Q&A with Thokozane Dyosi

Thokozane Dyosi, a PhD student and associate lecturer in the Foundation Phase Studies Department of the Wits Education Campus, is the youngest in her department. Having struggled to graduate, she started a motivation campaign called #SeeYouAtGraduation to encourage higher education students of all ages in all disciplines to push through to the end and graduate.

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Blind student opens up about attack on a Wits bus

Wits student Sisanda Msekele, who was attacked on a Wits circuit bus and hospitalised since last Friday night was discharged yesterday morning. She chatted briefly to Wits Vuvuzela about her ordeal. Wits University’s Campus Control Director, Robert Kemp, said the SAPS and Campus Control Investigations Section are investigating the matter. 

Wits Master’s graduate Sisanda Msekele, who was attacked and hospitalised last Friday night, was discharged yesterday morning after recovering from the severe injuries she sustained in the attack.

STRONGER: Sisanda Msekele and her guide dog Romy on the steps of Great Hall after her graduation at Wits University yesterday. Photo: Samantha Camara.

STRONGER: Sisanda Msekele and her guide dog Romy on the steps of Great Hall after her graduation at Wits University yesterday. Photo: Samantha Camara.

Msekele, who was discharged from Milpark hospital in Parktown yesterday morning, said she sustained a “severe bite on her upper lip”, had marks on her legs and bite marks on her hand and nipple.

“The girl who attacked me tried to go for my nipple,” Msekele said. “She was going for my nipple,” she reiterated.

Msekele, who is usually accompanied by her protective guide dog, Romy, said she was with a friend when the incident occurred and had left her dog at home. Msekele has declined to reveal the identity of her friend.

Robert Kemp, director of Wits Campus Control said that the incident was reported around 21h30 on Friday night.

“It is believed that the suspect is also a student,” Kemp added.

Kemp said Wits Campus Control officers went to Milpark Hospital, to gather details of the incident from Msekele on Friday night.

“The matter is currently being investigated by the SAPS [at Hillbrow police station] and Campus Control Investigations Section,” Kemp said.

Msekele told Wits Vuvuzela that “the experience has been very overwhelming” and that she needs some time before she can talk about it more openly.

Alternative graduate employment opportunities

Having a university degree does not mean graduates will get a job. Students who don’t qualify for graduate placement programmes are increasingly finding themselves unemployed and unemployable after graduating.

Local employers often say graduates lack the skills and experience required for entry level positions and are usually unwilling to use their resources to train new graduates.

“We don’t believe graduates have all the practical knowledge of the business, they need training,” said Times Media Head of Programme Paddi Clay.

Times Media takes graduates from different faculties. But for those who don’t qualify for the cadet programme, they also offer two-weeks no pay experiential learning. Most students are reluctant to work without pay but the short-term experience would work in their favour on their CVs.

“We try to accommodate many people who apply on a short-term basis or for six months if it is part of their undergrad,” said Clay.

Students who want international work experience and travel but don’t have the financial means to do so should look at agencies such as the Overseas Visitors Club (OVC). OVC targets young graduates and works specifically with young people who find it difficult to get into the working field.

“We offer teaching abroad, au-pairing, hospitality internships and horticulture opportunities abroad,” said OVC consultant Shani Styger. Styger said South African university graduates can teach English in Korea, Thailand and China.

She said there were hospitality internships in Dubai and the U.S “a person with waitressing experience and a qualification can qualify to be an intern and get hands-on training experience.”

Styger said the most popular option is au-pairing because American host families pay for flights and visas. “Students can make a lot of money, however, the experience offered abroad is usually not related to the students’ graduate degrees,” said Styger . She said international work experience was important and employers are more willing to hire graduates that are more open-minded.