Media statement by Nomonde Mbadi, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs
On the 4th of July Durban University of Technology (DUT) will bestow Silver Tusk Awards upon alumni who through their achievements have brought great honour and recognition to the institution and who epitomise the institution’s traditions and excellence.
The award was introduced by DUT’s alumni body in August 2003 and will be presented during the course of the Annual Alumni Homecoming event which will be hosted from 3 to the 5 July at DUT’s Ritson Campus.
DUT’s Director of Co-operative Education, Shakeel Ori has stated that the objective of the Homecoming event is to engage Alumni to participate in activities that build the DUT brand and provide direct feedback from the industry about DUT’s programmes.
According to Convocation Manager, David Sedumedi nominations for the awards have been made by members of the DUT community; academic staff members, graduates of the university (including former ML Sultan Technikon, Technikon Natal and the Durban Institute of Technology) and a decision will be made by the Executive Committee of Convocation (Convex).
Sean Wisedale the first South African to scale the seven summits, the highest points in each continent was the first recipient of the award followed by the late Billy Nair, liberation stalwart in 2005, and Wiseman Madinane, CEO of Gillmich Business Forms. Alan Khan, who was instrumental in establishing the Silver Tusk Award, was a recipient in 2006. Previous winners also include Dion Chang, celebrity designer and fashion journalist; Gordon Murray, designer of F1 Brabham & Mclaren cars; Nanda Sooben, anti –apartheid activist and Sharonda Rapeti, ICT Achiever award winner. Mr Govinthu is the 2008 recipient of a Silver Task Award. He turned 100 last year and is the oldest surviving alumnus.
Commenting on the significance of the Silver Tusk Award , Sedumedi said: “This is one award in which fellow graduates identify the good that is being done by a person from outside the institution, it’s about the extra things you do in society that give you that extra recognition”.
Nominee of the Silver Tusk Award, Mr Rakesh Soni is a physically challenged, self-taught flautist and tabla player. He has been playing the flute since 1989 and a tabla player since he was in Grade 7. He says: “I feel absolutely humbled and honored that DUT considered me worthy of bestowing probably the most prestigious award it has. To be counted alongside great legends like the late great activist Billy Nair , Alan Khan, former MD of East Coast Radio and CEO of Jacaranda FM, and Gordon Murray, designer of F1 Brabham & McLaren Cars just to name a few is a definite honor for anybody let alone myself.” Armed with a qualification in Information Technology, he now manages a computer laboratory at DUT.
Soni comments that “music is a medium through which I feel I can make a contribution towards the nation building process that South Africa and DUT is constantly striving to do.”
“I feel more proud today because DUT has acknowledged the achievements of a so-called “physically challenged” ex-student and current member of staff and therefore allowing me to inspire both the abled-bodied as well as the differently-abled from both DUT and South Africa,” concludes Soni. Rakesh Soni can be contacted on 082 9788 498 for comment.
2009 Nominees of Silver Tusk Award (full profiles attached)
Dr Prithy Ramlachan was born and raised in Durban. He is currently the Director/Founder of the Newkwa Sexual Health and Wellness Centre. He is at present the Chairman of the Durban Doctor’s Guild since 2000 and also serves as the Chairman of the Pharmaceutical and therapeutics Committee of the KwaZulu-Natal Managed Care Coalition.
Kosi Reddy is currently the Human Resources Manager at the Hilton Hotel, Durban. He completed his MBA in Strategic Management at the Thames Valley University in the UK. He qualified in Hospitality Management and worked as a Senior Lecturer at M L Sultan Technikon.
Jeremy Maggs is a journalist, radio host and a presenter on the ETV channel. He is best known for hosting the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionnaire”. Jeremy obtained his diploma in Journalism from the former Technikon Natal and began his career in journalism writing for the Eastern Province Herald and the Sunday Tribune. He spent 10 years at Radio 702, becoming the news editor and a regular current affairs anchor. He has also worked for SAFM, and SABC2 Morning Breakfast Show.
Malusi Mkhize is qualified as an Electrical engineer at M L Sultan Technikon in 1996. He worked in the motor industry for many years before joining Lonmin Plc Base Metals Refinery (BMR) as an Automation Manager in 2008. He was the first ever black person selected to represent South Africa at a Kung Fu World Championship held in Taipei.
For comment, please contact Mr David Sedumedi, Head of Convocation on:
Tel: 031-373 2677
Cell: 082 900 1900