Where our students go

This is an expanding page, giving short biographies of our alumni and illustrating the diverse career paths open upon completing a degree in the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies. 


Chris Arukwe is running his own company, Greyspot Consult and Tour Operators, which he started in 2013. His business attracts inbound tourists to South Africa and outbound tourists and business enthusiasts to Nigeria. He has worked with BMW South Africa, Jaguar Landrover and DStv to facilitate travels between West Africa and South Africa and is now specializing in Medical Tourism and Sports Tourism in South Africa. 


Lindsay de Smidt is the principal of Oakfields College in Somerset West. She studied for a BA Journalism degree at the University of Pretoria with Heritage and Cultural Tourism as one of her majors. After graduating, she worked as a copywriter in Cape Town for a jewellery company and got promoted to their production manager, where she ran the entire graphic design department and the production schedule for all in-house publications. In her current position, she observes: "In the creative industry, things are constantly changing, and Oakfields College provides a wonderful opportunity where students really get to experience extraordinary education. I love my job, and my students make life interesting on campus". 


Thabiso Mathabathe is currently a FTL Lecturer in the Commerce Faculty teaching diploma and Higher Certificate programs at Rosebank College. Prior to that, he was a FTL lecturer in the Commerce & IT Faculty facilitating various management courses at Damelin College. He did an internship programme at the Department of Arts & Culture (before it was amalgamated with sports) as well as research work for the Mapungubwe Heritage Foundation in the Vhembe and Mopani Districts.


Keneiloe Molopyane was named a 2021 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, one of fifteen in the world. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for the Exploration of the Deep Human Journey (CEDHJ) at the University of the Witwatersrand. She completed her Bachelors degree in Heritage and Cultural Tourism, majoring in History, Cultural History, Heritage and Cultural Tourism and Archaeology.  Historical studies and Archaeology have always been a long-term passion for her, and the prospect of transforming from watching National Geographic documentaries to being in them is a dream come true. She says the passions of the teaching staff from both departments of Historical and Heritage Studies, and Archaeology left a long-standing impression on her.

She remembers that she spent most of her time "living in the good ol’ HSB building, being out in the field, with a healthy balance of student res life. You couldn’t pay me to take part in any departmental activities because I would volunteer myself anyway. That’s the secret sauce…if you want to be noticed by the big name players in the game, you have to get yourself to the front of the line and put your best foot forward.”


Marlino Eugénio Mubai, obtained a MHCS at Pretoria University in 2007. In 2010, he won a Fulbright Scholarship to study for a PhD in African Environmental History at the University of Iowa, USA. He graduated in 2015 and returned to Mozambique, where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Eduardo Mondlane University. He also serves as Deputy Dean for Graduate Studies in the same institution's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Marlino has been collaborating in various international and interdisciplinary research projects focusing on the entanglement of ecological processes with social and political issues in History. His publications cover transdisciplinary themes, including cultural tourism, warfare, peacebuilding, human rights, religion, education, climate change and socio-ecological services. Marlino has been conducting consultancy jobs outside academia for prestigious institutions, including UNESCO and UNDP.


Kim Keitumetse Ngobeni is employed at the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), where she works in the Burial, Grounds and Graves unit (BGG), as the heritage practitioner for the conservation of Massacre sites. Kim completed her honours in Heritage and Cultural Tourism and is enrolled for a Masters in Heritage Conservation.

She reflects on the value of her studies: "I get the opportunity to engage with high-level people. I get to meet the families of the great liberation heroes and heroines and have the opportunity to construct memorials for them... I would encourage you to take this course, as it has many opportunities and diverse careers". 


Elize Soer is a doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany, in the Sociology of Economic Department. Her primary focus is her doctoral dissertation, preliminarily entitled ‘Forecasts of Freedom: The Role of Imagined Futures in South Africa’s Transition from Apartheid, 1976-1996’, which she hopes to complete in March 2023 under the supervision of Prof. Jens Beckert.


Chanel Emily Turner (BHCS Hons in Heritage and Cultural Tourism) is the Managing Director and part owner of Turnscapes Travel and Tourism, where she does consulting work dominantly as a Tourism and Social Impact Assessment Specialist in the environmental industry.


Richard Wylie has worked for Tourism KwaZulu-Natal as a Researcher for the past 3 years. His responsibilities have included "a management-type role", and he is responsible for budget control as well as some other key operational functions. He has also been invited to take part in research projects outside of his main job, "which has shown that my skills as a researcher are extremely sought after and are considered as a scarce skill in many sectors of the country."

Richard did his Honours degree in Heritage and Cultural Tourism, as well as a Masters degree in Heritage and Cultural Tourism. He reflects: "Both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees have opened up so many doors in my career, and I am truly grateful for lecturers and my supervisor, Prof Karen Harris, for all that they taught me during my 6 years of studies."

In addition to his studies, Richard worked on the NDT Tourism Skills and Development Project, developing a uniform training programme for tourist guides in southern Africa. "The experience and skills development that I gained from this project (of just under 3 years) has proven to be extremely valuable for my career path," he says.






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