Top matriculants share their secrets to success

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THEY cut down on TV, socialising and sport and spent long hours poring over their books, but the sacrifices were worth it for a bunch of Eastern Cape matrics who were named the boffins of the Class of 2008.

The province‘s bright sparks were happy to share their success secrets with Weekend Post, saying this year‘s new batch of matrics should start studying from day one in Grade 12 if they wanted to excel.

“I worked every day in class so I didn‘t have to study so hard when it came to exams and I only watched my favourite programme every week,” said top Grahamstown pupil Megan Yendall, 18, of Victoria Girls‘ High.

Top Graaff-Reinet matriculant Yvonne Scott, 18, of Union High agreed.

“Take it seriously from the beginning. And if you work really hard you can take the finals more calmly.”

Thembalethu Sikwana, 18, of Lungisa Senior Secondary School in KwaDwesi, who was named the top achiever among historically disadvantaged individuals (HDI) in the PE district, said cutting down on watching his favourite cartoons, jogging to de-stress and studying in groups led to his success.

Thembalethu, who wants to study medicine, scored 93 per cent for maths and 94% for life sciences.

Planning and sticking to a timetable were the secret of Emile Naude‘s success.

Emile, of Nico Malan High School, who was the Uitenhage district‘s top boffin, and who will be studying chemical engineering at Stellenbosch University this year, said he planned precisely what he needed to study for each subject.

“It is vital to study hard for the June and September exams. You can‘t start at the end of the year,” said Emile, who pulled off 94% for maths.

Making summaries and teaching his peers was central to the success of East London‘s top Grade 12 pupil, Pratik Pokharel, 17.

Pratik, of Selborne College, said he made “compressed notes” two weeks before exams began and then went over them a day or two before the finals.

“I gave up soccer, movies and going out during the exams,” said Pratik, who will be studying business or actuarial science at UCT this year.

For Melody van Rooyen, of Hoerskool Nico Malan, coming second in the Eastern Cape with six straight A‘s meant studying until 4am on some nights and giving up her hobbies.

“It was all worth it,” said Melody, who will study mechanical engineering at UCT this year.

Avuyile Kopolo, of St James Senior Secondary School in Cofimvaba, said her achievement of becoming the first pupil from a historically disadvantaged background to come third in the province with straight A‘s, was due to “preparing a long time before the exams and being determined and focused on my books”.

Weekend Post Matric of the Year 2008 winner Gerrit Maritz of Daniel Pienaar Technical High School said he was “pleased” with his seven distinctions out of eight subjects.

Daniel, who is enrolled for a degree in electrical engineering at Stellenbosch University this year, advised this year‘s new batch of Grade 12s to “study consistently from the moment the first bell goes with your finals in mind”.

source :Weekend Post

Ex-Bay woman blooms in Cope limelight

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FOR a woman thrust into the political spotlight as the third in charge of newly formed Congress of the People (Cope) three weeks ago, Lynda Odendaal, who hails from Nelson Mandela Bay, shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Standing little over 1,5m tall the diminutive Odendaal, 44, has already shown her size has nothing to do with her political stamina, working almost non- stop during the most crucial time for party campaigners – the build-up to this year‘s elections in May.

“The first week was a bit of a challenge in terms of media coverage,” admitted Odendaal, who now lives in Johannesburg. She was speaking to Weekend Post in between busy meetings on Thursday.

“The (frantic way of life) is natural now, except for the media attention. But it‘s important we communicate with our members and potential members and I want to maintain that.”

Having grown up in Uitenhage where she attended Riebeek College, Odendaal later went on to study at commercial college Beckleys in Port Elizabeth. Then she wasted no time in getting into business.

“I‘ve been in commerce for the last 20 years,” she said.

She left her position as chief executive of Network Support Services, an information and communication technology company, to focus on her burgeoning political career.

An enterprising business woman, Odendaal also owns recruitment, development and human resources companies which she keeps an eye on while not strategising with party officials ahead of Cope‘s election manifesto launch in the Bay on January 24.

But she insists her foray into politics was never planned.

“I haven‘t been actively involved politically up until now,” she said. “I‘ve been more involved with issues like women‘s rights and transformation and I still want to play an active part because there is still a lot to be done in these areas.”

Despite her hectic schedule, Odendaal managed to spend some quality family time over Christmas, quietly sneaking back home to visit her parents Anna and John in Uitenhage from December 24 to January 4, with her husband André and 12-year-old son. She also has three grown up children.

“I was in church with my parents on Christmas Day. I sneaked in and spent some time with my family. It‘s important. You never know when you‘ll get that time again.”

The decision to name her as the second deputy president of the party came as a shock even to Odendaal who found out about her new position just hours before Cope was officially launched in Bloemfontein on December 16. Many had expected ex-ANC Eastern Cape Amathole region chairman Mluleki George to be third in charge, but he was named national organiser instead. Since the launch there has been no let-up from the media wanting to know more about the woman who until last month was relatively unknown.

Observers believe Odendaal‘s appointment was a deliberate bid to attract voters looking for a different profile to the ANC, as well as to further Cope‘s bid to be “an inclusive” party, rather than appealing to any one race group.

With her pale face and blonde hair, she stands out among the Cope leadership previously associated with the ANC.

While she burst onto the scene in a similar fashion to US Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Odendaal by contrast speaks with clarity and a definite strategy.

Having begun work with the party behind the scenes after being moved by a radio interview with Cope president Mosioua “Terror” Lekota, Odendaal said it was Lekota‘s talk of change which struck a chord.

source Weekend Post

Uitenhage celebrates Women’s Day Inspiration

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This is the story of the first conference where I was the MC, the event organiser, the host and everything else.

“Yes!!! I did it.” I, Yusuf Moses, pulled it off…

I overcame my fear of speaking on a stage. When I got on that stage I felt that I had the power to change the world just with the words that I conveyed and that was frightening. That’s the one thing that made me tremble with fear and made me stutter; however, I knew if I didn’t get onto that stage at that moment I would disappoint all the people and most of all I would disappoint my mother, Halimah Moses, and Mrs Elizabeth Muller. Moreover, I would surely not want to disappoint  Ramon Thomas and make him lose  trust and confidence that he had in me. I believed I had a message, and it was an important one: I wanted to inspire Uitenhage, I wanted to educate them.

That is why I had to get onto that stage. The morning of Saturday, 9th August 2008, I was nervous and in a moment of near panic I felt like running away but deep down inside of me I knew that it would haunt me for the rest of my life. Running would become much easier next time … I would never achieve my dream of standing in front on people and changing their lives.

I am happy that I went through with it because I learned some valuable lessons:

Lesson 1

It is possible for an individual to change the world like Thomas Edison, Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale. I read and heard such stories about these great people in history, changing the world, but that was “history” to me. It seemed unreal; even Nelson Mandela too far fetched because I had never before experienced that power of speaking to the world. I did not realize that when I stepped onto that stage but…. when I got down after my last words I realized that one person can change the world.

Lesson 2

People want to help you succeed. There were people that I met not long before my big women’s inspirational day who went out of their way to help me succeed. Every time that I had to ask someone something, I reflected on whether I would be willing to do that for someone else? Then I would answer, “Yes, but that is not me.” That’s when I started to doubt them. Yet that’s when I learned to put my trust in what people say and to believe that they would follow through. (I learned to trust people again.)

Lesson 3

I learned to appreciate everyone I knew. For the first time I really appreciated the people that came and I could help them to help themselves even more. But the greatest reward was seeing the faces in the crowd wanting to hear more of what I had to say. It was people like Mr Antony Larter, telling Ramon, “It will help Yusuf if we clapped a bit.” It was Mrs Muller nodding her head when I said, “Never let anyone take away your dignity”.  Women are dream builders.

It was Mrs Olwen Carson running around at the very last minute for me, Yusuf Moses, whom she had met just a few days ago; she had known nothing about me, yet there she was helping me find a “tea pot” for the event. I can still feel the lump in my throat and tears welling up in my eyes but I kept them back because I felt that I would still need to approach a thousand more people and I had to be strong when I met them.

There was Mrs Gretal Olivier who came all the way from Alexandria telling me that it was not my fault that this public speaking was a fear to me; at her school it was part of the curriculum and if it had been a part of my curriculum a few years back it would not have been a fear. It was people like Mrs Karen telling me, ”You did a great job organizing this much needed yet so neglected event”. I could see the pride in my mother’s eyes. Only a few days earlier I had told her that I was resigning and I could see her dream of me working at a factory for 10,20 or even 40 years being shattered.

Now she proudly told me, “Yusuf, my son, you are now an adult and I can no longer choose for you. But remember I will stand behind you in whatever you choose to do with your life, because you have never let me down before”. I will never ever forget these timeless words that she said. It was for Mrs Lizy of the friends of the Uitenhage Library just smiling with appreciation. It was for Gareth whom I work with for telling me, “Hey, bro, just relax”

Jobs boom follows R1bn plan to boost local content at VWSA

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UP TO 1000 motor industry jobs could be created in the next nine months in the Eastern Cape following a R1billion investment plan unveiled yesterday by Volkswagen SA and component managers for Uitenhage.

VWSA managing director David Powels said the investments were being taken to “step up to the challenge and opportunity presented by the new automotive production and development programme (APDP) by attracting several key national and international component manufacturers to set up operations in Uitenhage”.

Powels said the R1bn investment came as a result of VWSA challenging components suppliers to “significantly improve processes and productivity levels to both survive and grow in the medium term”.

As a result, five suppliers were already establishing manufacturing facilities in the Nelson Mandela Bay logistics park established by the Coega Development Corporation, adjacent to VW’s Uitenhage factory. A sixth supplier would set up operations at the entrance to the Uitenhage industrial area.

The suppliers are interior plastic components manufacturer Faurecia Interior Systems, metal pressing parts manufacturer Bloxwich Industries, side mirrors and cables manufacturer Flextech, bumper systems manufacturer Rehau Polymer, and headliner and door panels manufacturer Grupo Antolin. Nelson Mandela Bay’s Bel-Essex Engineering was also in the process of constructing a new facility directly opposite the Volkswagen plant.

Volkswagen itself announced earlier this year that it would be investing more than R3bn in its own manufacturing and related activities from this year through to the end of 2010. That investment would also create several hundred jobs, Powels said at the time.

Yesterday, Powels said: “Our company has instituted an unprecedented focus on dramatically increasing manufacturing depth and extent of the local component supplier industry.

“The new APDP presents the opportunity to revolutionise the South African supplier component industry which has a long way to travel before it can claim global competitiveness.

“In terms of cost competitiveness, there’s an approximate 20% gap to manufacturers in Western Europe. The gap widens to more than 30% when comparing domestic automotive manufacturing cost structures to those in emerging automotive power houses such as India, China and Russia. There is only one way in which the automotive manufacturing industry in SA will be able to survive in the medium to long term – by securing much higher levels of local content. This includes the need to introduce new technologies and increase the use of local materials in the domestic component manufacturing industry.”

CDC chief executive Pepi Silinga said the initiative would send a positive message to the auto industry and strengthen the position of the region in the sector. “The positive impact of these developments to the economy of the Eastern Cape will be huge. They will bring dramatic shifts in people’s lives in the metro and in the province far sooner than expected.”

The VWSA announcement comes only days after General Motors in Port Elizabeth announced that it would shed 1000 jobs by the end of year, and Ford, with operations in Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, said it would be shedding 800 jobs.

GM shed more than 400 jobs earlier this year and is now in the process of reducing its head-count by several hundred more, with more cuts planned through to the end of the year.

Source: The Herald, Avusa Group News

Eerste jaarlikse Vrouedag Motiveringspraatjie in Uitenhage bekendgestel

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Alexandria Christian Academy learns with Technology Evangelist Ramon ThomasDie jaarlikse Vrouedag word Saterdag, die neënde Augustus in Uitenhage gevier met  die afskop van ‘n motiveringspraatjie wat sovêr enig in sy soort op die dorp is. Die doel van die praatjie is om vroue vanuit alle sfere van die lewe te motiveer en all geld wat sodoende ingesamel word sal aan liefdadigheid geskenk word.

Ons is opgewonde om ‘n boorling van Uitenhage te hê wat so ‘n belangrike onderwerp soos die uitdagings wat gesinne in die gesig staar rakende selfone en Mixit te kan aanspreek” sê Elizabeth Muller, senior bibliotekaris by Uitenhage dorps-biblioteek. “Die Vrouedag motiveringspraatjie is ‘n belangrike mylpaal wat nouer bande tussen gemeenskapsorganisasies en die regering se vrouebemagtigings pogings kan smee.”

Die gasspreker is Ramon Thomas, Suid-Afrika se voorste kenner op die gebied van die gevare wat selfone, kletskamers en Mxit vir ‘n mens kan inhou.  Thomas, ’n Gebore Uitenhager wat vir die afgelope 10 jaar in Johannesburg woon, het onlangs na sy tuisdorp teruggekeer vir langverlof. Hy gaan ’n kragtige praatjie lewer omtrent die groot gevare verbonde aan die ontmoeting van mense in internet-kletskamers, kuber-afknouery (“cyber-bullying”), kuber-treitering (“cyber-harrasment”), identiteitsbedrog en soortgelyke voorvalle.

Yusuf Moses, die organiseerder van die Vrouedag motiveringspraatjie sê “Ramon is ‘n jarelange vriend en mentor en sy boodskap wys hoe mens daardie fyn balans tussen die positiewe en negatiewe aspekte verbonde aan die gebruik van selfone en MXit kan verkry.”

Thomas het al soortgelyke praatjies aan meer as ‘n honderd skole, kerke, universiteite en konferensies regoor die land gelewer. Hy was ook al gasspreker op televisie-aktualiteitsprogramme soos 3Talk, Carte Blanche en Rights & Recourse en vele radioprogramme, terwyl sy professionele mening in talle koerant-en-tydskrif-artikels geraadpleeg is, na aanleiding van die baanbrekers-werk  wat hy omtrent die sielkundige impak van tegnologie gedoen het.

Hier volg die dag (Saterdag, 9 Augustus 2008) se program

  • 09h30 Verwelkoming – Elizabeth Muller, Hoof van Uitenhage Biblioteek
  • 09h40 Ontbeit – Anthony Larter, Independant Herbalife Distrubutor
  • 10h00 Hoofpraatjie deur Ramon Thomas
  • 10h50 Tee-Pouse (10 minute)
  • 11h00 “The Secret” rolprentvertoning
  • 12h00 Optrede deur “The Sweet Sounds”
  • 12h30 Slotrede

    Elkeen wat die geleentheid bywoon, sal ook die volgende ontvang:

    1. DVD wat die volgende sprekers bevat: Dr John Demartini, skrywer van How To Make One Hell of a Profit and Still Get to Heaven

    Die volgende besighede gaan hulle produkte ten toon stel:

    RSVP – SMS u vole name aan: 073 011 8749 (Yusuf Moses).