Alumni Showcase

VIGENTHREN PANDARAM

31 Oct: Vigenthren Pandaram: Turning The Tide Of Engineering Turnover

The Da Vinci Institute’s Master’s alumnus Vigenthren Pandaram has dedicated his life and career to engineering, a field in which he has an abiding passion. When tracing the start of his career trajectory in the field of engineering, Vigenthren Pandaram reminisces that working life for him began after graduating with a National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at ML Sultan Technikon (now called Durban University of Technology) in 1990. Following which, Vigenthren completed an apprenticeship in 1991. It was between 1991 and 1996 that “I worked in the gold mining industry as an underground fitter and later moved to the manufacturing industry as a fitter and turner”, Vigenthren says. With an engineering background and when a timely chance to make use for it came to pass, the year 1996 was a period in which Vigenthren decided to shift career gears and joined Eskom, where he was offered an opportunity to be…

Stars nebula in space. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

24 Aug: STUDENT EXPERIENCE: Q&A session with Khabazela Mkize

Recently, DaVinci had a catch-up with one of our gifted students Khabazela Mkize, who is currently completing the Higher Certificate in Management of Technology and Innovation, with elective modules in New Venture Creation (NVC) here at The Institute. Khabazela is a 26-year-old, hailing from Pollak Park in Springs and he shares his story…    | Khabazela reflects on his journey |  Tell us about yourself and a bit about your background.  My name is Khabazela Mpumelelo Mkize. I am a 26-year-old student and a diligent worker, trying to create a better future for myself and my family. I currently reside with my father at Pollak Park in Springs. We have been living together since I was 4-years old when my mother passed away after a horrific road accident. This difficult experience landed my dad and I in very tough financial situations. Consequently, there has been a lot of opportunities that…

Stars nebula in space. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

17 Aug: STUDENT EXPERIENCE: A Q&A session with Perciwell Van Staden

Meet Perciwell Van Staden, one of our students currently completing a Higher Certificate in Management of Technology and Innovation with electives in New Venture Creation | We sat down with Perciwell and engaged him about his journey and gained some insights about his hopes for the future. Here is what he had to say… | Tell us about yourself and your background. My name is Perciwell Van Staden, I am 29 years old and currently live in Actonville, Benoni. I come from the humblest of beginnings, and from a big family of about 6 siblings, to be exact. Having said that, and as life is for most of us, assisting financially at home was more important than attaining a tertiary education. So, I have been doing odd jobs since matriculating. This New Venture Creation (NVC) programme sponsored by Gauteng City Regional Academy (GCRA) has been my first real shot at…

Stars nebula in space. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

10 Aug: ALUMNI ALERT: MASTER’S ALUMNUS, CHANTAL BALLA 

DaVinci’s 2021 Master’s alumnus Chantal Balla’s remarkability is magnetic. She is a natural problem solver, with a keen interest for making substantial improvements where she co-creates.    “My late parents whom I have dedicated my study to, your blood runs through my veins and your memory will always be alive in my heart forever.”     | This is our recent Q&A engagement with Chantal, to find out more about her journey at DaVinci |    Please give us a brief overview of your career to date.  My short-term insurance career spans over 19 years and encompasses experience in personal, commercial, corporate and the public sector spheres. Being promoted to a management position in 2005 has exposed me to all facets of business operations. Furthermore, I am a qualified Accounting and Business Management teacher by profession, coupled with an associate degree qualification in the short-term insurance industry. I have a…

Stars nebula in space. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

03 Aug: Refilwe Moreetsi: A Journey of Taking to the Skies

Refilwe Moreetsi, who is one of our BCom graduates from the class of 2021, is a Senior First Officer at South African Airways (SAA). A fascinating woman, Refilwe is such an inspiration, and she exudes remarkability about her.    | In this recent catch-up, Refilwe shares her love of taking to the orbit and how this aviation passion was realised | It is a journey of a young woman, whose passion for flying began at the tender age of seven, when she got the opportunity to take her first commercial flight to Durban, with her parents. Refilwe Moreetsi explains that she “got the opportunity to visit the flightdeck after landing. It was a memorable experience, and I knew then that I wanted to become a pilot.” Even in explaining this story, Refilwe’s passion can be felt, as she describes how intriguing her first flight was because it was something unique,…

Stars nebula in space. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

22 Jun: ALUMNI ALERT: A catch-up with Dr Shina Akeem Oyewale, The Institute’s Doctoral alumnus…

  “… [To] the youths of Nigeria, those on the streets hoping strongly for opportunities and guidance to unleash their potentials. You are not voiceless. You are being heard. The Motherland needs you. You should also hearken to her appeal and hold your destinies in your hands. This work gives you a tool. Please use it.”  – A dedication, by Dr Shina Akeem Oyewale    Youth unemployment is a global issue and of enormous concern. It is even acutely pronounced in South Africa where youth unemployment figures are currently sounding critical alarm bells. The issue, however, and as aforementioned, is not limited to South Africa. Northwards, on the Gulf of Guinea, on the Western Coast of Africa, the Nigerian nation is faced with the same conundrum. Many a people have sounded suggestions that businesses or corporates could play a role in reducing unemployment figures. From the academic space, individuals have been researching…

Stars nebula in space. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

08 Jun: Alumni Showcase: Meet with Therasinamurthie Perumal Govender

Getting to know DaVinci’s Doctoral alumnus, Therasinamurthie Perumal Govender from the class of 2021   Dr Therasinamurthie Perumal Govender, a seasoned and respected leader, is the current Managing Director at TEK-MATION Training Institute. Dr Govender, in a recent engagement, shared the tale of his remarkable journey…     Please give us a brief overview of your career to date. My name is TP Govender (otherwise known as Dave), a Managing Director at TEK-MATION Training Institute. My areas of specialisations are Process Automation and Control Engineering, Engineering Fabrication, Pulp and Paper Technology and Oil and Gas Processing. I have progressed through my career as an artisan, technician, and engineer from the factory floor to my present position. A call to academia was the next providential step for me and I spent the best part of eight years in the Department of Electronic Engineering at the Durban University of Technology. I have…

Stars nebula in space. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

01 Jun: A Q&A with The Da Vinci Institute’s Doctoral alumnus Dr Renaldo de Jager

A Q&A with The Da Vinci Institute’s Doctoral alumnus Dr Renaldo de Jager   Please give us a brief overview of your career to date. I have just over two decades of work experience as an International Management Consultant, during which time I successfully delivered projects in most industries and in various countries around the world.   Your thesis is titled: “An integrated approach to management as a mechanism to enhance the efficiencies of manufacturing concerns in the Gauteng province.” Please provide us with a blurb on the purpose of this research and its contribution. The GDP [Gross domestic product] of South Africa has been decreasing year-on-year since 2012. Since the productivity of a country is measured by its GDP, statistics imply that productivity in South Africa is on the decline, and thus affecting the economic growth of South Africa, which has also been in decline year-on-year since 2012. Parenthetically,…

Premie WEBSITE

25 Apr: COUNCIL CATCH-UP: A Q&A SESSION WITH DR PREMIE NAICKER

Dr Premie Naicker is one of The Da Vinci Institute’s Doctoral alumni, the Managing Director of FuseForward, and she serves as one of the members of The Da Vinci Institute’s council – offering her expert advice towards driving the strategy of The Institute.   Please provide us with a brief overview of your career to date.  My career spans over 25 years in IT and People Development. I have managed a few multinational software and IT companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. My current position is Managing Director at FuseForward (which is an AWS partner). In addition, I am also the Executive Director of an NGO called Computer Aid International.    What prompted your decision to become one of The Institute’s council members?  I am an alumnus of The Da Vinci Institute, and it is an honour that I now am one of the council members. Being a council member gives me…

Marlenie WEBSITE

25 Apr: ALUMNI ALERT: Meet Marlenie Moodley, one of The Institute’s Master’s Graduates

Marlenie Moodley’s academic journey ensured her remarkable mould – it sharpened Marlenie’s critical thinking and sounded her unique voice. Today she tells her story…   Marlenie is a focused, curious, and disciplined individual, who works hard at her goals. It is these attributes that contributed to her attainment of her Master’s degree. Marlenie singles out her “flexibility and self-motivation” to have helped her through this journey.   When asked to describe how her academic undertaking was, Marlenie says the past two years for her have been a challenge and adds that all the “stress and pressure is overwhelming – balancing being a new mom, wife, having a full-time job and being a part-time student. Every now and then, there were times when quitting seemed easier than continuing.” Marlenie did not quit, however, and her resilience is paying off. Her robust nature is largely linked to her working experiences, which span two…