Cooperation between students and township entrepreneurs celebrated

Posted on December 12, 2012

The mentorship programme was conceptualised and initiated by Johann van der Spuy, Acting Director of the Mamelodi Business Clinic, as well as Dumi Nxumalo from the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College Trust. The intention of the mentorship programme was to link 25 final year BCom (Entrepreneurship) students with 25 township-based entrepreneurs. Dr Ingrid le Roux, senior lecturer in the Department of Business Management, agreed to avail third-year students for the project. The mentorship programme then also contributed a percentage of the students’ semester marks.

Through the programme, students gained insightful knowledge on the manner in which many South Africans based in townships and rural areas manage their businesses. The clients, on the other hand, got the valuable opportunity to gain from the knowledge of the students. It was mutually very beneficial to both students and clients. The feedback received was positive and, based on that, it has been decided that the project should be extended to other entrepreneurship degrees and subjects within the Department.

The function was held with great festivity with a Xhosa cultural group that did heart-pounding traditional African dancing. Guests were afforded the opportunity to browse the Tshwane Hub Arts & Crafts Shop and view some of the spectacular African arts, beadwork, jewellery and designs. The event was also honoured with the attendance of Gibson Muntandare and his famous Blue Bull motorcycle. Professor GH Nieman, Head of the Department of Business Management, presented the audience with a speech on the importance of the development of arts and crafts in South Africa. Other dignitaries attending were Dr Tembeka Nkamba-Van Wyk, representing Ngezandla Zethu, Mr David Christer, representing Tshwane Arts & Craft Hub, as well as Dumi Nxumalo, representing SOMAFCO trust.

From the perspective of the Mamelodi Business Clinic, this mentorship programme not only achieved its goal of developing rural and township-based business, it also bridged gaps between communities, created friendships, trust and a mutual respect for diverse cultures within our country’s borders.


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