CPUT opens doors for alumnus


Patrick Shingu, who obtained his BTech degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2012 from CPUT is grateful to the university for equipping him with the necessary skills to do his job.

Shingu is working as a Test Engineer at Volvo in Gothenburg, Sweden after he received a scholarship to study in Sweden where he obtained an MSc degree in Applied Mechanics at the University of Skövde in 2014.

“I am always thankful for the knowledge I acquired at CPUT and I have to say that it was a bit of challenge when I came here but through hard work I managed to complete my MSc in record time,”

He adds that CPUT gave him the skills necessary to solve engineering problems, to work both as an individual and in a team, to gather data and write an engineering report.

“Many of my subjects are tied up with my daily work, I use a bit of thermodynamics, mechanics of machines and strength of material and communication skills when it comes to performing tests and analysing the results and writing engineering reports.”

He says that despite it taking him some time he has adjusted to Swedish life where the cost of living is almost three times more than in South Africa.

“The weather does not do anyone any favours especially in winter where it gets darker around 15H00 while in summer at 22H00. The worst is if you live in the north part of the country.”

He adds that he enjoys the fact that employers tend to focus on their employees’ well-being.

“Employers do allocate a certain amount of funds in healthy activities like gym, swimming, massage, dancing etc,”

He advises students who want to succeed in Sweden to learn some Swedish since it would make it easier for them to integrate into that society, even though most Swedes speak good English.

“From my personal experience, I can advise those who are interested in applying for the Swedish scholarship to spend time working as tutors, part time lecturers and other extra curricular activities.”


District Six remembered


A new documentary film about District Six is helping to raise awareness among students of the painful history of the area.

While CPUT’s Cape Town Campus was built on District Six land, many students don’t know its history and Cape Town filmmaker and journalist Yazeed Kamaldien set out to change this.

“This is an area well-known for apartheid era forced removals but young students do not know the story of the land where they are walking, studying and in some cases living as there are campus residences in the area, says Kamaldien, who is also a CPUT alumnus.

He initiated the documentary film project called This Was Our Home. The final product is 18 minutes long and consists of a series of short clips.

“The aim was to get former residents to walk around on the campus and talk about what was there before. I wanted to create a site specific intervention as opposed to forcing students to watch the videos.”

The launch screening was held on May 6 at the St Mark’s Anglican Church in District Six and was supported by the Service Learning and Civic Engagement Units at CPUT.

“At the very least, it is my hope that students understand the context of the space where they are studying. They are in an area that is historical. I don’t want to impose anything on the students but can only hope that with understanding the history of the area that they would be able to relate better to their own identity as a South African. He said screenings in students’ classrooms were taking place and more screenings were being planned.

Short clips from the film can be viewed on the Facebook page via the following link: https://web.facebook.com/D6OurHome/.

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Picture by Joshua Rossiter

Alumni donations boost Bursary Fund

A tradition and culture that is emerging steadily at CPUT is one of “giving back” – specifically to help academically deserving students finance their education through CPUT’s Bursary Fund.

So far this year, R80 000 has been raised from alumni and staff donations.

The funds will be used as “top-up” bursaries for those with good academic records who are in financial difficulty, with beneficiaries spread across all six faculties.

Our sincerest thanks to all those who support the Bursary Fund.

Please consider joining this noble club of our alumni, staff and the general public. Donations, no matter how small, can be made quickly and safely online,  by downloading and signing a pledge form, or through a payroll deduction for CPUT staff members.

All donations are tax-deductible.

By Jan Weintrob




Alumnus named National Lead SA Hero of the Year  


Former CPUT lecturer and social entrepreneur Marlon Parker has been honoured yet again for his ground-breaking work to empower communities.

He was named the national Lead SA Hero of the Year, receiving a cash donation of R100 000 from the Dis-Chem Foundation for a charity of his choice.

Marlon is the founder of the Athlone-based Reconstructed Living Labs (RLabs). The initiative is a driver of community-driven innovation and reconstruction.

Its model includes establishing Youth Cafes in communities. To use the Youth Cafes, young people need to do good in their communities.

For every act of social good, they are awarded with virtual currency, known as Zlatos, which can be used to buy refreshments, attend empowerment courses, or even go to the local hairdresser.
The RLabs model has proven to be such a driver for change that it has already been adopted in 21 other countries.

From Brazil to Namibia, Tanzania, Nigeria and Somalia, the Rlabs model has incubated 22 social enterprises, and employs 80 people – most of them in Cape Town. More than four million people have accessed support services through Rlabs.

Parker shared the honour with Jenna Lowe, a tireless campaigner to get South Africans to register as Organ Donors through her novel birthday invitation known as getmeto21.com

By Jan Weintrob


CPUT sailor makes shipping history

Vuyani Ntsimango, a Maritime Studies graduate recently made history at sea.

Ntsimango, who trained at the CPUT Granger Bay Campus, has the unique distinction of recently becoming the first mariner to achieve his Open Pilot’s License in the Port of Ngqura, 20 km north of Port Elizabeth.

Ngqura is one of the fastest growing terminals in the world and the third busiest in the country, only moving fewer containers than Cape Town and Durban.  The port is also the gateway to a multi-billion dollar industrial park, The Coega Industrial Development Zone –a key driver of the economy in the region.

Ntsimango says he is honoured and privileged to be the first pilot trained in this newly-built deep-water port.

“This is a great opportunity for me to implement my accumulated skills,” says Ntsimango, whose years of experience in the SA Navy have taken him around the world.

“I’m thrilled that my job allows me to play a meaningful role in growing the economy, not only in the Nelson Mandela Bay townships near PE, but in South Africa at large.”

By Jan Weintrob




Gifts Galore

Graduation is about celebrating and to join in on the festivities, CPUT surprised each graduate with an alumni gift box.

A first for CPUT, the alumni gift box was well received by graduates, who each got handed their gift as they stepped down from stage just moments after being capped.

The blue box contained the grad mag, which this year featured graduates from the past decade, a photo frame, flashlight key chain and a keepsake graduation booklet.

An inspirational postcard with the text “Do something today that you futureself will be proud of,” was also designed for the class of 2014.

5 minutes with Lukhanyo Mdingi

CPUT fashion graduate Lukhanyo Mdingi seems to have his career all sewn up. He was recently selected as one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives and was already earmarked through his studies as a talent to watch. We caught up with the rising star to discuss his first year in industry.

You were pretty much the talk of the town throughout your studies. Name some of the exciting awards and commendations you have received through your studies and afterwards?

Oh wow, I have no idea. To me my biggest achievement was completing both my under-grad and post-grad years in record time. The other achievements while still in CPUT has to be when I was selected as one of the top 8 finalists for the 2013 ELLE in association with Mr Price – Rising Star Competition, this took place when I was in my 3rd Year.

Design Indaba Young Creatives is the latest notch on your belt. What do all these awards actually mean to your career at the end of the day?

It’s very gratifying but even more so, it means that I have the opportunity to learn more about the South African fashion industry and as well as use these platforms to expand the Lukhanyo Mdingi brand.

In a nutshell where are you from and why did you chose CPUT?

I am from a small town in the Eastern Cape – East London. I chose CPUT purely because of its credentials, access to equipment and software as well as affordability.

How do you think the institution prepared you for the rigours of industry?

I think this differs for each individual fashion design graduate, purely because you are able to go into so many different fields of fashion with the Diploma/Degree , it has prepped me extremely well with garment construction knowledge and range/concept building and planning.

Do you have a muse?

I would have to say South African Artist, Athi Patra. He oozes sophistication.

2015 has just kicked off, what is the plan for the year?

To be honest I’m a short term planner, right now it’s all about production and building my brand.

Would you ever be absorbed into someone else brand for a few years or are you intent on building your own right now?

I would love to do both. I don’t want to ever constrain myself. I believe you have to be very tactical about these decisions, identifying what will be best for you as the designer and making sure your integrity isn’t compromised.

Where can people follow you on social media?

Instagram and Twitter both @lukhanyomdingi / Lukhanyo Mdingi

Mover and shaker returns to CPUT

An enterprising woman who has won many accolades in various industries has returned to lecture at CPUT.

From the music industry through modeling to the corporate world, whatever Dr Sibongiseni Tunzelana touches turns to gold.

Last year she added more awards to her already long list of achievements including the following: selected for Destiny Magazine Power of 40 Report (Women Achievers under 40), Overall Award of the Opel Astra New and Innovative Business Award, Bronze Award for Ulwazi (wisdom) in the category of Black Business Quarterly Awards.

Tunzelana joined the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences last semester as Co-ordinator: End-user Computing Unit.

“As an Alumna, I believe I can add value to CPUT from the wealth of education & experience I have acquired globally for the past 16 years in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT),” says the tenacious lady who aspires to become a Professor.

Her research interests are Digital Analytics & Digital Innovation in Information Systems or Information Technology as well as maintaining a 100% pass rate for students from diverse backgrounds, while treating each student as an individual.

Prior to coming to CPUT she ran multiple award-winning organizations in ICT Consultancy and a non-profit mentorship organization assisting young people to realize their dreams in spirituality, post-graduate studies in ICT, music, arts, and culture.

This music disc jockey is the Executive Producer of an award winning mixtape – Botho: MotwakoTape 2 by Lemonka.

Tunzelana also worked for multi-national and international companies such as Engen, Woolworths, Old Mutual and Metropolitan.