The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to commend all its essential workers for their dedication and commitment in providing services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. DUT’s Communications team’s Waheeda Peters spoke to Sneliswe Hlongwane, the Marketing and Communications Officer under the office of the DVC: RIE Department of Centre for Social Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (CSERI).
Q: Kindly tell me about your role at DUT?
A: “I’m serving as the Marketing and Communications Officer under the office of the DVC: RIE Department of Centre for Social Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (CSERI).”
Q: How long have you been in that role?
A: “I have been with DUT for six years now. I started in 2016 doing my in-service training at the Student Counselling and Health with the Isolempilo Clinic. In 2017, I did my internship with the Invotech Business Incubator and finally landed my current position in 2018 as the Marketing and Communications Officer with the CSERI department.”
Q: How would you describe yourself in a few words?
A: “I would like to believe that I am someone who is focused as my colleagues would say, dedicated to my work, resilient and I have a big heart for small businesses.”
Q: How has it been like working during COVID-19?
A: “Working during COVID-19 has been challenging since we had to move everything to an online platform, but again it has taught me to adapt and taught me how to manage my time and be more productive since we are working remotely.”
Q: How do you deal with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and losing loved ones due to this virus?
A: “To deal with my fear of contracting COVID-19, I have taught myself to always carry a sanitiser, wear a mask all the time, wash my hands more often, and thoroughly cleaning in our lovely home has become a norm. Lastly, not believing everything that is said on social media, to protect my mental health.”
Q: What is your daily motivation?
A: “My daily motivation and prayer is that nothing lasts forever and to believe that whatever happens, the show must go on! We have lost so much as a country but that doesn’t mean your vision board is complete, your goals and your ambitions are still waiting for you to achieve them.”
Q: Please take me through a normal day in your life?
A: “I usually start my work at 8:00 am, I plan my day and write down all my plans I have to complete and prioritise them depending on their urgency and importance. In my department, I am responsible for overseeing, advising and coordinating our student’s business progress that are incubated in our centre. Keeping in touch with our students and keeping them updated about the entrepreneurial opportunities that are available for them.
Connecting them with different media houses for coverage, linking them with public and private sectors for market access, technology transfer and access to funding and sharing business development opportunities that add value to our SMMEs. I am also responsible for the social media platforms where I design and create content that is being shared with the public.”
Q: What are your thoughts about the vaccine and its importance to students and staff?
A: I believe it’s very important for the DUT community to be vaccinated so that we will be protected and hopefully students will be allowed to be on campus fully and use resources such as libraries.”
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: “I enjoy reading newspapers, watching webinars that tackle economic issues and marketing techniques and spending time with my family and close friends.”