After 29 years after his first graduation at UNIVEN, Mr Mashudu Ramaleba ascends to the same graduation stage on the afternoon of 15 July 2022. It was no easy road as he changed from one topic to another in his mini dissertation. He is now the proud holder of a Master in Public Management (MPM) from the University of Venda.
“After completion of my coursework, I started with a topic on political interference in municipalities to a topic on unemployment facing graduates. With the help of my supervisor, the topic was refined to ‘The role of political and administrative leadership in the financial management of municipalities, ” said an elated Ramaleba.
As an Alumni Relations Officer, his day-to-day duties include fundraising for awards and student bursaries, editing Marketing, Branding and Communication Departmental manuscripts as well as stakeholder relations, especially with corporates and the university alumni. He is a member of the South African Institute of Fundraising and Professional Editors Guild.
When the Alumni Relations Officer, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Venda, Post Graduate Diploma in English Teaching from the University of Johannesburg, Bachelor of Business Administration Honours from Stadio University (former SBS school) and Copy Editing and Proof Reading course from the University of Cape Town, decided to enroll for the MPM, he had no idea that the path will be littered with some hurdles.
“South Africa was hit with Covid 19 pandemic and a hard lockdown in 2020. It was a year of data collection from Vhembe District Municipality (VDM). I waited until the lockdown was eased in 2021 but yet VDM kept closing each time a positive case or cases were detected. While it was easier to meet senior administrative officials, it was difficult to meet councillors whose Council meetings were virtual.”
Despite all odds, work and family commitments, Mr Ramaleba managed to complete his studies. He graduated together with six other candidates in his cohort whom he had the privilege to lead as a Class Representative.
“Each time one of us encountered challenges during our coursework and research, I sought audience from the lecturing staff led by Professor Nghamula Nkuna. The relationship remained asymmetrical and professional until the end,” said Mr Ramaleba as he concludes the interview with Nendila news reporter.
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 / 8710
Date: 20 July 2022