VC meets UP’s 2021 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans honourees

Posted on November 10, 2021

University of Pretoria (UP) Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe recently hosted UP’s 2021 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans honourees over lunch at UP’s Future Africa Institute.

Each year over the past 15 years the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans list has celebrated 200 young people who create a positive, tangible impact on society. For the 2021 list, over 5 300 nominations were submitted to the publication.

Since those first awards, 105 UP alumni have been honoured among SA’s top young people, with 22 of those coming from this year’s awardees.   

“Being selected as part of the M&G 200 Young South Africans is an honour that must not be taken for granted, and this reflects your achievement and where you are going,” Prof Kupe said. “On behalf of myself and UP we would really like to congratulate you all for this wonderful recognition you have received. The sky is the limit for you. As Vice-Chancellor I am proud to boast about you everywhere I go!”

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe (front, 4th from right) with UP 2021 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans honourees who attended the event.

Mail & Guardian Editor-in-Chief Ron Derby said, “We hope to continue this partnership with UP, and we hope to look for other ways to broaden this relationship. Congratulations to all the awardees, and we hope to see more of UP awardees in future.”

Brandon Ferlito, awardee under the category Health, said, “I was shocked when I found out that I made the list. A few people nominated me, and I also nominated myself. Getting news that I made it made me happy. Being in the presence of the VC today makes me feel like I am doing something right. Where I saw myself five years ago, I am finally realising it.”

Jolandi Jacobs, awardee under the category Sport, said, “I was surprised to learn that I won, and I thought to myself, ‘But who nominated me?!’ I felt honoured that the Mail & Guardian is recognising us. Being here today is a humbling experience.”  

Mutshidzi Abigail Mulondo, awardee under the category Health, said, “I was excited and surprised and honoured to be part of the list, and I am ready for everything that is coming from here onwards.”  

“Today we are celebrating you and your noteworthy achievement that has landed and secured you a place on the 2021 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans list,” said Samantha Castle, Senior Manager, Alumni Relations. “UP is proud of you, and we are confident that you will do even more great going forward.”

Castle also encouraged awardees to come back to their alma matter and give back to the UP community in ways including mentoring, tutoring, and being a guest lecturer. To find out more about ways in which alumni can stay connected with UP and apply for jobs, please go to www.upalumniconnect.com.

- Author Xolani Mathibela
Published by Hlengiwe Mnguni

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