Click, click - photography students come to the party

In August, our photography students held an Eastern Cape Landscape exhibition to raise funds for the VC’s trailblazing campaign. All images were for sale and a percentage of each sale went towards the campaign. The Photography students managed to raise a total of R2815.

Thank you CTLM!

The Centre for Teaching, Learning & Media (CTLM) have raised R1034 towards the Trailblazing campaign. Well done guys!

Southampton Univeristy in the UK come to the party

Southampton University in the United Kingdom’s Prof Rachel Mills, Dean of the Faculty of Ocean and Earth Science, made a contribution of £100 (R2000) and has challenged her other colleagues to also commit to the #Trailblazing campaign. This happened while Communication & Stakeholder Liaison’s Vuyo Bongela and Debbie Derry (pictured with Prof Mills), visited the National Oceanography Centre Southampton last week. A partnership between NMMU and Southampton University is being forged around various maritime possibilities. 

They did it!

Our Trailblazers made it to Machu Picchu! They arrive back in PE on Wednesday, no doubt with many stories to tell. This lovely pic of Trailblazer and Alumnus Dr Bridgette Gasa, was taken on day three along the Inca Trail. 

In the meantime – back on campus - the Examination Office have raised R1 075 for the campaign and challenge Faculty Administration to match or better their contribution.

OIS join in the challenge

The Office for Institutional Planning team that have raised R1000 towards the #Trailblazer campaign and challenges FINANCE to become #Trailblazers! Well done guys.

Our #Trailblazers in Peru

With just one day to go before the Inca Trail starts - our Trailblazers are acclimatising in Peru and learning about local culture and tradition. Check out the gallery for pictures of their travels. You can also like the dedicated Facebook page for updates and pics.

Thanks guys!

Thank you to the North Campus Libary staff who contributed to the campaign as well as the the School of ICT who took up the challenge laid down by ICT Services and dug deep into their pockets!

Trailblazer Bridgette, chats about the challenge

Trailblazer and Alumnus, Dr Bridgette Gasa, addressed a group of Alumni at an event prior to the group's departure on Friday 26 August. Bridgette spoke about her excitement for completing the trail and of the importance of giving back and making a difference to young lives. During the event, the Alumni Association increased their original pledged donation of R100 000 to R150 000 and handed over a cheque to Bridgette. In addition, an Alumni "care bag" was auctioned off and Alumni were given an opportunity to pledge their contributions to the campaign. A total of R10 000 was raised through these initiatives.


ICT Services dig deep into their pockets

ICT Services are quite a cheeky lot and challenged the Computing Sciences Department as well as the School of ICT to better their whopping R3400 contribution! With a graph like this - how can the others not take up the challenge?

Another successful Sweat100k session

Inspired by the first event, even more staff and students took part in the second Sweat100k fitness even in the indoor sport centre on Wednesday, 17 August. Each participant paid a minimum of R10 (students) or R20 (staff) to be there - all going towards the campaign.

Each fitness instructor led a different exercise discipline - body toning (Yonga), kickboxing (Casey), functional training (Yanga) and yoga (Kim) - for 10 minutes - and participants had a two-minute break in-between.

Blaze the trail - a send-off for the VC and Nandipha

On Tuesday, 16 August, the VC and Nandipha were joined by staff and students as a send-off before their trail. Symbolising the 43km trail, a 430m indoor trail was set up that staff and students whisked around. During this event, a team of first year Computing Sciences students also unveiled their customsised app that they have designed for the #Trailblazers. The app, named BlazeIT, has been specifically designed for them to share their journey, step by step. Their written memos, voice memos, photos and emojis will be uploaded to this website.

Each time the trailblazers share what they are experiencing it is linked to a gps coordinate so that we can follow them in heart, mind and body the whole way. The app will also measure their heart rate, pulse and hydration levels.

"Losing" student debt

With everyone watching their diets, the Governance Administration Department baked low carb, sugar free cupcakes (with chocolate icing!) and sold them at two for R43 with the proceeds being donated to the #Trailblazing campaign. "In Governance Administration, we are too busy to exercise, but we have time to eat low carb, sugar free cupcakes – so assisting in losing student debt! We challenge every department in Institutional Support to match or better our contribution of R430 towards #Trailblazing! Standing: Charmian Green, Coreen Lategan, David Thomas, Tracey-Lee Viviers, Leana Hay, Elhaam Bardien. Seated: Sameera Patel, Nombeko Hobana and Rene du Preez. 


Students join in on the challenges!

The NMMU Law Students Society raised over R2000 at various intersections in Port Elizabeth for the #Trailblazing campaign and plan to have more collections in the weeks to come. Well done guys!

Staff challenging each other...

Things are hotting up and our staff are showing their willingness to support our VC and friends heading to Machu Pichu in Peru where they plan to complete the 43km Inca Trail.

The NMMU Trust started the ball rolling (top photo) with their individual donations and collected R350. They then challenged the Alumni Relations Office (including the University Shop) who took up the challenge and put their money in the pot (middle and bottom photo). They have now challenged the Department of Arts & Culture to do the same. Arts & Culture responded with R300 and have challenged Library Services to better that.

Nandipha does dry run at Lady Slipper

EXCITEMENT and nerves are getting the better of #Trailblazer Nandipha Jack, after a dry run at the 5km Lady Slipper trail last week.

Admittedly a far cry from the 43km she will have to climb in the gallant attempt to raise R4-million to fund academically deserving but financially needy students, Jack, 23, said the climb on Thursday was the eye opener she needed.

Jack, a third-year public management student for whom studying had been a pipe dream until she was awarded a netball scholarship, said she went on the Lady Slipper trail to get acquainted with climbing.

“I know it’s not the same – 5km versus 43km – but having never climbed before, I wanted to get an idea of what I would feel and experience while climbing,” she said.

“I know it’s not the same, but I just went up Lady Slipper because it was the closest climb for me and cheaper. Now I’m a bit nervous about the trip because climbing Lady Slipper opened my eyes and I realise that the actual climb will not be easy.”

Clad in her NMMU tracksuit and hiking boots bought especially for the four-day climb from September 1 to 4, Jack was accompanied up the mountain – situated just 32km outside Port Elizabeth – by some members of the NMMU Madibaz Sports.

“Lady Slipper was quite steep, with so many inclines going up. It was very challenging in the beginning because I was rushing to get to the top, but I realised that it is all about pacing yourself and not wearing yourself out so early into the climb,” she said.

After the challenging Lady Slipper climb, Jack said while it was no easy feat, it was one she felt she had to do.

“I really want to show the students that your journey may not always be easy, but if you set your sights firmly on your goal it drives you to completion,” she said.

“Challenging and scary as all this is becoming now, I’m very excited about being part of something so big.”

So far, R1.2-million has been raised, with staff, students and the general public urged to do their part to raise funds to reach the R4-million target.



Sweat100k session 1 - lots of fun and action!

About 80 staff members and students arrived in their excercise gear for the first of three Sweat100k fitness sessions in the Indoor Sport Centre on South Campus - cheered on by the VC himself and about 100 spectators. Each paid a minimum of R10 (students) or R20 (staff) to be there - all going towards the campaign.

Each fitness instructor led a different exercise discipline - body toning (Yonga), kickboxing (Casey), functional training (Yanga) and yoga (Kim) - for 10 minutes - and participants had a two-minute break in-between.

"We need this every week!" said one of the particiants "and what makes it worthwhile, is that we're helping needy and deserving students to finsih teir journey".

Make sure you're at the next one on 17 August.

Losing calories while raising funds

THE fundraising idea behind the Sweat100k for Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) is novel, but it is the organiser's commitment to the cause that is really inspiring.

NMMU Society Officer Yanga Lusasa conceived the concept that will see staff and students raise funds for academically deserving poor students while burning calories, but it is his example that will hopefully mobilize others to be part of an institutional drive to give back to the next generation of students.

Orphaned at 16, the fitness instructor knows the reality of poverty and wanting to study further. A National Student Funding   A Scheme (NSFAS) bursary allowed him to attain a human movement science degree and he will remain ever thankful for the opportunity.

"I know what it feels like to be poor and how difficult it was to study. I want the opportunity that I was given, to become a possibility for others too. That's why I am doing this. I want to give back. I want us all to give back."

This week, Yanga and three other fitness instructors hosted a flash mob at the Kraal where students gather at lunch time on South Campus to raise awareness about the Sweat100k 4 NMMU fun fundraising events.

Staff and students are being invited to burn off calories while raising funds for the University's #Trailblazing campaign. In leading by example, Prof Swartz is hoping to inculcate a culture of giving back to future generations among NMMU staff and students. Yanga's Sweat100k 4 NMMU is such an example.

The Sweat100K is open to all and will run at lunchtime on 27 July, 17 August and 28 September in the Indoor Sports Centre.

Each fitness instructor will demonstrate a different exercise discipline - body toning (Yonga), kickboxing (Casey), functional training (Yanga) and yoga (Kim) - for 10 minutes. Participants will get a two-minute break before starting the next exercise session.

"The sessions are for everyone regardless of fitness level. In fact, folk can simply watch if they want to. The only pre-requisite is a donation of at least R10 for students and at least R20 for staff members and any other who would like to join us. It's about supporting the fundraising."

Yanga (pictured below with Trailblazer, Nandipha) said he was thrilled with the response thus far. A number of sponsors had come forward - Viva Gym, Nutritech, Body Fuel, Score, Resound, Dj Dayne Lee, NMMU Security Services, Campus Health, Shuttle Services, Student Governance, Communication and Stakeholder Liaison - and there's been great interest from students after the flash mob demonstration.


Student Leadership helps out

Well done to our student leadership who sent a "hat" around at their recent VC's Student Leadership Breakfast and collected R680 for the #Trailblazing project. MC for the event, Lungelo Gcwabaza (left) and Law Society Chairperson, Kevin van Wyk handed over the collected cash to Acting Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sibongile Muthwa. 


NMMU Trust Golf Day raises R100 000

After a very successful golf day held in Port Elizabeth recently, the NMMU Trust was able to donate R100 000 towards the #Trailblazing campaign. The Trust has been hosting this golf day since 2011 which has always been generously sponsored by Investec. A total of 112 players took part and the event was won by the Four Ball from Metro Security (pictured below). 

Go Nandipha!

NMMU student Nandipha Jack (23) has been selected as the flagbearer for all NMMU students. A final year Public Management student and A-side netball player, she is working hard to graduate this year and has applied to do her Honours next year. She is currently preparing for the trail with the VC and in so doing, met up with Elana Storm, NMMU's head of horticulture. Elana was the lucky winner of the VC's travel prize during the staff year-end function a couple of years back and she used it to visit Machu Picchu. Nandipha sat with Elana in the Beyers Naude Garden of Contemplation on South Campus and asked her a few questions about the trail:

NANDIPHA: What was the most challenging thing about the climb?

ELANA: Definitely the last 2kms! Finishing the last little bit was exhausing and I had to be assisted to get to the end. 

NANDIPHA: How does the high altitude affect you and how did you get through it?

ELANA: It's a lot different being up at that high altitude and it's quite difficult to adjust to it. One of the things that helps is the cocoa tea that they provide you with. Dead Woman's Pass on the trail is a4,215m, which is the highest (and most dreaded) point of the Inca Trail. It's on the second day of the trail and it will be rather challenging. Be prepared!

NANDIPHA: What places do you recommend are a must-see during the trip to Peru?

ELANA: WHile in Lima, Peru, you must visit the Lima Water Park - it's quite spectacular and of course, the old Inca village. 

NANDIPHA:  I see that there are lots of Llamas up there, do they bite?

ELANA: No, but they can spit! Basically, Llamas are like sheep

NANDIPHA: What is the one thing that you would recommend that I carry with me?

ELANA: Mosquito spray! 

Nandipha will no doubt be consulting with Elana as she prepares for this exciting journey!


3,2,1...GO! #Trailblazing has been launched

Symbolic route for trailblazing launch

Guests at the launch of NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz’s trailblazing campaign participated in a symbolic walk of the trail when they walked 430 metres – the four-day trail covers 43km - around the NMMU stadium on South Campus.

NMMU students also lined the route to represent the 160 students who will benefit from the R4m fundraising initiative.

About 90 top achiever Accounting Pinnacle and residence students wore Nelson Mandela T-shirts sponsored by Alumni Relations on the route which was also dotted with signposts informing guests of the financial challenges facing so many students.

At the end of the symbolic walk, at the “Sun” and “Graduation Gate”, guests were treated to two celebratory songs by the NMMU Choir.

The 160 students who will benefit from the R25 000 bursaries are those academically deserving students who have completed 75% of their studies, but who had to drop out because of financial restraints.  

“My view is that no society, no civilisation, has ever been successfully built without present generations investing in the education of future generations. As South Africans we must find ways of augmenting our universities’ pressurised resources,” Prof Swartz said at the launch.

Fellow participants on the Machu Picchu trail entrepreneur and businesswoman NMMU alumnus Dr Bridgette Gasa and third-year Public Management Diploma student and Madibaz netball player Nandipha Jack representing the 160 students, were also introduced at the launch. NMMU Chancellor Santie Botha will also participate on the trail.  

See our gallery for more photos of the event.