Post Matric - Western Cape 2021

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ea, anyone? What used to refer simply to a warm cup of Rooibos, Ceylon, or any of the other specialty brews available, now also refers to the juicy gossip that has for centuries been spilled (shared) in the presence of said warm beverage.

And that’s not the only instance where we are now saying it like it is. We’re no longer ‘acing’ matric exams, we’re ‘slaying’ them – a more violent, yet honest, word to describe facing and overcoming the dragon that is the final year of school. And everything these days is sexy (or not!), which is actually how it has always been – since Neanderthal man first dragged Neanderthal woman into the cave, to when advertisers cottoned on that sex sells – only now, we’re owning it. But, although on one hand we’ve done away with pretense and are #JustSaying everything that comes to mind, on the other, it’s nearly impossible to

say anything these days without offending someone: a Boomer critisising “She should just get a job” or a Gen Zer responding with a slow clap to the tune of “OK Boomer, but they identify as ‘they’”. As a true Gen Xer (the forgotten ones), I believe it’s our differences that make life a vibe, and rather than trying to create a cookie cutter we all have to fit into or just cancelling everything, we can figure out how to get out of this gloomy situation – Covid, climate change… matric, adulthood – together. It’s time for us all to glow up. Post Matric’s inspiring story of two frontline workers making a difference is a good place to

start, then catch up on a few gadgets that slap, check out the latest legit advice on post matric options and funding, the Q&A section to find careers that might hit different, how to tell if you’re pressed, and lastly, a funny take on wearing masks – I died. You might even find a tasty snack ;)

Olivia Main Editor Disclaimer: There are no spelling or grammar mistakes here. Only literally every Gen Zer phrase.


A SAMSUNG GALAXY A3 CORE 16GB DUAL SIM Touted as “the big screen with a better view”, its 5.3” HD+ display is perfect for catching up on your latest series, offering visuals that pop with colour on a widescreen interface. With an 8MP camera on the back and a 5MP front-facing snapper, that ‘I can’t even’ moment or selfie session is well covered. Add to this its all-day battery life and 1G of RAM, without losing its lightweight, slim body with epic stripe design, and you have a low-key obsession that everybody will want.


SMS your name and the name of the school where you got your copy of Post Matric to 072 129 2058. Example: Sipho Nkosi, Victoria Park High School Competition Closes: 29 October 2021 Competition Rules: Only one entry per person will be entered in the draw. The draw will be held by 3 November 2021 and the winner contacted by 5 November 2021, on the number they used to send the sms.

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Tiffany and Martin tell an inspirational tale about their experiences of saving lives as a nurse and paramedic during Covid.

CONTRIBUTORS Hans Mackenzie Main, Jo Spies, Gavin Dudley, Michelle Duraan, Cindy Glass

12 HOW TO SLAY IN 2022 - YOUR WAY It takes some out-of-the-box thinking to make future plans these days, but be sure to do it your way.


14 FUNDING IN A TIME OF COVID Don’t let the pandemic stop you from finding the funding you need!



ADVERTISING SALES Joy Voss & Cassia Passetti

ENTERTAINMENT 3 COMPETITION Grab your chance to win a Samsung Galaxy A3 Core smartphone.

TEL 021 447 6467 FAX 021 447 6351 EMAIL POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 44383, Claremont 7735, South Africa WEBSITE

7 GOTTA HAVE GADGETS Top tech gadgets you’ll want to know about (and buy!).



How to spot anxiety and depression in yourself or a fellow teen and what to do about it.


CEO Deon Muller PRINTED BY CTP Printers COVER IMAGE Jo Spies


Post Matric is published by Yes!Media. All copyright in material appearing in this magazine belongs to Yes! Media and/or the individual contributors. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor or Yes! Media. No responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions in the contents of the magazine.





Post Matric ISSN number 2074-4412

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Fund Accountant Nutritionist | Panel Beater Vice-Chancellor Barista | Pet Groomer Landscaper Seamstress | Security Analyst Portfolio Manager & Investment Analyst Pharmacist 28 Radiographer | Pastry Chef 29 Barber | Copywriter 30 Instagram Secondhand Clothing Seller Plumber

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GOTTA HAVE Great gadgets for the digital lifestyle

HUAWEI BAND 6 This is the ideal tracker for casual gym go-ers looking to get more serious. It's extremely good at gathering all the key wellness data, from step count to continuous heart rate and sleep quality, but it also tracks nearly 100 workout modes, from cardio to weight training and much more. And works with both iPhone and Android. R1700

NIKE AIR JORDAN II ADAPT The future is finally here, courtesy of these properly smart kicks. Slide your feet into these Air Jordans and they electronically lace themselves up. Open the app and you can tweak the ride of the shoe to mould around your feet. You can also customise the colour and pattern of the illuminating buttons on the midsole. But you still can't jump like Jordan. R8500

SAMSUNG GALAXY A32 If you're shopping for a classy phone on a budget, then this is our overall winner. The quad rear camera array of 64MP main sensor, with a wide angle, macro and depth sensor, work together to produce fantastic photos and the battery life of over two days is seriously impressive. But it's the superb 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with unusually high 90Hz refresh rate which puts it ahead of the budget phone pack. R5000

SONY WF-1000XM4 BUDS Probably the best true wireless earbuds in the world right now, these are equipped with class-leading active noise cancelling tech, which means they can block out background noise so you have a premium listening experience. Music pauses automatically when you talk to people and a special bone conduction mic means no wind noise when you're taking calls or leaving voice messages. Obviously, these also deliver audiophile level sound in several high-definition formats. R7000

MEDIABOX MBX4K MAVERICK Struggling to get Netflix on your old-school TV? This set top box that runs the familiar Android operating system is the most affordable way to make your TV smart. Plug it into the TV, install all your favourite apps from YouTube to DSTV and Spotify, and start binge-ing. R1600

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HEROES ON THE FRONTLINE After rising above their circumstances to save their own lives, Tiffany and Martin focussed their efforts on saving the lives of others. And their selflessness has never been more important than today. By Hans Mackenzie Main 8 | P O S T M AT R I C 2 0 2 1

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he frontline and frontline workers are terms that only recently became part of our everyday language. As the Covid-19 pandemic swept over the planet in 2020 the nurses, paramedics and doctors who took the fight to the virus became collectively known as our defenders closest to the enemy. But the frontline, that point at which a band-aid or two Disprins won’t be enough to get you back to full health, has been there all along. And the individuals who work on that line have been plying their trade, keeping us all safe for many centuries. Tiffany Pienaar and Martin Titus are two frontline workers. A nurse and a paramedic respectively, they’re employed by the Constantia Mediclinic to keep the residents of the southern parts of Cape Town alive and well to the best of their abilities. Reaching the goals they set out for themselves, however, was not easy. “I grew up in Cape Town in a small neighbourhood close to the hospital in Diep River,” Tiffany told me, taking off precious minutes from her shift. “When I was a teenager, drug abuse was rife in the area, and it still is today. The impact that had on me is that I knew that this is not what I wanted for myself. I knew I had to better myself for my future and my kids’ future.” For Martin, the path to the accidents and emergency situations where he saves lives every day was similarly difficult. “I spent most of my childhood in Bellville and Belhar in Cape Town. [My family] was very poor and the only thing I had going for myself was that I was determined to change something,” he said, clothed in his red and blue Mediclinic uniform – a welcome sight to anyone in distress – ready to leave the interview at a moment’s notice. Yet, however trying Martin’s and Tiffany’s circumstances were growing up without any role models to look to, the role of their families, and in particular their parents, played a part in laying the foundation to build a life on. Despite the forces and influences that could lead them astray and the odds stacked against them financially, sage advice and life truths saw them through. “I remember one day,” Martin said, “my mom told me something. She was mad at me for going out with friends. These friends were not the best [influence] at the time, and her

wisdom was, it doesn’t matter who your friends are, it doesn’t matter what they do, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it. Those words resonated with me to this day. I never did what they did, even though I hung out with them. I withdrew myself from what they got up to and spent time on improving myself, on working my butt off.” Like any specialised field, working in a medical environment requires special skills and attributes. The stress, long shifts and responsibilities that come with the job are not for everyone. In fact, according to Tiffany, nursing is a calling not a job. “You have to be passionate about what you do. You work with people, with people’s lives every day. Three of the most important attributes to have are empathy and compassion and a very strong work ethic.” “As a paramedic in the pre-hospital environment, it’s important to remain very calm under pressure, because the elements are extreme,” Martin told me. “It’s raining, it’s hot and there is family around. You have to manage the patient within all that chaos.” With limited opportunities to get enrolled for tertiary education straight after school, both Martin and Tiffany called on their grit, passion and determination to get themselves qualified. As it turned out there were, and are, many ways to reach your dreams when the traditional route to success is out of reach. “A Mediclinic learnership gave me the option to work and study at the same time,” Tiffany said. “For me, that was a better option than doing a four-year degree. I studied two years while working in the medical ward at Mediclinic. I had to work full time and study while being a single parent. I worked 12-hour shifts. It wasn’t easy, but doable, and I overcame it. You have to manage your time and set goals.” “Becoming a paramedic was not at all what I envisioned for myself,” Martin said. “In school, I was quite interested in chemical engineering, but then I saw an advert for firefighting. I did the assessments with a friend – and we got in – although that was not the expectation at all as the requirements sounded a little ridiculous. ‘You must do 2.4 kilometres within ten minutes’ they told us! But we did it, and got in.”

THE DEVASTATING STATISTICS OF THE EFFECT OF COVID-19 ON FRONTLINE WORKERS IN MAY OF 2020: ❖ A total of 152 888 infections and 1413 deaths were reported. ❖ Infections were mainly in women (71.6%) and nurses (38.6%). ❖ Deaths were mainly in men (70.8%)

and doctors (51.4%).

❖ General practitioners and mental

health nurses were the highest

risk specialities for deaths.

❖ There were 37.2 deaths reported

per 100 infections for frontline

workers aged over 70 years.

TO QUALIFY FOR A MEDICLINIC LEARNERSHIP, ALL YOU NEED IS TO: ✎ Be a citizen of South Africa ✎ Hold a valid Grade 12 / Matric certification or higher ✎ Not be registered for study at SANC /

SA Nursing Council

✎ Have passed Mathematics / Mathematical Literacy Level 4 (NQF) with 40% or higher ✎ Have passed English Literacy Skills Level 4 (NQF) with 40% or higher ✎ Pay the non-refundable registration fee ✎ Register on the Mediclinic learnership website at any time of the year and then simply apply once the

application process opens.

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“Even though I’ve grown accustomed to a degree of suffering, I’ve never seen this amount of devastation. But as much as it has been difficult and frustrating, it’s also been educational” - Tiffany

Martin fought blazes as a firefighter for about eight years, working 24-hour shifts while studying at the University of Cape Town to earn his degree. He used to spend all his time between university and work, he said, but that wasn’t going to stop him because he had a plan. And as is often the case with people who know where they’re going, the universe conspired at the very beginning of his days as a firefighter and led Martin to an emergency situation on the outskirts of Cape Town where his heart started to race for all the right reasons. “There was a case in Gugulethu where an old lady required some assistance. Just being a level three firefighter at the time, there was a limited number of things I could do for her and that was really frustrating. So, a paramedic came out and intervened and essentially saved this lady’s life and I was, like, damn, this is really interesting. I decided then and there to go and study.” The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it an unprecedented influx of patients into the wards of Mediclinic. As the number of infections rose in the beginning of 2020, so did the stress levels among the staff of the hospital, who suddenly found themselves on a frontline they hadn’t encountered before, in the unenviable position of having front row seats while the drama unfolded. “This is my 11th year with Mediclinic, and we’ve never seen anything like the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Tiffany. “Even though I’ve grown accustomed to a degree of suffering, I’ve never seen this amount of devastation.

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As much as it has been difficult and frustrating, it’s also been educational. I worked in a Covid-19 unit in the first and second wave and you learn so much. With everything we learnt, we’re better prepared for the third wave.” “It’s been a very eye-opening process,” Martin said of his experience working during a pandemic. “We need to educate people at every point of contact and tell them to take care of themselves and take care of their family. [Covid-19] is not a plug-and-patch solution. The patient is struggling to breathe and that’s an acute problem. But not everyone is severely ill and sometimes it requires just holding the patient’s hand, having a chat, and reducing the anxiety of which there is a lot out there as a result of misinformation.”

“Something that you learn, is that the more you know, the less you actually know and that just makes you want to know more,” Martin added while the topic of learning came up. “It’s a weird paradox, but it can’t be truer in the medical field.” When I asked Tiffany and Martin as to what keeps them motivated, they didn’t think long. The answers seemed to be on the tips of their tongues. “Two things,” said Tiffany. “The first is the patients. When I can see that they’re happy and recovering, that keeps me motivated. And secondly, my daughter.” Martin echoed the sentiment. “When I see a thank you in the face of a patient, they don’t even have to say it, it goes such a long way.” PM

“It’s important to remain very calm under pressure, because the elements are extreme. It’s raining, it’s hot and there is family around. You have to manage the patient within all that chaos” - Martin


 Earn a degree at a university.  Certain universities offer a

4-year Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Care (BEMS).  Graduates of this programme are qualified as Emergency Care Practitioners and able to provide the highest level of pre-hospital emergency care available.  A 2-year Diploma in Emergency Medical Care is also available.  This qualification is offered by accredited institutions.  Graduates will be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as a paramedic.  In addition, Mediclinic offers a Diploma in Emergency Medical Care, in Cape Town.

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HOW TO SLAY IN 2022 – YOUR WAY From getting used to hybrid learning to having our parents become our teachers (!) this has been no ordinary Matric year. And the path you take next year will almost certainly have to include some out-of-the-box thinking. Start here…


fter getting through Grade 11 in 2020 (read: the year the world fell apart) largely unscathed and then completing Grade 12 amidst second and third waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, you’d think people would lay off the “So, what are you doing next year, after Matric?” inquisition. But alas, it’s a rite of passage to be pestered by wellmeaning, and in some cases just nosey, friends and family. Also, the reality is that no matter how hard life gets, it still goes on, and we still have to figure out how to make the most of it. So… let’s tackle the most obvious choice first: tertiary education. While there are other options besides studying further, many matriculants would like the opportunity to gain a formal tertiary qualification. Whether you’re afforded this opportunity as a result of bursaries, loans or generous relatives, making the right choice for YOU when it comes to what to study is crucial. Jobs within the industry you wish to enter may require either a certificate, diploma or bachelor’s degree, with the latter two options typically allowing for a greater range of jobs. It’s best to check job listings in the industry where your interests lie to see what types of qualifications are usually required. Remember, your subject choices determine which faculties and courses you could apply for, but your Matric pass is a result of your final marks and is your ticket into the tertiary world. It’s super important to put a concerted effort into your academics in order to give yourself as many tertiary options as possible after matriculating. Matriculating with a certificate pass allows you to apply for certificate courses at either TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) colleges or private colleges. Should you matriculate with a diploma pass, you’ll be able to apply for both certificate and diploma courses at TVET colleges, private colleges, universities of technology and even some academic universities. With a bachelor’s degree pass, you’re able to apply for any type of tertiary qualification, specifically a bachelor’s degree at an academic university or university of technology.

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A bachelor’s degree allows you to apply for postgraduate studies (honours, master’s and doctoral degrees) in your chosen field. One of the biggest changes to the tertiary education system as a result of the pandemic has been the move to online education. Many institutions are realising the value in offering their programmes in an online format, which will hopefully translate into more opportunities for students outside of the major towns and cities where tertiary institutions are located.

BRIDGING THE GAP A “gap year” is a popular term used by those privileged enough to take some time off between school and pursuing tertiary education. Considered by many as a year to travel the world, a gap year can actually take many different forms – and the traditional travelling bug will most likely have to be curtailed to within our borders for now. Using the time off as constructively as possible will be hugely valuable in the long run, once you’re ready to commit to a path. To understand what this might mean for you, it’s important to consider the purpose of your gap year. If it’s to avoid burn out after the academic stress of Grade 12, then focusing on personal growth and your mental health is paramount. If your intention is to figure out what it is you want to study, then building a relationship with a career counsellor or mentor should be a priority. Volunteering, job shadowing, travelling and completing short courses are all productive ways to structure your gap year. Short courses are great because while you won’t gain a formal qualification, you’ll benefit from both a better idea of a particular field and learning a new set of skills. Short courses are offered by many institutions and there are a ton of awesome online short courses available through organisations like GetSmarter, who have consolidated short courses through some of the world’s leading tertiary institutions such as UCT, Harvard, MIT and Cambridge University. Then there is the structured gap year, where you sign up for a programme that lasts several months. This may even be residential – meaning you stay on the property. They usually aim to build general life skills, so might include options like first aid courses, some practical mechanics courses or even business management (e.g. Warriors SA, Game Ways, GVI, Urban Rooster). Some universities are now also offering 10-month certificate courses as a constructive gap year option, for example Stellenbosch University’s “Young Minds” entrepreneurial course.

Other popular options for gap years include “stooging” at schools abroad (working in boarding houses), stewarding on yachts, working as a summer camp counsellor in the USA, working at ski resorts in the USA or Europe, au pairing either locally or abroad, or tutoring high school students in the afternoon.

SHOW ME THE MONEY Many matriculants either want to – or have to – find a job and begin working after school. But with youth unemployment in our country at an all-time high, this may prove rather difficult. Nevertheless, the wisest choice in this regard is to either try to align yourself within an industry that you see yourself potentially pursuing at some point in your career, or in a position where you’re able to gain transferable skills. (In an ideal world, you would be able to find a paying entry-level job in the field of your dreams, but this is unfortunately not the reality for most.) Gaining transferable skills means equipping yourself with knowledge and experience that can be used in a variety of jobs or industries. While the goal is to use any position to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible in order to move onto greener pastures, it’s so important that you treat the job as if it’s the only one you’ll ever want. Put your best foot forward every single day to leave the best impression and gain as much as you can from the job. Hard work and effort never go unnoticed and might be the first step to a promotion.

GAP YEAR TRAVELS IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC International travel bans and closed borders don’t have to mean the end of gap year travels. Consider a local travel adventure, where you get to explore some popular and hidden gems right here in Mzansi: ❖ Explore the Otter Trail, Fish River Canyon or Blyde River Canyon ❖ Visit National Parks like Addo, Hluhluwe and Kruger ❖ Unpack our history at the Apartheid Museum and Constitutional Court in Joburg or the District Six Museum and Robben Island in Cape Town ❖ Learn about indigenous San culture with guided tours through the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve.

HOW TO SPOT A SCAM For any tertiary institution offering certificates, diplomas or degrees, always check: ☛ Are they accredited with the Council of Higher Education and can they provide the certificate to prove it? ☛ Are their courses verified by the South African Qualifications Authority? ☛ Do they have a website with contact details and a physical address, even if they offer online qualifications? The age-old saying of “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is”, is worth remembering. If something seems off, contact the Department of Higher Education and Training.

WHAT’S RIGHT FOR ME? While it may feel like all your friends are clear on which direction to take after matriculating, the reality is that the majority of matriculants are unsure of what their future holds. Consulting with a trusted teacher and your parents/guardians is always recommended. These people know you well and should offer good insight into what might be right for you. Gaining an objective opinion, however, might even be more valuable. A registered career counsellor (check their HPCSA status!) can help you understand your unique strengths and how to use these in a way that ensures both your happiness and success. While their services may come at a cost, the investment in your future is invaluable. Whatever you end up doing after school, remember to always leverage your strengths, put real effort into all your steps along the way and soak up as much knowledge as you can. PM

MICHELLE DURAAN - Registered Counsellor, with a special interest in career counselling and assessments Michelle is based in Cape Town, but all her services can also be accessed online. She has extensive experience, having assisted high school students and matriculants from all over the world. Contact for more info or to book a session.

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FUNDING IN A TIME OF COVID Yes, you can apply for funding despite the strange times we live in. Here’s how.


ith uncertainty swirling in every sphere of society, it’s more important than ever to get a tertiary education. It is, however, a reality that enrolling at a university or college costs – in most instances – a lot of money. So, what are you to do, caught between a rock and a hard place, unable to afford the qualifications you so sorely need to make it in a world where everything seems to cost a ton of money? Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom. As sure as there will be an end to the Covid-19 pandemic, you will be able to enroll in university or college if you work hard, achieve good marks and make the right moves. Applying for a bursary at The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSAFS) is a move in the right

direction. So read closely, and when you’re done, make that phone call and send that email. Because, the time to get moving is now!

OPTION #1: APPLY FOR NSFAS FUNDING NSFAS is a bursary scheme funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training for those who do not have the financial means to fund their studies and cannot access bank funding, study loans or bursaries. Here’s how it works: If you come from a family with an income of R350 000 or less, you qualify for a government bursary offered via the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

What does the bursary cover? For your university studies, it covers: • Accommodation as per the actual costs charged by the university (costs for private accommodation must not exceed costs for university residence) • Transport (up to 40km from institution) R7 500 per annum • Living allowance of R15 000 per annum • Book allowances R5 200 per annum • Incidental/personal care allowance R2 900 per annum for students in catered residences For Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) it covers: • Accommodation in an urban area R24 000 per annum

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• • • • •

Accommodation in aa peri-urban area R18 900 per annum Accommodation in a rural area R15 750 per annum Transport (up to 40km from institution) R7 350 per annum Transport R7 000 per annum Incidental/personal care allowance R2 900 per annum.

In addition to your family income being below R350 000, you qualify if: • You are a SASSA grant recipient • You have a disability and your family’s combined household income is not more than R600 000 per annum • You started studying before 2018 and your family’s household income is not more than R122 000 per annum. Here’s what you need to do: • First, secure a place at your university or college of choice • You will still have to meet the academic requirements or criteria for a particular public university or TVET college • Each university will still set its own fees for its various programmes of study, which will be covered by the government bursary if you qualify • Once you have been offered a place, apply for your university or college bursary online through NSFAS • NSFAS reserves the right to verify your household income, to ensure that you are eligible for free tertiary education • If your funding application is successful, NSFAS will pay your fees directly to the institution where you are enrolled • If you fail to secure a place in an institution, register on the Department of Higher Education’s Central Applications Clearing House (CACH) system once you’ve received your matric results. This online application portal will then share your information with all the universities, colleges, private institutions and SETAs that still have space available. Here’s a great bit of news: The Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, officially launched the National Student Financial Aid Scheme’s (NSFAS) Digital Learning Device programme at the South Cape TVET College, George Campus on 11 June 2021. The launch marks the roll-out plan on the distribution of laptops to NSFAS funded students both at universities and colleges. So, yes, NSFAS support includes more than funding! Students who are registered at a public institution and are approved for NSFAS 2021 funding can order their laptops online.

Once you have ordered your laptop online and all the necessary checks have been completed, you will be contacted to collect your laptop on campus of the institution you are registered at. Note that NSFAS financial support previously was in the form of loans and still needs to be paid back when you find employment after completion of your studies. If you passed all your subjects, 40% of the NSFAS funding for that particular year/ semester will be converted into a bursary. This means you will only pay back 60% of the loan when you start working. For more info, contact: • National Student Financial Aid Scheme on 086 006 7327, or • Career Centre on 086 999 0123 or • Department of Higher Education and Training on 0800 087 2222 or • National Career Advice Portal on • For lists of bursaries available, check out or

NSFAS SUPPORT IN YOUR POCKET Once your NSFAS funding has been approved, you need to set up a NSFAS Wallet. Your NSFAS Wallet will allow you to withdraw cash and/or spend at any merchant registered by NSFAS. Allowance amounts are determined through consultation with institutions, communicated to NSFAS when you register. How to get started if you’re a first-time user: • Once you’ve been granted a NSFAS bursary, NSFAS will send you a “Welcome” SMS advising you to verify your account • Dial *134*176# and follow the prompts to verify and authenticate your account • You will receive your password in an SMS, which will give you access to your account. Never share your password with anyone • Once you have received your password, you may access your account by dialling *134*176# • You may withdraw cash from participating stores (Shoprite, U-save, Checkers, SPAR, Boxer or Pick n Pay). When your NSFAS Wallet account is created by NSFAS, you will receive a “Welcome” SMS advising you to verify your account. Ensure at ALL times that you have access to the cell phone number you provided to NSFAS upon application, as this is the number we will use to deposit your funds. Should you wish to withdraw cash, you may do so at any of their cash withdrawal

merchants, Checkers, Boxer, U-Save and select SPAR stores. Note that these stores have daily cash withdrawal limits from R200 – R1000 per day.

WHY A BANK ACCOUNT IS ESSENTIAL IN THE TIME OF COVID In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, NSFAS activated a business continuity plan to facilitate uninterrupted funding to students, resolution of student applications queries, processing of appeals and general assistance to institutions with NSFAS administration. By doing this, NSFAS want to ensure that students receive their allowances during this time of general hardship and uncertainty to sustain themselves, continue with academic activities online, as well as to pay for learning materials. So they’re urging students to open bank accounts to ensure more efficient disbursements of funds from institutions where applicable. Going forward, NSFAS is working on a banking model that will eliminate all intermediaries in the disbursement value chain and facilitate direct deposits from NSFAS into student bank accounts. There are many banks out there offering many different accounts. Many of them have accounts designed especially for students, so look out for those (they have names like Dezign Student Account or MyMO Account or simply Student Account. Really, you can’t miss them). Here’s how easy it is: • Some bank accounts can be opened online, while others have to be opened in-branch. • To open an account, all you need is your ID book and proof of residence. • A bank account is a reliable way to keep your money safe while earning interest. Yes, we’re living through a dark time, but like the old saying goes: It’s always darkest right before dawn. Soon South Africa, and the world, will experience a new dawn with new opportunities and a very bright future ahead. As the leaders of today know only too well, humanity can only move forward through the education and training of you - the leaders of tomorrow. So while it may seem more difficult than ever to reach your dreams, don’t despair, help is out there. Through an establishment of a virtual contact centre for operations during the lockdown, NSFAS has been processing 4 390 inquiries daily, with a large number emanating in case finalisation. They remain fully functional and accessible through these platforms to ensure that students inquiries are attended to as soon as possible. NSFAS is accessible on the below platforms from 08h30 to 17h00, Monday to Friday: • Email: • Facebook: National Student Financial Aid Scheme • Twitter: myNSFAS • Instagram: myNSFAS • NSFAS Connect: PM

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COUNTING ON YOUR FUTURE Diploma in Accountancy (1 year). For the professional training, I trained at a medium-sized audit firm, as an external auditor for 3 years.


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? After the introduction to the profession, I did my research, took a psychometric test and found it to be a great match – and also due to a greater chance of securing employment post qualification. WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? For the technical training part, I completed my Bachelor of Accounting Sciences Degree (3 years) and my Postgraduate

IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? You need to have an analytical mind! Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, during training you will learn to communicate effectively and efficiently. IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? The chartered accountancy profession is designed in a way that grants you the opportunity to gain formal training before you qualify, which also counts as experience post qualification. DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY AS A SENIOR FUND ACCOUNTANT 09:00-09:30 – Read emails and prepare for the day; 09:30-10:00 – Attend a team meeting; 10:0012:00 – Prepare the financial

statements of the funds that are listed on the London Stock Exchange; 12:00-13:00 – Lunch; 13:00-15:00 – Review and authorise payments; 15:00-16:00 – Meet with the board of directors; 16:00-17:00 – Respond to emails from external auditors.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? Seeing my hard work (financial statements) published on the London Stock Exchange for worldwide stakeholders to make decisions. WHICH ASPECTS ARE YOU LEAST ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT? When the tasks I do become repetitive. When this happens, I ask for a new challenge. WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? The opportunity to work internationally: I have been an external auditor in Dublin, Ireland, and I am currently a senior fund accountant in Jersey, Channel Islands.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? I’d like to continue being beneficial to society – as a chartered accountant, I am a business leader and a responsible, ethical citizen. I also have my coaching and mentoring venture that I run after 5pm and over the weekends. My goal is to expand my coaching and mentoring venture and help more varsity students and young professionals with selfleadership, peak academic performance and future-proofing their careers. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? It can and will be challenging, however, in the words of Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.” DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Challenging, engaging, empowering

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PASSION FOR HEALTH WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? My love for seeing people experiencing good health and happiness, after witnessing them suffering through ill health and disease. WHAT TRAINING DID YOU DO? I did a Clinical Nutrition Diploma through IAN in Australia, Health Coaching Certificate through Zest 4 Life, UK, and a Functional Medicine Certificate through IFM in the USA. Currently, there is no NT qualification available in SA, but health coaching is available with Health Coaches Academy. DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY My morning starts off with admin: checking emails, ordering supplements, paying suppliers, social media posts. Then online consulting with my clients. When lockdown lifts, I hope to work 1/2 days at a nearby health clinic too. After an initial consult with a new client, I work out a health protocol,

have a few follow-up consultations to support them in implementing the lifestyle changes. I also offer food demos and workshops where we prepare healthy foods.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? Seeing the improvements in my clients’ health, which can have a big impact on their lives and the achievement of their goals.

WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT? Running health retreats at various beautiful locations around the country and having my food and recipes featured on TV and in Food & Home magazine.

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? Being bogged down with admin; it can be quite consuming and not income generating.

ANY FUTURE GOALS? To continue to instill the value of good health and lifestyle medicine to all in our country, and to spread the message, that when it comes to our genes, prevention is better than cure. What we do in our youth impacts our health destiny.

WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? I’ve worked in this field for over 10 years now. Being self-employed can be much harder than regular employment. You need to be disciplined so you are able to ride out the quiet times. You have to always be re-inventing yourself and keeping up to date with new trends, new studies, new supplements in order to stay current.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT? If you plan on working in private practice, decide who your target audience will be, then set up some health packages and programmes that you can sell to your clients. This will make your life so much easier. Be open to giving free talks and demos in your community to get yourself


out there. Or go the social media route of promoting your business online.

IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK OR CHARACTER TRAITS YOU NEED TO HAVE (OR NOT HAVE)? A caring empathic nature will be most supportive in this field, along with being a good listener and really ‘hearing’ what your clients’ needs are. Sometimes people just want to be heard.

HIT THAT PERFECT BEAT WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? Growing up, I always loved the motor industry and I figured if this drove me then why not get a qualification in what I was good at. WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO AND WHERE? I received my trade certification in spray painting and panel beating at Westlake College, where I got my qualification. DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB Pushing production and keeping the clients happy. Some days are more stressful than others, but it’s what keeps me motivated. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? My favorite part of this job is seeing the end results after a job is completed as well as

knowing that the customer is satisfied and as happy as what I am.

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? The job can be very demanding, stressful and tiring. WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? I believe that what you put in is what you get out and one main hurdle I have had to overcome is getting the work we do up to standard.

IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK, OR CERTAIN TRAITS ONE SHOULD HAVE (OR NOT HAVE)? You have to have a love for cars and looking forward to an end result of the repair and restoration. Having customer etiquette is very important and also taking action, using your own initiative.


IN YOUR LINE OF WORK, IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Yes, definitely. Panel beating is a hands-on job, so practical training is crucial.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? From here on forward I would like to create a bigger working environment, so that we will be able to employ more people as well as allow the business to grow even bigger.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? Firstly, love what you do. Do not allow yourself to be in a position that you do not want to be in, especially if it’s not what you want.


Put in everything that you have to give. Nothing is easy; you need to make the most of it, so you can get the best out of it.

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The future of work requires graduates that are innovative, entrepreneurial, adaptable, resourceful, responsive, responsible, ethically and socially aware, confident and effective communicators. Prepare yourself for the future and be ready for opportunities by studying through the University of Mpumalanga.


Apply to study for your preferred qualification and study with us in 2022.





One-year Programme • Higher Certificate in Information Communication Technology in User Support

Three-year Programmes • Diploma in Nature Conservation • Diploma in Agriculture • Diploma in Animal Production • Diploma Information Communication Technology in Applications Development




Three-year Programmes Bachelor of Agriculture in Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management Bachelor of Science (General) Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences Four-year Programmes Bachelor of Science in Agriculture


Four-year Programmes • Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase Teaching

FACULTY OF ECONOMICS, DEVELOPMENT AND BUSINESS STUDIES Three-year Programmes • Bachelor of Development Studies • Bachelor of Commerce (General) • Bachelor of Administration • Bachelor of Arts (General)

For more information: Tel: +27 13 002 0001 or E-mail:

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KNOWLEDGE IS THE FUTURE WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME A VICE-CHANCELLOR? My profession is that of an academic, academic leader and manager, and psychologist. It offers me an opportunity to influence future generations; it is about contributing to the holistic development of staff and students in pursuit of democratic citizenship. At the same time, as a clinical psychologist, I have the opportunity to contribute to the mental health of others. WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I obtained a BA degree majoring in psychology and geography; BA Honours in Psychology; MA in Psychology from the University of Fort Hare; DPhil in Psychology (cum laude) from the Free University Berlin in Germany; and a Higher Education Diploma (Postgraduate) from the University of South Africa. I am registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as a clinical psychologist. I was awarded a Commonwealth Fellowship tenable at the Greenwood Institute for Child Health, University of Leicester, United Kingdom. I was the recipient of the American Council on Higher Education Fellowship tenable at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. In addition, I read widely on topics that are relevant to my profession. IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? Yes, a person with sound interpersonal skills, self-awareness, humility, empathy and good listening skills. A good understanding of human behaviour is necessary to succeed in this position. IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Yes. it is the cumulative experiences acquired in various positions in academia and the lessons learnt along the way which play a significant role in the success of a vicechancellor. It is not only experience that is important, but going through the ranks as an academic up to Professor, Head of Department, Head of School, Executive Dean and Deputy Vice-Chancellor is of crucial importance in preparing one for the position of Vice-Chancellor. Experience at different institutions of higher learning is important. In my case, I worked at the University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University), University of the Witwatersrand, Nelson

Mandela University and the University of Mpumalanga.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB A typical day involves providing strategic direction on a number of strategic issues, attending and chairing meetings, problemsolving and taking strategic decisions on a wide range of issues pertaining to staff, students and stakeholders. A typical day also involves attending to administrative tasks and one-on-one meetings with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? To closely watch a student at first year level, grow from a timid and diffident human to a confident and self-assured person a short two years later, made me value the career that I have entered. The greatest privilege comes from working with students, to being able to help them succeed, to share in their successes and to work to ensure they have a learning experience that sustains them for the rest of their lives. WHICH ASPECTS ARE YOU LEAST ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT? The Vice-Chancellor is essentially the CEO of the institution, therefore, you cannot pick and choose. You must be comfortable doing the uncomfortable. WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? The privilege of starting a new university has been a source of positive energy and motivation for me as founding ViceChancellor of the University of Mpumalanga. There is honour and prestige in achieving the highest position in university life. I am grateful to the University Council for the confidence they bestowed upon me for this critical role. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? My goals for the future pertain to continuing with the pioneering journey at the University of Mpumalanga and continuing with the development of the university in terms of growth in student numbers, number of academic programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and the construction of the state-of-the-art new infrastructure for the academic project.

I will continue with being a mentor and role model for, in particular, female staff and students. I would like to start writing a book on my leadership journey, starting when I was a Head of Department and Deputy Dean at the University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University), Head of School, Deputy Dean and Acting Executive Dean at Wits University, Executive Dean and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Engagement at Nelson Mandela University and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Mpumalanga.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? Work hard, be disciplined, have determination, be a good listener, establish good relationships with both staff and students, and openness to embrace change. Keep in touch with your personal values, beliefs and purpose. Develop your shortterm and long-term goals and work to achieve them. HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED? There is no job that can bring more joy and satisfaction, that has the ability to positively impact so many, and that leaves one with a sense of having done a good job. Yes, it is a difficult job, but it is also one that is unbelievably rewarding. At the end of the day, it is about leaving the position of ViceChancellor knowing that the institution is better than it was when one started one’s term of office. Constant reflection on the positive impact of one’s actions on others is very inspiring. DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Inspiring, challenging and rewarding

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PURRFECT PET PARLOUR WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO, AND WHERE? I trained with Alison at The Dog’s Whiskers, based in Valyland Centre. It’s the most popular dog parlour in Fish Hoek, so the training was top notch.


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO FOLLOW THIS PATH? I chose pet grooming as a career because I am passionate about working with people and animals. I’ve loved animals since I was a child. IF YOU HAVE A MORE UNUSUAL CAREER, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT IT IS THAT YOU DO I not only groom cats and dogs in our parlour, but also rabbits and occasionally guinea pigs!

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY Hectic! The first animal comes in at 8:30am. I wash or brush them and then they go into a cage to dry, while I get started with the next one. After an hour, depending on the size of the pet, I would finish off the first one and let the customer know their fur baby (or some people bring in more than one at a time) is ready for collection. I get an average of six pets coming in per day. The day ends with cleaning up the “office” and equipment, ready for the next day. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A PET GROOMER? I love what I do! It brings me so much pleasure when the fur babies walk out of the parlour looking all clean and polished,

and their parents are happy with the new look. I find my work therapeutic, if you can call it that.

YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE PART? When people see a photo on the internet of a pet grooming style and ask if I can replicate it with a different breed. Most people don’t understand that dogs don’t all have the same hair texture. A Poodle’s hairstyle will not look the same on their Yorkie, for example. I have to explain to them that it’s not possible, and some people get disappointed. WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? Not all customers will be happy with the outcome, even though I have delivered my best. Some pets need short cuts due to their fur being heavily matted or due to skin disease. Styling can only occur after treatment and regrowth of a healthy coat. WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT? I was recommended by a customer

to new clients that were from England. I felt privileged to apply my skills on a foreign breed, and they were satisfied with the result. I delivered on the challenge with flying colours.

DO YOU HAVE ANY GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? I would love to own and run my own parlour one day. IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Experience is actually even more important than formal training. I’ve been doing this for 15 years now, and still get dogs that test my experience and skills. IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? It requires a lot of care and patience. You must be an animal lover and a cheerful person. Dogs are very sensitive and can respond to how you are feeling, and sometimes, they will act on it. YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Fun, challenging and good-business.



WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME A BARISTA? I wouldn’t say I chose to be a Barista; it came about because of limited opportunities after I finished my studies. But I grew to love it and I have zero regrets about what I do. WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I did a short barista training course at Origin Coffee in Cape Town.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY The day usually starts with a morning rush, as customers stop by to quickly pick up our breakfast and bagel special before they head off to work. We also get orders from Uber Eats and OrderIn throughout the day. In the afternoon, we mostly get orders for our main menu meals, but as they say, coffee knows no weather, so it is a favourite in the afternoon too. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? Making good coffee, pushing sales and offering the best service every day. Seeing customers happy is what brings joy to me. Being a barista has given me lots of friends – my motto is: “Beyond coffee towards making everyone family at the bakery”. WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? Working under pressure gives me a whole lot of stress and I make more mistakes. So, I’ve trained

myself to multitask and work fast and smart. When I’m working under pressure, sometimes my temper gets tested, but I always manage my anger – thankfully, a skill I acquired back in Varsity.

WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER? Being mentioned by various clients and them making referrals to their families and relatives to come to Dolce and request their coffees to be specifically made by me. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? I’d like to start a business that involves working with people and growing to be a giant in the service industry through providing high quality products and services. IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO BEING A BARISTA? Yes, you need to be punctual, patient, calm and more of an extrovert than an introvert –

you’ll be dealing with people and you have to entertain them while they’re waiting for their coffee. My goal is for people to come to the bakery because they enjoy talking to me, not just to get good coffee. I see that as an important factor; there are plenty of places that sell good coffee, but who’s making the coffee? It’s important to be unique in terms of how you treat your clients and interact with them.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT? Being a barista is something that people take lightly, but it’s one of the best and most interesting jobs for learning about people and the world. To those starting this journey, you have to stay focused and never be afraid of failing, because making mistakes and finding solutions to correct them is what makes people successful. YOUR JOB IN FOUR WORDS Making coffee brings family!

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DESIGNING WITH NATURE WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I did a National Diploma in Horticulture at Cape Tech and a Bachelor of Science, majoring in botany and environmental science, at UCT.


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE LANDSCAPING? I’ve had an affinity with and appreciation of nature from a young age. That and the creative aspect involved in design work is what drew me to the profession. In a way, choosing landscaping created a balance between working with nature, while still having all the cultural and social benefits offered by city living. Though, that aspect means less to me these days.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY Meeting with the staff in the morning; ensuring that the correct tools and materials are loaded for a particular project. I spend a few hours on site(s) to make sure that everyone knows their tasks for the day. The rest of the day is taken up with sourcing materials, either physically or via email, design work, and meetings regarding upcoming projects. I return to site later in the day to review productivity and make any adjustments needed. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? The potential to design with plants. Using nature’s own colours, textures, shapes, fragrances and seasonal variations is inspiring. I’m still like a child in a sweet shop

every time I visit a nursery. The creative aspect of design is also rewarding, when translated from theory to practical installation.

I’ve had some memorable experiences: working on two game farms, and spending 18 months working in the Seychelles.

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? Standing in dog poo! Seriously though, it’s demanding at times, but I think that relates more to the responsibilities that come with owning a business, rather than the profession itself.

FUTURE GOALS? To design full time and outsource the installation aspect. As far as installations go, I’d like to shift the focus more to natural restoration and rehabilitation work.

HURDLES YOU’VE OVERCOME? To be assertive when the occasion demands – both with staff and clients – although I always do my best to keep a client happy within the allocated budget. The management aspect is a role I didn’t foresee. WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT? Working for some top clients over the years, where the design concept has dictated the budget, rather than the norm of designing within a budget. A landscaper’s dream situation.

IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? There are a number of self-taught landscapers who have been very successful. A Diploma in Horticulture, however, gives a good grounding. IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED? People who like to be outdoors! People skills are important, for managing staff and maintaining good communication with clients. The ability to think practically is also important, both on the design and installation level. P O S T M AT R I C 2 0 2 1 | 2 3

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A STITCH IN TIME DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB A typical day at work involves setting up my working station, cutting, measuring, stitching, ironing and hooking curtains, blinds and cushions.


WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? I really enjoy sitting at the machine and sewing – the adrenaline I get from working the machine is exciting!

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME A SEAMSTRESS? I enjoy textiles, working with different fabrics and putting things together. It’s just so satisfying and fulfilling.

“It’s a very hands-on job, so it’s better to gain knowledge through watching others and doing it yourself”

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO, AND WHERE? I matriculated from high school in the DRC, and this was a subject that formed part of my studies. From there, I learnt through work experience.

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? Cutting, measuring and ironing are my least favourite parts of the job, because then I’m on my feet for long hours, which is exhausting for my feet and back.

WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? I’m still overcoming hurdles and that mostly has to do with my wages. Only a select few are willing to pay for quality, and also, racism is difficult to deal with. WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? The highlight of my career has been sewing for huge organisations such as schools and restaurants. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? My future goal is to work for a company that pays me what I’m worth, so that I can lead a comfortable life with my kids. Hopefully I can one day start my own company. IN YOUR LINE OF WORK, IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? I believe training is way better! It’s a very hands-on job, so it’s

better to gain knowledge through watching others and doing it yourself, rather than learning from a textbook so you can produce a certificate that says you can sew.

IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? You have to have patience, attention to detail, and be organised. You have to be a very strong person; it’s not for the faint-hearted. There are lots of deadlines to meet and the analytical aspect of it can be very stressful. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? Provide quality work and stand up for what you believe is your worth. DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Exciting, competitive and (lots of hard) work.



WHY THIS UNUSUAL CAREER? I have always had a keen interest in politics, conflict and terrorism, and the manner in which these phenomena shape both global and continental security. DESCRIBE WHAT A SECURITY ANALYST DOES We provide a broad range of clients analysis on the various political and security risks that could pose a threat to their safety and/or interests across

the African continent. This includes providing bespoke analysis and forecasting on terrorism, government stability, crime and social unrest.

degree of spontaneity. Given the amount of written and verbal communication the role entails, candidates should also be confident communicators.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? I am constantly exposed to information, which provides me with a broad understanding of many issues that are topical.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU DO? I completed a university degree in political studies, and further pursed an Honours degree in the same discipline. During my postgraduate studies, I was offered a position at a Danish-based political risk consultancy, which allowed me to use the skillset I acquired to earn a living. I have been trained in various internal and external research and analytical methodologies, including those used by security agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other related institutions.

EXPERIENCE VS TRAINING? While experience is always important, the training regimen provided by many organisations in this industry is comprehensive and will definitely compensate for any lack of practical experience for candidates who apply themselves.

AND LEAST? As our company operates on a 24/7 basis, 365 days per year, I am often required to work shifts that some people would perceive as unsociable.

WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED? I believe this industry is tailor-made for individuals who excel at working under continuous pressure, who enjoy doing research and who are able to make decisions with a

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY AT WORK Monitoring of classified, declassifi ed and open source intelligence, which I then assess and present to clients in written briefs of varying length and depth; verbal assessments; compilation and coordination of contingency and evacuation plans, which are used by our clients in the event of a crisis that could impact their safety or business continuity.

YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHT? My analysis of the security threats across the African continent has been published by various media publications and think tanks. I am also often requested to provide insight on topical issues for major news networks. I was recently commissioned to author my first book. ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? Tenacity, attention to detail and self-assuredness are crucial. Be respectful, tolerant and appreciative of people who are different to you.

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YOUR MONEY MATTERS WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? I enjoyed maths and accounting during my high school years and had a natural affinity for the commerce subjects. This influenced my subject choices and also guided my thinking when I decided what to study at university. I was also fortunate to have a relative who worked in this industry and had numerous conversations with her about her career and the industry. She is still my mentor to this day. WHAT TRAINING DID YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? I completed my Bachelor of Business Science in Finance (Honours) at the University of Cape Town, and have also done various training courses throughout the years, while working. This included training on softer skills (e.g. presentation skills) as well as a regulatory exam covering legislation which we are expected to comply with at all times.

WOULD YOU SAY EXPERIENCE IS AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Yes, experience is definitely as fundamental as training in this industry. While having formal training or education is hugely important, on-the-job experience is extremely beneficial and this is invaluable, especially when trying to come up with solutions to some of the complex problems that we’re often faced with. WHICH ASPECTS ARE YOU LEAST ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT? Due to the competing demands that I have to deal with, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day, at times. Juggling multiple priorities at once is the norm, and this can mean working long hours, which can be quite taxing on a person if it goes on for sustained periods. WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? My greatest highlight was being promoted to portfolio manager

earlier this year, because this was recognition of the hard work that I have put in since I started my career. I’m extremely proud to be one of the black female portfolio managers in an industry that definitely needs to be more transformed.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? In the short to medium term, I want to excel in my new role, and to ensure that I deliver on the promises that we’ve made to our clients, who have entrusted us with managing and growing their money. There’s always room for improvement, so staying on top of my game and continuously learning is of utmost importance to me. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING A CAREER IN THE FIELD OF ASSET MANAGEMENT? I believe in the importance of hard work and the impact on one’s life that this can have when coupled with grabbing


opportunities that come your way, no matter how far out of your comfort zone they may take you. As the popular saying goes, “Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Challenging. Rewarding. Ethical Futuregrowth Asset Management is a licensed discretionary financial services provider.

THE BEST MEDICINE WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? I followed in my father’s footsteps; he is also a pharmacist. I have always been inspired by him. I also wanted to be in an industry where I can both help people and incorporate science. WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I studied a 4-year degree at UWC, which is the only university where you can study pharmacy in the Western Cape. I then did my internship year at Bishop Lavis Clinic. After that, I completed my training with a community service year, where you work in a government facility for a year. It is a 6-year journey to become a fully registered pharmacist. DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB A responsible pharmacist is one that operates as both a pharmacist and the manager

of the pharmacy, so I promote health advice to customers, dispense medication that doctors prescribe, help customers receive over-the-counter medication based on their symptoms, give advice to people to encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle. Behind the scenes, there are admin issues I handle to allow the pharmacy to run optimally.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? Interacting with people and empowering people to understand their body and health better. WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? There is a certain scope of practice I have to abide to as a pharmacist, but sometimes you encounter people who need extra help that you simply don’t have the capacity for (like serious injuries). WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? Breaking stereotypes!

Since I am very young to be working at this level, many people assume I am not a pharmacist. Breaking stereotypes allows others to see that professionals come in all shapes and sizes.

WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? When my internship project won first place in the Western Cape. My project highlighted a disease that was overlooked and somewhat neglected in the public sector, and ultimately allowed this disease to be managed better. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? I would love to further my studies and do a Master’s Degree in Clinical Pharmacy. IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? I think you should be a positive and confident person.


Your work entails speaking to patients/customers all day, so you should be someone who loves working with people.

ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? It gets better! Pharmacy can be very intimidating when you start out, but once you get the hang of things, you will see how amazing this profession truly is. There may be many challenges you have to face, but always persevere and you will reap the rewards of your hard work and dedication. P O S T M AT R I C 2 0 2 1 | 2 5

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD enough. I moved on after my three years in hotel school, applying for a pastry position. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I feel at home when I’m in the pastry kitchen. It has taught me alot of patience.


WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO, AND WHERE? I studied Hospitality Management: ND Professional Cookery at the Cape Town Hotel School, CPUT.


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BE A PASTRY CHEF? My love for food started when I was still in primary school. Whenever I got home I’d watch these cooking shows and sometimes recreate what I had seen on TV. Taking up cheffing as a profession was never part of the plan, until my final term in high school. I went ahead and studied professional cookery, and then worked in various kitchens, looking for who I wanted to be in the world of chefs. I found a sense of belonging, but that wasn’t

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? I love it when things come together! It goes with being organised. Working with other people, working in a team. Honestly, it doesn’t matter how good a chef you are, you always learn something from the people you work with, be it at the junior or senior level. Most of us refuse to admit that you can always learn something through someone else’s work. WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? I don’t like receiving complaints

about work that I was involved in. Hence, it is important for me to do my best every day.

WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? I guess it would have to be taking things personally. Over the few years that I’ve been training and have been a chef, I’ve learnt that everyone I serve will have an opinion of their own. Taking criticism in a constructive manner wasn’t easy, but it has helped me; it is slowly shaping me into the person I want to become. WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? Happy, content guests is a highlight of my every day! IN CHEFFING, IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Definitely, some things you can’t be taught in class, or in a culinary lab. You get to pick up a whole lot more in the kitchen.

As a chef, you do more practical work, and may find that the theoretical part of it is not as important. For me, if you have both then your work becomes a little bit less difficult.

IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK, OR CERTAIN TRAITS ONE SHOULD HAVE (OR NOT HAVE)? Passion is key. You have to love what you do. As Vincent van Gogh once stated, “If it’s done in love, it’s done well.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? Always keep an open mind to others, and eventually find a style that illustrates your individuality. DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Sweet • Hard (work) • Fun

X MARKS THE SPOT (computed tomography), which are X-rays of slices in the body on three different planes; fluoroscopy – an X-ray test that examines the internal body and shows moving images on a screen like a movie; and other medical images to assist clinical radiologists and other doctors to reach a diagnosisfor the patient’s condition.


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? It was always my dream to be in the medical fi eld. In Grade 11, I went to Vincent Pallotti Hospital to job shadow the radiographers, and it was there that my knowledge and passion for the field grew. WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DO? Radiographers work with cutting-edge technology that produces X-rays; CT

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I studied theory at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) for four years and started doing practical work in my second term of first year at Groote Schuur Hospital for the duration of my studies. We spent two weeks on campus and two weeks in the hospital every month. DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY I start at 8am, check my list of patients and whether I can call for any ward patients. While doing the X-ray, I get a

brief history of why they find themselves there. I ask them about their painful anatomy while I am positioning them.I explain the process after the imaging: I send the images to one of our radiologists, who then sends a report to the referring doctor.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? Meeting new people, being able to play a small part in helping them and the doctors reach a diagnosis and, ultimately, treating the patient based on the diagnosis given from the X-ray images I take. WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? I need to position the patient in a specifi c way to get a proper anatomical image, so when the patient is in pain it is hard to watch, even though I know it’s beneficial to them. ANY FUTURE GOALS? To excel in the basic skills of radiography such as general

and trauma radiography and CT. I would also like to specialise in mammography (breast imaging).

EXPERIENCE VS FORMAL TRAINING? The two go hand in hand: Formal training gives you a baseline of how to position the patient and what exposure to give when doing X-ray images. Experience gives you the ability to manipulate what you have learnt according to your patient and their abilities and needs. IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED? You need excellent communication skills, a caring nature, good observation skills, and the ability to work under pressure and use technologies. ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? Remember, it’s not just hightech machinery that you’re working with, the patient and their well-being always comes first.

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FULL GROOM AHEAD WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME A BARBER? I chose this career because it is my passion – I love making people look and feel great. I also love travelling, and I can do this job anywhere around the world. IF YOU HAVE A MORE UNUSUAL CAREER, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT IT IS THAT YOU DO I do full male grooming. I cut, style, hot towel shave, shave, wax and massage men’s facial and head hair.

clients, who start coming in at about 9:00am. I do cuts, faders, shave beards and hair, hot towel, facial massages and so on. I make sure to do my very best on each and every client, so they leave the salon happy and confident to conquer the day. The shop closes at 6pm. I do the cash up, making sure the money balances, then I make sure the salon is safe and locked up before I head home.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO, AND WHERE? I studied and trained in Morocco at the Institute Parisien. I am fully trained in all aspects of barbering.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? I am a people person; I love meeting new people every day. I am from Morocco, so my English is not too good, but I practice with my clients every day and am improving quickly.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB I get to work at 8:30am. I count the float for the day, make sure there is enough change in the till, check all my equipment, sanitise all equipment and work stations. Then I get myself ready for the

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE ABOUT BEING A BARBER? I don’t like it when my clients are not happy with the end results of my work. One of the reasons I chose this field is because I love making people look and feel their best.

WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? The biggest hurdle for me has been the cultural differences. I have had to adapt to South African culture. But after being here for three years, I now feel settled in. WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? The highlight of my career has been the travelling. I have worked in Morocco, Dubai and now South Africa. My ultimate dream destination is Miami, Florida, in the US. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? My future goal is to open my very own barbershop in Miami. IN YOUR LINE OF WORK, IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Yes, experience is just as important as formal training. In fact, some people only learn on the job, without any formal training.


IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED? For this type of work, you need to be a people person. You also need to be dedicated and patient. Barbering is a job where you are constantly learning, so you need to love learning new things every day. ANY ADVICE FOR THOSE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? Open your mind! And work hard.

THE RIGHT WORDS WHY COPYWRITING? After working in an advertising agency for a while, I looked into working for myself. Although I learnt that it’s tough to make it on one’s own – that I might have to live on potatoes for two months! – I decided to try it. I think my personality is better suited to write by myself sitting at my desk in my office at home working at the times that suit me best. In other words, an open-plan office environment is simply not for me. WHAT TRAINING DID YOU DO? I did a postgrad course at the AAA School of Advertising, which earned me a diploma in copywriting. Afterwards, I completed a three-month internship at an advertising agency. DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY I write advertising copy (the words you see on ads and in brochures) for clients all over

the world. I get up very early and after coffee, I sit down and open the brief I received the previous day. I then spend the next three hours answering the brief and send the work to client. If there is more than one brief, or the brief calls for a lot of work, I work until noon. After lunch, and more coffee, I attend to admin such as sending out invoices and trying to get new clients with email campaigns.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? The flexibility. I can work on a Sunday morning and take a Monday morning off. Deciding when I work means I sit down at my computer when I’m most productive. That way I get a LOT of work done super-fast. WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? Tight deadlines and something called ‘name generation’, which is coming up with a name for a company or product. It sounds easy, but it’s very hard.

People are picky about what they call their businesses.

WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? Getting the first client and keeping them happy was tough, since I had to build a relationship from scratch. But the biggest hurdle is probably something in the present - that gnawing feeling of financial insecurity that never goes away when you work as a freelancer. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? I’d like to venture into the publishing industry, which is no less daunting than working as a freelance writer. EXPERIENCE VS FORMAL TRAINING? Experience is way more important, specifically knowing how to deal with people on a professional level. Things like tone of voice over the phone


and email. Just basically being polite while at the same time looking out for yourself, by which I mean knowing what you’re worth.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE STARTING OUT? Believe that the work you produce is of a high quality and will be in demand. Don’t miss deadlines – and never send angry emails. YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Exciting, Creative, Inspiring P O S T M AT R I C 2 0 2 1 | 2 9

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WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THRIFTING? I’ve always loved thrifting and clothing! Finding gems at secondhand shops for such a bargain is a special feeling; it truly helped me develop and express my personal style in an affordable way. DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY When you’re self-employed it’s

important to create a routine and stick to it. Firstly, I keep my space organised – with lots of stock in such a make-shift space, things can get lost. I then answer any messages I get on Insta about item availability or measurements. I prepare my hair and make-up for the shoot; take photos of the clothing items sourced. I edit and save drafts of the photos on Insta. I also make time to clean, fix and package items. At the end of the day, I post extras on secondhand selling websites such as Yaga, to expand my business.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? The creativity: I adore styling and giving new life to old clothes! And the feedback from customers – it’s a lovely feeling getting messages about how happy they are with their purchases. I love slow fashion; I haven’t participated in fast fashion for years now and I have to say it feels good.

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? Some customers can be very frustrating to deal with. Ghosting, rude comments and creepy messages all accompany owning an Instagram store!

“I adore styling and giving new life to old clothes!” WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? Creating something from scratch. At the beginning I was doing college online as well as running my store and I found it difficult to put my heart into both and still be successful. WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT? I’ve only been doing this a short while, so it’s hard to pinpoint one highlight. I would say when I started making enough money

doing this (what I love) to be able to do it full time.

EXPERIENCE VS FORMAL TRAINING? Many different types of formal training could be useful – business, design – but nothing helps as much as the things you learn along the way. IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED? You have to be able to put yourself out there and communicate well with others. Engaging with different personalities all day every day can be tricky. You must be kind, understanding and patient. ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? Be patient and don’t give up. It’s an ever-growing environment with new thrift stores popping up every day, so you must try to stand out and be different!



WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PLUMBING? I have an uncle who is a plumber and he is very successful, so the realities hit home for me when I had to make career decisions. The fact that the plumbing industry is a necessity-based business is appealing, as this ensures financial stability and job satisfaction with an international future.

The general ‘know-how’ is what instills confidence in clients and efficiency when it comes to doing the actual work to a satisfactory and compliant standard.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I received institutional training from a regular government facility in the UK and completed my apprenticeship working for various companies. I eventually started working for myself after qualifying and receiving my Trade Diploma. This took the better part of four years to accomplish. There are quicker ways to do a Trade Test these days. The Monster Plumbing college advisor can assist anyone interested see www.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY We rotate between numerous sites, attending to plumbing emergencies. Every job has a new client, a new unique problem that needs solving and presents a new opportunity to gain another lifelong client. People buy from people and your personal ability to communicate, reassure and advise is key.

WHAT MAKES A ‘GOOD’ PLUMBER? A keen interest in physical work – be it metal or woodwork, mechanical, construction and so on.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? The fact that we know we’ll have work the next day based on great service, solid advice and a keen interest in accommodating our clients’ needs.

EXPERIENCE VERSUS FORMAL TRAINING? In this industry, on-the-job training is far more valuable.

ANYTHING YOU DON’T LIKE? The fact that we have to do so much paperwork to track our services and clients!

WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER? The opportunity to train up new plumbers. Knowledge should be transferred to the next generation so as to ensure that our great country doesn’t get flooded with non-qualified individuals – this only results in buildings going up with inferior structural work, resulting in major complications for homeowners. YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? We aim to establish a national company servicing client’s plumbing emergencies. We also hope to, eventually, take over the structural plumbing insurance from all insurers and banks. ANY ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? Spend your first few years gaining as much knowledge as you can from active artisans with a busy workload and adequate exposure. Be eager to work overtime and save money. Don’t make unnecessary debt.

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ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION Cindy Glass, Director and Co-Founder of Step Up Education Centres, tells us how to recognise when you, your friend or, as a parent, your teen is headed down a dark road and how to help


he circle of life is such that your parents forget, often with some relief, what it is like to be a teenager dealing with the stressful challenges of a changing body, academic expectations and social interactions. And these days we have a pandemic, school closures and photoshop to add to the mix! But the reality is that long-term, unchecked stress can lead to the greater challenges of anxiety, depression and negative behavioural choices, and you and your parents – and your friends – need to know how to spot this before it becomes a problem...

WHAT CAUSES STRESS IN TEENAGERS? ✪ Teenagers are complex, over-thinkers by

nature. It isn’t surprising then, that what may seem to your parents to be a minor challenge, could actually be a cause of debilitating stress for you. ✪ Negative body image and self-image – social media can be fun, even helpful, but the unrealistic (and often fake) portrayal of people’s lives and bodies can be super harmful. ✪ School pressures – these can be social such as bullying, pressure to do certain things or behave and think a certain way; or academic such as feeling you have to slay at matric exams or your life is over! ✪ Making mistakes (including poor behaviour choices) and the fear of failure and new experiences can paralyse you and cause procrastination.

✪ Financial or personal worries stemming

from family issues – a parent losing a job, parents getting divorced, emotional or verbal abuse, sibling rivalry.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF EXCESSIVE STRESS IN TEENAGERS? ✪ Sleeping too much or too little ✪ Experiencing panic attacks ✪ Acting aggressively or withdrawing from

activities you once enjoyed

✪ Fatigue that affects normal activities ✪ Eating way too much or way too little

(out-of-character eating patterns)

✪ Regular mood swings, crying and angry episodes

HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR TEEN OR FRIEND? ✪ Non-judgemental communication is key!

Really listen to understand them, to support and help them find positive solutions. Challenges are a part of teenage life and can’t be avoided, just make sure they know you are the go-to person they can count on. ✪ Encourage them to exercise regularly and to make healthy food choices. Nothing beats having a healthy, fit body when the pressure is on. ✪ Get them in touch with emotional intelligence skills, or better yet, research it together: self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy and social skills are essential in developing positive body-

and self-image. It will also help them navigate the complications that crop up in relationships. ✪ Know that mistakes are inevitable. Speak of mistakes being learning opportunities and help them to find positive solutions. ✪ Discuss perspectives. It is essential to understand that everyone is coming from their own perspective and that, so often, upsetting encounters with others are as a result of their experiences and perspectives of life in that moment. Remember, if you have not caused the negative encounter, it is not your stuff!

WHEN IS IT TIME TO GET EXPERT HELP? ✪ If you are having suicidal thoughts ✪ If the symptoms of stress are not subsiding

or if they are getting worse

✪ If you are dealing with your stress by

carrying out dangerous, negative behaviours like cutting, drinking or taking drugs, having unwanted or unprotected sex, stealing.

Stress can be a double-edged sword. It can motivate us to positive action, but it can also result in potentially serious emotional and physical challenges, if it becomes longterm and excessive. Keep an eye out for the latter and find ways to help ease the effects of negative stress on yourself, your teens and your friends. PM

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WHAT YOUR MASK SAYS Hans Mackenzie Main gets up close and personal about what may be lurking behind the masks we’re wearing


ace masks have become a part of everyday life, and like people, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. And, although I haven’t read the headline in a fashion magazine yet, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we find out that, Your Mask Says More About You Than You Think. My personal favourite, from a spectator’s point of view, is what I like to call the Sideways Duck: a covering with a seam running vertically down the middle making its wearer look like a duck with its beak turned ninety degrees. “Adventurous,” might be the description you’ll see in Vogue magazine, or something along the lines of “the new left-ofcentre”. I like to think the Sideways Duck wearers are people with a sense of humour able to laugh at themselves in the mirror even in these times of uncertainty. The mask I wear is the same one you saw your dentist wear the last time you visited them: a light-blue number with white elastics and a concertina-type folding pattern. The specific blue doesn’t go with any of the earthy (read bland) winter-tones of my wardrobe, which surely would not go unnoticed by the fashion experts. “Mismatch much?” they might ask, or, worse yet, “Vaccinated or not, some people should simply never come out ever again.”

A growing trend I see in shopping malls and on the streets is to have some sort of a smile printed on your mask. As with the Sideways Duck, entertainment seems to be the focus here. “Keep the sunny side up,” these mavericks seem to say, regardless of whether you’re shopping, taking out the trash or living through a once-in-a-century pandemic. The model with a purpose-built valve is a curious choice. In this case, maintaining air quality reigns supreme, surpassing looking good by a long way. Not to stereotype, but I think, should someone do a survey, these mask wearers will reveal themselves to be by and large people who work in IT or, perhaps more accurately, gamers. These citizens take their well-being and around-the-clock comfort very seriously. When it comes to masks, they seem to say, playtime is over. And then there are the corner-cutters. The ones who tie a scarf or a cloth around their heads and call that a mask. (I’d like to add here that grabbing a mask you once used while spray-painting a bookshelf from the garage is not doing the best you can. It’s not what one would call, What the doctor ordered, and most certainly is not designed to protect you against a biological threat. Walk past the hardware store for once, Tim the Toolman, and head for the pharmacy.)

Only once did I use everyday fabric to protect myself against Covid, covering my face, I’m ashamed to admit, with my T-shirt. It wasn’t my proudest moment doing what people do when someone in the room has passed wind and I hope I never have to do it again. The judgement I felt rushing in and out of that shop to buy a book was intense. I didn’t even make eye contact with the bookseller. I just walked out and then basically ran back to my car. Fashion changes as the seasons do, telling us that this autumn something called “new utility” is in only to be replaced by “nautical” when the weather hots up. It’s been going on for decades as some styles come and go and others remain timeless. Luckily, the Covid pandemic is not timeless. We all know it will pass in time and we can all go back to walking around with our faces uncovered breathing in fresh air like nature intended. Until then, we have to keep on wearing a part of our personalities on our heads like upside-down sneakers and let the world in, if only a little, on what’s going on inside those heads. So, whether you’re wearing the latest Gucci mask or a garment from the Crazy Store, don it with pride and purpose and compassion, but, above all, don’t leave home without it. PM

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