Issuu on Google+

THE AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE “Tomorrow is Everything”

April 2012

CAREER GUIDANCE

AFRICA SPEAKS

Interview with RONALD G. SULTANA

Keynote Speaker DR GORDON ADE-OJO University of Greenwich London UK

WORKING TOWARDS DREAMS Jabulani G. Mnisi aka Sifiso

THINKER, SAILOR, SOLDIER, GUY.

Also featuring University Of South Africa College Campus

BEREKET DEMEKE

The University Of Sydney Flinders University Zambia Center For Accountancy Studies

Preparing to meet new challenges


About African Scholar African Scholar is a journal that introduces prospective and continuing students to colleges and universities across the region and beyond. African Scholar details course content at participating institutes and highlights scholarship opportunities within Africa and overseas. The journal also draws attention to financial aid, bursary and trainee programs sponsored by companies across the continent.

Participation Options Colleges and universities, as well as corporate and public stakeholders, may participate in editions of African Scholar by choosing from a wide selection of ad' packages, or collaborating with our editorial team to design compelling, promotional articles.

I f

a l l

I f

a l l

and

if

t h e t h e the

s e a s a x e s great

I f

a l l

t h e

s e a s

I f

a l l

t h e

a x e s

and

if

the

great

I f

a l l

t h e

s e a s

I f

a l l

t h e

a x e s

and

if

I f

a l l

I f

a l l

and I f

if a l l

the t h e t h e the t h e

great s e a s a x e s great a x e s

w e r e w e r e man

w e r e

w e r e man

took

w e r e w e r e man

great

s e a ,

o n e the

o n e

great

w h a t axe, w h a t

cut

s e a

cut

a

a

a x e

down

g r e a t

s e a

g r e a t

and

a x e

down

g r e a t

and a

t h a t

w o u l d

t h a t the

b e !

w o u l d

great

i f

b e !

tree,

and

a l l i f

t h e

a l l

let

it

t r e e s

t h e fall

m e n into

Institutes may market their course-offerings and activities with ad-packages tailored to meet all kinds of marketing needs, or with advertorial narratives that give deans, lecturers, and admissions officers the chance to reach out and engage tomorrow's graduates. Our distribution network will place your place of learning at the centre of informed conversation all across the continent, increasing your query-traffic issue by issue and bolstering your admissionspassage year by year.

w e r e

o n e

w e r e the

t r e e ,

o n e

great

cut

a x e

down

g r e a t

a x e

t h a t

w o u l d

t h a t

the

t h a t

great

the

t h a t

great

t h a t

b e !

w o u l d

great

tree,

w o u l d

i f

b e !

tree,

w o u l d

t h a t

the

and

b e !

w o u l d

i f

b e !

tree,

w o u l d

t h a t

b e !

w o u l d

a l l

i f

t h e

a l l

let

it

a l l

t h e

i f

a l l

fall

let

it

i f

a l l

t h e

and

b e !

i f

a l l

let

i f

it

a l l

m e n

into

t r e e s

t h e

and

b e !

t r e e s

t h e

fall

m e n

into

t r e e s

t h e fall

t h e

m e n

into

m e n

w e r e

o n e

w e r e

the

great

w e r e

o n e

w e r e

the

great

w e r e

w e r e

the

o n e

great

w e r e

NORMAN & GIBSON MEDIA

m a n ,

sea,

o n e

what

m a n ,

a

a

a

w h a t a

w h a t

a

w o u l d

b e !

g r e a t

w o u l d

b e ! b e !

that

would w o u l d

b e !

h e

w o u l d

b e !

that

would

be!

t h a t

w o u l d

b e !

h e

w o u l d

b e !

that h e

would

w o u l d

be! b e !

admin@nandg.com www.nandg.com

MAGAZINES - BROCHURES - FLIERS - BILLBOARDS BUSINESS CARDS - TELEVISION - RADIO AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

be!

t h a t

m a n

m a n

be!

w o u l d

splash-splash g r e a t

would

h e

m a n

t r e e

that

t h a t

splash-splash

g r e a t a

h e

m a n

t r e e

g r e a t

great

b e !

splash-splash

g r e a t

great

w o u l d

m a n

t r e e

g r e a t

a

t h a t

splash-splash

g r e a t

great

w h a t

t r e e

g r e a t

a

w h a t

what

t r e e ,

a

a

w h a t

m a n ,

sea,

o n e

a

g r e a t

great

w h a t

what

t r e e ,

o n e

a

w h a t

m a n ,

sea,

a

w h a t

what

t r e e ,

o n e

w h a t

m a n ,

sea,

NG s e a

g r e a t a

axe,

w h a t

a x e ,

a x e ,

a

a x e down

g r e a t

and

w h a t

cut

g r e a t a

axe,

w h a t

a x e ,

the

o n e

took

w e r e

s e a ,

o n e

a

s e a

g r e a t

and

w h a t

great

g r e a t a

axe,

w h a t

a x e ,

the

a

w h a t

great

s e a ,

o n e

o n e

w h a t

a x e ,

the

o n e

took

w e r e

s e a ,

o n e

took

w e r e

man

o n e

Benefits of Participation Whilst equipping students with all the information necessary to make the best possible learning choices, we offer schools, corporations and local government departments a competitive advertising rate, so they can make immediate impressions on future student bodies.


in this issue

AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

Page 6 ..........

Africa Speaks Invitation, Keynote Speaker Dr Gordon Ade - Ojo

Page 8 ..........

We Don’t Wake Up To Our Dreams We Work Towards Them

Page 10 ..........

Interview With Ronald G. Sultana Professor Of Sociology

Page 15 ..........

Understanding and Highlighting Skills Shortages

Page 19 ..........

Skeepa Ke Tsona Young Entrepreneurs

Page 20 ..........

Preparing To Meet New Challenges

Page 22 ..........

Johann Strauss Interview By Jarrod Saunders

IPage 24..........

Hunger For Education Is It Enough?

Page 25 ..........

Thinker, Sailor, Soldier, Guy

Page 27 ..........

Six Part Series Designed To Assist All School Leavers


Editorial

Editorial Chola Chisengalumbwe

Greetings, scholars!

I

t is with great pleasure that we cut the ribbon on this inaugural edition of African Scholar, a brand new journal dedicated to uncovering learning opportunities for academics and intellectuals across the African continent. You could be a matriculant in the final stages of deciding between a career in Law or in Medicine. You could be a graduate already, looking for a world-class Master’s programme to supplement your existing skills, or even a professional in need of a fresh new start. Whatever your aspirations are, African Scholar is tailored to provide you with enrolment updates on international colleges and universities across the world, with an embedded focus on scholarships, bursaries and even internships at companies that habitually innovate and conquer. If you’re undecided as to a University major, minor, or even a walk of life, this is the magazine for you. A website, a mobile app, and who knows maybe even an African Scholar motion picture are all on the way! – but we felt the best possible to start was old-school, here within the pages of a big, bright, inexpensive read that smells a lot like tomorrow’s sunrise. African Scholar is about life before, during and after you gain a university education. This means we are here to help you navigate the application process, to help you make a choice that’ll give you and your kids someday the best possible start in an intertwined, global economy. We are here to accompany you onto campus on orientation day, with content directly imported from the halls of the world’s finest learning institutions. Who better to tell you about, say, the Monash experience, than a Monash representative ready and waiting to address you by name? We are here to relay reports not just on professional opportunities arising, but entrepreneurial ones as well. We are here to facilitate and publish an exchange of student experiences that will allow you to share notes and diaries with learners from across the globe. It’s time for a journal that highlights trends and changes in both emerging and established academic markets. It’s time for a journal that compacts everything you need to know about obtaining a world-class higher education into a quick, entertaining read. It’s time for African Scholar. AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

Design Thando V.M. Mwale for Norman & Gibson Media Sales / Advertising Sifiso Dlangamandla Sifisod@africanscholar.co.za Chola Chisengalumbwe cholac@africanscholar.co.za Chilalo Mumba chilalom@africanscholar.co.za Isaac Ndhlovu isaacn@africanscholar.co.za Andrew Mphande andrewm@africanscholar.co.za Circulations /Subscription Services Andrew Mphande subscribe@africanscholar.co.za

Publisher African Scholar Contact The African Scholar 121 Candice Glades Maple Drive Northriding 2188 Johannesburg Office: +27 11 794 4141/11 042 9488 Fax: +27 086 626 1231


AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

7


We don't wake up to our dreams, we work towards them

Jabulani G. Mnisi aka Sifiso

Since primary school my dream has always been to go to university, get, a degree, and get a good job that would enable me to make life better for my family. At the age of 22 a significant part that dream has come true. But I did not wake up to it. I worked and continue to work towards it. I am the first of the two children born to Sipho Zondo and Ouma Mnisi followed by my sister Sindile Mnisi who is three years younger. Growing up in Daveyton, a township in the East rand in the Gauteng Province life was not easy. My parents were not educated so my mother worked as a domestic worker whiles my father as a gardener for the same family. This meant that money would be an issue in the household. At the age of 12 things went from bad to worse when my parents got separated after their traditional marriage did not work out. But this would not be enough to stop me from getting what I wanted. Through the grace and mercy of God I managed to matriculate with flying colors and got accepted to the University of Johannesburg to study BA Journalism. Finances were still an issue but luckily I managed to secure a merit bursary and a study loan to supplement the bursary and my mother's employer James Waters also assisted a lot. This was all good, but little did I know that getting to university was only the start of many things. Moving away from home I stayed at Dromedaris a student residence on campus. As a first year I had to go through 'initiation' in order to get citizenship into the residence. It was not easy as many other factors were coming in such as having to adjust to the transition from high school to university, being away from my family now staying by myself in the residence having to run my own 'household' with limited resources, and having to now mix with other kids who

8

In the picture are my friends Sibusiso Sgwane (on the left) who just completed his BA honours in politics in UJ and Mosima Mehlape(in the middle) who is currently doing her Masters in Fundamental economic theory also in UJ.And myself on the right hand side

came from well off families who spoke English very fluently while I spoke a 'broken' English. And the residence initiation programme did not make things any easy as it took up a lot of time, having to do some chores for the senior and so on. With all these things coming upon me it felt like I was outside in the middle of a terrible storm with all odds against me. I felt like giving up and going back home. But when I thought of this I asked myself: to what will I be going back home for? This motivated me to stay and fight. Perhaps the hardest phase at university is the first semester. After going through these first six months and passing all my subjects not with distinctions, my confidence was radically boosted. After this I started learning the importance of time management as it was one of my biggest challenges. This skill that I developed has contributed significantly to my academic success. As it stands I hold a BA degree in Journalism and a BA honors in Fundamental Communication Theory which I passed with cum laude making me one of the top students within the School of Communication and Media Studies from the same university. I am currently studying towards a Masters degree in Fundamental Communication Theory. Key to successful time management is to develop a routine for doing things. I also have my dream job. Though I studied journalism, my passion has always been teaching and talking. I am currently employed as a junior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, and yes the job is enabling me to make life better for myself and my family. Maybe my dream has not been fully fulfilled yet but one thing for sure is that I am working towards that. Keys to my success have and continue be a strong obedience to God, respecting my elders who ever they are, Identifying what I want and working hard towards it, respecting my lecturers as people who know more than me, and keeping good friends who share a similar vision as myself and most importantly patience and perseverance. But remember to have fun, socialize with people, make friends and take things easy. We do not wake up to our dreams, but we work towards them.


AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


1. What exactly is career advising? Is it the same thing as "mentoring"?

Career advising can include mentoring, but goes beyond that to offer a range of services to individuals and groups to support them in constructing life projects. This usually entails giving information, advice and guidance that help individuals know themselves better, and also to become more aware of opportunities in their surrounding environment. Career advising assists decision-making in relation not only to finding employment, but also in increasing fulfilment at work, as well as in other spheres of life, including leisure. It helps individuals and groups learn about education and training pathways that lead to employment, and can also contribute to entrepreneurship and the development of knowledge and skills related to the creation of self-employment. Increasingly we speak of 'lifelong career guidance', because individuals can make use of such services at different points in their life, particularly as occupational mobility becomes the norm in fast-changing societies. 2. What are the different forms of career advising?

INTERVIEW with

RONALD G. SULTANA (Ronald is a professor of sociology and comparative education at the University of Malta, where he is also director of the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research. He has written reports on career guidance in the European Union and on the Middle East and North Africa, and has been adviser to several governments in setting up guidance services. Most recently he has helped the Palestinian Ministry of Education to introduce career education programmes in secondary schools in the W e s t B a n k . E m a i l : ronald.sultana@um.edu.mt Website: h t t p : / / w w w. u m . e d u . m t / e m c e r )

Career advising can be offered face-toface or at a distance, in groups, to individuals, at different points throughout one's life, when and where needed. Career guidance is traditionally offered in educational institutions at all levels, particularly before key transition points. Increasingly, however, career guidance and career education is integrated within the curriculum, with additional services being offered by specially trained staff. Adults, including upstanding members from the business community as well as alumni, are sometimes recruited by schools and higher education institutions to mentor students. Good examples of this are work experience and work shadowing projects, as well as youth enterprise schemes, where young people learn about the world of work in an experiential manner, under the mentorship of experienced adults. Career continued on page 12

10

AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


continued from page 10

guidance is also offered by Public Employment Services, supporting the unemployed in their quest for work, as well as those who are in employment, but who would like to change jobs. In many countries, a lot of career information and advice is offered via the internet, and through call centres, bringing services closer to citizens, thus widening access. 3. What are the benefits of career advice?

There are aspects of career guidance that most if not all people benefit from: this includes information about education and training, as well as the link between these to employment and self-employment. Some individuals need more targeted advice and guidance that is tailored to their specific needs. Some, for instance, need support in order to get more clarity around what their strengths and aspirations are, and how these can be fulfilled through the world of work. Others need help in developing career management skills, including how to make smart decisions, how to sit for an interview, how to present oneself, and how to apply for jobs, how to write effective cv's or motivation letters. In many countries around the world, specialized guidance services are developed to cater for the specific needs of target groups. The latter include parents returning to work after time out from the labour market to raise children, persons with disability, exoffenders, migrant groups, ethnic minorities, and so on. Good guidance services have an enabling and empowering agenda: they can help women, for instance, in understanding and combating gender stereotypes at work. They can also help students from modest socio-economic backgrounds to understand how social structures work, and to break free from prejudice. Of course, career guidance cannot do this on its own, but it does have a role to play. Guidance therefore benefits individuals, but is also of benefit to society more generally. It can have economic benefits – through facilitating a better fit between skills demand and supply, for 12

instance. It also has social benefits – through supporting the integration of vulnerable groups in the labour market. It can have educational benefits too: there are several career guidance programmes internationally that work with students who disengage early from education and training, helping them find pathways that motivate and keep them engaged with learning, thus easing their transition to productive work. Many governments the world over recognize these benefits, and are prepared to fund guidance services so that these are available freely to as many citizens as possible. 4. Why is career advice increasingly important?

Over

the past decade, we have seen career guidance gain a lot of policy attention internationally, with important reviews and studies being carried out by major organizations such as the OECD, the ILO, the European Union, and the World Bank. Some of this attention is motivated by the fact that transitions from education to work are becoming less linear, more complex, and more challenging to manage. In many countries, people are more likely to change jobs than in the past, and there is increasing insecurity at work, with shortterm contracts being the norm. Fast technological change, as well as an ideological climate that supports capital, makes labour a commodity that is bought and sold, like other products. This has enormous implications for people's lives, and of course presents a set of political and economic challenges that are structural in nature. In this climate, career guidance can at least support people as they make their transitions from education to work, back to training, and through periods of unemployment and even underemployment. It can support people's mobility within and across employment, and within and across nation states. It also can help make relevant information more transparent, so that individuals and groups can make informed decisions, on the basis of the best available options and opportunities. AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

13


14

AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


UNDERSTANDING & HIGHLIGHTING Skills shortages and the role of FET Colleges In a recent article published by Solidarity they pointed out the need for our youth to consider attending FET colleges. Further Education and Training Colleges or FET colleges are different to universities in that they offer many of the essential courses to ensure the achievement of the skills and training needed that are essential to the South African Economy. South Africa is in need of Educated, qualified and experience people with the right skills to assist in growing the economy of SA. Currently there are in excess of 500000 positions vacant in South Africa but surprisingly, according to solidarity, there are insufficient trained and qualified people to fill these vacancies. Consider these facts Ÿ South Africa has 1 engineer for every 3200 people compared to 1 for every 130 in china- 250 in

Europe and 450 in Australia. Ÿ The government’s list of scarce and critical skills shows that there is a shortage of 400000

teachers in all subjects which includes teachers at FET colleges. Ÿ In 2008 there was a shortage of 22000 accounting specialists – 5300 of whom should be

chartered accountants. Ÿ There are 70000 positions available in Information Technology but only 17000 learners have

qualified over the last 10 years. Ÿ There is a need for 30000 registered nurses and 10000 pharmacy assistants.

So why are more of our learners not applying for positions at FET colleges? Is it a lack of information or is there a stigma attached to them? Only the youth can comment on this. Further education and training takes place at any time from grades 10 to 12. At this level there is a need for career counselling and orientation or our youth should be encouraged to approach FET Colleges for more information. At this level it is quite common for learners to want to study for a diploma or certificate course. Diplomas and Certificates should not as far as I am concerned be offered by Universities or studied by Higher Education Candidates. The Department of Education is offering bursaries for FET college education and training. In addition the Career Advice Services managed by SAQA is offering career advice through its helpline. Call 0860111673 or you can e-mail help@careerhelp.org.za. You can also send and SMS to 072 204 5056 and an advisor will call you back. © Des Squire (Managing Member) AMSI and ASSOCIATES cc des@amsiandassociates.co.za AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

15


AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

17


18

AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


You've been everywhere; you've done everything and now get the t-shirt. SKEEPA...KE TSONA is a proudly South African brand established in 2010.

anyone through different avenues and have delivered all over the country to places such as Qwa Qwa, Vaal, Durban, Cape Town, Swaziland and Lesotho.

This is not just any t-shirt brand. SKEEPA ‌KE TSONA ! is a proudly South African concept. We draw our concepts from everyday life and everyday lingo. Our brand is rich with original kasi movements and lifestyle‌YIZO!

Email:order@skeepa.co.za SMS: SMS SKEEPA + Gender + Design + Size to 34008.R2/SMS.

Why SKEEPA you might ask? This is the most common question that we come across as the industry is overwhelmed with an abundance of t-shirt which are supposedly the best. SKEEPA is not a good idea, my partner and I sit around the table and come up with ideas, it was not a spur of the moment thing or something we saw somewhere and are now adapting it. SKEEPA is a brand that celebrates everyday lingo (language) and interactions between people from anywhere and everywhere. SKEEPA Explained... SKEEPA, which means t-shirt loosely translated, manufacturers high quality t-shirts that have direct translations of sayings, idioms and everyday phrases we use in our everyday lives and can be adapted in any language. In South Africa, we felt the pinch more as English became the primary language so we found ourselves learning, understanding and even speaking the language on the fly. So what is most common amongst South Africans is that we tend to directly translate our own language into English which mostly turns out alright, but can sometimes turn to disaster, so this is the basis if SKEEPA's existence, either than having a good idea that only a few will embrace we thought lets introduce something with a little bit of culture to the industry that everyone can relate to. Where can we find SKEEPA? We try our best to make SKEEPA available to AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Skeepa-KeTsona/132774820108816 Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/skeepa_ketsona Websites: http://www.skeepa.co.za .mobi: http://m.skeepa.co.za


Preparing to meet new challenges Bereket Demeke is an honours student in Computer Engineering. Formerly from Ethiopia, he immigrated to South Africa with his parents in 2004. He has excelled academically and is set to reach great heights as a computer engineer.

After

matriculating from the Sol Plaatjie

of Engineering, as well as the Department of

Secondary School in Mafikeng, North West,

Electrical Electronic and Computer

Bereket enrolled for a bachelor's degree in

Engineering. He has been a residence student

Electrical, Electronic and Computer

since his first year of study, and was able to

Engineering at the University of Pretoria.

take part in every aspect of student life.

According to Prof Sunil Maharaj, who

During the course of his studies, Bereket put

supervised his final-year design project,

his excellence in Mathematics to good use by

Bekeret is an intelligent, disciplined and

participating in the Dr Maths on MXit

diligent scholar. "This has led to him being a

programme. This is an initiative of the Council

top performing student," says Prof Maharaj.

for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR),

"He works hard and applies his mind to the

and has been incorporated into the University

challenge that he needs to address. He works

of Pretoria's community engagement

well in a team, yet also excels when required

programme. School learners who struggle

to work independently.�

with a particular problem receive virtual tuition from a team of students like Bereket.

Bekeret's excellent performance in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science

The highlight of his undergraduate studies

in matric was rewarded with a bursary from

was undoubtedly his final-year design project.

the SENTECH Chair in Broadband Wireless

This provided him with the opportunity of

Multimedia Communications (BWMC). This

applying the theory he had learnt to a real-life

paved the way for a successful academic

situation. His project entailed developing a

career.

system of counting the number of passengers travelling in a particular taxi in a single day. It

His hard work resulted in him obtaining his

made use of video technology, as well as face

degree with distinction, and also receiving the

recognition and tracking software. This would

Wilhelm Leuschner silver medal and prize for

enable taxi drivers to monitor their earnings

outstanding performance in the third and

by keeping record of the number of passengers

fourth year of study in computer engineering.

they transported on a daily basis.

He will receive this award at the University's autumn graduation ceremony in April.

Bereket obtained a distinction for his well-

Bereket's choice of the University of Pretoria

enthusiastic about his postgraduate studies in

researched investigative design project. He is for his undergraduate studies was based on the

Computer Engineering. Bereket is completing

excellent reputation of the University's School

his honours degree within the SENTECH

Chair in BWMC at the University of Pretoria, where he will have the opportunity to undertake research in the dynamic and innovative field of telecommunications. "There are so many opportunities for both research and practical design projects that can lead to the development of new products, which is very exciting," he says. For Bereket, the world is his oyster. During the course of his honours studies he intends to identify a field of specialisation within the many challenging aspects of telecommunications. He plans to continue with his master's study in this field, and then to use his knowledge to the benefit of society by working in industry. This African scholar sees an opportunity in every challenge and is sure to make a name for himself in the exciting world of telecommunications.


AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


Interview by - JARROD SAUNDERS

There aren’t many artists in South Africa who can match the raw talent of Johann Strauss. No, not the musician – the illustrator based in Pretoria. Just a short squiz through his portfolio and it would be hard to deny that he isn’t one of the top talents in the industry. And for good reason. Johann has worked with some of South Africa’s top advertising companies, lending his artistic hand, through freelance work, to everything from children’s books, game concept art to comic books and billboard design. Johann took some time off from his busy (and we mean busy) schedule to answer a few questions regarding his work and love for all things art. Q: Looking through your work it’s clear that you have a remarkable talent. When did you first discover your love for art and illustration? And can you clearly remember the moment when you first realized that you were good at it? A: Nah. There was no clear moment of discovery. But I remember that, as a kid, I was never content by just ‘watching’ my favourite shows. I always felt I had to do more than just sit there and watch (with that goofy expression I got whenever my toddler soaps started). I still remember pausing shows like Bionic Six and Robotech and drawing the mechs. Q: You have a really impressive body of work that includes a number of storyboards, children’s books, 22

comic book characters, cartoons, commercial illustrations, video game characters and sketches. How did you manage to find yourself doing this as a full-time career and where do you draw inspiration from? A: I studied Graphic Design only because I actually didn’t think you could illustrate as a full-time job. Luckily a publication house recruited me in my third year to work for them as a full-time children’s book illustrator. From there a few friends who started working for ad agencies asked me to do a few things on the side. Then it just snowballed from there… luckily. My inspiration pretty much comes from all over really. Different people inspire me in different disciplines. With the internet today, we are fortunate to see new artists on the scene every day. So I tend to obsess over a new talent almost every week. But my all-time favourites are legends like Norman Rockwell, Alex Ross, Andrew Loomis, Lucian Freud and so forth. Q: It’s an obvious question – but what mediums do you use to create your artworks? And do you have any formal training in any of these methods? A: Not an obvious question at all! I pretty much use a wide range of mediums, everything from oil to pencil. But mostly I use a Wacom tablet because of the increased deadlines and amount of work I have to do. It’s just easier to make changes with the Wacom (should there be any… and there usually are!) and saves on


paper and material costs. And it’s easier to make changes… Did I mention the changes? I don’t think one can really have any kind of ‘formal training’ in art. You can get a brief and a lecturer can critique it, but the only way you can become adept in any medium is basically by practice, practice, practice. Q: You’ve managed to land some pretty big contracts? Motorola, Nestle, Wesbank, and FNB are just a few.

How long did it take for you to become a recognised talent in the field? A: It’s just a natural progression I suppose. You start out with a few smaller projects and as you improve, so does your client list. Q: I noticed that you are quite diverse in style and mediums, changing between various projects. Is there a specific reason you haven’t stuck to one specific art style, or do you just prefer experimenting with different types of art? A: In a perfect world it would be amazing to have just one style and perfect that through one’s career. But unfortunately that will just narrow the type of projects you would be able to do. That’s the reason why I really try to study different artists and different styles, so I will be able to cater to the different needs of different clients. It’s tricky to change gear this way sometimes, but it also keeps things interesting. Q: Does the term “struggling artist” ring true even for artists in the 21st century? A: Haha! Yes, well I suppose the term ‘struggling’ can be applied to any field one doesn’t work hard at. Freelance work is unfortunately directly coupled to the amount of work you put out there. So the harder you work the better you become. And the better you are, the more work you

get. It’s as simple as that. Q: What is the biggest project you’ve worked on and the creation that you are most proud of? A: Oh, now that’s a tough one! It will be very hard to pin point any one project, as each of them have elements that stand out. But basically most projects I do with HKLM

( e s p e c i a l l y t h e i r C a p e To w n o ff i c e ) a n d Saatchi&Saatchi tend have a level of finish and creativity that I’m really proud of. I also have to mention a job I did with Fandam studio’s for Wesbank, two 11 x 3m murals. It was great fun! Q: With all creative types there is always the danger of becoming engorged in one’s own success. How do you stay humble? A: If I was successful I would most likely not have answer your questions. Q: What can we expect from Johann Strauss in the near future? A: In the future? A traveling family Lil’ Wayne tribute band. But in the near future, I am just finishing off the final concept art pieces for a game called Bounty Arms with Open Reset. I am extremely proud and excited about this project that should come to fruition in June/July this year (Android). Keep an eye out. Other than that, I am working on a few children’s books and various agency projects. So basically, you can expect more of the same – just bigger, better, stronger, more yellow, with hazelnuts and caramel… sorry, what was the question? Checkout more of Johann’s work on his personal website: www.strauss-art.com/ 23


HUNGER FOR EDUCATION, IS IT ENOUGH? Reasons for high student drop outs at universities At the beginning of this year thousands of students queued outside universities with the hope of making the final cut and securing their admission. The desire for admission went so far that the University of Johannesburg (UJ) experienced a tragic stampede, which displays the universal hunger that young people have for education. The reality is that while thousands enter into the higher education system, 25- 30 percent of students drop out by their first year. According to the Senex Report: Critical Factors concerning 2008 examination performance, drop out students are defined as those who abandon their studies before completion, often because they have failed or fear that they are about to fail. “Student failure clearly brings with it enormous costs- both personal costs (sense of failure and loss of potential) and financial costs in terms of additional fees and costs to the institution,” says Prof de Kadt, who is the executive director of Academic and Development Support at UJ. The Rural Education Access Program (REAP) study conducted in 2008 identifies three main reasons for student drop outs at university: financial, academic and socio- cultural causes. Financially many students are faced with poverty and often face additional stress due to limited family finances and as a result students take on jobs while completing their studies. Students are academically and socially under prepared, as learners do not learn to work independently at school and families cannot afford resources- such as newspapers, books and internet- that are required for critical learning. Many students are also not studying in their first language, thus they are not confident. Due to lack of support from their family, learners often take on misguided career choices. In terms of socio- cultural challenges, universities are a ‘big new world’, made up of diverse communities with different ethos and values. Students find it challenging to integrate, often feeling alienated and anonymous and this makes studying difficult which leads to dropping out. To deal with the problem of high drop out rates, UJ launched the First Year Experience (FYE) program in 2010. The FYE deals specifically with addressing the challenges that students experience in making the transition from school to higher education, as much drop outs take place in the first year of study. “The UJ FYE is an effort which seeks to develop an invitational institutional approach to welcome students and creates an ethos and a way of life that allows students to succeed,” says Dr van Zyl, who is the FYE coordinator. There are almost as many reasons for dropping out as there are students who drop out. While it is evident from the stampede that took place at UJ, that students have a hunger for education, students continue to drop out of university. This leads to the question of whether the hunger of education is enough to get students through the higher education system.

By: Aarti. J. Narsee

24


Thinker, Sailor, Soldier, Guy. A life in a couple of books, by a man who attempts to read far too many, sees too many movies, and perhaps cares too passionately about his sports-teams. I ought to read more books. I ought to read them quicker. I ought to buy more. But however spirited intellectual resolutions may be they are at odds with time, one’s wallet, and even heterosexuality to some extent. Maybe I should skip going back to college, and invest my life’s assets in buying an e-Reader, or even an iPad. Then I shall be able not only to read an endless stream of new literature, by vivacious men and women who for once will not be dead, but also to say beautiful, majestic things like, “Excuse me a moment, my Kindle needs (I donno) Kindling.” Or, “My iPad would like a massage also, and that clever avocado thing you gave the young lady with the Jane Austen nose.” (It’s a phone, an iPod, a computer… and, geewhizz, a human being.) But the trouble is I won’t be able to do those book-things that book-people do and stay sane to tell the tale. I won’t be able to lend an electronic reader out, and I’m cruel enough with books. There’ll be no cover to show off my personality with in buses and other public places where it’s strangely difficult to read without feeling like Forest Gump. There’ll be no brand new pages to waft across my nose, after that melodramatic, whole hour of purchase – weighing up what, between a fresh novel and football in the pub, will bring true spiritual reward. I shall buy more books then, and steal some expatriate’s iPad. Yes: I’ll buy more books, and don a waiter’s disguise for that exact moment at a crepe-selling cafe when said expatriate isn’t looking. AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

Stealing does very well for keeping my creative juices sharp even, and unsuspecting nice persons have no idea what’s really going on when I ask ever so politely to scroll through their libraries. When I ask ever so politely if I could borrow that Hemingway or that Castro biog’, despite having said rude things about both Hemingway and Communism, they have no choice but to succumb. It’s all in the eyes and the goofy half-smile. Does that make me a scheming manipulator? Maybe in a Don DeLillo effort, where CIA men seek out classified information in paperbacks. I am either reading, skimming, lending, dustcoating, or plagiarizing about nine different works just now.

“I shall buy more books then, and steal some expatriate’s iPad. Yes: I’ll buy more books, and don a waiter’s” Since January of two years ago I’ve been trawling The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes for some nine-to-five inspiration, quotes by army officers and generals who said, wrote or witnessed the right thing at the right time. Inspiration has been slow-going, as it seems no one was around for the really meaty stuff: Napoleon’s tantrums, Hitler’s bitch-fits, and even the Churchillian bites leave one wanting. The look on people’s faces, however, is irreplaceable, when I slam that bugger down and cough the cough of warriors. It’s like Eisenhower spitting sand out from a recent tour of the North African sands, or like I prefer studying battle-maps to watching sitcoms; like I’m… butch. A recent siege of Johannesburg’s Bargain Books store allowed me to eventually flee the scene with gems, as well as some supposed ones. Not quite ready to stop saluting people before asking what everybody wanted for breakfast, I invested blindly in Norman Mailer’s 25


Castle In the Forest, hoping the blurb about Adolf Hitler’s youth would lead me towards a masterly stroke of historical fiction. Kind of not. The book opens with a veritable thesis on all things incest, and then makes depressing approximations about how such bearing connives with a rural upbringing to create the vilest human being civilization as ever seen. We are told too much about an Alois Hitler, and all the things in his unkind youth that could have connived with coincidental forces to father – sigh – the vilest human being civilization has ever seen. This private detection is carried out by a German narrator, whom Mailer unwittingly underminds by trying to represent a continental, second-hand grasp of the English language.

“The book opens with a veritable thesis on all things incest, and then makes depressing approximations” I couldn’t bear all the stuff about horses, and by page 20 sincerely wished this hadn’t been my first Norman Mailer experience. Darn it, I’ll never finish David Copperfield. We were birds of an existential feather up to a point, Copperfield and I, but then Dickens went and got him married – an innocent little bookmark is now dying of genuine suffocation between those pages, and mild silicosis. Partly it’s all William Thackeray’s fault. Turns out his Vanity Fair’s the most corking display of language I’ll ever come across, a scintillating, scathing look at class and nationhood that peers over the shoulders of two heroines, Misses Amelia Sedley and Becky Sharp, at the foolishness of men. For most of the book, which actually carries the subtitle of being ‘without a hero’, Thackeray is merciless, unmasking the meeker characters that inhabit his England: the poor souls with buttons made of brass, the lovers whose passions aren’t requited; but every other sentence drips with poetry. What begins as a candid novel about how the world

26

habitually chews up the weak and elevates the silver-spooned, mutates smoothly into a gallant truth: time and fate are slaves of no one. Listen to him, for instance, define gentlemen, in words that transcend a period when tights were all the rage: “Perhaps these are rarer personages than some of us think. For which of us can point out many such in his circle – men whose aims are generous, whose truth is constant, and not only constant in its kind but elevated in its degree; whose want of meanness makes them simple; who can look the world honestly in the face with an equal, manly sympathy for the great and the small? We all know a hundred whose coats are very well made, who are in what we call the inner circles, and have shot into the very centre and bull’s-eye of the fashion; but of gentlemen how many?” I suspect Thackeray’s name is not one history looks on kindly, because he may have been something of a jackass; but my God what a jackass. Recently Jonathan Franzen, that Illinois titan, publicly called Twitter a shortcoming of mankind. I had no choice but to partially agree – I’m also considering deactivating my Twitter account. Such was the life-altering genius of Strong Motion, in which Franzen uses a Boston earthquake to chronicle the relationship of two young intellectuals, and also The Corrections, which I’ve only just chanced at a church-sale and which I will finish reading in about eight weeks.

“We all know a hundred whose coats are very well made, who are in what we call the inner circles” I may need an illicit substance to read and critique Andy Warhol’s ‘A’. Jimmy Casablancas edits a fashion, arts & culture journal, writes the occasional book, and is also going back to college.

AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


inequalities of the past.

1. Important decisions to make - the way forward

As long as we dwell in the past we cannot go forward. Do not fall into this trap and become bogged down. Take hold of the reins and ride through the difficulties that lie ahead. Take charge of your life and your future. Take ownership of what is before you and make it your road to success. Only you can do it.

AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

This is the first of a six part series designed to assist all school leavers as they embark on the journey of life. 1. Important decisions to make the way forward The day has finally arrived. This may be the first day of the rest of your life. This is the day you must contemplate your future and decide on a way forward. Yes, you must make the decisions. It is your life. Leave the past with all its trials, failures and disappointments behind you. Concentrate on the successes you have had and on what lies ahead. Eleven years ago, South Africa saw the dawn of a new sunrise, the birth of a new nation. The rainbow nation was born. The past it was hoped would be gradually left behind and we could all go forward i n p e a c e a n d h a r m o n y. Unfortunately, this has not been the case as far too many people are still living in the past and dwelling on the hurts, wrongs and

You learned many things at school, and most of you will probably want to know why you learned what you did. How often did you discuss how to apply what you had learned? What did you learn about living your life and applying the knowledge you had gained? Did you ever discuss how to apply what you had learned in order to assist you in achieving success and happiness? This is the purpose of these articles.

“The past it was hoped would be gradually left behind and we could all go forward in peace and harmony.” With your potential, if you are ambitious and determined you can achieve success and fulfill your life’s ambition. Remember, “Success is a journey, it is not the destination”. All success comes with the freedom of choice and freedom of choice is your God given right. Use it wisely. Learning comes from – curiosity, interest, knowledge and belief. Believe in yourself and enjoy your success. The future is in your hands. Leave the past behind and carefully consider the future One of the greatest problems faced in life is that of making 27


decisions. Decisions require commitment and commitment is what most people fear. This is true for all people and is particularly relevant to you in your present position. Before this, others decided what happened in your life. You had no choice regarding most issues. Your birth was not your decision. Your sex, appearance, height and color were not your decision. You were fed and clothed by your parents, it was your parents who decided what school you should attend and in what neighborhood you should live. You chose your own friends, you most likely decided on what sport you would play and you made some decisions as to how you behaved at school. Even in making decisions there were rules and regulations in place to assist you. Others controlled your life and your development was in the hands of others.

“Your birth was not your decision. Your sex, appearance, height and color were not your decision.” You had, I hope, the support, love and guidance of people who have played a major role in your personal development. Looking back now l I trust you appreciate the role these people played in your life. They were there for a purpose and they were there to assist you in making the right deci sions and to assi st in you r development to the point in your life where you can stand on your own two feet.

Many decisions you will have to make will require careful consideration and will then require commitment to the choice you have made. Remember the decisions you make should be yours and yours alone. This is your life and your future, treat it accordingly.

“You will still have support and guidance. You will realise others will take a less active role in your future” Are you prepared to make commitments about your life and future? No matter what choice you make in life the most important thing to remember is that the choices are now yours. Once you make these choices be committed to them. Set your goals and make your plans but in doing so make sure that you are committed to ensuring your own success. No one can do this for you, you must make the choice for yourself and you must make the decision for yourself. You must be committed to that decision and come what may you must stick with it and see it through to its fulfillment. This is not a time for playing games or for making decisions, because it sounds good or seems like it might be fun. This is serious stuff. This is your life and your future. Do not play with it.

© Des Squire (Managing Member) AMSI and ASSOCIATES cc

Your school years are now a thing of the past. They are finished and nothing can change what is now behind you. Now is the time to look to the future and to make decisions as to where you go from here. You are not alone. You will still have support and guidance. You will realise others will take a less active role in your future and you will be required to stand up for yourself. 28

des@amsiandassociates.co.za Des has compiled a 77 page manual entitled “The way forward - a guide to life and the world of work”. To purchase a copy Des on 082 800 9057 or des@amsiandassociates.co.za

AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


their time and normally someone else’s money. This then has a very traumatic effect on the person involved. They immediately feel that they have failed. In many instances others see them and treat them as failures. How often have you heard it said that so and so “dropped out” of varsity? He or she could not cope or could not make the grade.

2. Making decisions related to your future

Should I go to varsity or should I work for a year or two?

AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

In order to help you make this decision let me ask you how you feel right now. Can you cope with another three to five years of study? Do you feel like a rest? Do you want to carry on with your studying and get it behind you? Do you think a rest from the books might be a good idea? How do you really feel? The majority of young people leaving school, whose parents can afford the costs involved, normally decide to go straight to varsity. This is historic and appears to be the “done thing”. Whether it is right or wrong is a matter of personal opinion. It is a choice you must make and one that needs careful consideration. Too many young people leave school and go straight into university only to find that they have made the wrong choice. They end up very unhappy, they do not cope with varsity life, they choose the wrong faculty, they fail their first year, or they just waste

With hindsight, there is nothing necessarily wrong. The reason for pulling out or giving up is what should have been important. For the applicant to have been afforded the opportunity of admitting that a mistake was made, that he or she pulled out of varsity in order to re-assess the situation, would have put a whole new light on the issue. This takes maturity; levelheaded thinking and the ability to admit a mistake had been made.

“Too many young people leave school and go straight into university only to find that they have made the wrong choice” Taking some time out! The advantage of taking a sabbatical or some time away from studies is that you can try out or investigate further a career that you feel might be of interest to you. You can also just work on a parttime basis just to earn money and support yourself while you consider and weigh up your options. Should you decide on this approach try to avoid “job hopping”. Take a position and stick with it. Learn all you can and gain from the experience. Be honest 29


with your employer as to why you want to work and do not try to create the impression that you intend making this occupation your chosen career. Approach companies that offer, or that might be convinced at a later stage to offer, a loan or bursary to you. If you have worked with a company for a year or two and shown what you are capable of then they may not want to lose you and might therefore be prepared to assist financially. Do not wait for the opportunity to come to you, get out there and create the opportunity for yourself. This requires commitment and determination on your part. Are you prepared for this? By taking this approach, you might find that you could kill two birds with one stone. You might find a happy medium. In some instances where companies offer financial assistance and bursaries the individual is allowed to work and study part-time. This then would have major advantages, as you are no longer required to study or work fulltime. You need to make decisions regarding both the career and the direction in which the requirements of the position push you in terms of your chosen field of study. Again this is not an easy decision to make and requires careful consideration and discussion.

“Approach companies that offer, or that might be convinced at a later stage to offer, a loan or bursary to you” An option some people make, but which of late has become expensive, is to travel and work at the same time. This is an option available to only a few people. It requires financial support, guts and maturity. It can be exciting and challenging but it also has its drawbacks. Being away from family and friends in a foreign country is not easy. It can be lonely and can be full of danger, worry and uncertainty. There are no 30

guarantees that you will find work and in many countries, you will not be allowed to work. The temptation is then to work as an illegal and this in itself can be dangerous. A post-matric year is an alternative you might want to consider. This again can be expensive and is not available to all. This can be a fun year where new challenges are created and opportunities are given to try something different. You can make new friends, enjoy all sorts of new experiences and at the same time complete some preliminary studies in a new field of interest. It can be a tough year but at the same time a very rewarding and enlightening year. This can be a year for development and finding yourself and your direction in life.

“This can be a fun year where new challenges are created and opportunities are given to try something different.” Life is full of change and you are now facing one of the many you will have to make. You have important decisions to make, do not try to make them alone. Talk to your parents and teachers about your life and your future. Seek help and assistance from responsible people. Seek guidance from councilors and other qualified people. Weigh up your options and consider your choices. Most of all you should be adult in your approach and bear in mind, the decisions you make will have an influence on the rest of your life.

continued in the next issue

© Des Squire (Managing Member) AMSI and ASSOCIATES cc des@amsiandassociates.co.za Des has compiled a 77 page manual entitled “The way forward - a guide to life and the world of work”. To purchase a copy Des on 082 800 9057 or des@amsiandassociates.co.za AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE


A magazine that highlights trends and changes in both emerging and established academic markets.

A magazine that compacts everything you need to know about obtaining a world-class higher education into a quick, entertaining read.

THE AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

Tomorrow Is Everything The African Scholar 121 Candice Glades Maple Drive Northriding 2188 Johannesburg Office: +27 11 794 4141/11 042 9488 Fax: +27 086 626 1231 AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

31


Office: +27 11 794 4141/11 042 9488 Fax: +27 086 626 1231 Email: info@africanscholar.co.za www.africanscholar.co.za

“Tomorrow Is Everything”

NG NORMAN & GIBSON MEDIA

AFRICAN SCHOLAR MAGAZINE

Email: admin@nandg.com www.nandg.com


The African Scholar Magazine