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CAREER IDEAS INSIDE Visit for stacks more!

JB Marks Breaking Barriers in Education

For the past seven years, JB Marks Education Trust Fund, a Not for Profit bursary scheme that was established by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in 1997, has been hosting extensive career exhibitions across the country on an annual basis. This year, JB Marks hosted its 7th annual career exhibition on 23 and 24 April in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal. The Trust Fund partnered with the local Department of Basic Education in KwaZulu-Natal in order to ensure that schools from the region and surrounding areas attended the 2-day exhibition hosted for learners in Grade 11 and 12.

Jako Mokgosi, the Principal Officer at the Trust Fund stated,“Interventions such as ours play a huge role in helping learners from disadvantaged backgrounds have an easier time transitioning from high school into tertiary. We are simply laying the foundation by creating a platform that gives these learners access to information and opportunities that they do not have.” On an average, the JB Marks Career Exhibitions attract between 60 to 80 exhibitors from both the private and public sector. These are organisations with a huge interest in sharing industry information that would allow learners

to make informed choices about the qualifications and ultimately, the careers they are interested in. “Unfortunately, the country still has countless communities with residents that are uneducated about different career choices, they simply do not know that there are other careers outside of Engineering, Nursing, Medicine and Teaching. Even now in Richards Bay, we had to explain what a pilot is in the simplest way possible – someone who drives aeroplanes. We have a long way to go before we can balance the scale in terms of wealth in this country – wealth of money yes, but also the wealth of knowledge and access to opportunities and technology,” explained Mokgosi.

Luckily, the exhibitors who participate in our career exhibitions understand the mandate and they all strive to serve the learners as best as they can. JB Marks graduates also volunteer to help out at the exhibitions, they want to make a difference, change lives – contribute to building a better South Africa. “We do this because personally, I wish someone had done for me what JB Marks is doing for this learners back when I was in high school” elaborated Tiego Modisagae, JB Marks graduate. In an effort to plough back into the Trust Fund, the alumni came together and started community outreach programs such as the mini-career expos they do from January to June. They visit senior learners in various rural communities and give interpersonal career guidance to those learners with prospectus collected from various tertiary institutions in South Africa. Some of their other projects include the sanitary towel drive and Fun Days for children’s homes.

Between the Trust Fund and its alumni, a lot has been done to make education accessible to the less privileged people in South Africa. With a reach and impact of close to 60 000 grade 11 and 12 learners, and having gone as far as Swaziland to share the knowledge, JB Marks Education Trust Fund is certainly breaking barriers and literally jumping borders for education. “The Trust Fund’s motto is ‘Knowledge is Power’ – we want to empower our young people so that they could positively contribute to the economy of South Africa, and the best way that we know how to do this, is through sharing that knowledge and hoping that the people who benefit from our interventions, will pay it forward someday too. That’s all JB Marks has ever really asked of all its graduates – to pay it forward,” said Welsina Sekanka, the Marketing, Communications and Alumni Officer of JB Marks Education Trust Fund.

Contact Us

Tel | +27 11 492 0601 Fax | +27 11 492 0953 Email | Address | 3rd Floor, Alris Building No. 3 Rissik Street Johannesburg CBD 2001 Twitter | @JBMarksEduTF Facebook | JB Marks Education Trust Fund Instagram | @jbmarksedutf YouTube | JB Marks Education Trust Fund

Study options on offer at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences

Take a step UP A degree from the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) could be the stepping stone to turning your passions into an exciting career. The wide variety of study options on offer are presented by highly qualified lecturers from across the globe who are leading experts in their fields.

Financial Sciences

Management Sciences


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Your passions + a world class degree from UP = a bright future For detailed admission requirements, please visit Like the EMS page on Facebook: @upems

Economic Sciences

Public Management and Administration

Financial Sciences

The variety of roles fulfilled by professionals in financial sciences range from solving complex financial problems to managing investments. They are also expected to offer recommendations to help clients make wise financial decisions.

Are you…


Passionate about numbers An innovative problem solver A critical thinker and creative leader

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Management Sciences

External/Internal auditor Tax professional Investment professional Business analyst

There are various management and support services functions that keep an organisation running smoothly on a daily basis. These essential tasks are performed by employees with specialised knowledge that ranges from hiring suitable staff to marketing the company’s goods and services.

Do you…

BCom (Business Management) BCom (Human Resource Management) BCom (Marketing Management) BCom (Supply Chain Management)

Possible careers

Corporate entrepreneur Human resource consultant Industrial psychologist Labour relations consultant

BCom (Econometrics) BCom (Economics)

Economist Lecturer Researcher Trader

QS World Rankings by Subject 2017 #1 in South Africa for Finance and Accounting = Top 4% in the world Top 6% in the world for Economics and Econometrics

Public Management and Administration Are you…

Work well with people Enjoy thinking outside the box Adapt well to change

What you can study

What you can study

Analytical Curious Mathematically inclined Analyst Broker Consultant Econometrician

BCom (Accounting Sciences) BCom (Financial Sciences) BCom (Investment Management)

Chartered accountant Accountant Financial manager Forensic specialist

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What you can study

Possible careers

Economic Sciences

Students can pursue postgraduate studies in Tourism Management and in Communication Management

Logistics manager Management consultant Marketing manager Public relations manager Researcher

A career in economics entails uncovering and forecasting economic trends as well as the effects of policy changes on our society and the global economy. This is supported by econometrics, which is the collection, measurement and analysis of economic and social phenomena.

Enthusiastic about policy issues and current affairs A leader who values ethics Good at problemsolving

Public servants who apply public administration and management principles make a significant contribution to the quest for excellence in service delivery. They also promote diplomacy by representing and protecting the interests of their country.

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Diplomat Manager in a nongovernmental organisation Policy analyst Public manager Researcher Municipal manager

What you can study

BAdmin (Public Management and International Relations)

Additional programme and degrees offered in cooperation with other faculties: BCom (Own choice): The degree does not lead to a specific vocational outcome but offers opportunities to compile your own curricula and determine your own career outcome. BCom (Agribusiness Management), BCom (Informatics), BCom (Law) and BCom (Statistics).

Please note: Mathematics is compulsory for all BCom degrees. Students with either Mathematics or Mathematical literacy can be admitted into BAdmin degrees.

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e are smack bang in the middle of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Basically, technology and robotics are taking over our jobs (and our lives). We use voice recognition and thumb prints as passcodes, we have drones delivering our shopping, and, yes, we may soon be going on holidays to Mars. The Matrix is no longer a thing of the future; it is now. Oh no, have I given away my age?

That movie was far-out sci-fi back then. Now it s just a cult classic ‒ though there has been talk of a reboot. #What sNew, you might be tweeting, or posting or facetiming. The answer is skills, and lots of them. In order to survive in our current matrix, you need big picture thinking: mixing a clear strategy with some perspective on what skills will still be relevant in the future. But leaving school doesn t have to feel like you re going down the rabbit hole. It s not a case of: This is your last chance. After this, there is no

turning back. You take the blue pill ‒ the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill ‒ you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Because we ve got you covered. So pull up that comfy bean bag, plug yourself in, and get lost in the matrix of Post Matric. In this edition, Wandile shows you a map to the world, Annie encourages you to dream big while keeping it real, Christina reports on fees falling and how to get in on the act, the Q&A section presents a

series of day-in-the-life-of careers and characters, JS takes you on a trip down memory lane and through the highlights and lowlights of sharing a res room, Tafire and Fash investigate how to stay upbeat and sane when stress threatens to leave you in a funk. Okay guys ‒ Post Matric Matrix, Take One, Ready, and Action!


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12 Dream big, but keep it real Explore the endless options besides university that could lead you to your A game.


16 #FeesHaveFallen but how can you get in on the act?


The best things in life are free: love, sunshine, rain, sunsets. You can now add education to the list. Let us show you how...

CONTRIBUTORS Jo Spies, Christina Kennedy, Gavin Dudley, Annie Oehley, JS Smit

ENTERTAINMENT 5 Competition Don t miss out! Win R10 000 in Incredible Connection vouchers.


7 Gotta have gadgets Get tech-savvy with the hottest in gear and gadgets trending now.


31 Beat the funk

ADVERTISING SALES Aaminah van Oudtshoorn, Mac Nell, Andy Nicholson, Joy Voss


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

Don t stress, Tafire and Fash have got a handle on how different students get their groove back.

32 Hey, Roomie Sharing a res room can be the best thing ever or a total nightmare, depending on who you get shacked up with. JS Smit tells all!

CAREER JUNCTION 19 Account executive 20 Organisational development facilitator | Corporate affairs director 23 Construction foreman | Electrician 26 Navigating officer | Beauty therapist 27 Stockbroker 28 BI analyst | Environmental engineer 30 DJ | Social worker

PUBLISHER Yes! Media CEO Deon Muller

Cover Image: Jo Spies

PRINTED BY Paarl Media, a division of Novus Holdings.

Post Matric ISSN number 2074-4412

8 Blitzing a trail of learning through Africa Science whizz Wandile Mabanga pieces together Africa to educate the youth (and for fun!).


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.





JBL PULSE 3 JBL is recognised for it s superior sound quality, including the bass radiators on either end of its portable tube speakers. This one is a complete floor show, though, with a body that lights up with swirling colours and patterns that change in time to your beats. Patterns are more complex than on previous models and you can now send colours to the speaker using photos and the phone app. 20W, waterproof, 12 hours play (claimed). 223x92x92mm, R4 000

This is the smallest model yet from the world leader in drone tech. Its collapsible design means it literally fits into a jacket pocket but it can film in 4K achieving stable, shakefree footage thanks to its 3-axis camera gimbal. Because piloting is tougher than it looks it has built-in obstacleavoidance sensors and automated flight modes for dramatic, professionallooking shots. 168×83×49 mm folded up, 430g, max speed 68kph, R14 000

PIERRE CARDIN PHANTOM BACKPACK SKULLCANDY INK’D 2 WIRELESS Bluetooth headsets are now the norm, but these Skullies have a plastic collar that creates a simple and effective cable management system and makes them easier to wear. The sound punches above its weight, the buttons are easy to find and use, and it all winds up to fit easily into your jeans pocket

Bluetooth, R500

This ordinary looking backpack is anything but. Its two padded compartments safeguard both your laptop and your tablet, and its water resistant fabric shrugs off a surprise downpour. For gaming and Instagram-ing on the go there s an external USB port connected to your powerbank in the bag, and there are tamper-proof zippers and secret pockets all round. 300x450x130mm, night glow stripes, R9 00

NOKIA 7 PLUS One of our favourite phones of the year so far this whopping 6-inch, full HD screen feels great in hand thanks to the softtouch enamel paint finish on the back. There s top-notch camera tech too, including Zeiss lenses and dual rear sensors: a 12MP for low light and a 13MP with 2x zoom. Best of all this stylish, wellspecced handset costs far less than you would expect.

6 screen, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage + MicroSD slot, Android 8, R6 700

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ften, the best entrepreneurial ideas are the simplest ones. So says Wandile Mabanga, a Johannesburg-based science whizz who invented the Map Blitz game that cleverly transforms the African continent into a mind-bending jigsaw puzzle. Wandile (27) is living proof that attitude determines altitude. After graduating with a Master of Science degree (his dissertation was a high-level exploration of quantum gravity) from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2014, he could have settled into a comfortable life as an academic, unpacking the complexities of physics for eager and hungry young minds. Instead, he decided to pursue the road less travelled: to become an entrepreneur. Today, with hindsight, he is grateful that his youthful naiveté led him to use passion as my compass instead of choosing the more conventional route. I had two clear paths, this theoretical physicist-turned-inventor reflects over coffee at one of Sandton s trendy communal workspace hubs. I could continue with physics, which is a tough environment but would be an easy decision. Or I could choose the entrepreneurial path, which would be a harder one. On the one hand, there s the amazing contribution to human society that you can only get from science ‒ but someone else could do it if I didn t. On the entrepreneurship side, given the context in this country, if one of the functions of business is to make a difference, then I could potentially affect people s lives for the better.

playing, exploration and discovery; a time when a child s natural curiosity is like a hungry beast, constantly needing to be fed. For inspiration, Wandile thought back to his formative years in KwaThema, a township in Springs, east of Johannesburg. Growing up in a large family, he was exposed to a colourful abundance of different perspectives. This broadened his horizons and compensated for the fact that the township schools he attended were poorly resourced. Back then, it wasn t about the material things you had or didn t have: From the point of view of a child, your entertainment options are endless, he reminisces. Through that lens, he remembered spending glorious days flying kites, playing marbles and board games, kicking a soccer ball with friends, watching the natural world unfold through National Geographic programmes on TV, being amazed when a primary school teacher brought the wonders of botany to life in the classroom, basically, just being a kid. Reading books wasn t for me, he thinks back with a chuckle. I was always outside. But I was always encouraged to ask questions in our household. Kids are naturally curious, which usually gets discouraged with time. But you learn soft skills by simply playing and negotiating with your friends. The skills you glean

What makes Wandile tick? When he’s not thinking or inventing, Wandile Mabanga likes to recharge his batteries (and his brain) with some down time: • “I still play sports, and I like to read, take walks with childhood friends, play chess and soccer.” • “I love travelling, but not to cities – I like to get a true taste of what makes a place different. Travel teaches you empathy. The only continent I haven’t been to is Australasia.” • “My personal ambition is to make an impact on lives in generations to come. I’m still playing around with different ways of impacting on people. • If it changes five minutes of a person’s day, it is worth living for.” • “I believe in the power of simple ideas propelling us forward – it’s all about taking the first step.”

Photos: Jo Spies

HE (OR SHE) WHO DARES, WINS After a stint lecturing physics at the Vaal University of Technology and the African Leadership Academy, Wandile decided to trust his instincts and throw himself with gusto into finding a solid business concept. He d already had mentorship in the art and science of entrepreneurship, courtesy of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, learning how business can solve problems faced by society. To come up with that elusive brainwave, he went back to basics and rewound to his childhood ‒ to a time of learning through

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INSPIRATIONAL PEOPLE through playing, of course, become vital later on in the playground of life. Fast-forward to the present and this notion of learning while playing formed the crux of Wandile s thought processes when brainstorming concepts to bring to commercial life. He decided to create a game. I wanted to encourage people to meet and interact through a game that could be played by anyone, of any age in any environment. A game that juxtaposed cultures; a game that was not conceptual but physical.

“IT’S NOT ABOUT SUCCESS AT FIRST, IT’S ABOUT LEARNING.” GAMIFYING LEARNING In other words, he wanted to gamify learning. He played with a couple of concepts before having a eureka moment after spotting a map of Africa on a wall one day. The result: Map Blitz. It s an amazingly simple and inexpensive concept but one that could, and should, fly. So many people around the world still seem to hold the ignorant view that Africa is a country ‒ one homogenous landmass with one homogenous people and culture. Similarly, even in South Africa we tend to be insular, instead of regarding ourselves as part of a larger, vibrant and gloriously diverse continent. It would be easy enough to Google a map of Africa to see how many countries there are and how they fit together, but where s

the fun in that? Hands-on, experiential and interactive, Map Blitz is a jigsaw puzzle comprising 50 wooden laser-cut pieces ‒ one for each country (give or take a couple of smaller ones and islands) in Africa. You can assemble the puzzle yourself at leisure or turn it into a team challenge or time trial ‒ turn up the pressure and see who can put Africa together the fastest! It s both fun and educational, and could form a springboard for further investigations into the different geographies, histories, cultures, traditions and languages that make up the continent. Just think about what it s like going on holiday to a certain place ‒ you want to learn about the food, the language, the cultural practices and customs, what binds that society. If you look at Kenya for example, you should be able to get an idea of its size and its geological features, and learn some Swahili. Travelling is expensive and not everyone can afford it ‒ but this can be like TV for culture! he says.

PUTTING IN THE HARD YARDS But a workable business idea didn t just spring, fully formed, from Wandile s fertile imagination. A lot of hard work and thought went into bringing it to life. Even though my project was a simple one ‒ a game ‒ I spent a few months trying to understand it before I could get to a longterm goal. I knew I had to build a prototype, and I tried it out with a few people. Luckily, there were no high overheads or capex [capital expenditure] involved at that stage. He conceptualised and designed the puzzle, enlisting the help of a local printing company. It cost him less than R3 000 to produce the first 500 copies, which he went about selling. With a proven track record of sales, he presented the concept to Allan

Gray, which accepted him into its accelerator programme, arming him with fresh business insights and ideas. In a market like South Africa, when you introduce something new it takes a while to adapt, says this confident young entrepreneur, who has largely funded his venture himself, with help from the accelerator. He says entrepreneurship might sound glamorous, but it requires careful thought and consideration. As the world becomes more complex, it s becoming harder to come up with new ideas if you re not an expert. One route is to go and study something and gain work experience. That way, you have the advantage of a network and credibility and it s easier for the world to trust you with their money. Only quit your job when you have results and have no doubt in your mind that this is something you can stop for. Now, he s looking at getting Map Blitz into schools and retail outlets such as toy stores and supermarkets. He s also targeting corporate gifting, as his puzzles can be easily customised with clients logos, corporate identities and so on. On the social entrepreneurship side, once he builds up enough sales he d like to sponsor Map Blitz games for under-resourced schools that aren t able to afford it. He d also like to craft map puzzles of other continents ‒ he s trying to obtain the rights to one of the more credible projections of the world map, for an accurate representation of countries sizes and proportions ‒ and to incorporate add-ons such as 3D mountain ranges. So, Wandile must be an expert on Africa by now? He laughs. I can draw any African country. My record for putting my own puzzle together? Two minutes, 50 seconds!

Wandile’s tips for aspiring entrepreneurs • A good entrepreneur is passionate about solving problems for people. • Many entrepreneurs are achievers, but more important than marks is an ability to adapt quickly. • There is no fixed template for being an entrepreneur – you don’t have to be an extrovert to innovate. • Start with a simple business, even if

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it’s not a new idea – so you can learn and make mistakes. • Try something with a low capital outlay, that allows you the flexibility and freedom to experiment. • Sometimes it’s worth taking risks, but be guided by your instinct and have a good sounding board.

• It’s not about success at first, it’s about learning. • Do your best every day with the benefit of hindsight. • Don’t jump into the ocean if you don’t know how to swim – and if you don’t have something to keep you afloat.

“Opportunities Don’t happen, you create them” Chris Grosser

Together, let’s create a career you can count on. You’re young and have the world at your feet. You want a career that counts and one that you can count on to bring you challenge, opportunity, advancement and reward. Many career options await you in the dynamic finance and accounting sector - the heartbeat of the South African economy, and home to thousands of influential and inspirational leaders and entrepreneurs, and the decision-makers of tomorrow’s economy. Your boarding pass to this exciting world is good performance in pure Maths, Accounting and Science; skills that are in high demand in our sector. Visit for information and guidance to make the right career choice. • 086 101 0001 • POST MATRIC 2018 | 11





Survival kit for parents (you know they need this!)


t s time to start thinking outside the box when it comes to choosing a career path. The question is no longer What am I going to study at varsity? but How am I going to earn a living? The A game for post school used to be: get a high percentage pass in matric, decide what you want to do (forever), go to university, slip into a job (forever). These days, only a select few get accepted into varsity, a single study course includes a wide focus of subjects, the buzzword of the day is skills and people change careers like they change their hairstyles. It all sounds a bit gloomy and overwhelming, but if you take the time to figure out the answers to the following personal questions and explore the many options available below, there s no reason that A game can t be well within your reach.

#METIME Whether you re one of those people who ve always known they ve wanted to be an astronaut, or the other, who are still waiting for a sign, it s important to understand a few things about yourself before you take the leap. Grab your notebook (digital or paper), take down your answers to the following questions, and then share them with a few people you trust to help you decide ‒ not make the decision for you! Q1: What are my interests? From gaming to socialising to looking at slides under a microscope ‒ anything goes. Q2: What are my skills? It s all about what you re naturally good at: cooking, kicking a ball, playing an instrument... you get my drift. Q3: What are my options? Try to find options that involve your interests and skills. Check out the info below, and Google it! Q4: Do I know what I m getting myself into? Get real-life experience by interning or job shadowing. Q5: Do I need a qualification? Maybe you don t. Some jobs are learnt through experience rather than formal studying.

#MYPOSTMATRICOPTIONS A valuable gap year A romantic notion exists of backpacking through Europe on a gap year that includes endless parties and sipping cocktails while working on a yacht. For some this is the ultimate dream and for some parents, a nightmare! So, for the more adventurous out there, a popular trend is to do a TEFL (Teach English to Foreign Learners) course, and then go on a travelling holiday, teaching in countries like Argentina and Japan. You could also sail off into the sunset on a yacht or cruiseliner by taking a course on working as a deckhand, crew member or steward/ess. Another option is a work-stay swop, which involves swopping free short-term accommodation in exchange for work while travelling ‒ usually helping families with duties like child care, gardening or work in a family business.

A GAP YEAR IS AN IDEAL OPPORTUNITY TO GAIN EXPERIENCE IN THE REALITY OF THE ADULT WORLD. A gap year can also be used to gain valuable experience to launch your career. One of my clients, who is passionate about horses, worked on a stud farm (receiving minimal wages and accommodation) and succeeded in getting an outstanding recommendation that opened doors to start her studies at the prestigious Newmarket National Stud in the UK. She is now working as an Equine Midwife at one of the best racehorse stud farms in South Africa.

• Ensure that your teenagers take ownership of their future – they need to do the research and make the decisions – not you! • Talk about options. Discuss different occupations, job shadow ideas and study opportunities. • Use your network. Others are usually very willing to share information and help along the way. • Take your teenagers to university and college open days. • Visit career expos. • Seek neutral advice. Perhaps a school counsellor, or psychometric assessments with a career guidance counsellor. • They want your help! Research has shown that teenagers value the input of their parents the most.

SOME USEFUL WEBSITES • Study information • Job descriptions • Learnerships learners/internships • TVET Colleges • Gap year ideas • Overseas study

MY OPTIONS IN A NUTSHELL • • • • • • • • •

Join the world of the employed Start as an entrepreneur Volunteer as an intern Complete a short course Apply for a learnership Choose a trade apprenticeship Become a student Take a gap year Work and travel abroad

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VARSITY ALTERNATIVES Any way you do it, a gap year is an ideal opportunity to gain experience in the reality of the adult world, earning money towards your studies or job shadowing to try out careers you re interested in. Then, there is always the option of using the time to rewrite matric subjects where your marks weren t quite up to scratch.

MANY NEW AND EXCITING SHORT COURSES EXIST TO EQUIP YOU WITH NEEDED AND RELEVANT SKILLS FOR THE CURRENT JOB MARKET. Jump into the job market I bet not many of you are thinking of doing this! It may be difficult to find employment straight after school as work experience is usually called for. But although job hunting after matric is tough, many companies do offer opportunities for school-leavers. Think of the first few months out of school as a learning curve ‒ offer to work for companies for free, gaining valuable knowledge and skills you can add onto your CV. Charity organisations welcome volunteers and many companies leap at the opportunity to have extra hands available. I know of many instances of young people being offered permanent positions in the company where they chose to volunteer. Search the online job seeking websites like,, and regularly and

register your application wherever you can ‒ it can t hurt. If you re the entrepreneurial type, start your business small and grow it as opportunities arise. Make sure you seek advice from experienced business people along the way. Gain competitive skills Did you know that South Africa publishes an annual National Scarce Skills List (found at Occupations in these fields could ensure a successful career future for you. The path to a successful career doesn t necessarily start with a degree or diploma. Many new and exciting short courses exist to equip you with needed and relevant skills for the current job market. The most obvious of these is a computer course, and it s a good idea to learn how to increase your typing speed ‒ has a free online course. Getting a first aid or au pair skills certificate also opens up an excellent potential source of part-time income for students living both locally and abroad. Internships and learnerships are exciting opportunities to gain the experience you need and even study new and interesting jobs. A learnership is a structured learning programme that includes theoretical and practical workplace experiential learning over a period of at least 12 months, leading to a qualification registered on the NQF (National Qualifications Forum). Learnerships are funded for both employed and unemployed learners through SETAs (Sector Educational and Training Authorities). There are 23 SETAs in South Africa ‒ for example, one deals with the banking industry and another with the food and beverage industry ‒ and one of their roles is to provide skills and training, which is vitally needed in various fields. Have a look at the list of SETA contacts provided to research this opportunity further.

ANNIE OEHLEY Industrial Psychologist Career Guidance Counselling Tel: 021 715 7309 Cell: 072 124 6944 Website: Like my Facebook page, Career Guidance Cape Town, to receive regular articles and info on career decisionmaking, and university and college open days.

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So, you ve decided to study There are a wide variety of study options, from going to a university or TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) college to distance learning. Keep in mind that admission requirements for universities are quite demanding, so make sure you fully understand what is expected. Varsity studies often lead down specific paths: professional occupations like being a lawyer, doctor or architect. A wider range of degrees and diplomas are available at Universities of Technology, which lead to titles like paramedic, graphic designer, chef, film producer. Occupationally-related diplomas and certificates are offered at TVET colleges ‒ they don t require a bachelor s matric pass. The 50 colleges around South Africa have more than 250 campuses and study costs are very reasonable. The wide range of qualifications offered include art and design, beauty therapy, building and civil engineering, business studies, education and training, hospitality, information technology, travel and tourism. In fact, it is now possible to complete your matric in the form of an NCV (National Certificate Vocational) at one of these colleges, allowing you to leave matric with subjects in these areas, rather than traditional academic subjects such as history, biology and geography. Then there are some who prefer the earn while you learn option, which allows you to complete your degree or diploma either on a part-time evening basis or to study by correspondence (distance learning). Well known distance learning facilities include UNISA, Damelin, INTEC College, and even Wits University. The future is electric After 12 or more years of school, your future as a young, free, independent adult is here, finally! Daunting though it may be to be faced with so many important decisions to make and a mind-boggling number of options, it s also reassuring that these days failure is seen as a useful learning curve and it s acceptable to change career direction if you realise down the road that you re not as keen as you thought you were. So, go ahead and dream big, but keep it real. You are responsible for your life. Doing your best in this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. ‒ Oprah Winfrey

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he good news? You re within striking distance of finishing school after 12 years of hard slog. The even better news? There s an excellent chance that you may be able to attend university or college and study towards the career of your dreams for free! South African school-leavers now have the chance to benefit from free higher education, after the government announced that it would be scrapping fees for new students who comply with certain criteria from 2018 onwards.

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The Department of Higher Education and Training s Bursary Scheme is music to the ears of would-be students whose families earn less than R350 000 per year, because sending a child to university can become a crippling financial burden for any household. Most South African students who drop out of their studies do so because of a lack of finances. This severely limits their prospects of earning a decent living, in a country where more than a quarter of adults of working age are unemployed. But if you are from a disadvantaged or working-class family ‒ or if you excel in

academics, culture or sport ‒ you re well within close range of getting your studies paid for. The most important thing is to take control of your destiny to ensure that you graduate with that prized scroll, and start blazing your trail into the 21stcentury workplace. Here are some tips on what bursaries, scholarships and loans you may be eligible for. The moment to shine is now ‒ seize it with both hands!

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FUEL YOUR FUND FREE TERTIARY EDUCATION: THE FACTS Who will be funded? • You ll be funded if you are a first- or second-year student who has been accepted to study at one of South Africa s 26 public universities or at one of the country s 200-plus technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges, and if you come from a household with a combined annual income of less than R350 000 per year. • Previously, the income threshold for deserving students to access study loans through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was R122 000 per year. • This benefit has now been extended to include students from working-class families ‒ and instead of receiving loans that they have to pay back, eligible students are now given bursaries that do not need to be repaid. • For families earning less than R650 000 per household, there was no fee increase in 2018 and the government gave universities a subsidy to cover the shortfall. What will be covered? • Qualifying students will have their tuition and registration fees at a public tertiary institution covered by the Department of Higher Education and Training s Bursary Scheme. • Accommodation (and/or transport), as well as study materials and meals will also be subsidised for students who qualify, but this will be capped at a certain amount. • The bursary scheme started with first- year students in 2018 and will be phased in over five years. In 2019, first-year and second-year students will be eligible for free education. • Students who have received NSFAS loans in the past, and who are currently enrolled at a South African university, will have their loans converted into grants. How do I apply for free funding? • First, apply to your university or college of choice to secure your place. • 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 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 okayed, 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. 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 Central Application Clearing House on 0800 356 635 or National Career Advice Portal on For lists of bursaries available, check out or

TYPES OF FUNDING: QUICK AND DIRTY DEFINITIONS Bursary A bursary is funding from an academic institution, company or government entity that enables you to start or continue with your tertiary education studies. A bursary is awarded based on an excellent academic record and/or proven financial need. It usually covers registration and tuition fees, and often includes accommodation and meals, as well as textbooks and stationery. To keep receiving the bursary, you will need to maintain a certain level of academic performance while studying. In some cases, this might mean simply passing. In others, you may have to maintain an average of 60% or more. Some bursaries give preference to previously disadvantaged groups. Pros: The government bursaries that are now being awarded to financially needy students do not come with any strings attached. And if you receive a private-sector bursary that you have to work back , it means you re guaranteed a job after graduating. Cons: Certain bursaries are only offered for the second year of study onwards. Also, some students might resist the idea of being tied down to work back the study grant or complete some sort of training after graduating. Plus, if you happen

Tips for funding success • If you have to apply for a bursary or loan – either because you don’t quaify for the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Bursary Scheme or you’re applying to a private institution – make sure you get in early with your funding applications and don’t wait till the last minute. • Attend the open days of universities and colleges, and gather information on all the funding options. Speak to your career guidance counsellor at school for tips. • Find out what the scarce and critical skills that are currently in demand in the marketplace. You will have a better chance of getting a bursary if you study in a field where there is a shortage of, or a demand for, workers. • Find out what the minimum admission requirements are for the degree, diploma or certificate course you want to follow. Try to exceed those requirements to improve your chances of being accepted. Popular courses are usually oversubscribed and you could be denied a place, even if you meet the basic criteria. • Here’s food for thought: only one in eight matrics who apply to universities will be accepted. Many universities don’t think a matric certificate holds much value and you may have to write an entrance test before being considered for some courses. • Compile a professional-looking CV or résumé, listing your work experience, interests and achievements – it may help you with scholarship applications in particular.

POST MATRIC 2018 | 17

FUEL YOUR FUND to fail some of your modules, you may have to repay the bursary or risk having it withdrawn. Scholarship A scholarship is similar to a bursary in that it is money for tertiary education that doesn t need to be repaid. But it is based more on merit ‒ such as artistic, academic or sporting ability ‒ than on financial need. Scholarships can also be awarded by universities, government institutions, companies or nonprofit organisations. Pros: A scholarship doesn t need to be repaid ‒ think of it as your reward for working hard, or having a special talent or ability! Cons: There s no such thing as a free lunch, and scholarships are often awarded as an investment in the student rather than a gift. Sometimes there are strings attached ‒ you will have to pursue a certain career, or provide voluntary mentoring or coaching. Many scholarships require you to maintain a certain minimum level of academic performance. Skills Development Fund If you re already working, why not try to get your employer to pay for your studies? Companies having an annual payroll of more than R500 000 have to pay the South African Revenue Service a skills development levy (1% of their total monthly salary bill) to develop and improve their employees skills. Companies can claim back a portion of the levy to train their own employees

IF YOU’RE ALREADY WORKING, WHY NOT TRY TO GET YOUR EMPLOYER TO PAY FOR YOUR STUDIES? through the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). Pros: You can get your study costs covered by your boss ‒ as long as it is related to your job. That means you can learn for free! Cons: Read the fine print carefully when enrolling for studies paid for by your company ‒ you may be tied to your firm for a certain period afterwards, to work back your training costs.

WHERE TO START? Tertiary institutions • Apply for a bursary at the university or college where you intend to study. Visit, email or phone their financial aid office well in advance to find out more. • Many of these bursaries are only available to South African citizens. • Once you are enrolled at university, you may also qualify for an academic merit award based on your results during your first year of study. • Some universities also offer partial bursaries for art, cultural, sporting or leadership achievements at school. Companies • Many companies ‒ especially those in the scarce and critical skills sectors, such as

mining and engineering ‒ award contract bursaries for studies in a particular field. You will have to pass your subjects (or risk having to repay the grant), and sometimes you ll have to work for the company for a few years after you graduate. • Companies that award bursaries include: Spoornet, Transnet, Sasol, Absa, Anglo American, Gold Fields, Anglo Platinum, Eskom, Sasol, Iscor, De Beers, Edgars, SA Breweries, Harmony, Mintek, AECI, Engen, Group 5, Murray & Roberts, PPC, the SA Institute of Race Relations, the SA Weather Service, Vodacom and Old Mutual. • Fundi (previously known as Eduloan) is a private credit provider that gives study loans to students whose parents are permanently employed. Visit Government institutions • Approach your local municipality, or the provincial or national government department relevant to your studies. • The Funza Lushaka bursary scheme, for example, is open to teaching students who intend working at a government school. Visit for more details.

Bank loan • The four major banks offer loans to students to cover tuition fees, accommodation and other expenses. Once you have been accepted and have registered to study for a course, the bank will pay the amount directly to that institution and, if necessary, the residence. If you have applied for extra funding for textbooks and so on, that amount will be paid directly to you. • If you are not working or if you earn less than R5 000 a month, someone (like a parent) will have to sign surety for you. This means that

18 | POST MATRIC 2018

if you default on your loan repayments after graduating, that person is liable for your debt. Pros: Investing in your chosen career path will ultimately pay off handsomely. Plus, you can apply for a bank loan to study at any university, public or private college accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority. Cons: While you’re studying, the person who has signed surety for you has to service the monthly interest on the loan. And once you’ve finished your studies, you have to start paying back a

capital amount that could run into hundreds of thousands of rands. Plus, if you don’t complete your degree, you have to repay the full loan amount – immediately. Contact the big four banks: • Standard Bank: 0860 123 000, • First National Bank: 0860 100 762, • ABSA: 0860 100 372, • Nedbank: 0860 555 111,



Visit our website and Facebook page for stacks of career ideas



WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME AN ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE? I chose this profession based on the fact that information technology is innovative and always changing. It changes your point of view from a purely human perspective to more of a customer perspective. I am always learning new things, meeting new partners and customers and, through travel, I get exposed to new cultures and requirements.

WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING, AND WHERE DID YOU DO IT? I studied a BCom (Informatics/ Information Systems) at University of Pretoria, and did an SAP Human

Resources Management and Payroll Certification with SAP South Africa, SuccessFactors Training in Germany and Spain, and did Clicksoftware Training in Portugal.

IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK OR TRAITS YOU SHOULD HAVE (OR NOT HAVE)? Yes, you must have the skills to manage different personalities and cultures because you deal with customers from different industries and backgrounds. Conflict resolution skills are also important ‒ there will always be conflict situations to manage. Passion, leadership and always being willing to help and assist are good traits to have in this industry.

IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? No, not all the time, because it’s through mistakes and experience that we learn the best.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB A typical day involves customer meetings, internal meetings, dealing with escalations with a customer and attending events or user groups.

The solutions that I sell make changes in a positive way WHAT DO YOU LIKE? The solutions that I sell make changes in a positive way to citizens within my country. I love dealing with different customers and cultures.

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? When customers are unhappy or I am not able to accommodate the expectations of the customer. At times, the hours can be long.

WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT TO DATE? Closing the biggest SuccessFactors deal in Africa and being the Rookie of the Year at SAP in 2013.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? To be able to share all my experiences with my customers and any youngsters who come after me; to impart my knowledge.

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? Work hard, be focused and always be willing to learn.

YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Awesome! Amazing! Life Changing!

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WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? I think I feel into it, in a way. But I absolutely love what I do and feel really privileged to do work that I love, that I believe makes a difference and that gives me the freedom and autonomy that I need.

YOU HAVE AN UNUSUAL CAREER. WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DO? I (mostly) facilitate leadership teams and teach them to engage in a more psychologically healthy way so that they have more challenging and straight or direct conversations the first time round, therefore, using their time more

efficiently and saving money for their organisations, and ensuring that their staff is happier and functioning more efficiently.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU DO, AND WHERE? I originally completed an Honours degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Cape Town, but I have attended many, many short courses since then. And the work I do now is very different from the Occupational Therapy I was originally trained to do.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY No day is typical. I work for different clients in different cities, and do different things every day. This is one of the things I really love about my work ‒ the variety.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY? The variety, and that I do think that I make a positive difference to the people I work with ‒ both in their personal and in their professional lives. And I believe that if more people could learn to manage themselves in a healthier way (and learn healthier ways of dealing with conflict), the world would be a better, happier place.

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? Travelling between CT and JHB is not glamorous.

ANY HURDLES YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME? Learning to trust myself, and learning to manage the anxiety of not being salaried. When I go on holiday or get sick, I don t earn. I ve had to learn to see my income annually and not monthly.


IS THERE A TYPE OF PERSONALITY BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? It probably helps to be an extrovert as I get energy from working with people and need less time on my own.

Find what really makes sense to you WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT? Be willing to learn from as many people as you can. And then find what really makes sense to you, and what you believe in.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS? To continue to do what I do for as long as I can.

YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Meaningful, Exciting, Challenging



WHY DID YOU CHOOSE CORPORATE AFFAIRS? From a very young age, I ve had a strong passion for storytelling and the written word. That, coupled with my penchant for engaging with people, made choosing a career in corporate affairs an easy decision.

WHERE DID YOU TRAIN TO BECOME A DIRECTOR? I have a BA (Hons) Degree in Organisational Communication from the University of South Africa. I am also an accredited Chartered Public Relations Practitioner with PRISA.

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WHAT TYPE OF PERSONALITY IS BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? Corporate affairs work is fastpaced and highly pressurised, and no two days are ever the same. If you really want to succeed in this industry, it s about the hunger to learn, the willingness to get your hands dirty, possessing curiosity and passion, and always testing that what you do is aligned to the organisation s strategic goals.

EXPERIENCE VERSUS FORMAL TRAINING? Formal training is important because it gives you the foundation of what the career is about and the theory aids

understanding of how things come together. Having said that, the experience is what catapults one to the next level. I mean, if we look at M-Net alone, my time here has allowed me to learn so much about the broadcasting industry. The knowledge and experience I ve gained from past positions has assisted in my growing and positioning the M-Net brand.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY AT WORK I oversee the following functions: corporate marketing, corporate communication, corporate social investment and corporate events. By managing these disciplines, the M-Net corporate brand is positioned through sponsorship and advertising opportunities, socio-economic development programmes, corporate communication messaging to all stakeholders, and relationshipbuilding efforts via eventing.

ANY HIGHLIGHTS IN YOUR CAREER TO SHARE? As a firebrand of youth development and transformation, I was behind the launch of the M-Net Magic in Motion initiative, with one of the initiatives being the M-Net Magic in Motion Academy. The academy offers high-achieving graduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to fast track their experience in the industry to secure gainful employment. The campaign has seen stakeholders from all corners of the industry rallying behind it and lending their support to the initiative, which is just growing in leaps and bounds! However, what is most rewarding for us as a team is observing the tangible difference we are making to 12 of the country s best film and television students.

YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS Professional, creative and strategic.





WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? WHY THIS PROFESSION? I have always been passionate about people. After high school, I figured that because I was quite talkative, creative and inquisitive, broadcasting would be a natural fit. I was right. As I travelled around SA as a media professional, the joys and pains of many in this country became more evident. This led me to community development, and trying to do my part in making a difference.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU DO? I didn t undergo any formal media skills development training. As a development practitioner, I learnt through closely observing others and volunteering.

I love the many opportunities it gives me to care, communicate and create. I get to interact with different people (Shekinah Media s clients as well as Bukho Bami s partners or beneficiaries), listen to their needs and help develop solutions to their concerns.

WHAT’S BEEN THE GREATEST HIGHLIGHT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR? No moment beats the look of pride on my children s faces when they attend work events and see their ordinary mom leading a team who do extraordinary things. I hope it teaches them that they too can do and be anything humanly possible.

ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING OUT? It s not easy to make it in the media or development industry. I had been in media for over a decade before I started Shekinah Media and Bukho Bami. I did all the jobs that most people didn t want to do. Be humble but assertive and never loose heart. Work hard at what you have to do, so one day you can do what you want to do.

WHY STUDY AT UNISA’S COLLEGE OF HUMAN SCIENCES? As a young mother, wife and career woman, I didn t have the luxury of studying full time. Studying at Unisa s College of Human Sciences allowed me to work and study simultaneously, so I ended up gaining both theoretical and practical know-how.

HOW HAS UNISA PREPARED YOU FOR YOUR CURRENT CAREER? Distance learning is very difficult:

it takes discipline, commitment and sacrifice. These qualities have stood me in good stead in my career. As an entrepreneur, you have to be a self-starter and a hard-worker, but you can t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Unisa s staff have always been on hand to provide me with support and assistance.

WHAT ROLE DO YOU BELIEVE UNISA CAN PLAY IN EDUCATING PEOPLE IN SOUTH AFRICA AND BEYOND? A university like Unisa is imperative to Africa s development agenda. Most importantly, Unisa is very affordable. Secondly, Unisa is highly accessible; it allows people to study wherever they are in the world, and whatever they are interested in. Lastly, Unisa is redemptive, as it allows people who usually wouldn t have the option of tertiary education due to personal circumstances a chance by allowing them to work and study at the same time.


Unisa s College of Human Sciences (CHS) offers high-quality general academic and career-focused distance education tuition in the arts, humanities, social sciences, religion and theology. Our vision, aligned to that of the university, is to become the African college of excellence in the social and human sciences by making a continuous and positive contribution in the service of humanity. We chatted to Associate Professor of Psychology and current acting Head of Research and Graduate Studies Professor Puleng Segalo (PS), Chair of and lecturer in the Department of

Anthropology and Archaeology Dr Ingrid Marais (IM), and lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies and Arabic Denzil Chetty (DC) about why you should study with this Unisa College:

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR PROFESSION? PS: I have always been fascinated by human relations and how people make meaning of their lives. This is intricately linked to constantly seeking knowledge, where the connection with research comes in. IM: I fell in love with anthropology when I walked into my first class at university. I wanted to understand

other people ‒ but in the process understood myself better. DC: I grew up in a racially segregated community; economic status was pre-determined and the future already defined. I chose religious studies as I believed it contained the elements of social transformation.

HOW IS THE CHS RESPONDING TO THE CALL TO DECOLONISE CURRICULA IN SA ACROSS EDUCATION PLATFORMS? PS: The College has been at the forefront, firmly supporting programmes geared towards creating an environment for multiple world views. IM: We have been proactive with the decoloniality summer school. We have deliberately started thinking not only about content

but also how we teach, and acknowledge the lived experiences of our students. DC: The call by the College to engage with issues of decolonisation and Africanisation serves to reposition knowledge produced in Africa.

WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO STUDY AT UNISA’S CHS? PS: I would have access to multiple platforms of engagement both online and in person. IM: You can choose a programme that really suits you. The biggest strength is the diversity of students we have ‒ we learn through and with others. DC: You will not only engage with a contextually relevant curriculum, but also with historical prejudices that have defined the human sciences for centuries.

POST MATRIC 2018 | 21





Ilunga Jean Paul Muambayi

Shamiel Kaffoor


WHAT DOES YOUR PROFESSION INVOLVE? My function starts right at the beginning of the job and carries through to the end. It involves everything, from ensuring straight foundations, to setting out and working the levels to a certain height according to the plans, overseeing colleagues (I manage approximately 30 labourers), managing subcontractors, working on roof heights, right down to the finishing touches‒ details like tiles and cupboards.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE BUILDING INDUSTRY? My father was a bricklayer and from when I was about nine years old I would spend school holidays on site earning pocket money working as a labourer. I didn t like the negative effect the years of hard graft had on my father ‒ he suffered badly from back problems caused by all the physical work. He urged me not to follow in his footsteps, so once school was over I fell into tiling, which I did for a good few years. While I was tiling, I witnessed countless struggles taking place between clients and builders. I noticed the lack of attention to detail, the faults and poor workmanship. A few years later I was introduced to Yule (cofounder of Katull Projects) and he offered me a position as foreman.

WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO YOU NEED TO BECOME A CONSTRUCTION FOREMAN? On-the-job training. Everything I know is thanks to experience.

WHAT CHARACTERISTICS MAKE FOR A GOOD FOREMAN? You have to be strong, hard but not too hard. It s about balance, about not being overpowered. I m a soft person by nature and

am a different person at work to who I am at home. The labourers need to know who s boss. You definitely need to be a good communicator.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB AS A CONSTRUCTION FOREMAN Every day something new goes wrong and I feel responsible! Mistakes always mean cost implications, so you really need to be alert ‒ constantly staying on the ball. The daily routine depends very much on the job we re working on and the stage it s at. My work involves all aspects of building construction.

WHAT ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST PARTS OF THE JOB THAT YOU DO? I love my work; there s nothing I don t like. I love being outside, not sitting in an office and working in all sorts of different places. I m happy working for someone else too, I prefer it to always having to look for more work and struggling to meet my payments. As long as I can put food on the table for my family and take the children to the doctor, I m happy. I believe money is evil, it has the habit of changing personalities for the worse.

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR JOB? Winter when it s cold and wet is hard.

ANY SAGE WORDS OF ADVICE FOR YOUNGSTERS STARTING OUT IN THE CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS? The same advice my father gave me when I was young: don t do hard labour. Choose a trade and become good at it. Be humble, work hard, always be prepared to learn something new and to take direction from others.


WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO FOLLOW THE TRADE AND BECOME AN ELECTRICIAN? I enjoy working with people and prefer being on the road than in an office. There is always work available for electricians because it s one of the most common trades, and there is always a lot of growth potential when you work for a well-known company.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO AND WHERE DID YOU DO IT? I did an apprenticeship section 28 with ECA and Train All training centre in Cape Town.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB We mainly work on routine maintenance on electrical work in houses and small buildings ‒ like plug points, light fittings, earth leakages, etc. Every day there is something different and we are always needed.

be positive because when I started it was not easy. I did not get a lot of help and not many companies wanted to hire me because I hardly had any experience.

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR? When I resolve a problem that I m working on by giving such great satisfaction to the ones who are really in need and I can look back and be proud of how much more experience I have gained over the years.

There is always work available for electricians because it’s one of the most common trades WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS?


To find myself managing a big electrical company.

I enjoy a good team spirit, and when a client is happy with my work, that makes me happy.


WHAT ASPECTS OF THE JOB DO YOU LIKE THE LEAST OF ALL? I don t like it when sometimes a client thinks that they know what is wrong and overrun my decisions when I m trying to fix a problem for them, and then in the end realising that I did intend to do the right thing. This is why you really need to have a lot of patience and good social skills!

HAVE THERE BEEN HURDLES YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME IN YOUR JOB? I have found that in this industry you have to keep your focus and

The more experience you get, the better equipped you are mentally and physically.

WHAT MAKES A ‘GOOD’ ELECTRICIAN? An electrician needs dedication, passion and a hard working ethos.

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER? Always be willing to learn and take on new opportunities. Never ever give up!

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK IN THREE WORDS Electrifying, maintenance, current POST MATRIC 2018 | 23


A g a t o n l a

W p

A t



T i e

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Search the Google App Store or Apple App Store for the "merSETA CAREER compass" app. w WE CARE:

It’s about caring for people we render services to.


It’s about working together with colleagues.

@mersetasocial WE SERVE:

It’s about going beyond the call of duty.


What is a learnership? A learnership is a structured learning process for gaining theoretical knowledge through an accredited training provider and practical skills in the workplace leading to a qualication registered on the NQF. A learnership is outcomes-based and not time-based and allows for recognition of prior learning. Learnership duration varies but the average is about 12 months.

Who is eligible to enter a learnership programme? Any person, employed or unemployed, may apply to register for a learnership: Ÿ If you are employed, you may register for a learnership programme within the sector where your company or organisation operates; or Ÿ If you are unemployed, you may register for placement in a learnership programme at your local labour centre or with employers in your area. The Department of Labour refers unemployed individuals, who meet the minimum criteria, to employers looking for learners.

How does one apply for a learnership programme? Ÿ If you are employed, nd out which learnerships

are available in the sector in which you work. Upon deciding which learnership programme is appropriate, you will need to enter into an agreement with your employer stating your rights and responsibilities as a learner; or

Ÿ If you are unemployed, you must register your

prole at the nearest Department of Labour ofce, after which you may be referred to employers who may be looking for learners to enter learnership programmes.

What is an apprenticeship? The apprenticeship system is a well-known technical training system, which covers both practical and theoretical components offered in listed trades. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a trade test to qualify as an artisan.

Who is eligible for an apprenticeship programme? Any South African citizen, 16 years or older. There are different admission requirements for the various trades. Competence in Maths, Science and English will enhance your chances of selection.

How does one apply to enter an apprenticeship programme? Ÿ If you are unemployed, you may apply to a

company that is offering an apprenticeship programme; or Ÿ If you are employed, consult with your employer as to the requirements and correct procedures to be followed to enter an apprenticeship programme.

HEAD OFFICE merSETA House, 95 7th Avenue, Cnr Rustenburg Road Melville Johannesburg, 2092 Tel: 010 219 3000 Fax: 086 673 0017 EASTERN CAPE 14-20 Pickering Street Newton Park, Port Elizabeth, 6045 Tel: 0861 637 734 Fax: 041 363 0144 GAUTENG SOUTH merSETA House, 95 7th Avenue, Cnr Rustenburg Road Melville Johannesburg, 2092 Tel: 010 219 3000 Fax: 086 673 0017 GAUTENG NORTH & NORTH WEST Automotive Supplier Park, 30 Helium Road Rosslyn Ext. 2 Pretoria, 0200 Tel: 0861 637 731 Fax: 0866 700299 FREE STATE & NORTHERN CAPE 46 Second Avenue Westdene Bloemfontein, 9300 9b Roper Street Kimberley, 8301 Tel: 0861 637 733 Fax: 051 447 8873 KWAZULU-N ATAL 149 Essenwood, 149 Stephen Dlamini Road Musgrave Durban, 4001 Tel: 086 163 7736 Fax: 031 201 8732



LIMPOPO & MPUMALANGA 1st Floor, No.8 Corridor Crescent Route N4 Business Park Ben Fleur Ext 11, Witbank, 1040 Tel: 0861 637 735 Fax: 013 656 4629 WESTERN CAPE Ground Floor, Simeka House, Farm 2, Vineyards Office Estate, 99 Jip de Jager Drive, De Bron, Durbanville, Cape Town, 7550 Tel: 0861 637 732 Fax: 021 914 8131 CAL L CENTRE Tel: 086 163 7732


ANCHORS AWAY Abdul Qader Hendricks


WHY NAVIGATION? From a young age I had a love for aviation and US Navy fighter jets and aircraft carriers. Back then I wanted to pursue a career in aviation or navigation, specifically on an aircraft carrier. I learnt more about these career paths through my own research, and ultimately decided to enroll myself at a school where I would do two extra subjects to do with the maritime industry as a Grade 10 learner.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I had the advantage of obtaining a bursary from Transnet National Ports Authority to attend school

at Simon s Town High, where I did two extra subjects (Nautical Science and Maritime Economics), which included practical training and training voyages on ships. After I matriculated, I completed one year of my National Diploma in Maritime Studies at CPUT. The second year is required in order to graduate and to become a Chief Navigating Officer or Master Mariner. After first-year, I joined a company to complete my practical sea experience (minimum 12 months). I am currently busy doing my practical at a Canadian-based company called Seaspan Ship Management, and will then write the Deck Officer of the Watch unlimited examination, which will enable me to sail as a Third Navigating Officer onboard ships

trading worldwide. I have also completed various STCW courses and other training at Samtra during the past year or so.

WHAT PERSONALITY IS BEST SUITED TO THIS WORK? It s definitely not for the fainthearted! You should be a strongwilled person who knows what responsibility means, is able to make important decisions and can remain calm under pressure.

shift consisting of eight hours per day. As a Third Navigating Officer, I would be in charge of watches (08:00‒12:00, and 20:00‒ midnight). Other additional responsibilities include the maintenance of life-saving and fire-fighting equipment.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST? Ilove travelling around the world visiting major cities and meeting people from diverse cultures.



I believe that experience is one of the most important aspects. Most of your knowledge is gained during your practical time at sea and what you learn practically tends to stay in your memory.

Spending time away from home.



As a Navigating Officer, your primary duties are to keep navigational watches. The watches are divided between Chief, Second and Third Navigating officers, each

To further my navigation career and to obtain my Class 1 unlimited license (Master Mariner). I would love to work ashore as a Ship Surveyor or Marine Harbour Pilot.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS? The adrenaline rush that I get when navigating the world s oceans in traffic-congested waters.



WHAT TRAITS SHOULD A BEAUTICIAN HAVE? WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION? As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a beauty therapist. Knowing that my qualifications allow me to work anywhere in the world was a deciding factor, as was the fact that it s a business you can potentially run from home.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERTAKE? I studied at Cape Town Academy after completing matric. I did a National Diploma in Health and Beauty Therapy and also an international ITEC Diploma in Physiatrics and Aesthetician.

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They should be a patient person, good at listening; someone who enjoys interacting with people.

IS EXPERIENCE AS IMPORTANT AS FORMAL TRAINING? Formal training is very important when starting out, but practise makes perfect. When it comes to starting your own business, experience is essential. It takes time to build good relationships with clients, and knowledge about what s happening in the industry comes from having long-standing relationships with suppliers.

DESCRIBE HOW A TYPICAL DAY AS A BEAUTICIAN UNFOLDS My working day starts at about 9am and I see between six and 12 clients a day. It s tricky juggling treatments and managing the business ‒ throw in two kids and you have a rollercoaster ride. I do enjoy the ride though, every time.

Look after your clients and they’ll stay with you for a long time

WHAT ASPECTS ARE YOU LEAST KEEN ON? Clients can be very demanding, sometimes even unreasonable. I try my best to keep all my clients happy, but there s always one!

WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER? If I can add a date, it would be 15 November 2008: the day my salon opened its doors.

SHARE SOME FUTURE GOALS I would like to expand my salon, employ more therapists and offer a wider range of treatments. I also want to open a spa in the Karoo.



I really love the fact that every day is different and you never know who you might meet. Seeing clients leave my salon happy is very rewarding.

Work hard and build up your experience; look after your clients and they ll stay with you for a long time; work in at least two salons before starting your own business.



MARKET Luzuko Mrwebo


HOW DID YOU END UP BEING A STOCKBROKER? After spending the whole of 2010 without a job, I decided to apply for the Financial Markets Honours programme at the University of Fort Hare ‒ a programme that is sponsored by BANKSETA. I was highly intrigued by how the stock market functions. I was then fortunate enough to be offered employment at Legae Securities.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? The Bachelor of Commerce Honours Financial Markets programme included four of the crucial industries of the financial system: Equity Markets, Bond Markets, Derivatives Markets and Foreign Exchange Markets. BANKSETA fully sponsored my Financial Markets Honours.

IS THERE A PERSONALITY BEST SUITED? Yes, of course! The type of work I do requires someone who is honest and trustworthy, dedicated and focused. Most importantly you have to be able to establish and maintain long-term relationships with clients.

EXPERIENCE VS TRAINING? Experience plays a pivotal role. Of course, training builds one s mental capacity, but experience exposes one to real life situations, and how to deal with them.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY AS A STOCKBROKER My day starts off with reading current news to prepare for the morning meeting. We discuss the previous trading day, and how we think the South African stock market will perform. Every day I ensure that my trading system and other systems are up and running before the market opens at 9am. I then receive and execute buy or sell orders on the system for

clients ‒ I communicate with clients to provide advice, resolve any queries they may have, and update them on their holdings.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST OVERALL ABOUT YOUR WORK? The various challenges that come with the job are what fascinate me the most. You are required to be quick and consistently accurate. Every day is different from the previous day.

Every day I ensure that my trading system and other systems are up and running before the market opens at 9am WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? Dealing with difficult clients that do not understand that we are required to follow procedures.


WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT TO DATE? Purchasing shares for a client worth R14 million.

YOUR FUTURE GOALS? I want to obtain a PhD, CFA Level 3 and Stockbroking Licence, open a consulting company, be a lecturer at the University of Fort Hare in the BANKSETA Financial Markets Honours programme, and be a motivational speaker, playing a role in South Africa s youth development initiative.

ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? Work hard, be willing to learn, avoid arguments, don t compromise your values, be humble and don t undermine other people s views.









SQL and Excel skills are also very important, and for those who haven t done much of that at school, there are plenty of cheap and free online courses. One that I recently did was Data Warehousing for Business Intelligence with Coursera.

A typical day includes creating data analysis for different departments. For example: creating a dashboard for marketing that shows who our clients are in terms of age, how much they spend on our products and where they live. This would then help marketing in their strategies and plans for which specific client segments to target and when.

Job recognition and satisfaction. You get different challenges each day and you never know what request or project you re going to be working on. You also get exposed to many other fields such as finance and IT development. This gives you what is called domain knowledge, which means you know the ins and outs of the business.



Interpersonal skills are very useful to have because you work with a lot of different people from different backgrounds. Analytics provides a huge amount of stats and information to many of the departments within the organisation. How you interact with people will have an effect on your desired results for your work.

Trying to understand and meet everyone s needs! We strive to get to a point where each department can have their own dashboard (automated report with all relevant stats) and access data without asking us or waiting on BI to get the data for them. All we would need to do is to make sure that the data is always refreshed.


WHY THIS PROFESSION? Analytics gives me the opportunity to work with many departments and people within the business/company, including the IT technical people. This then gives me the opportunity to network and also to get to know the ins and outs of the company. Analytics allows you to see how a company is doing, how it can get better, and where it is going wrong and even wasting money.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU DO, AND WHERE? I studied a BCom at the University of the Western Cape. Maths is essential for this type of career.

ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS? Learn a programming language or learn SQL for database navigation ‒ it makes life so much easier. Even if you re studying towards another career, always have a few technical skills up your sleeve because the workplace is never what you expect it to be and you never just do one thing. Having these skills, on top of your soft skills, will help you grasp the work more quickly, and you will also be a greater asset to any company.




WHY THIS PROFESSION? Actually, I am still building my professional career as a researcher. After I got my Environmental Engineering degree back in Brazil, I worked for a couple of years in the metalwork industry. However, I had much more rewarding experiences as a lab assistant during my undergraduate years, which drew me back into the research field. And still there!

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU DO, AND WHERE? I spent 17 months on an MSc degree and then four years as a PhD candidate to become a Doctor

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of Mineral and Environmental Technology. Both my MSc and PhD certificates are from the Postgraduate Programme in Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY? Most of the aspects of researching in academia are great. The opportunity to learn new things every day with a diverse group of students, colleagues and highlevel professors is priceless.

WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE? Not having a set daily routine can be tricky sometimes. And you probably have to give up a couple of weekends over the year to meet some last minute deadline.



I don t have a daily routine. I often meet up with supervisors and students and conduct lab work through planned experiments. I also do literature research/ surveying and experimental planning, and I spend a considerable amount of my time writing projects for funding as well as papers for conferences and peer-review journals.

Giving up my career in the industry to become a researcher ‒ there is less money in academia, which makes it hard to get your family to support your decision. Also, leaving my home country to try working on my career abroad has been emotionally challenging. And adapting to a new language and a different culture requires a lot of extra effort.

WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL GOALS FOR THE FUTURE? To keep on researching for innovative solutions to assist the mining sector in addressing the environmental and social issues related to their operations; to help the next generation of engineers see the big picture in terms of sustainable development. They can then help future companies/ industries conduct their activities according to circular economy and resources conservation principles.




T F i

Pursue a Rewarding Career in the Mining and Minerals Sector The Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) is the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) responsible for skills development training in the mining and minerals sector. The MQA would like to invite learners to join the dynamic world of mining by taking advantage of various MQA learning opportunities. Learners in grade 12 (matric), who excel in maths and science and require financial assistance, can apply for a MQA bursary. Graduates with qualifications in core mining disciplines can benefit from participating in the MQA internship and work experience programmes. Learnerships, with a structured learning component and practical work experience, are also available to assist learners to gain a recognised mining related qualification. For more information on these learning opportunities, please contact the Mining Qualifications Authority. Tel: 011 547 2600


Website: “Digging with Skills and Knowledge”


ARTISAN DEVELOPMENT EWSETA is the SETA mandated to respond to two of the countryʼs most critical resources – Energy and Water. With resource challenges being experienced in both these sectors as a result of growing demand, the relevance of EWSETA careers cannot be over-emphasised. The severe lack of technical skills or artisans in the country is one we take very seriously and through a number of projects we are driving the development of artisans in both sectors across the country. Our sector desperately needs qualified electricians, welders, fitters and turners, plumbers and millwrights (Electromechanicians). If you are a young person at the point of making an informed decision about your future career, deciding on becoming an artisan will be one of the best decisions you make and it all starts with selecting Maths and Science at school. You also have a number of routes you could take to becoming an artisan – here are a few:


Tel: (011) 274 4700 Fax: (011) 484 8953 / (011) 484 1078


Through an employer advertisement, you can apply and become an employee (provided you meet the minimum criteria of having a Grade 9 with Maths ROUTE 1: and Science). Through a contract entered into APPRENTICESHIP with EWSETA, the employer can enrol you on an apprenticeship programme combining on-the-job training and modular-based training at a TVET institution which will culminate in a Trade Test.

ROUTE 3: RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING (RPL) ROUTE 4: SKILLS PROGRAMMES/ If you are already skilledPART in a QUALIFICATIONS certain trade but do not have a qualification, you can apply to be assessed (at a cost) through one of EWSETAʼs accredited Service Providers who will assist with your assessment. Through the RPL process, the Service Provider will assess your competencies and gaps in your skills profile and assist you in closing those gaps through specific training.


ROUTE 2: LEARNERSHIP By registering with the Department of Labour at a labour centre you will be eligible for selection by an employer for a Learnership ROUTE 2: combining on-thejob and theoreticalLEARNERSHIP training (usually 2 – 3 years depending on the trade) which will culminate in a Trade Test.


If you are employed, you could approach your employer to assist in placing you in Skills Programmes, which are short courses and ideally modular or unit standard building blocks towards a full Artisan Qualification. Once you have completed a full house of skills programmes/part qualifications, like the other three routes, it will culminate in a Trade Test.

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IS THERE A PERSONALITY MOST SUITED? WHY THIS PROFESSION? I ve been listening to radio from a young age and over the years my interest grew stronger. I did some research and found out that I could study a radio-related course and hopefully get a job in the industry. I ve always had a keen interest in world affairs and daily news, and I happen to be quite outspoken. The aforementioned factors gave me enough clout and inspiration to pursue a career in radio.

WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO, AND WHERE? I did a Diploma in Media Practices, majoring in Journalism, at Boston Media House.

You need to be inquisitive and always eager to find out about happening stuff . You need to enjoy talking to people, have an interest in current and world affairs, and have a firm grasp of the society that surrounds you.

EXPERIENCE VS FORMAL TRAINING? Sure, experience is important, but training gives you the competitive edge over other people who may be gunning for the same position. Education gives you a solid knowledge base that helps you become more efficient. Boston gave me both the theory and the practical knowledge to get ahead in the industry.



Wake up at 4am and get to YFM at 5am; start the radio show at 6am; do a voice-over at 11am; klap a few meetings during the day; get home at 8pm-ish and hopefully squeeze some TV in before bed.

Getting to host a breakfast show on the biggest youth station in the country. Its been an awesome four-year run.


To eventually work for a national radio station, to host more TV shows, and to own a multimedia company focusing on audio-visual and marketing communications.

The fact that I can make some kind of difference in people s lives using my platform.


You need to be inquisitive and always eager to find out about ‘happening stuff’




The politics of the industry... but I just choose to ignore that aspect.

Exhilarating, exciting and rewarding.

Establish whether or not the career you want to get into will make you happy. If you see it as just a job, then don t do it. Rather get into a career path that interests you all day, every day.



WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SOCIAL WORK AS YOUR CAREER PATH? I have always had a passion for helping people overcome their emotional and psychological challenges, and also to assist those who come from a disadvantaged background to acquire the various skills they lack.

EXPLAIN WHAT YOU DO I am a Clinical Social Worker at the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture. We work closely with people who have experienced severe trauma such as torture and sexual violence.

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WHAT TRAINING DID YOU UNDERGO? I studied at UCT, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science in Social Work in 2006 and then completed my Honours in 2007. I graduated with a Master s of Social Science in Clinical Social Work, in 2010. I also did a number of internships as part of my study requirements.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY I see individual clients for counselling and also do group/ family counselling. I work in schools with learners, their parents and teachers. At times I facilitate workshops and meet with stakeholders in the community.



I enjoy building relationships with my clients and witnessing their growth and development.

Both are equally important, as a lack in one may result in a poor or ineffective intervention.



Not being able to help everyone because there are limits to what you can do to help a client.

WHAT HURDLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME? Sometimes I become very overwhelmed by the challenges my clients face. I ve had to learn to separate work from my personal life by putting boundaries in place ‒ my work can be draining.

WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT SO FAR? Taking a group of clients from a disadvantaged background for a leadership camp at a resort; seeing how much they appreciated the experience and the impact the workshops had on them.

You should at least enjoy working with people. You must be versatile, have a passion to help others, be emotionally stable and, most importantly, be a good listener.

ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING OUT? Being a social worker can be quite stressful and emotionally draining, so you need to prioritise self care; to look after your well-being. You have to take good care of yourself in order for you to be able to help your clients effectively. Live a healthy lifestyle!

YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS A rewarding experience.

BEAT THE FUNK THE SKIT MAKERS TAFIRE AND FASH CHECK IN WITH FELLOW STUDENTS ABOUT WHAT KEEPS THEM SANE AND UPBEAT WHEN STRESS GETS THEM DOWN. #DEPRESSEDBUTNOTDEFEATED QINISO MNDEBELE Honestly, my way of staying positive and sane is by being with my boys. I also tend to go out from time to time to let loose and have some fun.

SENAMILE DHLAMINI Honestly, I am a mama s baby, so when things go wrong, I call my parents. I also enjoy comfort food but I keep it safe, though doughnuts are my thing...

SPHIWE MASHIANE The word of God is my sanity, so I go to church a lot. I use The Bible as my way of making it through the tough times. I also do outreach projects, which makes me feel selfless.

TUMELO MOTAUNG I go to the library and read a lot of inspiring books. I also watch documentaries on maths and science to focus on something a bit more complicated than my problems.

SIYABONGA SHAKUR PHAKATI I am very fortunate as I have not been a victim of depression. I believe it is due to me doing what I love and what I enjoy, every day.

CYNTHIA LEBELO I always remind myself that things could be worse. I remind myself of all the things I have that others don t. I remind myself that things are meant to be and that I will be laughing about them later. The mind is a very powerful tool and constantly channelling it towards positive things makes it easier to remain positive.

AMANDA MTSHALI I keep up to date with myself, my needs and wants. I go to the church fellowship with others and get inspiration from the word of God. I also listen to music ‒ it is a great escape plan, and I try to keep communicating with my friends. They are Godsent sisters that are specially placed on this earth to keep me sane.

Like and Follow Twitter @Defeatdepressed

Instagram @Defeatdepressed

Facebook Depressed but not Defeated Campaign

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HEY, ROOMIE JS SMIT RECOUNTS THE HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS OF SHARING A RES ROOM. disproportionate to my age. Instead of a tog bag, I had books and instead of slaps on the shoulder I preferred saying hello under my breath, or not saying hello at all. Despite our differences, Ferdinand and I tried to build our relationship around the fact that we were both from the Eastern Cape, but that soon faded when he noticed I liked to have an afternoon nap while he went out to practice rugby ‒ something that didn t happen in the Eastern Cape he was from. As the year progressed, we grew further and further apart until we found ourselves at opposite ends of the hallway sharing rooms with people that had similar interests. Having chosen my new roomie (after lengthy talks with the seniors) we became close friends. You could say he was the brother I never had. My new roomie and I played classical music and studied well into the night. Our room was tidy; our door closed whenever

the jocks made their way to the rugby field. Sadly, our domestic bliss came to an end when my studies required me to switch campuses. I said goodbye to my friend, who was moving up in the world having secured a lease for a bachelor flat, and set off to the new campus. Once again, I lugged my suitcase up the stairs of a new res and headed down the hallway, terrified at what was waiting for me behind the door. I remember thinking: How bad could it be? I ve grown substantially since my first year, both physically and emotionally, and was surely equipped for anything my new roommate could throw at me. I knocked and stood back as the door swung open to reveal a man with a smiling face. Hello! he cried and motioned for me to come inside. Great start, I thought, and took heart when I noticed the room devoid of tog bag or rugby jersey or socks hanging from the windowsill.

I put down my bags on the empty bed and sat down for a chat with my new roomie. We knew some of the same people we liked at my previous campus, and others we didn t like. He pointed to a microwave oven and said I could use it whenever I liked. I grew more confident by the minute. Could it be that by some fluke the universe had arranged for me to share a room on the new campus with someone I actually got along with? Was I really so lucky as to find the equivalent of a soul mate twice in a row? After some more chit-chat, I told my roomie I had to head down to fetch another bag, got up and left the room, making sure to close the door behind me. A couple of paces down the hall I heard the unmistakable sound of a nylonstring guitar coming from the room. My roomie had the first few notes of My Bonnie lies over the Ocean down pat. The rest of it, not quite.

hey say you don t choose your family. I experienced that differently. There have been times when I felt I did choose my family but not in the way, say, you d choose a teddy bear in a gift shop, or point to a toffee apple at the carnival and say, Ooh, that one. My experience has been more one of standing in front of a police line-up of suspects (behind a one-way mirror of course) saying, Yep, numbers one through five, constable. Responsible for making life more difficult than it should have been. Take them away. Now, what they don t tell you is that after you leave your family to go to varsity or college, you will find yourself in another living situation where the creature sleeping across from you has been chosen at random, presumably from a hat, to be your constant companion for the foreseeable future. The first roommate I had, let s call him Ferdinand, was a keen sportsman (a jock I believe is the official term) very much into rugby and various other contact sports such as slapping me on the shoulder just to say hi. He enjoyed having the curtains drawn during the day and drying his rugby socks in full view of us both and whoever walked into the room. He didn t strike me as a reader or someone who enjoyed Bach. I was a free spirit at the time with a great affinity for natural light and an emphasis on personal hygiene


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