Change the world


Nelson Mandela University honoured a selection of its most successful graduates at the institution’s annual Alumni Awards ceremony last night (23 March 2023) at the Madibaz Sport Centre, on South Campus.

Eight awards in three categories were conferred on alumni from a wide spectrum of disciplines, including sport, law, psychology and academics.

Professor Cheryl Foxcroft, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching, received a Special Award, in recognition of more than 40 years as a Mandela University academic, which included the successful navigation of teaching during #FeesMustFall protests and the COVID-19 pandemic, said Alumni Association President Siphile Hlwatika.

Rising Star awards went to education expert, author and influencer Awonke Nqayiya, Cricket South Africa women’s team manager Sedibu Mohlaba and clinical psychologist Curwyn Mapaling, who participated in the Global Peace Summit in Kenya earlier this year.

Alumni Achiever award recipients were educator and veteran musician Willem Bouwer van Rooyen, award-winning clinical psychologist Anele Siswana, top Johannesburg lawyer Ziyanda Ntshona and mathematician Professor Nosisi Feza, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Postgraduate Studies at the University of Venda.

The Alumni Association executive committee selected the Special Award recipient, while Rising Star and Achiever Award winners were nominated externally, and then recommended to the committee by an awards panel, said Hlwatika.

Mandela University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sibongile Muthwa, said that since the inception of the Alumni Achievers Awards in 2010, more than 100 alumni awards had been conferred on graduates from a wide range of disciplines and age groups.

“Our recipients (have included) academics, legal practitioners, musicians, psychologists, scientists and sports people. We have a broad age spectrum, which reflects the power of the lifelong connection from which we draw experience and wisdom,” she said.

“Their individual stories are powerful testimonies of the life experiences, hard work, mindset and personal values which (have formed) part of their life journey and achievements.

“We have more than 30 000 students at our university, with their own life experiences and dreams, and our award recipients are role models (whose) stories inspire others.”

Nelson Mandela University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sibongile Muthwa (seated, third from right) with the alumni recognized at the awards last night along with other dignitaries (clockwise from left): Awonke Nqayiya, Anele Siswana, Willem Bouwer van Rooyen, Curwyn Mapaling, Sedibu Mohlaba, Paul Geswindt (Director of Alumni), Siphile Hlwatika (Alumni President), Ziyanda Ntshona, Professor Cheryl Foxcroft Professor Nosisi Feza and Dr Denver Webb (Senior Director: Strategic Resource Mobilisation). Photo: Gavin Gouws Photography

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777