Nondumiso Shabangu, a PhD: Health Sciences student at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) is all smiles after hearing of her nomination in the 2021 Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ten Outstanding Young Persons of South Africa (JCISA TOYP) Top 21 Awards.
Every year, JCI selects 10 outstanding young people between the ages of 18 to 40 years who live the JCI Mission in extraordinary ways. Since 1983, JCI has honoured more than 300 individuals from 57 nations. Past recipients of national TOYP awards include well-known personalities such as John F Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Elvis Presley, Jackie Chan, and many more, all honoured before the age of 40 and before they had achieved national prominence.
Shabangu has been nominated in the category of Business, Economic and/or Entrepreneurial Accomplishments. The award stresses the role that youth plays in the nation’s development.
“It feels so amazing, I have so much joy to know that the effort I am putting in my work is recognised,” she said.
Shabangu, a qualified Homoeopathic Practitioner, holds a Master’s degree in Homoeopathic medicine. She is also a Residence Advisor(RA) in one of the DUT residences and is working at the DUT Writing Centre in the Faculty of Arts and Design.
Shabangu relayed more on her nomination, saying that she received a call from one of the JCI committee members stating that they would like to nominate her as one of the young outstanding youth due to the work that they have seen her doing and that at her age it is amazing to have someone young and female being able to do so much despite the challenges she had faced.
Explaining more on her journey at DUT, she said that she came to DUT when she was only 17 years old to do her first year in Homeopathy. During her long term of studying she was involved in so many programmes with DUT.
“I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Homeopathy, then after that I registered for my PhD in Health Sciences, to which I am currently busy with.
As a nominee, Shabangu believes its crucial for researchers like herself to showcase their work.
“It is very vital as this I believe encourages the young people that come from the backgrounds that we grew up in to also want to stretch their selves towards education so that they also achieve more, it also allows us as upcoming researchers to showcase our work so that more, greater opportunities may open so that we may grow further,” she said.
She explained further on her research, indicating that her research is on factors influencing the uptake of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in underprivileged communities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and that she is working on collecting data to try and create a framework for enhancing the utilisation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the underprivileged communities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Shabangu aims to win this competition and ensure that the DUT flag flies high, and also make certain that more, young people see that nothing is impossible when one puts dedication to everything one does.
She stressed that the DUT community can be involved by supporting her through voting for her online on the following link: https://forms.gle/kvsyS4PY3YCzWotY8.
“It is important that the DUT community supports by voting as some of my contributions to the community are through the skills and knowledge that I have achieved from DUT, so the University has played a huge role in shaping who I have become in life,” she said.
Shabangu said that the last date of voting is the 2nd of August 2021, and all communication is done via email by the JCI team to all nominees. She added that the results from the public vote and the final judging panel will determine the 2021 JCI SA TOYP Honourees.
“If I will be selected as one of the 10 TOYP Honourees, I will be notified by 6 August 2021 and I will be expected to attend the TOYP Awards Ceremony which will take place in November in Johannesburg,” she said.
Going forward, her goals are to look at publishing more papers, studying further and contributing to the society even more than she is currently doing now.
Pictured: Nondumiso Shabangu