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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) Interior Design Programme recently hosted its first in-person year-end Exhibition and Student Recognition Awards ceremony at City Campus, since the start of COVID-19.

The event saw third-year and Advanced Diploma students receive awards for their academic excellence.

Awards categories included for Top Design Student and Top Theory Student, for achieving the highest marks in each, respectively.

Outstanding Portfolio for presenting the best design portfolio and; Rising Star for showing the most progress throughout the year. Class representatives also received appreciation for their services and for being a link between the lecturers and their peers.

Speaking at the ceremony, Interior Design’s Programme Coordinator, Sonali Chetty thanked attendees for supporting the exhibition and awards. Chetty also thanked her colleagues from the programme, including the Programme Secretary, Senele Nhlumayo, whom she described as tremendous help.

Winner of the Top Design Student Award and Outstanding Portfolio Award in third year, Lorraine Mangira, could not contain her excitement and said she was proud of herself.

“The end goal kept me motivated. I have always had this mentality of doing better than I did last time, improving where I failed and being an example to my siblings. I want them to know that through hard work anything is possible and to never give up on your passion,” she said.

The Rising Star Award in third year went to Nomfanelo Xulu; while the Top Design Student Award and Outstanding Portfolio Award in Advanced Diploma went to Bongiwe Khumalo.

“It was exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I was glad that my effort and dedication paid off. I love stretching my limits, advancing myself and to tap into my utmost potential with everything I do,” said Khumalo.

Advanced Diploma students, Keira Judd-Stevens and Wandile Ndlovu were announced as winners of the Top Theory Award in Advanced Diploma. The duo, both aged 22, achieved the highest marks for theory resulting in a tie.

Judd-Stevens said she was excited to have his name on something for future interior designers passing through DUT to see.

Ndlovu expressed it was an honour and she hopes it will inspire other students to work just as hard.

“My hard work paid off and made my parents proud. I will show my award to my grandfather who is my inspiration to my whole project,” added Ndlovu.

Interior Design lecturer, Michelle Reynolds explained which work the students were awarded for. “Each respective year a group will exhibit their final year portfolio of work, with an emphasis on the modules completed in the second semester and they are marked ahead of the exhibition by respective examiners and external moderators. We love to reward hard work, to applaud our students as they submit their work for their respective qualifications and to sincerely thank their families for standing beside them,” she said.

The list of Awardees are:

Third-Year Student Awards:

  • Top Design Student: Lorraine Mangira
  • Rising Star Award: Nomfanelo Xulu
  • Outstanding Portfolio: Lorraine Mangira

Advanced Diploma Student Awards:

  • Top Design Student: Bongiwe Khumalo
  • Top Theory Student: Keira Judd-Stevens and Wandile Ndlovu
  • Outstanding Portfolio: Bongiwe Khumalo

Class Representatives:

Swelihle Miya (First), Mbulelo Nala (Second), Lorraine Mangira (Third), Nomfundo Mtshali (Advanced Diploma), Vusi Dlamini (Postgraduate Diploma).

 Pictured: Interior Design awardees, Top-(left-to-right) are: Nomfanelo Xulu, Lorraine Mangira. Bottom: Keira Judd-Stevens, Wandile Ndlovu and Bongiwe Khumalo. (Image by Zuri Photography).

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