Leaders of a Wits society received the Rising Star Award during the June Leadership Summit held at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
The Wits student organisation, AIESEC (an acronym in French for the International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences) was recently recognised as a Local Chapter which is part of the greater international society. The Wits Chapter managed to fulfill the required number of exchanges and projects within the past year.
Ten students from Wits attended the five-day June Leadership Summit (JLS). AIESEC members from a number of different universities were “all united in one venue!” said Rosina Mabapa, 3rd year BA student, representing AIESEC media and communications.
The summit focused on the relevance of African talent and explored leadership in South Africa and within AIESEC, according to Onthatile Nataboge, 4th year BEd and president of AIESEC Wits.
Arthur Motolla, 1st year BA student, attended JLS for the first time. He said speakers stressed the importance of embracing Africa’s mosaic of cultures instead of striving for a unique African identity.
Opportunity lies with the disadvantaged. That is where opportunities lie for entrepreneurs. That is where you can expect the most amount of growth.
“Opportunity lies with the disadvantaged. That is where opportunities lie for entrepreneurs. That is where you can expect the most amount of growth,” he said as he reflected on the things he learnt.
“I am still overwhelmed by JLS,” exclaimed Duduetsang Mmeti, 2nd year LLb. She expressed how students were encouraged to contribute African solutions to African problems.
They had speakers, companies and organisations who shared their knowledge and entrepreneurs who spoke about “the greatness of being an entrepreneur and creating jobs for people and why it’s important for our economy,” said Mmeti.
Two Wits students participated in global internship programmes in Mozambique over the winter break.
Thato Moganedi, 3rd year BA Psychology and Media Studies, was keen on going to another Southern African Development Community (SADC) country. “In the aspects of travelling, I don’t want to go over the ocean instead of knowing my neighbours,” she said.
She joined AIESEC in the beginning of the year for the opportunities of cultural exchange. And to go, “beyond tolerating other cultures and accepting and embracing cultures”.
“The total experience was phenomenal … We learnt a lot about social relations and power relations and Africa as a whole,” she said.
She worked with VGV (A Portuguese abbreviation for Global Vision for Life), a children’s organisation and international organisation Orion which works with mentally disabled children. She plans to return there for work once she is finished with her degree
Ayanda Ndaba, 2nd year BA Law, went to an international high school and took up the opportunity to join AIESEC when she came to Wits in 2012. “It was an opportunity for me to be active on campus and to be active in something I like doing,” she said.
What I drew out the most from the experience was how you can be accepted… There was a girl who couldn’t speak a word of English but we managed to communicate.
While in Mozambique she worked on the Millenium Youth Development programme, which was placed in a NGO on the outskirts of Maputo. “We assisted with a community centre”.
They worked with 10-14 year olds and tutored them in English, Maths, Human Rights and personal hygiene, “things aligned to the Millenium Youth Development Goals,” she explained. They also collected donations for the centre.
“What I drew out the most from the experience was how you can be accepted… There was a girl who couldn’t speak a word of English but we managed to communicate.” She is keen on applying what she learnt to non-profit organisations in South Africa.
AIESEC will host a meeting on August 8 to discuss events planned for the rest of the year and internships during December. Students interested in finding out more about AIESEC are welcome to join the meeting.
This article was featured on the Wits Vuvuzela