As a first time in Johannesburg, the Old Rhodian Union, founded in 1911, hosted the latest edition of the distinguished Old Rhodian Awards on Tuesday, 28 November.
Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Rhodes University’s Vice-Chancellor hosted guests from all sectors of the country, with the keynote speech being given by newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Standard Bank and previous winner of the Distinguished Old Rhodian Award, Sim Tshabalala. The awards honour old Rhodians, who through individual actions and achievements have enhanced the reputation of the university. This year’s nominees and awardees were of the highest calibre, “true game changers” in their respective industries according to the vice chancellor.
The Union seeks to establish a link between past and present students and staff of Rhodes University. All past students who attended Rhodes University for at least a year, all members of Convocation, past and present Chancellors, University Council members and all past and present members of staff, including members of Associated Institutes automatically qualify to be members of the Old Rhodian Union.
Past winners of these awards include guest speaker Tshabalala, Rhodes Chancellor Lex Mpati, former Johnnic CEO Connie Molusi, Idols judge Unathi Msengane, Radio journalist Eusebious MacKaiser, Judge Jos Jones and Mathematician and Scientist Dr Trevor Hastie.
- Professor Anthony Granger
South African born author and businessperson, Granger has continued the Old Rhodian tradition as a trustee of the Rhodes University UK Trust. He has a BA LLB from Rhodes and has written 14 books on financial planning. He has led from the front, as a former President of the Institute of Financial Planners (IPA) in South Africa and holder of dual CFP status in the UK and South Africa.
- Professor Godwell Nahmo
Since his first enrolment at Rhodes in 2003, Prof. Nhamo, (a C3 rated NRF researcher), has dedicated his life to opening up critical research areas in the fields of climate policy, green economy and sustainable development. He has published widely, including six books (one co-authored and five edited) between 2011 and 2016. He has also graduated nine PhD students between 2013 and 2016 and mentored 10 postdoctoral fellows. Prof Nhamo’s journal articles now number 60 since his enrolment as a PhD student at Rhodes in 2003.
- Mr David Abbey
Abbey is widely recognised in the banking and financial services industry for his high intellectual and execution capability, sound business acumen and commercial shrewdness. Abbey was selected as one of 30 out of 40 000 employees to take part in FirstRand’s Executive Leadership programme in which he graduated with top honours and received a special distinction at his graduation from his peers and lecturers as the most likely to become CEO of the FirstRand Group.
- Dr Prudence Ogunlade
Dr Ogunlade is Executive Manager in the Office of the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Transnet. She holds an MBA, Business Administration, studied Programme in Business Management at Unisa and has a PhD in Chemistry from Rhodes University obtained in 2007.
- Ms Krivani Pillay
Pillay is a highly motivated and passionate journalist with over a decade of experience. In 2005, she was the recipient of the Vodacom Journalist of the year award in the category of Editor’s Choice. As a senior producer and Current Affairs anchor for SABC News, Krivani and seven colleagues played a key role in initially challenging the SABC over their management’s editorial dictate that violent protests must not be covered in TV news broadcasts.
- Ms Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
Gobodo-Madikizela is an author, professor and holds the Research Chair Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University. Born in Kwa-Langa Township in Cape Town, she graduated from Fort Hare University with a BA and BA (Honours) in Psychology. She obtained her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Rhodes University in 1984.
- Professor Chris Brink
Professor Chris Brink is the former Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University in the UK and Rector at Stellenbosch University. He retired in 2016 after leading the transformation agenda, which attracted national and international attention. As a Rector of Stellenbosch, Brink was credited with leading a transformational project that foregrounded teaching quality, diversity and research. With the Mayor of Stellenbosch, Brink also initiated, a town-and-gown collaboration called ‘Reinventing Stellenbosch’ aimed at overcoming the divisions of the apartheid era.
- Dr Leslie Shone (Posthumous)
Dr Leslie John Shone was known for his personal integrity, exceptional leadership qualities and the ability to deal with people at all levels without pride or prejudice. He made a significant impact on all major water utilities throughout South Africa and the larger water utilities in Africa. Leslie graduated from Rhodes University in 1964 with a BSc and and a Diploma in Industrial Organisation and Business Management. The Commonwealth University in London awarded him a Doctorate in Science.