Cool kid on campus: Thando Gumede

Thando Sibongiseni Gumede, a final year Law student at Wits, is not only an Allan Gray Scholarship recipient and a Brightest Young Minds (BYM) awardee, but is also an advocate for the education of black girl children and substantive equality. A self-proclaimed feminist, she remains highly competitive in a male dominated industry.

COOL KID: Thando Gumede, a final year law student is not only interested in Law but in the advancement of black girl children through education. Photo: Katleho Sekhotho

COOL KID: Thando Gumede, a final year law student is not only interested in Law but in the advancement of black girl children through education. Photo: Katleho Sekhotho

You are studying Law but also have a keen interest in entrepreneurial activities, why?

Where the world is going is something I like to call cross-educational pollination. It means that gone are the days where law students go to law school to become a lawyer. So now, faculties will be teaching skills, skills that can go anywhere and in any way they want to.

Entrepreneurship is a mind-set where you identify inefficiencies and then solve those problems. So when you have cross-educational pollination, then someone who’s an engineer has got the hopes of becoming the president, not just a politics student.

You were chosen as one of the ‘Brightest Young Minds’. What exactly does that mean and how do you feel to be chosen as one?

It’s about collecting the brightest young minds on the African continent, 100 people all over Africa came together through a selection process. It wasn’t about marks, it was really just about people who presented ideas and presented themselves in a genuine way. All I can say is wow! The event was a great networking opportunity.

What are you currently working on?

There are basically two things I’m working on, it’s a new technology for sanitary pads and the other is a tech company. I’ve written a research paper on that [the former], it was about the right to basic education for black girl children in rural South Africa; one of the hindrances of going to school is [a girls] menstruation, so their biological disposition.

The postulation I make is that I say to the state, it has a constitutional obligation to balance the scales for both boys and girls.

You say you are an advocate for education and particularly substantive education, what does that mean?

Government needs to provide proper sanitation in schools, pads and panties to girls, particularly to girls in that community, either through social grants or making those things freely available to them.

That is called substantive equality. It’s better than formal equality, substantive equality asks why? At the starting line you need to remove all the rocks and boulders that are on the race track for girls to be able to manoeuvre themselves freely and equally.

DJ Sbu talks business at Wits

MOFAYA: DJ Sbu powers up while he motivates Wits students to start own businesses. Photo: Tanisha Heigberg

MOFAYA: DJ Sbu powers up while he motivates Wits students to start own businesses. Photo: Tanisha Heigberg

“You are stronger than the strongest washing powder,” were one of the words of wisdom dished out by popular South African DJ Sbu at Wits University on Wednesday.

Sbu, whose real name is Sibusiso Leope, was speaking at a talk hosted by the Wits Black Lawyers Association (BLA) on west campus.

Leope, focused his talk on his prolific rise in business and was full of entrepreneurships hints and tips.

“Be good in selling yourself, a lot of graduates cannot sell themselves during job interviews,” he said.

Leope describes himself as a musician, producer, author and entrepreneur. Leope was raised in Gauteng townships including Tembisa, Daveyton and Soshanguve and started working at the age of 12 in his parents’ spaza shop.

Patrick Mahlangu, a UJ (University of Johannesburg) BComm Masters student told Wits Vuvuzela that the talk was inspirational and it was “encouraging seeing a fellow black person doing great in South Africa, someone we can relate to, who has a similar background to many black young South Africans”.

“A positive attitude, mentorships and internships gets you one foot in the door to success,” Leope said.

The DJ told Wits Vuvuzela that he being an entrepreneur gives him an opportunity to serve people, particularly his community. He urged students to read more, emphasizing that knowledge is power quoting Robert Kiyosaki: “Knowledge is very important but what is more amazing is imagination.”

Anti-establishment bar aims to challenge conformity in Braamfontein

Clashing colour pallets, unconventional paintings and purposeful misspellings on the wall are a few of the things that catch your eye when you enter Anti-Est.

Braamfontein’s newest hotspot, located on the trendy Juta Street, aims to enforce the concepts of ‘unlearning’, free thinking and originality.

GIRL ON TOP:  Manager, Roxanne Reid  Photo: Palesa Tshandu

GIRL ON TOP: Manager, Roxanne Read says Anti-Est is more than a bar, it is a movement. Photo: Palesa Tshandu

Manager Roxanne Read said the establishment intends on challenging conformity by turning the lounge/bar into a place “where young artists can help challenge the culture of googling and encourage society to be accustomed to asking relevant questions and to move away from the norm.”

The bar has set the trend by creating rectangular shaped pizzas that are enveloped in unconventional packaging printed in eccentric statements that “fit the concept” of non-conformity.

A fresh range of cocktails and ‘uncommercial’ music created solely for the enjoyment of its audience is the way in which Anti entertains its customers every Wednesday to Saturday.

Read said the Neighbourgoods Market hosts more than 6000 people every Saturday and Anti benefits from this foot traffic, allowing the establishment to showcase its space and ensuring that  Joburgers participate in its movement.

MIXOLOGIST: A barman gets your drinks ready while you soak in cool jazzy tunes.   Photo: Percy Matshoba

MIXOLOGIST: A barman gets your drinks ready while you soak in cool jazzy tunes. Photo: Palesa Tshandu

Anti is owned by four people: Nathan Reddy, Paul Shafer, Adam Levy and David Cohen, who, as a collective aim to eradicate the conventional thinking in society.

“At the end of the day we want to push people’s buttons, but at the same time allow them to demonstrate their crazy ideas sing this space as a platform,” said Read.


Wits’ res tuck shop entreprenuer

Shweet entrepreneur: JT guarding his future's investment

YOUNG people, especially graduates, are continuously encouraged by government to pursue entrepreneurial options to curb the high unemployment figures.

Witsie Tshepiso Justice Siane, or “JT” as he is popularly known, has his sights set on becoming his own boss right here on campus. Siane, a 3rd year BCom finance student, owns and runs the tuckshops at Barnato and Jubilee Hall residences.

He says he identified the opportunity of running the tuck shop in Barnato after he moved in and was unimpressed with the poor service the tuck shop offered. “I enquired with the house committee on how I could go about running the tuck shop and they told me to prepare a proposal, and they would decide on who gets the tender to run the tuck shop.”

JT`s tuck-shop acquisitions have not been without controversy. He put in a proposal to acquire the David Webster Hall tuck shop, and got the tender for it. On the day he was unpacking his stock into the Webster tuck shop, three house committee members told him they did not want a Barnato person running their tuck shop. “I didn`t open the tuck shop that day as I waited for the Webster house committee to resolve their problems,” he says.

He said that during the tuck-shop dispute, his car tyres were slashed twice a week for two weeks and he believes it was done by people who did not want him near the Webster tuck shop, which was eventually handed to someone else.

He remains unfazed by the incident and acknowledges that businesses are competitive, even at Wits. “If your business is making money, competitors will arise, so be able to adapt and don`t get comfortable.

The average 3rd year Witsie aims to work for a big corporation but JT says he chose to go on his own after he realised that he could make more money working for himself than for someone else. “I was at the graduate presentation last year where the largest salary offer was R17 500, and I asked myself how much more would I be making for that company.”

This young man has his future mapped out and is working hard to ensure that he builds his business empire.