Today we profile Thandeka Mfeka, our Programme Coordinator at The Da Vinci Institute…
A Programme Coordinator is someone at the heart of student affairs and may also be a students’ communication and information support throughout the learning journey. To this end, Thandeka is both a thoughtful and conscientious person who always prioritises her students. As one of her colleagues’ notes, Thandeka is an original person in how she co-creates with others and as a result, her skills are highly appreciated. Thandeka believes that more than anything else, she is a hardworking person whose passion for education and life are adventures that keep her energised on a daily basis. Thandeka adds that, “I am quite resourceful and task oriented”, and is also a person who doesn’t “allow challenges to weigh me down.”
As a relatively new team member at The Da Vinci Institute, when asked what prompted her decision to join The Home of Remarkability, Thandeka states that her perception of The Institute was that it is a place where she can spread her wings and grow. Thandeka continues: “[The Da Vinci Institute] is simply remarkable as small [a team as it is, and] the sheer level of drive and passion for excellence [here] is amazing.” Thandeka appreciates the fact that at Da Vinci, one is encouraged to share their voice, “and that your opinion is valued”, and it does matter.
Thandeka holds a role at Da Vinci, as our remarkable Programme Coordinator. According to her, this “is very administrative and requires lots of attention to detail”, something Thandeka does impeccably. When asked to unpack her duties as a Programme Coordinator, Thandeka states that she ensures, “accurate reporting as well as client satisfaction, [and] in addition to that, the coordinator becomes the problem-solver and general overseer of the programme, to ensure that any challenges are addressed timeously and professionally.”
Thandeka perceives her role through the lenses of an agile leader whose responsibility is to offer the required support, in a general sense, and if required, then this type of leader rolls up their sleeves and assists wherever they may be needed. Thandeka concludes that, “decision making is an important part of coordinating” remarkably.
Her biggest lesson so far is “the importance of effective and timeous communication and paying attention to detail. Our Students are amazing”, especially if communicated to timeously and effectively regarding any matter of a teaching and learning nature, in this particular context.
When asked about the person/people she looks up to, Thandeka mentions her mother, whose passion for education she inherited. Thandeka acknowledges her mother’s toil to provide for her even during the grim years of Apartheid, where possibilities were quite limited more especially for a black woman. This, according to Thandeka, is the evidence “that heroes are born in adversity and her [mother’s] remarkability is that, instead of [accepting how society was racially crafted]”, her mother decided to carve her own path, which subsequently led her to become “one of the first qualified black nurses to be appointed at a then white only hospital.”
Thandeka purports that it would be remiss of her not to mention the remarkable Caster Semenya who happens to be her role model as well – who, amidst “adversity and ridicule, refused to be deterred by opinions in the [public domain]”. There were people in the public spaces, according to Thandeka, who thought that Semenya wasn’t good enough and tried to discourage her from the racing grounds. But being the force that she is, Semenya continued to rally by refusing “to be boxed in”, and by deciding, instead, “to stand out and stand up for that which she believes in”. Semenya, according to Thandeka, remarkably “challenged the sporting fraternity status-quo and paved a way for all to live their [individual truths] unapologetically.”
It is in that sense of individuality that Thandeka renders her favourite quote, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, that, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” This is a quote that speaks deeply to Thandeka, as Emerson speaks to a particular need for an individual to be trustful of their capabilities to decide for themselves on how to show up and become whoever they wish to be.
The Home of Remarkability is aware that Thandeka will continue to harness her remarkability, and we wish Thandeka a remarkable journey with us co-creating her unique brand of magic.