AIME-UNIVEN under the Directorate of Community Engagement hosted the 1st Programme Day on Saturday, 03 August 2019 at the University’s Research Conference Centre. Forty-nine (49) High school learners from the nearby Tshivhidzo Masiagwala Secondary School in the Maungani Community were engaged for mentoring sessions by 25 AIME-UNIVEN mentors. The programme day activities were aimed at equipping the learners with the power of imagination and sparked the creative mindset, goal setting. The session also explored the concept of the 4th Industrial Revolution, deriving from and inspired by Professor Tshilidzi Marwala’s Public Lecture on the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The day started with ice-breaking activities led by Nkhangweleni Justice Mukwevho (AIME Hype Manager) bringing down the mentors and the mentees on the same page.
The objective of the gathering and the motive for AIME were explained by Mr Simbarashe Karambwe (AIME Hooded Scholar). “AIME is run by young people and there is no shame at AIME. There is fun, I am grateful for the turn-up and I promise you that you will have a great day to remember.” In addition, Mr Karambwe shared his story setting the stage for mentees to embrace their stories. His story embraced the concept of purpose in life. “We are where we are for a particular reason. Embrace the small things you do because from small things big things grow. Embrace who you are and don’t be ashamed of who you are.”
When officially welcoming participants, the Director of Community Engagement, Prof Vhonani Netshandama explained the importance of universities collaborating with high schools. She encouraged learners to have good listening skills, pay attention and commit to schoolwork. Prof Netshandama continued to instil hope to learners performing below par.
“Do not worry, work on it and never give up. You can be anything in life.” She also advised learners to deal with negativity in a positive way. “Do not sit with problems that stand as barriers in your learning.” She told them to Speak out, and somebody will hear, somebody will notice their existence.
In addition, Prof Netshandama reflected on the Public Lecture on the 4th Industrial Revolution by Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, introducing the concept to High School learners. The session was interactive as she explored two forms of human intelligence, that is, emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ) and intelligent quotient (IQ). She said this is not only IQ that’s important but an individual’s Emotional Intelligence (EI) as well. She explained that the learners loved the session and participated very well.
After the 4th Industrial Revolution session, learners and mentors engaged in a discussion with mentors helping the mentees understand the questions around the 4th Industrial Revolution. Mentors took this opportunity to engage with the learners, sharing their experiences about their High school time. At the same time, mentees had the opportunity to ask more about University life and to ask questions they wished to have had answered.
Tshifharo Makhale (AIME Hooded Scholar) led the activity with a hype. The activity was a 365-day vision, challenging the mentees to set realistic goals which they can embrace and look forward to achieving after 365 days. Most of the mentees expressed a desire to pass their current grade with flying colours ahead of their transition into the next grade. It was a well taken exercise as each mentee had the opportunity to say out loud his/her goal in front of the audience.
AIME believe in the power of stories in changing the mindset of individuals and encourages people to honour and embrace their stories and not be ashamed of who they are. This activity which was led by Charlotte Thlako who set the stage with her inspiring story of fighting for what she believes in and always do something she loves and not give up, saw an influx of mentees taking the stage and shared their emotional stories. In summary, 6 out of 8 mentees who shared their stories lamented about their behaviour such as alcoholism, smoking and not reading books. About 50% of these mentees expressed that they should have been at the University doing 2nd year by now. Generally, they cherished the idea of AIME being there to motivate them. As such, they have promised to work hard and pass their grades.
The Game of Life (GOL) which unlocks and sparks imagination among the mentees and mentors allows teamwork among group members. During this game, the players develop a story from a short video presented before playing. The Game of Life video was exactly in line with the concern raised by the school, that is, alcoholism. Mentees reflected upon it and acknowledged the consequences of peer pressure.
“It was quite exhilarating experience seeing mentees on top of the world dancing to their true potential,” said Prof Netshandama. At AIME there is fun, a different atmosphere outside the classroom. It was a memorable day for every mentee.
Some of the mentees reflected that, before coming to the University, they expected a boring day, but they felt happy and have learned a lot from participating in this programme.
Learners thanked AIME-UNIVEN for giving them an opportunity to be part of the engagement programme. Learners further thanked mentors for their relentless efforts to serve as mentors whilst they also have loads of schoolwork to do. They also thanked UNIVEN Executive Management through the department of Safety and Security for allowing the high School learners to access the campus.
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 22 August 2019