College of Human Sciences

Unisa’s Monde Maziyane wins DIRCO competition

Representing Unisa, Monde Maziyane wrote on The significance of South Africa as the Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and was commended by DIRCO for his in-depth understanding of the subject matter.

Congratulations are in order to Monde Maziyane, international relations student in the College of Human Sciences, who was one of four winners of the 2017 Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (DIRCO) Budget Vote essay writing competition. South African university students were asked to write an essay on one of four set topics in the run up to the budget vote which focused on the work of the department in the past financial year and what it intends to do in the next financial year.

Representing Unisa, Monde wrote on The significance of South Africa as the Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and was commended by DIRCO for his in-depth understanding of the subject matter. The other three winners were from the University of Johannesburg and University of Pretoria. As part of their prize, the winners were flown to Cape Town to participate in the DIRCO budget vote in parliament and other parliament debates and DIRCO events.

On being one of the winners, Monde said: “Somehow I was expecting to win and yet when I received the email I could not believe it. It took a whole day before the news sunk in.  And it was only the next day that I began sharing the news with some of my friends, Unisa colleagues and even family members.”

An ecstatic Monde said: “I do not think that I would have won if I was not studying International Relations at Unisa. I think that the Unisa IR curriculum gave me the edge and more specifically, the writing skills and legal principles I learnt in the integrated organisational communication and principles of international law modules helped me produce a winning article.”

He said it was through the constant support of his lecturers that he is motivated to do his best. “I would therefore like to express my deepest gratitude to Phumudzo Ratshinanga and Polina Finney … I would also like to take this opportunity to thank other lecturers, departments and student groups who have inspired me along the way – all my economics lecturers, Laurie Chou, Professor Dirk Kotzé, Lefatshe Moagi, and the Communications Students Association at Unisa.”

It was an exciting moment for Monde Maziyane (standing, far right) after being announced as was one of four winners of the 2017 Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (DIRCO) Budget Vote essay writing competition.

Speaking on his experience in Cape Town, Monde said they arrived in Cape Town on 24 May. The following day, they attended the Africa Day Dialogue at the hotel they were staying at and then the DIRCO Budget Vote in parliament. Both events were hosted by the Minister of International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. On 26 May, they participated in a post budget vote lecture and debate in parliament which was conducted by Deputy Minister of International Relations Luwellyn Landers. They then attended a lecture at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology by the other International Relations Deputy Minister, Nomaindiya Mfeketo.

Speaking on the experience as a whole, Monde said: “It was great to meet some of the ministers in person and to discuss some ideas briefly with them like I did with Deputy Minister Landers. I was also happy to reconnect with some of the directors and ambassadors I had first met on DIRCO Open Day.  I am excited by my new young friends, the fellow winners from UJ and UP. They are outstanding young leaders who have already won many other competitions before.  The two days we spent in parliament were also a valuable learning experience.”

Click here to read Monde's article.

* By Rivonia Naidu-Hoffmeester

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