‘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.”

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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

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Crime on the increase outside Health Sciences Campus

THE WITS Health Sciences community has been hit by increased levels of crime just outside the Parktown campus since the end of last year, according to security guards.

David Mlambo, an external perimeter security guard from Protection Services, said that pedestrians with cellphones were being targeted as they walked along York Road, but recently, there had also been incidents of motor vehicle theft and robberies.

There is at least one incident of theft, or attempted theft, every week, according to Mlambo. He said, they had foiled an attempted theft of a Toyota Etios one day at the end of February but a Toyota Yaris had been stolen the very next day.

“You know, criminals are clever. I have noticed that these criminals move around checking or monitoring us, the security. It is very bad. We are all not safe,” he said.

Mlambo’s sentiments were echoed by Peter Selowa, an independent car guard, who said incidents of crime in the area had increased since the Hillbrow Police Station had cut the frequency of patrol cars.

“The police also need to play a big role. They must be visible. I think it might help,” said Mlambo.

Third-year medical student Revaan Singh was attending Awareness Day at the Medical School on March 6, when his Toyota Yaris was stolen from a parking bay on York Road.

“I walked out to go home. I was in disbelief as I approached the space where I had parked not to find my car there. At that point I knew that it had been stolen,” said the 25-year-old.

Toni Batty, a fourth-year BNurs student, said that she wished someone had warned her about the severity of crime in the area.

“Parking my car outside gives me anxiety, not only for the risk of car theft or smash-and-grabs, but also for my own safety, walking to and from my car before and after class,” Batty added.
Director of Family Medicine Dr Richard Cooke said that he was mugged in the area last year and that had made him more cautious.

“I am very vigilant now. I’m always a bit nervous walking up that hill. My main concern is not for individuals like myself, to be frank. I am concerned for smaller and, more predominantly, female students.”
Wits security staff have advised that people should avoid using cellphones in the street, that they walk in groups, and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight in parked cars.

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