We need to urgently promote what might be called inclusive capitalism by giving many people in South Africa a much bigger stake in the economy to uphold and defend, whether it is land or job”, he said in closing.

Diversity is still taking place at Nelson Mandela University

By Simamkele Mazondwa

Port Elizabeth- As part of celebration of international diversity, Nelson Mandela University hosted a special gathering called Indian day to form part of diversity week that takes place within the university annually.

According to the organizers of the event the main purpose of the gathering was to provide information about the Indian culture and different activities about India.

“The preparations going towards this event have been good, we worked closely with students who are from India but studying within the university, they helped us get information about their culture”, said event organizer Janine Wagenaar.

“We select five different cultural days every year, our main goal is to educate people about not only Indian culture but other cultures as well. It is very important that we educate one another about our cultures, that is what diversity is about”, Wagenaar added.

Another important element aspect of this event was the presence of Indian food and people who sell some of these foods. One of those local business woman was Roselle Naaidoo, 54, who mentioned that they survived by selling Indian food in the streets.

“We appreciate this opportunity because we are always selling food in the streets. This is an opportunity for us to showcase our food. As a result of this event, there is a guy from Germany who approached me because of my tasty spices, he wants to use them for his business, we exchanged contacts,” Naaidoo said.

This day also included music and artists, one of them was Mahesh Narotam who plays piano whom students enjoyed his music during this event.

Nelson Mandela Bench becomes a selfie hot spot at NMU

By: Charmaine Blose

Port Elizabeth- All you hear is “take a picture of me chomee!!” then click , click flash as selfies are being taken. The Nelson Mandela University library entrance at South Campus has become a place of selfies for students, staff and visitors thanks to the newly erected bench of Nelson Mandela.

The bench depicts Mandela as a statue sitting with a book in his hand. This stunning piece of art was unveiled on Africa Day, May 25th at the Nelson Mandela University, which then formed part of the university’s centenary celebration.

The bench also forms part of the institution as well as a bigger public art programme that seeks to populate public spaces. The university launched this master piece in honour of the late, great tata uMadiba and his values on education. Following the gazetting and launch of the new Nelson Mandela name, which was a convenience to rethink its make-up and align NMU as a vital African University. A requirement to boost the level of institutional apprehension was recognised. Surprisingly, this public artwork piece has become a favourite place for students to take pictures, including visitors to the university who are there for personal and business related reasons.

The students take turns sitting next to the statue of the late great giant, which almost makes them feel and react as if it is the real person, rather than the statue that it is. Mr Michael Barry of the university’s department of Arts, Culture and Heritage said that the important aspect of visual arts in public spaces on campus was regularly unnoticed and not well understood. “The bias for the visual arts to be viewed as senseless and possibly less important compared to other projects happening at a university’s academic community is a direction that is viewed across different stages of educational systems”, he concluded.

Another public space art which also proved to be popular with students and visitors was the Mandela Shirt, just outside the university’s entrance close to the South Campus auditorium.

Tops Wine Show

By: Zenani Mhlongo

Port Elizabeth – Thursday 26 July marked the day of the Tops Wine Show at the Boardwalk Convention Centre and Madibaz Radio had the privilege of being part of the prestigious event.

The event lasted for a full four hours from 17:00 until 21:00 pm with tons of great wine and food stalls that each had amazing products to show off.

On entrance, each guest was given a glass coupon and could then taste any wine of their choice. They were also given the option to buy their desired bottle of wine after they had tasted and gained a liking for it.

When we spoke to the guests who were there, they all shared a similar sense of excitement and enjoyment. They spoke highly of the event and also mentioned that they loved the fact that there was a big variety of drinks, not only focusing on wine but on brandy and sherry too. One of the guests that we spoke to explained that it was her first time at a wine tasting event and she enjoyed every minute of it! She also told us how exciting it was tasting different types of wine and learning more about what she drank. “It’s amazing because I drink so much wine, but I never knew where it came from or how it was even made. This experience showed me a different side to all wine and now I feel [like] I know a lot more than I did when I walked in here”, she concluded.

The representatives of Madibaz Radio visited every single stall and were very intrigued. All of the stalls were amazing and were very informative. Each stall knew their products very well and were able to answer every question thrown their way. The two stalls that we were most fond of were: Blaawklippen and Douglas Green.

  • Blaawklippen:

According to their website, Blaawklippen is one of South Africa’s oldest wine estates and produce award-winning wine. They don’t only focus on wine, but also make brandy, gin, bubbly and a whole range of other popular beverages. On the day of the wine show however, they only brought their brandy collection, which was the main reason why they stood out among the rest.

The reason we were so intrigued by this stall was because of their presentation and of course, the great taste of their brandy. We spoke to a gentleman named Fanie Fourie who explained everything to us in detail; mainly how the brandy was made and why it had such a different taste. We tasted the normal one and another sweet dessert one. To find more information about Blaawklippen, you can visit their page (https://www.blaauwklippen.com/) and their social media pages (@Blaawklippen).

  • Douglas Green:

Douglas Green is a winery from the Western Cape but also makes various sherry. They came to the tasting with their sherry which was made all the way from Spain. They had a cream, medium dry and pale cream sherry which tasted amazing. “Their sherry had a unique taste; it wasn’t too sweet and was very smooth. I’ve always been skeptical of drinking sherry, but this made me strongly reconsider”, said Triss Msabane, Madibaz Radio photographer.

Their website address is http://www.douglasgreenwines.com/our-sherry/ for more information.

Overall, the experience was sublime and extremely informative. Everyone who attended left with a couple of bought bottles and a better understanding of their favorite drinks, and were more than willing to go back the next evening since the tasting went on for three days.

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LAW DAY 2018

By: Charmaine Blose

Port Elizabeth- #Slay in Your Lane was a hashtag used to catch the attention of Nelson Mandela University Students’ 2018 Careers fair. The Accounting & Law Day was held on 02 August in Building 35, South Campus between 09h00am to 15h00pm.

The Nelson Mandela University had a chance to create a platform for students’ interaction with company representatives and get their contact details, get information on how to  apply, make a good impression, learn about other accounting and law firms where their current skills sets were in demand and to compare companies, network and make contacts. There were many different companies at the Day who were hoping to talk to students about their firms. Companies participating on the Day included Auditor-General of South Africa, Bowman’s , Deloitte, Ernst Young, Incorporated, Fasken, Moore Stephens, SAIPA some of the few law and accounting firms of over 23.

What was even more interesting was a presentation by a company called Fasken which is an international Law firm, based in Canada but the company’s African office is based in Sandton, Johannesburg. Fasken Law firm has a Lundi Gadla bursary which was named after a partner who was a former Nelson Mandela University student who tragically passed away in a car crash. As a result, in his honour this bursary has been opened. Now the bursary is ONLY applicable to Nelson Mandela University students. The firm will also go to the school Lundi Gadla went to as a child, known as Masibambisane combined primary school where the firm will make donations to them. Faskin has various opportunities to law students from universities in South Africa such as bursaries, vacation work programmes, articles and so on.

An online dictionary describes a career fair as an event in which employers or company representatives recruiters give job related information to potential employees, and it  usually takes place in universities. What to expect at career fairs from a careers fair Day?Career fairs are usually packed with information, these regular events attempt an exclusive opportunity to make connections with employers and bring your future to a focal point. PWC is a professional services firm and global leader, recruiting Nelson Mandela University graduates from both Accounting and Information Technology disciplines. PWC coaches and encourage their recruits to develop in Audit, Tax, and Advisory service lines. Required qualifications are BCom C3, BCom Honours Accounting.

Students should visit a Career Day to see what is being offered and how to network. Careers fair focus on an assortment of industries and many of the companies head hunt graduates/undergraduate studying a huge range of subjects. Most universities have their own career Day which is represented by employers. These companies hand out contact information, business cards, booklets and offer advice about their services. Also, what their firms are about in terms of employment.

 A pre-recorded question and answer interview with Ronel Rizzo senior Manager at Graduate &Student Placement:

Q: How did the fair start and what the thinking behind it?

A: General career fair started in 2008 with 70 companies in attendance. The idea was to give both student and employers a platform. To engage face to face also allowing companies, to display their brand as an employer of choice.

Q:Who is  it targeted at ?

A: All current and past students it encourages students to build their portfolios of evidence from early as first year

Q:What has changed over the years about the event

A: In 2009, in request of accounting and law firms. They hosted their first accounting and Law Day, similarly they also hosted the computers and IT fair a few years later.

Q:Is there a specific theme each year?

A: yes, it depends on current trends and this year its #Slay in your own lane

Q: What are you hoping to achieve with this

A: job opportunities for the students building and maintaining strong relationships with the stakeholders

Q: How do you measure success of each event ?

A:They survey the experience of the exhibitors and students plus changing strategies as and where needed

Q:What has been some of the highlights:

A:Witnessing the alumni as come back as employers of choice. Thus, setting an example to current students and making the experience more realistic. NMU awards 5 to 10 years certificates for consistent attendance
For students  who have already determined on a career path, there is a myriad of specialist careers event Day specifically Accounting and Law from firms seeking lawyers, financial advisers, and accountants etc. The main advantage attending  is the opportunity to meet and talk to recruiters. Companies usually assign a blend of representatives such as HR Reps, HR Clerks and trained members of staff and recent recruits. Bigger careers fairs often involve a CV clinic run by HR professionals. Getting involved can give you beneficial information and tips to help you get a head start in terms of graduate placements and internships including permanent employment.

Connect. Engage. Inform