Career guidance held at Avenues Independent School

Police, doctors, geologists, mechanics, photographers and other professionals excited and inspired learners at Avenues Independent School when Boys and Girls Youth Africa (BGYA) hosted a career guidance on the school’s civic day, 6 September 2019. Avenues Independent is a private school located in Cosmo City’s extension 6.

Professionals can play a huge role to inspire students, the school Principal Danford Chidangwara said during the event.

“When students get inspired by professionals,” he said, “they will focus more on their areas of specialization. The moment students get to know what it takes to be a certain professional, they will become more confident in their studies. Therefore, it is crucial to have career guidance. It will also increase the pass rate of the school.”

Avenues Independent School hosts career guidance every year, Chidangwara said. “It is always an eye opener to students,” he added. “I think all schools in our community should always take note of the importance of career guidance and have it on a regular basis. I would like to thank all the professionals who came to inspire our students. I hope they will do the same in other schools to uplift our community.”

It is necessary to have a picture of what you want to be in future, said a grade 10 student Steve Gondo. “I learnt that you need to have a vision in order to become what you want to be,” he said. “I enjoyed listening to the people who are already in the industry, and I was inspired.”

Students need to know the relevant subjects required to pursue their dreams, said mechanical engineer professional Petros Malemane.

“Motivating learners helps them prepare and achieve their goals,” he said. “Our aim is to give them something positive to look forward to, after finishing matric.”

Local schools compete in public speaking

“Our aim is to equip learners with communication skills,” said Bridget Phiri the founder of Lady Daughter House (LDH) an organisation that  equips high school students to excel public speaking.

She spoke during a public speaking competition held at Kwena Molapo Secondary school in Lanseria on 30 August 2019. Kwena Molapo Secondary School hosted Meridiaan Cosmo High, Diepsloot Secondary 3 and Diepsloot Combined School during the competition. Meridian Cosmo High won the competition.

“Public speaking enables students to be good communicators,” Phiri added. “Communication is very important everywhere people go. If you do not master communication skills at an early age you will not be able to present yourself.  Public speaking definitely helps you master communication skills.”

  Phiri is a former student at Kwena Molapo Secondary School who was one of the best Matrics learners in 2013.

Public speaking is essential but overlooked sometimes, said Michael Maligana, the headmaster at Kwena Molapo secondary School.

“I am very proud of what Bridget is doing to uplift students,” Maligana said. “All these prominent outspoken people that we see on televisions started at school. That shows the power of being involved in public speaking in school.”

Actively speaking about technological advancement during the competition shows that the students understand the era we are living in, said Maligana.

“It is very important for young students to understand the fourth industrial revolution. This will help them choose their careers wisely because technological advancement has affected many job opportunities.”

Maligana said when students embrace public speaking, they are going to learn a lot and improve their academic performance.

#ISurvived: A movement to give women hope

“After surviving a lone battle with cancer, I was shot in my neck during an attempted carjacking, but still I survived,” said Refilwe Sedumedi the founder of Sedumedi Hope Foundation, speaking during the #ISurvived event held in Diepsloot’s extension 2 on 31 August 2019.

Motivational speakers attended the event alongside community members. Sedumedi created the event to encourage women not to give up when they face challenges.

“The #ISurvived event was not all about me,” she said. “It was about different women who went through so much pain, but still survived. In most cases, women tend to give up when they go through painful experiences.” 

Sedumedi said she saw it necessary to invite people to listen to women who have survived trials and tribulations in life.

“We strive to stand together as women and give hope to younger ones,” Sedumedi said. “Women are powerful and unique. We have to stop hating each other. If women are fine, everyone will be fine in the communities.”

It is okay to go through trials and it's time we celebrate our flaws instead of running away from them, she said.

“It's time we embrace these struggles because they shape who we become. The event was also meant to encourage women to talk about these struggles. By so doing they are helping somebody who might be having the same problem.”

 'It was emotional at some points because of the challenges that some ladies faced,” said Gomolemo Sedumedi, who attended the event. “These women used their faith and hope to go through those challenges. I was touched by the speakers when they spoke about how God is alive. They realised that it is not by their power, but by the grace of God that they survived.”

“The speakers were phenomenal and the stories shared were diverse with a common purpose of surviving their different struggles, she said”. “There were more than enough tear jerking moments. It was all for a worthy cause. And I hope and pray that the 2nd session next year will be bigger as I believe that each person in the Diepsloot community deserves to listen to the testimonies in order to reflect on her life.”

During the course of the event, women cried, laughed, learned, got motivated and transformed, Sedumedi said.

“I believe it brought back hope in people's lives in a very unique way,” she added. “I am glad that everyone gave love to a young lady, Nwabisa Ndloloti, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer going through Chemotherapy treatment.”

Bright future ahead for young female scientist

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

As the country celebrates Women's Month, a young female scientist from the Department of Water and Sanitation has secured a Doctoral Scholarship to study at the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation at the University of Twente in Netherlands.

Mbali Mahlayeye will be jetting off to Netherlands in September. This comes just months after her return from the Netherlands where she participated in an information sharing programme organised by the Dutch Government to showcase the Dutch expertise on drinking water and waste water.

Mahlayeye, a Remote Sensing Scientist holds an Honours in Geology and Master of Science in Geo-informatics degrees from the University of Pretoria. 

Her Doctoral studies will focus on developing methods and algorithms that will aim at bridging the technological gaps that exist in the agricultural sector of acquiring information for decision-making using remote sensing.

“The subject matter of my PhD is very close to my heart as it will focus on food security, monitoring agricultural lands and crops using earth observations,” Mahlayeye said.

The 29-year-old joined the department four years ago as a graduate trainee and has since acquired the knowledge and expertise in the fields of geography, geosciences and related branches of science and engineering.

“My time with the department has been an absolute learning curve. I was involved in projects that addressed drought, forestry and agricultural matters. I was also afforded an opportunity to interact with young minds from developing countries in the Netherlands in a Dutch Visitors Programme on water and sanitation issues in March this year,” Mahlayeye said.

Women deserve equal opportunities as men

She noted that her scholarship with the University of Twente comes at an opportune time as South Africa commemorates Women’s Month.

“I am a feminist at heart and I believe women deserve equal opportunities as men. This opportunity, more than anything, symbolizes how far we have come as women and what we are capable of achieving,” Mahlayeye said.

As much as she is excited to pursue her studies overseas, Mahlayeye said she is going to miss her family in South Africa. 

“When I received the approval of the scholarship, I could not believe it. I had to pinch myself several times just to ascertain myself of the reality. I will be emigrating to Netherlands for four years and I understand that this will not be without challenges, but I am comforted by the love and support I am receiving from my family and friends,” she said. – 

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