Alumni

“Inspire and be Inspired” – Alumni in Mauritius

The guest speaker at the alumni dinner in Mauritius Ms Nishta Jooty with Dr Phasoane Mokgobu, Unisa Vice-Principal: Institutional Development.

Alumni came in their numbers to attend an alumni chapter dinner at the Hilton Mauritius Resort and Spa in Flic en Flac on 4 October 2019. The guest speaker at the event, Ms Nishta Jooty, described herself as "a free spirit who aims to make the world a better place".

She is indeed doing just that. The motto that has been guiding her life for the past 10 years is "inspire and be inspired". Ms Jooty is a highly motivated, dynamic person with a background in the pharmaceutical and management fields and more than 11 years of international working experience. She has a passion for social work and was a Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Fellow and an African Changemakers Fellow.

In addressing the alumni in Mauritius, she referred to Ubuntu, "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity." She is passionate about the empowerment of women. As a leader and a role model, she encourages women to be assertive, to be confident and to dare to be different. She aims to improve the community by training especially women and young people, and to create opportunities through skills development. She is advocating for equal opportunities for everyone; to give young people the opportunities they deserve; to empower women empowered; and to give the population a say in matters concerning the country.

Ms Jooty was nominated and selected as one of the 100 most Influential Women in Mauritius in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

How does she achieve it?

Often, when a layperson does extraordinary things, their ability, their creativity, their innovativeness or the fact that they are different, inspire us. “You can inspire others and be inspired when you follow your heart,” she said.

"I believe that in Mauritius we take a lot of things for granted. We have lost a deep sense of gratefulness about the freedom we enjoy. We lack gratitude for all the advantages we have as Mauritian citizens; such as, free education, free healthcare, the right to vote, and the advantages that we have in our welfare state. We spend our time complaining and criticising, instead of being grateful and reflecting on how the sacrifices of those who came before us, made our lives more comfortable."

She said that being grateful changed her life and that "gratitude has made me a better person and has given me a life full of love, abundance and blessings".

Ms Jooty reiterated that there are many social issues in Mauritius and that we live in a material world where human values are declining. “An engaged citizen should find ways to deal with these problems and to take sustainable actions against social issues.”

"I cannot talk about Mauritius without mentioning Africa. Mauritius is Africa's success story." She said that Mauritians always talk about Africa as if they are not part of it. "Mauritius is indeed part of Africa and we need to be proud of it."

Mauritius is a member of the Southern African Development Community, Africa Union and other African platforms and is currently sharing best practices to other countries. It is ranked as the top African country in terms of good governance, business efficiency, ease of doing business, infrastructure, regional integration and democracy. All these elements have enabled Mauritius to grow into an economic powerhouse that can help the growth of the African continent.

Ms Jooty further spoke about the spirit of Ubuntu, which is essentially about togetherness and how all our actions have an impact on others and on society.

She said: “Nelson Mandela was the true example of Ubuntu, as he used this concept to lead South Africa to a peaceful post-apartheid transition. He never had the intention of teaching his oppressors a lesson. Instead, he operated with compassion and integrity, showing that to be a better South Africa, one cannot act out of vengeance or retaliation, but must act out of peace.”

Ms Jooty advised those attending the dinner to get out of their comfort zones. She used the words of Eleanor Roosevelt to illustrate this point: "Do one thing every day that scares you. You need to feel the thrills when you do new things.”

Mr Lloyd Modjadji, Dr Mokgobu, Ms Fugurally, Ms van Niekerk and Mrs Tlale

Publish date: 2019/11/22