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On 18 October 2022, the Sol Plaatje University (SPU) Division of Student Affairs (DSA) held its inaugural Student Leadership Awards at the Library Auditorium on Central Campus. The purpose of the awards is to recognise the outstanding contributions of SPU students who have contributed to the success of university-led programmes and initiatives through their personal commitment and enthusiasm for the betterment of its student body, co-curricular programmes, student organisations, the community outreach programmes and the University as a whole.

The evening started with an Art Exhibition by the Kimberley Boy’s High School with the theme: Youtopia/Dystopia and a meet-and-greet with the student nominees. Excitement filled the auditorium as students encouraged and wished one another well at the awards ceremony.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of SPU, Prof Andrew M Crouch expressed his immense gratitude to the DSA for recognising exceptional student leaders who have displayed authentic leadership and contributed positively to society through engaged scholarship. “We are here tonight to celebrate excellence in student leadership, and it brings me great joy to know that students contribute to the creation of a conducive environment for their peers.”

Prof Crouch further said that at the core of the university is a mission to become an institution of higher learning uniquely positioned to graduate competent citizens who are capable of realising the aspirations of society. “A degree is not solely yours; a degree gives us the opportunity to give back and help uplift others in realising their dreams too. I am honoured that there is a Vice-Chancellor’s Student Leader of the Year Award that recognises a student leader who has demonstrated effective leadership capabilities and dedication through their active participation and contribution towards student-centric university programmes in advancing the University’s strategic goals and objectives.”

The keynote address was delivered by Prof Eddy Maloka, CEO of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), an organ of the African Union responsible for promoting good governance on the African continent. He is currently a visiting professor at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Governance, Public and Development Management in South Africa.

Prof Maloka addressed the anatomy of failure and incompetence – it’s a topic he believes should preoccupy us. “We pose this question negatively to think positively about the challenges that are facing our country and our institutions. What really informed and encouraged me to think about this topic is what leaders like yourselves need to start thinking about to avoid the mistakes that led us to where we are today as a country. As I am speaking to you, we are in a country in crisis, and we need to think about what is it that we need to do. And I want to start by talking about the idealism of our youth, and I am saying this because I was young myself. I was very optimistic and idealistic about society and people.” Prof Maloka then encouraged students in attendance and those watching online to become leaders of change with the aim to serve people not only by word but by deed.

Dean of Student Affairs, Ms Nicole Morris, presented the Vice-Chancellor’s Special Award. She emphasized that “in celebrating excellence, the University and the Division of Student Affairs strives to encourage all young leaders in their respective fields to carry the baton and instil the same qualities in future leaders who are, one day going to lead the country into a prosperous future. I am extremely proud and I would like to congratulate all students tonight who strive towards bettering themselves and, ultimately, society.”

Here are the winners for the Student Leadership Awards 2022. SPU congratulates and thanks all winners for their contribution in the success of the university.

The Sports Awards

Sports: Team of the Year (two winners):

WINNER 1: Male Rugby Team

WINNER 2: Female Football Team

Sports: People’s Choice Sports Star of the Year:

Jack Hermans

Sports: Sports Code of the Year:

Hockey Club

Sports: Most Improved Team of the Year:

Chess

Sports: Best Campus League of the Year:

Male Football Team

Sports Office: Best Sports Outreach Programme of the Year:

Tennis

Living and Learning Communities Awards

Residences Special Award: Most Outstanding Contribution by A Student in Living and Learning Communities

Gudani Liswoga

Residences: Most Outstanding Accredited Off-Campus Coordinator:

Oratile Leshage

 The Health, Wellness, and Mentoring Awards

Peer Mentor of the Year:

Itumeleng Phoko

Peer Educator of the Year:

Freddie Manyate

 Student life and Development Awards

Most Outstanding Contribution made by a member of the SRC:

Solomon Mosiane

Student Life and Development Hero Award: Outstanding Contribution to Student Life Programmes by a Member of the SRC:

Israel Mulovhedzi

Most Outstanding Leader in a Club or Society:

Onkgopotse Leepile

Office of the Dean of Student Affairs Special Awards

Dean’s Special Recognition Memorial Award: Posthumous Wardenship Award:

Dr Thomas Masvosve

Dean’s Special Award: Best International Student Representative of the Year:

Refilwe Sehere (SUSI PROGRAMME)

Dean’s Award: Emerging Leader of the Year:

Tshepo Hilton Madienyane

Dean’s Award: Change Maker of the Year – Social Innovation and Change:

Shane Marvin Wolf

Dean’s Award: Most Outstanding House Committee Member of the Year:

Tshepang Setae – Tauna Hall of Residence

Dean’s Award: Student Event of the Year:

Special Mention: Face of Pride 2022

Dean’s Award: Coach of the Year Award:

Freddy Adams

Dean’s Award: Most Outstanding SRC Member of the Year Award (Joint Award)

Kopo Ronelle Tonyane

Solomon Mosiane

Dean’s Award: Sporting Excellence Award:

SPU Hockey

Dean’s Award: Sportsman of the Year:

Tumelo Molefe

Dean’s Award: Sportswoman of the Year:

Lauren Van Heerden

Dean’s Award: The Alumni Sports Excellence Award:

Elihle Phali

The Vice-Chancellor’s Special Award:

Buza Kennedy Ndebele

Runner Up: Tshwanelo Viquor Ngakaditsile