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!
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.
Three South Africa youths made history in South Africa’s maritime economy sector here at the weekend when they boarded the country’s first registered cargo ship since the dawn of democracy.
Similarly, the city of Nelson Mandela Bay also marked its name in the country’s maritime sector’s history books when it was confirmed as the home of the country’s first registered vessel since 1985. The city is already home to the country’s first higher education and research institute, the SA International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) based at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
The youths, two from the Eastern Cape – Samkelo Ndongeni (25) a deck cadet from Ngqushwa near King Williams Town, and Thembani Mazingi (24) an engine cadet from Cofimvaba, and the third from Nelspruit, Mpumalanga; Gordon Sekatang (26), also an engine cadet – were taken on board the newly registered vessel at Saldanha Bay Friday for a hands-on ship management practical training scheduled to last six months.
The trio’s first travel aboard the Cape Orchid – a 32 day one way journey went underway at the weekend to China where the 279m long cargo vessel will off-load some 170,000 tonnes of iron ore – the vessel’s first trade cargo from South Africa since its registration under the country’s flag.
The South African government efforts to redevelop and grow the country’s maritime economic sector have been given yet another with boost with the formal registration of the first shipping vessel under the country’s flag.
The historical event that took place in China earlier this month and celebrated in Saldanha Bay on Thursday afternoon last week, marked the first time any commercial shipping vessel has been formally registered to carry a South African flag since about three decades ago.
The vessel named Cape Orchard is privately owned by Vuka Marine, a South African joint venture company between Via Maritime Holdings (South Africa) and Hong Kong based Japanese firm, K-Line.
The registered vessel, named the Cape Orchard; was officially unveiled at a ceremony in Saldanha Bay on Thursday afternoon (September 24, 2015) and during which event, the first three South African cadets onboard a South Africa registered vessel were placed– also a historical first.
Exemplary cooperation among various Government agencies including the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and ship wreck salvage company, Titan Salvage and its insurers, has been cited as a major contributor to the successful removal of a massive coal carrier off South Africa’s coast this month.
Maritime economic sector education, training and skills development is set to expand from student orientation to include actual teacher training, and engaged yet again in the endeavor is Simonstown-based Lawhill Maritime Centre, the country’s only formal high school that’s been offering maritime economy sector education subjects, such as nautical sciences and maritime economy among others.