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Innovative and African solutions to African challenges


Marialett Koekemoer (SRC Deputy Chair: Midlands Region)

eConnect recently interviewed the Unisa Midlands Region SRC Deputy Chair, and found her to be passionate about bringing innovative solutions and opportunities to the doorsteps of all people, no matter how rural the community.

Who is the Unisa Midlands Region SRC Deputy Chair?

I am Marialett Koekemoer, 25 years old. Passionate student and public servant. I currently reside in Stilfontein in North West. I started my learning journey as an overly enthusiastic six-year-old at Werda School in KZN and matriculated from Klerksdorp Hoërskool in Klerksdorp, North West. I graduated with a BA Hons Integrated Organisational communication. It took me a year to conclude my degree; however, I have been enrolled with Unisa since 2013.

Study journey with Unisa?

My study journey with Unisa has been both frustrating and rewarding. After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 19, having to put an abrupt halt to my studies at another institution to undergo an emergency thyroidectomy and extensive recovery, I decided to embark on a new academic journey with Unisa. At the time, distance learning was my only viable option, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. open, distance, and e-learning (ODeL) is definitely challenging; however, it promotes independent thinking and self -discipline, both qualities that have become pivotal to being relevant in the labour market.

Personal interests and activities?

Besides studying, I am a local government councillor, animal welfare activist, and nature and environmental conservation enthusiast. I have recently taken up a hobby in finding creative ways to recycle and assist the recycling community, especially in creating jobs. I enjoy music, hiking and exploring new places and cultures.

Vision as Deputy Chairperson in SRC Midlands Region?

My hope is to promote the access and success of students in Unisa. As young people in a new democracy, I would like to see young professionals being shaped in our institution with the ability to find innovative, African solutions to African challenges that will see us as a country, unapologetically making our mark in a global society as pioneers of the future. This starts with ensuring that our students get the necessary support and service delivery they need to make a success of their studies.

About studies and knowledge?

Communication science has become an increasingly necessary discipline in the modern world. With so much information so readily at our fingertips as we prepare for the fourth industrial revolution, finding new ways to streamline communication in organisations to promote growth and outcome specific messaging to stand out in a competitive global market has become vitally important to the success and survival of any organisation. I hope to use this knowledge I have gained to give me a competitive edge when being absorbed by the South African labour market. Understanding the necessity to continue learning, I have recently registered for my Master’s in Communication Science.

To what extent do you think Unisa is helping society to define a tomorrow?

Unisa defines tomorrow in our society by making tertiary education opportunities available to all South Africans. As a leader in bringing innovative solutions and opportunities to the doorsteps of all people, no matter how rural the community, our future in Africa looks a whole lot brighter and more connected.

Message to fellow students and the SRC leadership?

Have the audacity!

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― Adam M Grant, Originals: How nonconformists move the world

*Interview by Katlego Pilane
Assistant Communication and Marketing Specialist
College of Human Sciences

Publish date: 2019/06/26