SLICE : Joining the 5am club

With winter slowly but surely creeping up on us in Johannesburg, I find myself rather reluctant to get out of bed and start my day. This has often led to my morning routine being crammed into just fifteen minutes of hastily getting dressed and running out the front door five minutes late. As a result, I would arrive at my morning commitments feeling grimy and unprepared.

This led me to question whether or not my slack morning attitude was foreshadowing the rest of my day.  The author Johnnie Dent Junior once said, “Early is a priceless timepiece owned by the successful.” This notion has been echoed by various other successful people, which is why I have decided to join the 5am club this winter. I have been a member of this very prestigious club for three weeks now and so far, I am loving it. In fact, while I am writing this, I am watching the sun rise and nibbling on a piece of chocolate.

What a great way to start the day!

When I first adjusted my sleep routine, I really struggled to fall asleep at night. The truth is that, in order to get up two hours earlier, I had to get used to going to bed much earlier than before. On a brighter note, it took just three days of perseverance (and a lack of sleep) before I was able to drift into a peaceful slumber as soon as my head hit the pillow at 8:30pm.

I have been sleeping like a baby every night since and usually wake up feeling energised and motivated in the morning.

I did a lot of research before undertaking this challenge and one of the questions that came up was why I should wake up two hours earlier than necessary. The truthful answer is that the first few hours of each day usually sets the tone for the rest of the day. Each individual has a choice between waking up just in time to get ready and leave, or take two hours each morning to choose how they wish to start the day. When opting for the first alternative, one is essentially giving external factors, such as traffic and bad hair days, the power to determine the tone of one’s entire day.  In my opinion, waking up earlier is the way to go!

My current morning routine consists of me waking up at 4:45am and then hitting the snooze button on my alarm until those last fifteen precious minutes are up. Once I’m awake I like to have a sip of water and catch up on any admin. This way I get to enjoy the warmth of my bed for just a little longer, while also being able to organise my day without the distraction of people immediately replying to my emails and messages. Once I have completed these tasks, I usually take a brisk 3km walk on the treadmill at home before heading to a yoga class or completing my gym workout for the day. This leaves me feeling accomplished before the day has even started. Once my exercise routine has been completed, I take some time to get dressed and prepare myself for whatever the day has in store for me.

Since adopting this morning routine, my life has felt more manageable and organised. I no longer feel like I am constantly being bombarded with tasks and demands because each morning I am able to deal with these under peaceful circumstances and with a fresh mind. This may not be the solution for everybody, but if you are up to the challenge, I would highly recommend at least giving it a try. Joining the 5am club has changed my life and I do not intend on terminating my membership anytime soon.


‘My first love has always been presenting’

VOICE of Wits (VoW FM) programming manager, Matthew Malcolm, has stepped down from his position to be a presenter at YFM, a commercial youth radio station in Johannesburg.

The Wits graduate, formerly known as Matthew Law but now rebranding himself as DJ Flax, started at VoW FM as a presenter during his first year of study in 2014.

“Until September 2015 I did every show under the sun, and it was just to get experience,” DJ Flax said.

Thereafter he presented the breakfast show for three years, while completing a Bachelor of Arts and furthering his training at the Wits Radio Academy. “The most difficult thing is resilience,” said DJ Flax. VoW FM radio presenter, Tshepo Thaela, echoed these sentiments, saying “Anyone can have a good idea, but putting in the work to bring it to life – that’s something special.”

The 23-year-old presenter added, “I really enjoyed working with Matthew because he always had cool ideas and made things happen.”

YFM programming manager, Tumelo Diaho-Monaheng, told Wits Vuvuzela, “VoW FM is a good platform for aspiring radio journalists to gain work experience. It has structure and great people managing the station.”

“I would suggest anyone hoping to go into radio should do it through the campus space because it forces you to do everything and think creatively,” said DJ Flax.

“Matthew’ understanding of the medium and its impact on the listener was very impressive.

“He has worked very hard at earning his stripes at VoW FM and he is a keen learner. That’s what I am looking for,” said Diaho-Monaheng.

Although VoW FM has a high turnover rate, DJ Flax assured Wits Vuvuzela  that, “VoW FM has a phenomenal set of volunteers who have taken on roles where they can to ensure that this hasn’t affected the station.”

Since DJ Flax started at VoW FM, he says, “The station hasn’t really changed all that much. There’s such a culture of pride for the station that it gets passed down to every new intake.”


Wits mining engineering school top of class in university rankings

Wits University’s mining engineering school is ranked the highest in Africa and 13th in world in the 2019 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

Last year Wits ranked 15th, whilst in 2017 it was positioned 22nd on the QS rankings. The rankings are based on a combination of metrics that include academic and employer reputation, student-to-staff ratios, proportion of international staff and students, and citation rate.

Based on these categories, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s mining engineering school in the United States was ranked first in the world. Wits mining engineering is the only school in Africa to feature in the top 50 worldwide.

“Wits Mining is the largest mining school in Africa. It has a very expansive postgraduate programme and has a sizeable portion of international staff and students,” said Kelello Chabedi, senior lecturer at the Wits School of Mining Engineering.

Students currently study within the school were chuffed by the achievement.

“It is a pleasure to attend one of the top mining schools in the world”, said 22-year-old Innocent Sithole.

“I want to go out there and explore how mining engineering is done globally and [how] this ranking improves my chances of getting a job somewhere else,” added the third-year mining engineering student.

Third-year student, Minenhle Khumalo, said that there has been a decline of mining engineering graduates being taken into the mining industry.

“With us moving up in the ranks of the world and being the top school in Africa, obviously it will attract the industry’s attention,” Khumalo said.

“I think it is the way in which our curriculum is structured. Our degree includes honours, so it prepares us for things that other mining engineering students are not taught in their curriculum,” Khumalo added.

“Our chances of employment will be drastically higher everywhere in the world because the industry now knows that we are competent enough,” said Mashudu Tlhatlheji, another third-year mining engineering student.

Editor of Mining Weekly, Martin Creamer, told Wits Vuvuzela that, “It is encouraging to see that the Wits School of Mining Engineering is playing its role in a manner that has attracted the attention of the QS World University Rankings.”

“The school’s progression is very pleasing and coincides with the Fraser Institute’s higher ranking of South African mining industry as a whole,” said Creamer.

The Fraser Institute is an independent non-partisan research and educational organisation based in Canada.

“South Africa has an Aladdin’s Cave of metals and mineral riches that are estimated by the Citibank to be worth more than R32 trillion. The best way to ensure that this substantial endowment benefits all people of South Africa is by equipping South African students well enough to be able to extract our wonderful national minerals,” said Creamer.

Featured: Wits Mining Engineering Students (clockwise from top left) Kevin Sangweni, Innocent Sithole, Nhlamulo Motilene, Mashudu Tlhatlhetjie, Minenhle Khumalo, Olpha Mtungwa, Remember Kubayi and Tshepang Thulo are very proud of their school’s improved ranking.
Photo: Stephanie Schaffrath