#teamvuvu: Nokuthula Manyathi

iThuli or Thuli with an ‘i’ is another native from the Ridge. She is however a nomad, who travelled to Diepsloot every evening and on weekends. This Oprah stan is the personification of the phrase dynamite comes in small packages.

Looking summer fresh.
Looking summer fresh.

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Thuli: Summery (is there such a word?)

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Thuli: Clean and casual

Me: Are you sure about this journalism thing?

Thuli: Yes, I am. In my  16+ years of being in the school system I have never felt more at home then I do now.

Me: That said, if you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Thuli: I’ve never seen myself doing anything that doesn’t involve people. I’d be doing something that involves interacting with people on a daily basis, like teaching.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Thuli: This year has been amazing. Everyday even on my worst day I was excited to come to class. I don’t remember bunking or skipping a day of school. This year a fire was ignited or a passion within me that I hadn’t thought I had. I’m generally excited about the future but this year took my excitement level about the future to another level. I’m in love.

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

Thuli: I’m not a writer. I express myself best verbally. So I was challenged in that I had to explain/express my thoughts and concepts on paper. When I arrived I was very insecure about my writing I would spend days on one story to try make it perfect but now(because of practice) I file stories faster and people understand what I’ve written which is a big win for me. This was both a challenge and reward. (Oh and live tweeting used to kick my ass).

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

Thuli: Next year I’ll be at City Press here in jozi. I’m really excited to be challenged and to be pushed to the edge. I can’t wait to be pushed into the deep end and see myself swim cause that’s the only option I’ve given myself.

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu in three words?

Thuli: Passionate, visionaries, extended family

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

Thuli: Enjoy boot camp that’s the most time free time you will have in afternoons to have a social life. What you put in is what you will get out. Your growth is dependent on what YOU are willing to give. Don’t stress, even the “experienced writers” in class are insecure about their work. Take every opportunity.

Quickfire Q & A: 

Best reads

This little thing called life got in the way of me posting a ‘best reads’post last week, I will not let this thing called life do that to me again.

Last week was one of the last editions we’ll produce in a while, so it was jam packed with copy to feed the appetites of our readers.

Here are some of my personal highlights from the edition:

  • EFF triggers PYA exodus by Thuleto Zwane. One would imagine that it would take more than kitch red berets to sway comrades’ alliances, one would be wrong. I kid, I kid. Interesting to see how quickly the new political party is gaining ground among some students.
  • Dr Last loses by Shandukani Mulaudzi. Things came full circle last week when a verdict was reached regarding our supposed ethical misdemeanour with one of our sexual harassment stories. Good to know that even back then our ethics were intact.
  • Wits improves in world rankings by Dineo Bendile. Since my first year of studying at Wits I have been one of its most ardent supporters. Defending it left, right and centre at braai’s and other such gatherings. It’s good to know that we are indeed getting better as an institution and that I can brag even more 😉
  • Enjoying food that has roots by Mfuneko Toyana. For no other reason than the deliciousness that came from this meeting. Glad I got to tag along and literally get a taste of Kenya.
  • “Go see Josh” by Sibusisiwe Nyanda. Lovely and inspirational story about weight loss. Josh had me going til he mentioned something about no carbs, that’s when I knew I couldn’t do what he did. But inspirational nonetheless.
  • Witsie bail-out by Nolwazi Mjwara. A look at the contentious issue of students on campus being bailed out of jail by the university.
  • Survivor: ANN7 edition by Nokuthula Manyathi. Another one I got to sit in on last week. It was interesting to hear first-hand how things are going over at ANN7. The tweets weren’t lying.

GALLERY: Morning fun in Braam

We were meant to be out on assignment and then ended up taking casual snaps of one another, great fun.  All photo’s in this gallery taken by me 🙂

No answers on Coopoo

By Nokuthula Manyathi and Pheladi Sethusa

As Dean of Students Prem Coopoo spends her sixth week on special leave, the rumour mill churns out speculation and the university remains silent about the reason.

Week to week Wits Vuvuzela has been given the run around when trying to find out more about the situation.

Initially staff and students had been informed Coopoo’s absence would only last for a week.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel told Wits Vuvuzela last month that Coopoo was placed on special leave pending investigations but would not specify the nature of the investigation.

This week director of special projects, Oliver Seale, said Lamese Abrahams had been appointed the acting dean of students.

He went on to say: “University management is currently in negotiations with Ms P Coopoo on this matter.

We will notify the entire university community on this matter as soon as the negotiations are concluded.”

Some of the rumours Wits Vuvuzela has heard include that the university has plans to change the position of the dean of students, taking away the title of dean. Seale responded to this by saying that was not the case: “Please note that the negotiations with the current incumbent and (sic) not on the job title.”

Wits Vuvuzela contacted six members in executive management, including Vice Chancellor Adam Habib, but could not obtain further comment.

“Special” leave?

THE DEAN of students, Prem Coopoo, has been  on special leave for the past two weeks, since August 2, with little clarity on when she will return.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel told Wits Vuvuzela that Coopoo had been placed on special leave pending an investigation.

Elaine Milton, head of employee relations at Wits, said the reasons behind Coopoo’s absence are “personal and private” and she could not comment on them.

Wits Vuvuzela tried numerous times to get in touch with Coopoo and other members in management for more information but to no avail.

Head of Residence Life Rob Sharman has been named acting dean of students while Coopoo is on special leave.

According to the university’s website, the office of the dean of students facilitates student life and the academic life of students. It also assists with programmes and services to students.

The dean of students also provides “the strategic direction and co-ordination of all student affairs operations” and sets “clear and specific expectations for staff involvement in facilitating students’ experiences”.