SA’s top economist Dr Iraj Abedian warns Cape maritime high school pupils against ‘culture of instant gratification’.

Dr Iraj Abedian, of South Africa’s top economists who is CEO of Pan-African Capital Holdings as well as Chairman of Amsol board of directors, flanked by three of about a dozen Simon’s Town School Lawhill Maritime Centre matric pupils who who received awards in recognition of their academic performance at the school on Thursday.

Cape Town: 14 October 2018

South Africa’s youth would be well-advised to learn to be patient in their pursuit of success both in their school and tertiary level studies through to their working lives while steadfast in their ethical conduct,  Dr Iraj Abedian, one of South Africa’s top economists told dozens of foundation level maritime studies pupils in Simon’s Town.

DSC_7835 (2).JPGHe was the main guest speaker at an awards event at the Simon’s Town School Lawhill Maritime Centre on Thursday evening during which top pupils were given recognition for their excellent performance in their maritime school studies and related performance during 2018.

Prior to addressing guests and pupils at the event, Dr Abedian assisted in handing out a number of awards to the top performing pupils.

Later in a speech titled: The Road Ahead in the Age of Disruption, and lasting about half an hour, Dr Abedian enumerated four of what he described as some key factors of success through hard work drawn from his own personal professional experience and which he said the pupils would be well advised to note and heed.

These were, he said: “commitment to excellence, patience, (a set of) clear core values and commitment to ethical practice, and a conscious embrace of uncertainty with enthusiasm.”

According to Dr Abedian, disruption was a constant and it needed to be embraced in the pursuit of success, and success, he said, was ‘not a destination but a journey’ requiring patience complimented by a conscious effort towards proper ethical conduct instead of a desire for instant gratification often characterized by bad behavior.

“In every corner of our lives, we see disruption. Disruption is not always bad. Very often it’s good, but the way we interpret it, we make it negative or positive,” he said.

Dr Abedian said the pupils had every reason to be grateful to their parents, the school as well as all those that supported them during and an important phase of their education journey, the foundation phase.

He said: “The acquisition of knowledge is a necessary condition for success. As if often said, success is not a destination but a journey, a journey of incremental accumulation of successes. In this journey, commitment to excellence is an important companion.This has to be a benchmark of your professional life.

“In addition to hard work and commitment to excellence, the next contributing factor to success is patience. I say this with a great concern in how today’s world of rampant pressure for instantaneous gratification, and unbridled pursuit of rapid accumulation of wealth in particular, as well as the ostentatious public display of opulence of wealth remains a great concern,” he said.

SHARING NOTES: (From Left) Mr Odwa Mtati, Projects Manager at South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), Ms Nthabiseng Tema, senior manager, Corporate Affairs at South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) chatting briefly with Dr Iraj Abedian shortly before his main address of the awards event at Lawhill Maritime Centre on Thursday.

Dr Abedian said South African society currently was suffering from the latter culture of instant gratification and dominant to which was a penchant for corruption and fraud, as evidenced, he said, by a daily litany of corruption and fraud stories emanating from both the country’s private and public sectors as well as civil society.

For Dr Abedian’s full remarks, click on the video below.

Meanwhile, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) – a long term supporter of the Lawhill Maritime Centre mainly through bursaries for mostly disadvantaged children keen on maritime studies at foundation level – joined several other entities, individuals and families this year in granting tertiary level bursaries to two pupils of the school in recognition of their excellence school performance.

The recipients were final matric year pupils Thabiso Rantsho and Sinazo Viti.

REWARDING EXCELLENCE:  Two recipients of SAMSA’s first tertiary level bursary awards at Lawhill Maritime Centre on Thursday evening: Thabiso Rantsho (Left) and Sinazo Viti (Right) flanked by (far Left) Ms Nthabiseng Tema, senior manager, Corporate Affairs and (far Right) Mr John Phiri, senior manager, Human Capital.

Presenting the SAMSA awards, human capital senior manager John Phiri who with Corporate Affairs senior manager Ms Nthabiseng Tema presented the awards, warned the pupils that discipline in their studies was also a key determinant factor to their success as the maritime sector, but particularly seafaring, was not for the fainthearted.

According to Mr Phiri, several former student and cadets that SAMSA sponsored in the past were now sitting at home without jobs due to lack of discipline he described as  characterized by an undue and misplaced sense of entitlement.

For Mr Phiri’s full remarks, click on the video below.







Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa thrills SA maritime students with meeting in Vietnam

South African maritime studies students in Vietnam (third from Left) Zenzele Makukula, (infront leaning forward) Mandisa Mthembu, (third from Right) Kentse Matshira and (extreme Right) Mpumelelo Ndebele; with South Africa's Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and members of his delegation during a stop over in Vietnam on October 4, 2016.
South African maritime studies students in Vietnam (third from Left) Mthunzi Zenzele Makukula, (infront leaning forward) Mandisa Susan Mthembu, (third from Right) Kentse Sendra Matshira and (extreme Right) Mpumelelo Ndebele; with South Africa’s Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and members of his delegation during a stop over in Vietnam on October 4, 2016.

Pretoria: 11 October 2016

A stop-over in Haiphong City, Vietnam by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government delegation a week ago brought about much joy and celebration for a group of South African tertiary level maritime education students resident in the country.

The visit and meeting with the group of four students at the Vietnam Maritime University and International School of Education – Sendra Kentse Matshira, Mpumelelo Ndebele, Mandisa Mthembu and Cyril Makukula – reportedly occurred at Mr Ramaphosa’s request during his visit of the East Asian region, including Singapore.

On Tuesday 04 October, accompanied by among others Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Mr Kebby Maphatsoe and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Bheki Cele; Mr Ramaphosa invited the four students for a lunch meeting and they duly obliged, with much excitement.

dsc_4265After the most appreciated lunch meeting, Mr Ramaphosa on a brief tour guided by Vietnamese foreign ministry directorate official, Mr Nguyen Trung Kien; tagged the group along to the Haiphong City harbour where Vietnam’s reputedly biggest shipyard, Vinashin is located. It turned out to be yet another photo shooting opportunity for the four students.

Recounting the experience shortly thereafter they described it as a great honour to have the opportunity to meet and interact with Mr Ramaphosa and his delegation.

“We were honored with an invitation to have lunch with Deputy President of South Africa and his delegation. The meeting took place at a government building in Haiphong city where our university is also located

“Firstly, when we arrived at the venue we were called in by his delegate and then we went to his

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa with Khentse Sendra Matshira
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa with Khentse Sendra Matshira

table to greet him. The basic questions he asked included: “What’s your name, Where (in South Africa) are you from?….. ” and then, after that we greeted his delegation with some asking us about the courses we are doing and requirements to study this course.

“Secondly, he wanted to take photos with us – one by one and then in a group.. Mr Kebby Maphatsoe the Deputy Minister of Defence Force and Military Veterans of South Africa was very happy about us. He even encouraged us to study hard because he believes we are the future solution of our country.

Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa with Mandisa Susan Mthembu.

“He told us he would be glad to assist with anything when we get back home. He also took photos with us. At the end of it, it was a good day. We had fun and it gave us hope that we have a bright future ahead and all we have to do is to work hard at school.” related the group afterwards.

Working hard at their studies, they are – according to their latest academic results report since joining the Vietnamese maritime university a year ago.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa with Mthunzi Makukula

Makukula, Matshira, Mthembu and Ndebele joined the Vietnam Maritime University in 2015 on a Vietnamese government sponsored scholarship intended for youths interested in pursuing tertiary level maritime sector related studies.

Vietnam Maritime University, currently with about 17,000 students engaged in various study courses provided in 35 undergraduate subjects is a long established institution dating back to 1956. It is one of 17 key universities of Vietnam as well as the largest school in the Vietnamese transportation sector.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa with Mpumelelo Ndebele

In terms of the South Africa deal, according to Vietnam Maritime University rector, Associate Professor Dr. Luong Cong Nho; Vietnam Maritime University grants scholarships worth approximately US$23 000 per student per whole course of study beginning in the academic year 2015 -2016.

The four South African students in Vietnam with South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Defense and Military Veterans, Mr Kebby Maphatsoe during a visit with Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa to Vietnam in early October 2016

However, the scholarship only covers all the tuition fees and university‘s hostel accommodation (if required), but excludes subsistence allowances and return international airfares.

South Africa's Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa during a tour of the Vietnamese Vinashin Shipyard at Haiphong City's harbour on 4 October 2016 and during which he tagged along South Africa's four students in maritime studies based in the city.
South Africa’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa during a tour of the Vietnamese Vinashin Shipyard at Haiphong City’s harbour on 4 October 2016 and during which he tagged along South Africa’s four students in maritime studies based in the city.

The SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) – a government institution at the forefront of facilitating among other issues, the expansion of education, training and skills development for South Africa’s maritime economic sector – covers the extra costs excluded in the grant for three of the four students.

Provided copies of their academic progress to date show that all four are coping relatively well, with all of them notching an average B to B+ (76-80: 81-84) score marks per semester, in a range of subjects inclusive of Mathematics, Micro and Macro-economics, Oceans Politics, International Law and Relations, Global Logistics, Economic Geography, to Politics of Pacific Asia, International b+Business and Globalization.

The group is expected to complete its junior degree studies in another two to three years.


SA university students a good deal to back

By Sicelo Fayo

There is barely gainsaying that this past week’s events at the country’s universities involving students waging a mighty battle for the suspension or reversal of proposed increases in fees for the 2016 academic year were certainly a source of major concern to especially parents and sponsors.

That the issue of increased fees would be of direct interest to them, possibly as a short term financial benefit, would not dissipate or arrest parents’ concerns both for the safety of the youths and their positive progress in their studies, which process would preferably entail partly, their successful sitting for and passing the current’s year’s exams. The very timing of the action, coming so close to year end exams, would worry parents most.

But as observers would testify, the action which saw the country universities’ students marching not only on Parliament but also on the seat of Government at the Union Buildings in Pretoria with much bravado; was not their only achievement, nor did it reflect wholly on the student’s general performance and achievements at campuses.

For more on this story, read here or for video footage of the awards ceremony, click here

From handouts to an ace student: A South Africa youth excels in maritime studies in Vietnam!

Pretoria: 19 October 2015

Cyril Zenzele Makukula of KwaZulu Natal ain’t no ordinary young person – at least not if his extremely poor background on the one hand, marked sharply by sheer desperation of a life survived wholly and literally on hand outs, and on the other; his current exceptional performance as a maritime studies student at a foreign university in South East Asia; are anything to go by!

Zenzele Cyril Makukula (Photo source: LinkedIn)
Zenzele Cyril Makukula (Photo source: LinkedIn page)

The contrasts could not be sharper for ordinary expectations, nor his current exceptional class achievements so far, readily predictably given the background.

Zenzele’s “sharper than a razor blade” story emerged from Hanoi this week after first year students’ final year-end results released by the Vietnam Maritime University’s International School of Education a week ago, showed that Zenzele emerged as South Africa’s top performing student in his class at the university where he passed with five (5) distinctions out of six modules he was enrolled for in the current year.

To read more: Click here