Celebrating Dynamic Women.

By Khomotso Skosana Nobantu Ndlovu is a Nelson Mandela University student studying Information Technology majoring in Software Development. The Durban-raised entrepreneur runs a business, Sturcob Connect which focuses on graphic design and marketing. She is definitely worth knowing more about.

Q: Tell us about yourself and what you are studying.

A: I was born and raised in Durban, KZN. Growing up I was fascinated by technology, art, and entrepreneurship which is why I study IT majoring in Software Development.

Q: What businesses you are involved in?

A: I run a business called Sturcob Connect which specializes in graphic design and marketing.

Q: What motivates you?

A: My future self is my biggest motivation. Imagining how far I’ll be, the goals I’d have achieved and the lives I would have changed gets me excited and motivates me to keep going and never give up on my goals.

Q: Being a student and an entrepreneur at the same time can be a bit challenging, how do spread your time evenly between the two?

A: In my first year of being a student entrepreneur I faced some difficulties especially when the business started growing and the business got more clients. I have since then learnt how to manage my time efficiently, I now have a notebook that is 9/10 times with me and I use it to list down any upcoming academic and business related events and deadlines, I compile a to-do list every day in accordance with events that are of top priority, and I utilise my phone alarm to notify me to move on to the next item on my to-do list.

Q: Who would you say inspires you?

A: My mother inspires me because she is the quintessential of superwoman in my eyes. She is very encouraging; she is the reason I am able to think and pursue my dreams so freely because she supports me 100% of the time, I get really inspired when I am with her or when I think of her because of her everlasting happiness and wisdom.

Q: What advice would give young females trying to embark on the same entrepreneurial journey?

· To stay true to themselves at all times, be respectful to others and feed their minds with healthy and rich content that will help them become more knowledgeable and skilled.

· Make YouTube and blogs their friends, there is a lot of free knowledge from experts from all over the globe- you don’t really need any formal education to start a new skill, start with what you have.

· Always do better than you did yesterday.

Celebrating Dynamic Women.

By Khomotso Skosana

Jameelah Dolley is a 26-year-old student engineering graduate and currently studying advanced diploma in TVET. Jameelah is a founder of Dolley Karate Club in Kariega and content creator for YOU/ME poetry. Get to know more about Jameelah.

Q: Tell us about yourself and what are you studying?

A: My name is Jameelah Dolley, I’m a 26-year-old engineering graduate and currently doing my Advanced Diploma in TVET and I have also applied for BED Honours Mathematics in 2022 at NMU. I am currently working part-time for NMU in the SEED Mentorship programme. I have competed in both national and international competitions where I have represented South Africa. I have a 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan karate, that’s how I qualified to open my club as an international instructor.

Q: What motivates you?

A: The biggest motivation in my life is my family undoubtedly, to give my parents back all the opportunities they have given me. I am also a huge advocate for my own mental health, my happiness is vital, and I try to constantly motivate myself to do what makes me happy and in that I have found my passion in life.

Q: Being a student and an entrepreneur at the same time can be a bit challenging, how do spread your time evenly between the two?

A: The most important part about being a student entrepreneur is scheduling, daily, weekly, and monthly calendar planners are very important. I ensure that the times of my business do not coincide with the days I have tests, exams, or assignment due dates. Once the weekday ends, I look back at my business and my studies and reflect on whether the time allocation was effective or if I was neglectful and if so, the planner is readjusted.

Q: Who would you say inspires you?

A: I am a God loving person, I am always inspired by the teachings of my religion. Although I am human, so I am inspired by my parents most, they have always created an environment where education is equally as important as stability. They encouraged me to become an entrepreneur so that if future prospects take longer to reach me then I have an income to rely on.

Q: What advice would give young females trying to embark on the same entrepreneurial journey?

A: The most difficult step is taking the step. We as women are the future of our nations and we hold the potential to create entrepreneurial ventures that can not only make us successful but create environments and companies that represent a gender freed nation for future generations to not be afraid of male domination in the business world. The most important thing to remember is that no one will believe in your dream or idea until you believe in them wholeheartedly. It starts within you.

Games experience lights a spark for Madibaz trio

Despite tough challenges, South Africa’s Madibaz water polo contingent returned from the recent Olympic Games stimulated by the experience of competing at the highest level.

Delaine Mentoor, who received plaudits as the only female head coach at the Games, and players Meghan Maartens and Ashleigh Vaughan were part of the country’s first women’s water polo team at what is arguably world sport’s most iconic event.

On their return the trio agreed that the exposure they received would be hugely beneficial for water polo in SA.

Mentoor described it as the “experience of a lifetime”.

“It’s very difficult to put into words, but the challenge, as tough as it was, was all worth it,” she said.

“To compete against the best in the world and to be part of the first women’s team to represent the African continent in water polo at the Olympics is just incredible.

“The lessons we took from this event were invaluable.”

She added that the team’s goal was to grow better with each game.

“That was achieved and defensively we got better, which showed in our last match when we limited the Australians, with great goalkeeping from Meghan, who had the game of her life.

“We learnt that we needed to work on our attack and, with the current group of ladies and the national programme, we can achieve that.

“Players like Ashleigh [Vaughan] showed that we can put the ball in the back of the net past some of the best goalkeepers in the world.”

Mentoor felt the exposure would help them develop the game at all levels.

“It excites me so much and I cannot wait to share the knowledge and experience I have gained to grow the programme at our club and obviously in the country.

“The contacts and opportunities we have following the Games are massive and I look forward to the road ahead.”

Mentoor is now focused on the Junior World Championships (U20) in Israel this October.

For Maartens, the Olympics experience still hasn’t fully sunk in and she said her memories would last a lifetime.

“The only words to describe this experience are ‘amazing’ and ‘beautiful’,” she said.

“The wow factor was walking among all these athletes who work so hard to get where they are. And it was so crazy to think that we were there too.

“Mixing with so many famous people was fantastic – everywhere you looked someone was taking a photo with someone else.”

She acknowledged the challenging nature of the competition, which taught her more about her game.

“I have walked away with a lot of experience and knowledge, and with a different understanding of certain situations.

“The best memory in the pool was the Australia game. We didn’t win, but against one of the powerhouses of the world in our hearts it felt like we had won.”

Australia won 14-1 but only had the measure of their opponents in the second quarter when they netted six times in response to a single goal by Vaughan.

Maartens said the Games had motivated her to never give up on her dreams.

“I’m excited to start training hard again when I get back and I’m more motivated than ever.”

Vaughan, who said scoring the first goal for her country at the Games was a personal highlight, also acknowledged the privilege of seeing some of the world’s best sportsmen and women in action.

“What an amazing experience it was,” she said. “The hard work put into the Games and sacrifices people had to make to compete; it was really fantastic to see athletes performing at their peak.

“The main thing I learnt is that there is no room for error. There’s a lot we have to work on as a team and I feel there is always room for improvement.

“We have set a standard and now it’s all hard work to better this standard and continually improve.”

New Madibaz captain relishes Varsity Netball adventure

New SPAR Madibaz captain Mothira Mohammad is relishing the opportunity she has been given of leading the team in the forthcoming Varsity Netball tournament.

This year’s edition will be played in Stellenbosch at the Coetzenburg Indoor Centre from August 21 to 30.

The 22-year-old Mohammad, who grew up in Humansdorp and still lives there, takes over the leadership role from the long-serving Jeanie Steyn, who is no longer eligible for the competition.

She knows there are some tough battles ahead against some of the best players in the country, but she and her teammates are ready to embrace the opportunity.

“It is a great privilege for me to be part of the SPAR Madibaz Netball Club and to be appointed captain of the team,” said Mohammad.

“I see it as a new challenge but I believe that with the support of my team it is going to be an exciting adventure for us.”

She added that she was fortunate to still have Steyn in the mix as someone she could speak to about her role in the team.

“Jeanie has definitely helped me to prepare for the tournament,” she said.

“I still ask for her advice as I value her opinion, both as a netball player and as a person. I appreciate all the guidance she has given me in this new role.”

Mohammad, who attended Stulting Primary School in Humansdorp and Brandwag High School in Uitenhage, said netball had been part of her life since a young age.

“My mom used to play netball in her younger days, up until her thirties, so it has always been one of the sports in our family,” she said.

“I can remember starting to play the game in Grade 1 and it has become a huge passion for me.”

Mohammad, who plays wing attack and goal attack, has been part of the Madibaz elite squad for four years.

She will be competing in her second Varsity Netball campaign this month, continuing a pattern of receiving recognition in the sport.

“The highlight of my career was in 2017 when I was selected by Netball South Africa to take part in a development programme,” said Mohammad, who played for the Eastern Cape provincial teams from U12 to U18 and for the Nelson Mandela Bay U21s two years ago.

She recognises the roles that a number of people have had in her development as an elite player.

“Firstly, Madibaz coach Lana Krige has always believed in me. I have progressed at the varsity from sitting on the bench to now playing in the team.

“She has helped me to grow as a netball player through her amazing coaching skills, but also because of the caring attitude she has towards all her players.

“And then there is the support I have received from my mother, who gave me the determination to work hard to get to where I am today.

“Last but not least, my gratitude goes to the SPAR Madibaz Netball Club and our manager Melinda Goosen for giving me access to high-performance facilities.”

THE FALL OF A RISING STAR

BY LONA GEBU

Happiness can turn into sadness while tears of joy turn into tears of heartbreak.

The phrase that says we do not know what tomorrow holds should be taken into consideration in each day of our lives. On the 5th of March 2020, when the first case of Covid-19 was recorded in South Africa we never thought it will turn our lives upside down. I am one of the covid-19 pandemic victims. The Covid-19 pandemic became a thorn in my life. It took me from a rising heroine to zero.

As someone who grew up in rural areas, I had a vision of how my graduation day would be like. I wanted my family to travel the 8hour drive from Ntabankulu to Port Elizabeth to celebrate my success with me, but the Covid-19 pandemic had other plans. I did not graduate nor have virtual graduation, I received my certificate through a courier.

In 2020, I was finally done with school I looked forward to being in the workplace and make money to provide for my family. I got a job offer that did not last long because covid-19 became part of us. Lockdown was introduced and companies had to close. Unfortunately, the company runs out of funds and there was no hope for it to reopen again. I lost my job and became part of the South African youth unemployment rate which is currently at 32.6% according to Stats SA.

It’s been a year and a couple of months since the first case of the Coronavirus in South Africa and we are slowly approaching 3rd wave. So, it’s clear that covid-19 will always be part of us we only need to plan our lives around it. Covid-19 became a thorn that will never be taken out.

The effects of COVID-19 By Simamkele Ngcingolo

My name is Simamkele Ngcingolo a young man from the dusty streets of Uitenhage, Eastern Cape. I feel obliged to share with you my story of how covid 19 has affected me & my life.

It is fair to say that the disease came out of nowhere & it caught everyone by surprise as no one was prepared for it. When the stories from China first broke out we were still oblivious, questioning whether the virus is real or not until months later it hit home, yes the virus was within our borders and before we knew it we were under strict lockdown, level 5. So strict that soldiers from the South African army were deployed to keep people from leaving their homes something we would only imagine happening in a movie was our reality.

As we were experiencing the strict lockdown everything was shutdown from sport to soapies to schools & businesses even kissing & hugging was ‘a thing of the past’. It was during this time that I started questioning everything I had been doing since I was a young boy. I had so much time to think deep about life as I was aided by the fact that everything was on standstill, literally no distractions.

I was the guy who would sleep at 02:00 am and wake up at 12:00 pm just to eat and then go back to bed to take a nap again after eating and then stay on my phone the whole day. I did this routine for about 2 weeks until I decide to change my ways and try waking up earlier. It was a long and hard battle but eventually I went from waking up at 12pm to 10am to 8am and currently a year later I can proudly say I am able to wake up at 06:30am regardless whether I have commitments or not. I wake up and catch the sunrise, something so beautiful that I had been overlooking my entire life. Watching the sunrise increases my energy levels and gives me the boost I need to attack each day with positivity.

As the country was being opened up again & the restrictions were being loosened I started a new adventure with jogging just to take my mind off things little did I know jogging would become a huge part of my life as I am still at it today since July 2020, some months are better than others in terms of consistency but it is something that brings joy to my soul. The jogging eventually led to me eating healthier and helped me get stronger both physically and mentally.

The jogging alone wasn’t enough anymore I still wanted to become a better person that’s when I started reading. One of the first books I read was ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma a very interesting read that reminded me about who I am & gave me life lessons. It is one book I would recommend for everyone of all ages.

The irony in all of this is that as we were told to stay indoors I came out, the real me. Everything I am doing now from gym to reading is everything I did as a young boy. As much as 2020 was a bad year because of the many lives lost I am grateful because I found myself and I found purpose. There is still more to come, I am still searching for nirvana this is just the beginning of my story. I mean if the potential of a seed is a forest then how much more the potential of a human being?

Help Make Someone’s Winter a Little Warmer!

By Laiken Faiers

Winter is upon us. This means that most of us will spend our days safely tucked away from the cold under our warm duvets, electric blankets and maybe even camping in front of heaters or the fireplace. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky to have access to something as simple as a blanket – but you can help change this.

You can help make someone’s winter a little warmer by donating blankets or making a monetary donation. The Storehouse Church in Lorraine is currently hosting a winter blanket drive, and all donations acquired will be distributed between the different charities that the church is in connection with.

You can drop off new, or cleaned second-blankets at the church venue, 36 Vitry Avenue in Lorraine, Gqeberha, between 08h30 and 16h30 between Tuesdays and Fridays.

If you would prefer to make a financial contribution, please be sure to reference the donation as ‘Blankets’. The banking details are as follows:

Bank: ABSA

Branch: 632005

Account Number: 1008101198

Type: Current

Name: NCF

As of yet there is not a cut-off date for donations.

No matter how big or small the donation it will be greatly appreciated. In Vincent Van Gogh words “great things are done by a series of small things brought together”. Together we can help make Winter a warmer time for everyone in Gqeberha.

Buckle up, Winter is here!

By Tsireledzo Musecho

Winter has finally arrived, and it brought along its wrath! This winter season seem to be the coldest one yet, and for students, it seems to be ten times worse whilst studying and participating in classes. Here are some tips on how to keep warm in these cold fronts:

1. Hot water bottles:

What is winter without a hot water bottle to cuddle up with? Hot water bottles are great for people who easily catch flu, to keep themselves warm during the night. However, it is best to fill up the bottle with warm water instead of boiling water to prevent the bottle from tearing and risking burns.

2. Warm PJ’s:

With its proximity to the ocean, the city of Gqeberha is known to get very cold. With these cold winter chills, it is amazing what a pair of socks and a warm sleeping onesie or a woollen pair of pyjamas can offer.

3. A cup of tea can do some magic.

With busy schedules and early mornings, coffee has become the number one go to morning drink for keeping away in the morning. However, caffeine has been known to be very bad for one’s health. A cup of warm tea before bed not only warms you up, but it also helps you sleep better so you wake up feeling fresh and ready to face the day.

Winter days are rough. But, with the right approach, winter can be an easy breeze (excuse the pun) to get through. Warm up and enjoy your winter seasons.

Does science kill God?

by Sanele Thwala.

The link between science and religion has long been a provocative subject in our society, with accusations that science rejects God’s existence. It is important to reason whether science reject God and if these two disciplines are enemies, as most people believe.

Marcelo Gleiser, an award-winning theoretical physicist who specializes in cosmology and is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy, has dedicated his career to proving that religion and science are not mutually exclusive. Despite the fact that he does not believe in God, but he refuses to rule out the possibility of God’s existence entirely.

The subject of culture, religion, spirituality, and atheism has inspired a lot of debate, resulting in a lot of judgments, leaving a lot of people confused, and even involving science into it. To help clarify the terms, Firstly, culture is essentially a way of life. Secondly, Religion is a system of faith that is socially created and has been accepted by the society as a valid way of worshiping God. As a result, there are several ways of worshiping God constructed by the society, and they are in some way influenced by people’s cultural beliefs. Thirdly, Spirituality is a broad feeling of connection with something greater than us through the human spirit or soul rather than via physical means. Lastly, Atheism is the conviction that God does not exist., It is a categorical denial of the existence of a superior entity.

In this day and age, it is essential to note, that there are people who do not reject the presence of God but are not religious, and who have been chastised because society believes that a person must adhere to a set of beliefs. If it is not God, it implies that a person believes in God’s opponent, and humans are not allowed to remain neutral. Nevertheless, God is more than a religion and refusing to identify as a member of a specific religious organization does not imply that a person does not believe in God. Everyone is spiritual, even if they are not religious. Religion provides people with a sense of belonging and community in addition to merely believing in God. The concept of religion and spirituality, on the other hand, is more centered on the western perspective and the African understanding to religion and spirituality appears to have been undercut by historical writings or have been rendered unrecognizable.

Atheism is incompatible with scientific approach, according to Marcelo. Spiritual individuals, interestingly, utilize prayer as a direct line of communication with God. So, it is the communication of two spirits with no intermediary person involved Whereas, Religious individuals, on the other hand, utilize prayer to interact with the supreme being, but through an intermediary known as a Prophet or a God’s messenger. The commonality in this procedure is the connection or communication of spirits through prayer. God is manifested as a spirit hence, there is a spiritual process of connecting with God. That is to say, you are a spiritual being before you are religious. Therefore, the notion of invalidating the possibility of God’s existence entirely is not admissible. The physicist is interested in making difficult things understandable. Among the topics on which he has written on includes climate change, Einstein, storms, black holes, and the human conscience, exploring the connections between science and the humanities, including philosophy.

Marcelo claimed that the narrative of the creation of the planet is the first thing you will find in the Bible, and that everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, is inquisitive about how life began. As a result, while science and religion have a shared common interest, they provide quite different answers. Science pursues a method that eliminates preconceptions, whereas religion does not. He went on to say that science may give answers to a certain degree, and many people depict science as the enemy because they believe in an outmoded perspective of science and religion in which all scientists want to prove God does not exist.

“There is limit to science, it cannot answer everything beyond human understanding. If science is unable to address ultimate questions, we must seek answers elsewhere. That is not meant to be a criticism of science. It is just understanding and accepting its limitations, rather than pressuring it to respond to concerns that are beyond of its scope.” Says Physicist Marcelo

The scientific approach does not apply to the issue of God. As a result, science has nothing legitimate to say about religion in one sense. Science simply cannot answer the question of God’s apparent superintendence over nature using scientific methods purely because scientists cannot confirm or reject it since they cannot remark on it. He further claimed that scientists who come make remarks without comprehending the significance of belief systems in our society are exceedingly arrogant.

18 July – International Black Leaders Awareness Day

By Somila Tiwani

18 July is well-known as Nelson Mandela’s birth date. It is no coincidence that we globally celebrate Black Leaders the same day. Nelson Mandela can be considered the greatest leader to have existed by far, not only for South Africans but internationally as well.

Each year on 18 July , South Africans and the rest of the world commemorate the late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and international icon. Whereas, International Black Leaders Awareness Day (18 July) is an intriguing and inspiring annual initiative to keep the pace going in the fight for black inclusion and the creation of an anti-racist culture. Through skills and information, Black Leaders Awareness Day enhances knowledge and raises awareness, allowing individuals and organisations to make stronger advances towards Black inclusivity.

Nelson Mandela has paved the way for Black Leaders. He was able to impact and unite activists towards his beliefs, because of his convictions and attitude. This activist made it his life’s mission to eradicate racism and fight for black inclusion. As we celebrate his birthday, we ought to celebrate him as the greatest black leader this International Black Leaders Awareness Day.

One of the potential black leaders in South Africa is DJ Sbu (Sibusiso Leope), the founder of MoFaya Energy Drink. DJ Sbu founded the brand in 2015 with his two other business partners. MoFaya is a representation of authentic African energy and quality; empowering the hustle that has become synonymous with MoFaya. The energy drink is entirely owned by black people who are passionate about entrepreneurship and youth empowerment.

DJ Sbu has proven to be a black leader as he has always empowered the youth through education and entrepreneurship. His brand is growing by the year.

Today, black leaders in politics have let us down. The covid-19 pandemic has exposed our South African leaders as greedy and corrupt. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pledge to fight corruption is undermined by reality, as the ruling party, in its various factions continue to seek power, avoid jail and keep grasping at the levers of theft. But the stakes were never higher than this, therefore we cannot resist applying pressure.