Sendibitiyosi Gandidzanwa and Alexander West were chosen as the joint male winners of the 2014 NMMU Vice-Chancellors Excellence in Leadership Award
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe twenty years ago and a lover of ballroom dancing, Alexander West is the joint male winner of the 2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Leadership Award. Another Zimbabwean Sendibitiyosi Gandidzanwa shares this award with him.
In addition, he is also the NMMU 2014 Society Person of the Year.
After research showed that the NMMU Department of Pharmacy was in the top three in South Africa, Alexander decided to study towards a degree in Pharmacy at NMMU. This was also ideal as he lives in Port Elizabeth so he did not need to travel too far to get a quality tertiary education.
Alexander is involved in the NMMU Ballroom and Latin Dancing Society (NMMU BLAD) and the Port Elizabeth Pharmacy Students Association (PEPSA). As a member of PEPSA in 2013 and 2014, serving as the Social Event Officer in 2013. A member of BLAD, he took on the role of Chairperson for 2014.
“I can honestly say that being an active member of these student societies has taught me a great deal. I have grown in many areas, including leadership abilities, time-management skills, people skills, event organisation, business management, fundraising and public speaking. I would truly encourage students to actively be involved in student societies,” he says.
His achievements include receiving an NMMU Academic Merit Award in 2013 and 2014, being a member of the NMMU Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Roll Society and an Academic Performance award in BPharm 2013 for getting a 76.7% aggregate as a first-year student.
His involvement in the NMMU BLAD also resulted in a number of awards and achievements.
“After I qualify, I will be completing my internship year with Clicks Pharmacies and my Government Community Service year thereafter. I intend to pursue my ballroom and latin American dancing on a competitive level from 2015 onwards. My goal at this stage is to compete at an International level by the end of 2015.
“I intend investing in property, as well as starting my own businesses. These businesses will be in both pharmacy and in ballroom dancing.”
Alexander has two passions; health health-care and ballroom and latin dancing.
“My passion for health and health-care drives me to strive for excellent academic results in my degree which I hope will allow me to one day help people, and make a significant difference in the lives of others, as well as the field of medicine.
“My passion for dancing is my personal pleasure. If I could comfortably make a living and compete in dancing, that is what I would do. I want to compete internationally and represent South Africa in competitive dancing, and I one day want to teach others so that I can share my love of dance,” he says.
Born and bred in a small town called Chegutu in Zimbabwe and one of the two NMMU students who are finalists for the 2015 Mandela Rhodes Scholarship, chemistry honours student Sendibitiyosi Gandidzanwa has been chosen as the joint male winner of the 2014 NMMU Vice-Chancellors Excellence in Leadership Award.
Last year he was awarded the 2014 SRC member of the year award and he says that it has taught him a few valuable lessons.
“Being an SRC member has taught me to accommodate and be patient with our fellow student leaders. Of great importance, it has made me increase my love, care and sacrifices for other fellow human beings. It has taught me how to work extremely hard and maintain good standards in all aspects of life. In addition, it has helped me become a more analytical, considerate and selfless person.
A lot of intra and interpersonal skills have been greatly enhanced and my approach to situations has also developed. These range from decision making skills, problem solving skills, communication skills and of most importance, excellent time management skills. My optimistic professional approach to problems was developed in my two years on the SRC. I also learnt that one’s perception and attitude towards a problem greatly affects the outcome, hence a positive approach and attitude is vital for the betterment of our society. In a nutshell, it has taught me to be the change I want to see in this world,” he says.
Sendi says that it was not his decision, but God’s, to study at NMMU. He was awarded the Zimbabwean Presidential Scholarship in 2010 and was advised by the administrators to apply to NMMU. He says that it was one of the best choices made for him and hence in 2011 he started his first year at NMMU.
From when he started his studies at NMMU he became involved in a variety of activities and has received a number of awards. He lists graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Chemistry and Microbiology as one is biggest achievements to date.
His academic future plan is to be one of the best chemistry researchers in the world and to continue with his studies up to postdoctoral level. Outside of his career, is plan is to one day be part of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which focuses on youth motivation, development and support. This way, my service will be able to transform many lives and help people discover and achieve their dreams.
“I am a scientist who is passionate about human change and development,” Sendi says.
“My passion is that everyone feels loved by being supported, acknowledged and appreciated. It might seem impossible, but our little efforts of good deeds make a big difference towards making the world a better place. I believe that where joy and happiness abide, change and transformation can be implemented easily.
“Being a Christian and having learnt a lot from our Beyond the Classroom (BtC) leadership programme, I am driven by love and hope. I am always hopeful and I never get tired till the worse becomes better and better becomes best and the best becomes the best of the best.”
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