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The second cohort of the Animation Short Course have successfully completed the course under the Faculty of Arts and Design (FoAD) at the Durban University of Technology.

The group, consisting of mainly DUT academics were awarded certificates in recognition of their hard work at the Coastlands Musgrave Hotel on Friday, 18 November 2022.

Handing the certificates was Professor Runette Kruger, the FoAD Executive Dean, who congratulated this cohort, namely; Nathan Thomas, Rory van As, Saudah Ballim, Tigere Muringa, Thulani Nzama, Sanabelle Ebrahim, Gift Chagwe and Ruby Judd.

She expressed how proud she was of the graduates of the Animation Short Course on empowering themselves in a specific way which will impact on their careers.

“From my perspective, I am very happy that DUT staff and our other graduates were able make use of the opportunity that was presented to them in the Faculty. I’m a fan of lifelong learning so this is very much part of that, further to that we have got big plans and you (graduates) are part of it,” she said.

She further commented that the Faculty has planned to apply for funding to enable this course to grow as was planned from the start.

“We started with the Short Learning Programme of which you are the second cohort. We want to expand that through the course facilitator, Claire Louis, and/or industry partners to cover an intermediate level and an expert level so that you (graduates) are in a position to step into Claire’s position in a way, so that we can impart that knowledge to our students and to other members of the public with regards to the Short Learning programme,” she commented.

Prof Kruger further added that there is also a plan to offer a Higher Certificate in the Animation Short Course, which is also a way where the recent graduates fit in to obtain a Higher Certificate.

“We want to make Durban a provincial and national hub and we also want to place ourselves on an international stage with regards to Animation. That  is our vision which we have started and this is the accomplishment of a step towards that vision and it’s also an accomplishment in and of itself. I’m so proud of everyone who was able to make the time to add this to their teaching load, to their work load, well done and congratulations,” she added.

The main driver behind this Short Course is Dr Dianna Moodley who initiated this project through the Short Course Unit (SCU) at DUT.

She started it after her interaction with Fine Arts and Graphic Design who were enquiring as to why DUT does not offer Animation at all. Dr Moodley was ecstatic and thanked all those who were instrumental in executing the programme.

“First and foremost, you are part of the first group of Animation students. You are the actual change-makers and the trailblazers in this entire adventure that we have in our plan of action.  I absolutely salute you for taking this very strange journey,  unfamiliar to all of you.  Nobody had Animation in their imagination, that in your life-time would come your way, but you took a chance and successfully got through the first course,  certifying yourself, and that was a very great step moving forward,” she stressed.

Dr Moodley further added that she was very grateful that there were academics who are prepared to take chances and be innovative in their teaching.

She also thanked the Centre for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) team under the expert, eccentric guidance of Prof Colin Thakur, DUT Director: Short Course Unit for providing the administrative support. Dr Moodley further thanked the hard-work of  Garreth Dominic August, who came to the rescue in successfully administering challenges at every juncture  and she thanked Prof Kruger for her expert leadership and for all the support that she renders.

Prof Thakur spoke of how elated he was to administer such a course through DUT.

“I want to  congratulate each of you – you made me come here to this graduation, as I would not have come to a launch. I only come to graduations. An outcome shows its a process and an achievement,” he said.

Convenor of the course, Claire Louis, who is also the owner of the Katanimate 3D Animation Studio in Musgrave,  showcased a short video depicting some of the work done by the graduates.

She congratulated all the graduates for their sterling, hard work, adding that her main goal is to grow Animation as it is massive in South Africa.

Louis explained that she was shocked when she came to Durban, only to discover that there was no Animation at all and she had to go to Pietermaritzburg to find the people for her Animation studio. She further mentioned her TV show which was recently picked up by Nickelodeon; one of two companies in Africa to have been chosen.

“Next year our studio will need 40 people so please get your courses sorted out because there is so much work for graduates that finish,” she said.

She further explained that Animation has the potential to open up so many doors for one as a career path.

For more information on how to partner with DUT for short courses, contact Ms Philiswa Dlamini on philiswad@dut.ac.za/Ms Selisha Ramduth on selishar@dut.ac.za.

Pictured: Animation Short Course facilitator Claire Louis and FoAD Executive Dean, Prof Runette Kruger, with the second cohort of Animation Short Course graduates.

Waheeda Peters

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