Unisa’s Pretoria Alumni Chapter treated to chai tea

While some alumni sat down for breakfast in the Kgorong Building, others tuned in virtually to follow a programme with an exciting line-up. Wesley Moonsamy, an alumnus of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, who also boasts a master’s degree in Information Systems, is co-founder of It's Chai time (, an online store. He told alumni of the perseverance it took to start his own business during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“The harder you work, the luckier you get” was the theme of his address. He stumbled upon the theme after he was retrenched in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic engulfed the country. He said that he felt quite miserable, because he contributed to the 29% unemployment rate at the time, in the country. Finding a job during the COVID-19 lockdown was impossible.


(From left) Queen Sekhosana (Pretoria Chapter Convenor), Wesley Moonsamy (Guest Speaker), Moipone Masalesa (Regional Director: Gauteng Region) and Refiloe Tsephe (Quality Assurance Specialist)

“I therefore decided to work hard, stay on track and stand up to any challenge,” he told the audience. “I rose early and took care of my future. I completed my master’s degree in Information Systems through Unisa and planned my own business venture.”

Moonsamy said that he was ecstatic about the delicious chai tea his in-laws brought from Durban. “Because the tea was not readily available in the market, I did some research on various suppliers,” he said. “Next thing, my wife and I set up an online store and, today, our chai tea products attract clients from far and wide.”

Alumni attending the event received sachets of chai tea to take home. Originally from India, chai tea is known for its antioxidants and energy-boosting properties.

Other speakers included Moipone Masalesa, the Regional Director of the Unisa Gauteng Region, herself an alumna of Unisa. She welcomed alumni to the event, which was about networking, getting to know each other, and learning about exciting developments at Unisa. “Since alumni are important stakeholders in Unisa, this event is meant to intensify our stakeholder engagement,” she remarked.

 She said that alumni are there to shape futures as espoused in Unisa’s vision of being the African university shaping futures in the service of humanity. “We gladly attend this event, because alumni are the future,” said Masalesa.

Referring to the way that the university implemented the lockdown regulations, she said that Unisa, as an open e-learning university, continued to shape futures during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has forced us to showcase the small letter e in ODeL. Unisa’s successful implementation of online examinations, tutorial support and assessments has enhanced e-learning,” said Masalesa.

Queen Sekhosana, the chapter convenor, also motivated alumni to remain part of the activities of not only the Pretoria Chapter, but also the university. Refiloe Tsephe, a quality assurance specialist at Unisa, informed alumni that through continuous institutional audits Unisa upholds quality assurance in all its processes.

Three alumni won prizes sponsored by Luc Mo Wines, the Premier Hotel Group, and Touch Down Africa. The three alumni each won a bottle of wine and accommodation vouchers after they answered random questions about the university correctly.

The next chapter gathering will take place on 09 April 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya, and will take the form of an alumni breakfast.

Read also: It’s chai time with Wesley Moonsamy

* By Busisiwe Mahlangu, Communication Coordinator, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2022/04/01

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