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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to commend its essential workers for their dedication and commitment in providing services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. DUT’s Communications team’s Nomvelo Zulu spoke to Waheeda Peters, Publications Officer and Simangele Zuma, Media Officer of Corporate Affairs.

Q: Kindly tell me about your role at DUT?

(W) A: “I am the Publications Officer at DUT Communications Department, Corporate Affairs Division. My role is writing, editing and producing publications at our prestigious university.”

(S) A: “I am DUT’s Media Officer, working under the Communications Department, Corporate Affairs Division. My duties include attending and assisting with media queries, writing press releases, writing articles and taking photographs at University events to share on the DUT website, social media pages and also with the media.”

Q: How long have you been in that role?

(W) A: “I have been in this role since February 2014 to date.”

(S) A: “I joined DUT on 01 April 2020.”

Q: Please describe yourself in a few words?

(W) A: “I would say that I am a very hard-working, deadline driven person who is passionate about the field of journalism. It gives me immense pleasure to promote and showcase on our university accolades, students, and staff. Receiving a ‘thank you message’ for a story well-written is a reward and blessing that I treasure the most as it means that I am doing my job right.”

 (S) A: “I am a God-fearing woman, a hard worker and a people’s person.”

Q: How has it been like working during COVID-19?

(W) A: “It has been a tough road, especially losing friends and loved ones along the way, the hope is to continue praying that this disease goes away.”

(S) A: “I started working at DUT during the outbreak of COVID-19 so I had to work from home for a couple of months. Luckily, I had a supportive team that guided and supported me every step of the way. This helped me to quickly settle in and I managed to get the hang of things fast.”

Q: How do you deal with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and losing loved ones due to this virus?

(W) A: “I believe that vaccinating is a key factor to curbing the spread of COVID-19. The more people vaccinate the better it will be to ensure it spreads less, and more lives are saved.”

(S) A: “I adhere to the COVID-19 safety guidelines to protect myself and those around me. I also made sure that I vaccinate, and I encouraged my loved ones to do the same.”

Q: What is your daily motivation?

 (W) A: “I follow the motto by Paul Coelho which is when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

(S) A: “To know that my God is with me always, and that he will make a way for me to overcome my challenges.”

Q: Please take me through a normal day in your life? 

(W)  A: “My day starts with the usual daily school run of dropping my 16-year-old daughter off at school. Once that is done and dusted, I head off to work to start checking my emails and the tasks that I need to complete for the day. Some days are madness with many daily deadlines and webinars, so I just try to ensure I am on par with all my set tasks.”

(S) A: “My day starts at 06h00 with preparing my two sons, Amukelwe (14) and Simthandile (12) for school, tidy the house, take care of my sick granny before getting ready for work. At work, I check my emails, write down tasks I need to complete for the day and work on completing each task before end of business. Some days are hectic, and I end up working past my knock off time. I always look forward to going home and spending time with my family and helping my sons with schoolwork. The excitement on my granny’s face whenever I return home from work, is always fulfilling.”

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

(W) A; “I love watching movies, especially the horror genre, don’t ask me why, I just do! I also relish boxing and I quite enjoy a torturous high-impact session at the local boxing gym, when possible, just to let off some steam. Other than that, I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.”

(S) A: “I love watching movies, listening to gospel music, going to church, and going out with my friends and family. I also dedicate a lot of my spare time to my MBA studies, completing assessments and conducting research.”

Q: If you had one wish what would it be? 

(W)A: “To just be and grow organically with life.”

(S) A: “For my granny to recover from the stroke she had and get back to normal. It hurts to see her daily in a helpless state; however I am grateful to GOD that she is still alive.”

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