Alumni Showcase

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…

Saygran WEBSITE

04 Apr: ALUMNI SHOWCASE: CLAUDETTE SAYGRAN

Claudette Saygran: The Woman and Her Work    Our chat with Claudette Saygran – The Da Vinci Institute Master’s degree alumnus     A trending topic both locally and abroad, within and outside corporate structures, relates to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Gender parity is fundamental to growing economies and creating business competitiveness. There is a strong sense, however, that the pace to accelerate gender equality is slow-moving. This area of interest has been a key research domain for Da Vinci Master’s alumnus Claudette Saygran, who used her razor-sharp intellect and experience in the banking sector to explore the low representation of women in senior management positions in the banking sector.   The title of her research is: Barriers to the career progression of women into senior leadership positions within a selected South African Bank. This study, as its title suggests and along with Claudette’s elucidation, explores the challenges that…

Mfanelo WEBSITE

18 Mar: ALUMNI TALK: A catch up with Dr Mfanelo Patrick Ntsobi

Dr Mfanelo Patrick Ntsobi is a man whose voracious consumption of facts, in his chosen field of work, and research, is a remarkable quality to possess. This, as a consequence, casts not only a learned figure about him but is indicative of someone with a zeal in finding sustainable educational solutions.   Dr Ntsobi comes from a military background, a graduate from the Military Academy. He is also a former Major from the Military Health Services where he headed the Research and Development Unit. In addition, Dr Ntsobi was the Deputy General Secretary of the South African Security Forces Union (SASFU) whilst still serving in the military. Fancying a different challenge at some point in his career, Dr Ntsobi was recalled to the trade union movement, serving the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) as their national spokesperson and head of administration. His agility and ability to pivot is…

Sihle WEBSITE

16 Mar: STUDENT EXPERIENCE: Q&A session with Sihle Mbabane

Sihle Mbabane is one of The Da Vinci Institute’s remarkable students, completing the Higher Certificate in the Management of Technology and Innovation, with elective modules in New Venture Creation (NVC). This programme has various parts such as, The Business Simulation, Mentorship, Academic Performance, and the TIPS framework. Sihle came up tops in the Business Simulation segment, landing him the status of top achiever for the 2020/2021 Business Simulation Single Player.  (Image supplied)  We sat down with him and had a brief chat about his background and student experience, as well as his hopes for the future.    Tell us about yourself and your background.  I am Sihle Mbabane from Carletonville in the Rand West District, and I am 26 years old. I completed my matric in 2014. The following year, in 2015 I started my small fast-food business selling bunny chows (Kotas). That was to last until the year 2017,…