School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science

UKZN’s Most Inspiring Students

UKZN has recognised its students who Inspire Greatness.

The awards celebrate excellence in community service, student influence, music and arts, academic prowess and leadership and aim to shine a spotlight on students who are flying the University flag high.

Twenty-six students were selected from more than 100 entries by a panel consisting of representatives of various units at the University. The entrants were nominated by fellow students.

BSc M Stream (Mathematics and Applied Mathematics) student, Mr Shimon Corcos was humbled and ecstatic to receive the award. ‘For us, this award carries more meaning now than ever before. We are endowed with the responsibility of continuing to be inspirational to our community as we endure the COVID-19 pandemic, while keeping our distance. In some ways our reach is restrained but we need to adjust our tactics and keep in mind that action, no matter how small, is better than inaction,’ said Corcos.

‘We need to challenge ourselves to not become absorbed in the uncertainty we are faced with and instead reach out and find ways to help others and to seek the help that we need,’ the third-year student added.

Bachelor of Education (Honours) student Mr Luthando Molefe, who scooped the award for the third consecutive time said: ‘I am delighted to have been named as one of UKZN’s Most Inspiring Students. This is confirmation that my hard work and dedication within the University and outside does not go unnoticed.’

Physiotherapy student and International Students’ Association president, Ms Namutula Mukelabai was humbled and honoured to have been selected. ‘This nomination shows that impact is always recognised, even when you think no one is watching. Thank you to those who nominated me!’ she said. ‘To the International Students’ Association team and the Physiotherapy department team, this is our nomination! A victory for one is no victory unless it is collective. Here’s to Inspiring Greatness!’

Mr Simangaliso Bayabonga Zulu, who is currently doing his Masters in Commerce, believes he was selected based on his ‘meritorious academic performance, community engagement and exceptional leadership.’

Zulu, a former president of UKZN’s Golden Key International Honour Society in Pietermaritzburg, juggled being a good student (he has more than 10 merit awards) and helping vulnerable communities. He is particularly proud of informing school learners about the requirements to access the University as Higher Education is life-changing and can have an impact on future generations.

UKZN’s tagline – Inspiring Greatness became Master of Arts student Ms Silindile Shazi’s slogan when she joined the University. ‘I am always willing to help others and that’s exactly how I studied. I believe we all have to be the change we want to see. If we work together, we can achieve a lot. I am honoured to receive this award.’

Corporate Relations Acting Executive Director, Ms Normah Zondo, said, ‘These awards were established to recognise our students beyond the classroom setting and applaud the impact that they are making in their communities and society. I am certain that going forward they will continue to excel and contribute meaningfully to their communities. I hope that you will continue to Inspire Greatness and inspire others to do the same.’ Zondo also thanked the selection committee for its contribution.

The 2020 Most Inspiring Students are:

Sinothile Godfrey Mavundla

Nhlakanipho Siphesihle Mnqayi

Nkanyiso Mncube

Muhle Ndwalane

Mpendulo Mbambo

S’sekelo Zungu

Thanduxolo Dube

Namutula Mukelaba

Phamkamile Mazibuko

Silindile Veracious Shazi

Khethokuhle Bhengu

Ayanda Mbatha

Shimon Corcos

Simangaliso Zulu

Talent Sikhosana

Mpendulo Zuma

Nosipho Gabela

Ntokozo Tono

Ntandoyenkosi Msomi

Anne Chisa

Fisokhuhle Sibiya

Talenta Mabasa

Sibahle Zuma

Luthando Molefe

Siyanda Bright Bambelo

Aviwe Madikizela

The categories were:

•    Diversity and Programming

•    Entrepreneurship

•    Music and Arts

•    Support and Inspiring Greatness

•    Aspiring Leadership

•    Poetry

•    Self-determination

•    Leadership

•    Community Service

•    Career driven

•    Academic excellence

Words: Raylene Captain Hasthibeer and Ndabaonline

Photographs: Supplied