Inspirational WSU lecturer wins award

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A Walter Sisulu University IT lecturer has been named as one of the most inspirational women in South Africa for her work in the tech industry.

HIGH TECH: Walter Sisulu University lecturer Dr Sibongiseni Tunzelana Thotsejane with her inspiring Fifty Campaign award. Picture: SUPPLIED

Dr Sibongiseni Tunzelana Thotsejane has a PhD in information systems from UCT and is studying towards her second doctorate in business administration with the UK’s University of Bath. She has recently been honoured for her work by the Inspiring Fifty Campaign.

The Inspiring Fifty Campaign, which received 252 nominations for the tech industry’s most influential women in the fields of academics, entrepreneurship, corporate, journalism and venture capitalism, was launched in South Africa by Janneke Niessen and Joelle Fritjers of the Netherlands.

The project’s aim is to laud women’s work in the technology-related sector and expose young girls to opportunities in the field.

Thotsejane, who is a lecturer in applied informatics and mathematical sciences at WSU, said she had been nominated in April on the basis of having co-founded ICT start-up FlavaLite Innovations of which she is the chief information officer.

The company is 100% women and black-owned and was co-founded with her sister Unathi Tunzelana and friend Matsepo Africa. It pioneers innovative products in IT service delivery.

“The award has motivated me to put in more effort inspiring and consciously serving more people, especially my first-year students,” she said.

Thotsejane, a former chief information officer at the Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town, has made good use of her international business and academic connections to benefit her students.

“I reach out to some of my mentors and associates that I have met globally to assist me as guest lecturers.”

As part of her responsibilities as winner of the Inspiring 50 Campaign, Thotsejane has prioritised finding solutions to challenges faced by the university.

These include facilitating links to the Netherlands for the training of WSU lecturers, as well as exchange programmes for students. Her endeavours will also include raising funding for teaching, learning, research and community engagement at the university. — barbarah@dispatch.co.za

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