Change the world


Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Three Mandela University Alumni have been included in the prestigious South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) list of the Top 35 Under 35 Chartered Accountants in the country.

These are extraordinary young businessmen and women, under the age of 35, being recognised and rewarded as trailblazers and leaders in their own right.

Every year the Top-35-Under-35 competition honours winners in various categories, The categories consider how the nominee’s CA(SA) skills are used to impact business and its development growth, how they influence society or impact other’s lives for the better, the impact they have on the business with their leadership skills and how they are changing the future of the CA(SA) with their innovative thinking.

The three Mandela Alumni who qualified as CA’s at our University are as follows with a short bio from the Top35 website.

Desidre Coopasamy

A proud achievement of Desidre Coopasamy would be the opportunity of lecturing at CTA level this year. She has received incredible feedback from both students and lecturers. What has made it even more significant for her is that she is the first black woman to lecture at fourth year level at Rhodes University.

Desidre is finalising her Master’s in Fraud and Risk Management, and what she learns, she teaches in class. She intends pursuing her PhD studies.

Another significant highlight for Desidre is that she is a Thuthuka co-ordinator for Rhodes University. The bursary started off with 30 students in 2016. It has grown to more than 100 students and now includes donors from Fasset and AG.

‘I want my students to be motivated and encouraged. I want them to be the best versions of themselves, to excel and be CAs(SA); to remain humble but build their confidence to be leaders one day.’

One of her favourite quotes is Mahatma Ghandi’s ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’.

Gideon Botha

A senior financial manager at Nedbank Home Loans, Gideon Botha manages a staff complement of 11 and is responsible for technical accounting, management accounting, and reporting for his division. He also serves on the board of Nedbank Medical Aid as member-elect trustee and chairs two of the subcommittees.

Gideon will complete his PhD titled ‘Developing a framework for price tariffs in the costing structures of South African private hospitals’ by December 2019. His PhD will recommend a combination of unit costing and reimbursement models to set price tariffs in South African private hospitals – a methodology designed to improve the way price tariffs are determined for hospital procedures. In addition to his PhD, Gideon is concluding his postgraduate diploma in future studies at the University of Stellenbosch.

To enrich his team at Nedbank, he arranges annual workshops and talks by motivational speakers. Featured speakers include Harmonie CEO Johan Beukes, who explained the importance of telling one’s story, and renowned fine artist Duncan Stewart, who taught attendees strategies to think creatively. Extreme-adventure facilitator Alex Harris, who is sought after nationwide for his inspiring talks on refusing to give up, will meet with the team in September.

Gideon also runs an informal mentorship programme for young CAs(SA) by arranging sessions to engage with prominent business leaders. The aim of this programme is to empower young CAs(SA) to learn personally from these business leaders, expand their network, and dream big.

Unathi Mkiva

Unathi Mkiva is an entrepreneur and CEO and co-founder of Vintage Capital (Pty) Ltd, a group of companies established in 2014. The group has the following subsidiaries: MKIVA Registered Auditors and Business Advisors, Fountains Funeral Solutions, Diamond Property Investments Galore, and recently an on-demand services mobile app called UrbanSense. Unathi is a member of the Education and Transformation Committee of the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA). As a believer in continued learning and development of new skills, in 2018 he completed his MBA at the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

He is a registered auditor and his clients are emerging companies (SMMEs). He helps these companies with compliance and governance issues in order to be sustainable for the development of the South African economy.

Unathi is actively involved in his community: he runs a biannual project ‘Helping the Homeless’ that collects clothes, blankets, food, and other necessities. He wants this to be the wheels in motion for a society that ignites ubuntu and selfless leadership. He also supports more than 15 families in Keiskammahoek (EC) by providing Christmas food packs. Unathi considers himself an accountable and selfless leader and replicates the same values to his team. His team knows him not as a ‘boss’ but rather a support structure that ensures delivery of output while giving direction.

Unathi is a husband, an avid road runner with two Comrades Marathon finishes, an amateur cyclist (94.7 Cycle Challenge medallist) and a die-hard biker.