The Winning Formular


Article written by:

Anita Dlamini

The Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE-UKZN) recently competed in the SIFE national competition held in Johannesburg. They came out victorious against 26 other contenders including the Durban University of Technology (DUT), the University of Fort Hare and the University of Zululand. There is something beautiful about winning, the process of evolving from competing to conquering the odds and staring defeat in the face is inspiring and liberating. Nux spoke to SIFE's own Joan of academics and quadruple winning team president, Qhelile Nyathi about the secrets to leading the SIFE champions. In our brief encounter she disclosed their winning formula. NUX asked her what she attributes SIFE’s success to.  Her response was simply; "Team spirit- combining our talents, energies, experiences and different fields.” She also acknowledged the key roles played by university assistance from “our faculty and co-faculty advisors, Mr Ndaba (Westville) and Dr James (Edgewood)”. There are however challenges to leading a society, she noted, naming time and financial management amongst others. Nyathi said: “SIFE is a corporate/business organization, yet we are students with a lifestyle and time table that's not always flexible, it is sometimes a constraint to our work because we need the support of the business stakeholders and constantly have to be out of campus. Our projects are in the communities, so we have to travel, and the university's system, even transport-wise, doesn't support us, we have to hire vehicles, it’s so expensive.” Yet with all those challenges and an Actuarial Science degree to complete, she led her team to victory. On the 5th of October Nyathi will lead the South African ambassadors in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where they will present their sustainable business concepts which have improved the quality of life in Southern African communities. In parting we asked her who inspires her as a female leader, where did she learn the art of juggling her academics, social, and leadership roles so gracefully, her response was an ensemble of great women, namely; “Mother Theresa for her sacrifice and her heart for people; Christina Largarde for displaying versatility in one of the biggest financial institutions, yet professionally a lawyer. Graca Machel in the field of education, her efforts span across the whole of Southern Africa and not just her home country; and Maria Ramos, ABSA Group Executive, for being balanced and impressive as expected. From Nyathi we learnt that the prestige is in balancing your talent, respecting the talent within the team and knowing how to manage your time well. That is the winning formula.





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