Alumni

Alumni Association Executive Committee

Mr Cecil Thokoane, Chairperson

A firm believer that an active alumni community is critical in maintaining the good standing of a business school and its qualifications, Cecil Thokoane has served on the Alumni Association’s Executive Committee of the Unisa SBL for the past 10 years. He was elected vice chair in 2008 and chairperson in March 2017. This involvement has gone hand in hand with a seat on the SBL Board, of which he is currently vice chairperson. Cecil, who obtained his MBL in 2002 and has a BSc in mathematics and physics from the University of the Western Cape, has been in the information technology (IT) industry for 20 years. He started out as a systems programmer, working for organisations such as the JSE, IBM and SITA, and was chief technology officer at Dimension Data Middle East and Africa until 2010, when he started his own systems integration company, Galeboe Professional Services.

Dr Tshepo Feela, Deputy Chairperson

In these ever-changing times, lifelong learning is a critical success factor and Tshepo Feela has certainly taken up the challenge. He started out at the University of the Free State in 2004, where he obtained his Bachelor of Accounting. After completing his articles, he was appointed financial manager at a prominent Johannesburg law firm, but settling into the corporate world did not put an end to his academic pursuits. Tshepo enrolled at the SBL, obtaining his MBL and becoming the recipient of the Judge Bernard Ngoape scholarship award for his academic performance. Currently Group Executive Officer for the Diversifex Group, he has embarked on a PhD in financial economics at the Wits Business School. In addition, he has certificates and memberships of various professional bodies, including the Institute of Directors South Africa, and is part of the European Union Aesop Programme. In 2017, he gained a sense of what it is like to be in the front of a lecture hall and did some lecturing at the University of Latvia. A proud graduate of the SBL, Tshepo is now sharing the wealth of experience he has gained with his fellow alumni.

Mr Valdi Pereira, General Secretary

Versatility comes naturally to Valdocinos “Valdi” Pereira, whose extensive skills set includes financial and business acumen and a way with words. Currently editor-in-chief and head of strategy for the African operations of CEO Global (previously CEO Communications), he started his career in financial services before discovering his real passion, financial journalism and the world of business communication. Before joining CEO Global 16 years ago, Valdi was a senior communications consultant and deputy editor of the Professional Management Review (PMR). His tertiary education started at the North-West University with a BA in private law and English, followed by an honours degree in English and then a BCom degree. Next, he completed the Unisa SBL’s professional management programme and advanced programme, and obtained his MBA (as it was still known) in 2006. Over the years he has attended various other courses in leadership and management and strategic communication. Today, between his career, family and responsibilities to the Alumni Association, he also finds time to be involved with the Tilapia Aquaculture Association of SA, which he currently serves as chairman.

Ms Nolwazi Mwabi, Alumni Committee member

Nolwazi Mwabi has strong ties with Unisa and the Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership, not only as an alumnus, but also through her years of working for the university in various divisions in a communications capacity, including as an alumni relations specialist, where she was responsible for re-establishing the Alumni Association Committee and creating platforms to engage with alumni.  

She brings a wealth of marketing, communication, brand management and public relations experience to the Alumni Association, which she gained through the various positions she held in organisations such as the University of Pretoria, Unisa, Mercedes-Benz and the CSIR, where she is currently the Corporate Communication Manager.

She holds a Master of Business Leadership degree from Unisa and a BCom honours in Communication Management from the University of Pretoria.  

She can converse in five languages, including German.

Mr Frankie Mojapelo, Alumni Committee member

When it comes to guidance on fundraising and stakeholder relations, the alumni committee can count itself fortunate to have Frankie Mojapelo in its ranks as he has 20 years’ higher education experience in these areas. Frankie, who has completed both his MBL and the Programme in Business Leadership through the SBL, is deputy director of the Unisa Foundation Trust, where one of his main responsibilities is to raise funds for Unisa’s institutional and community development programmes. He and his team have raised over R443 million over the past five years for a range of strategic initiatives, including the establishment of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) for Southern Africa, a US Presidential Project. An energetic and resourceful leader and communicator, Frankie also has a BA and BA Honours in politics and communication, both from Unisa. His talent for fundraising and relationship-building fits in well with his objective of making a meaningful contribution to the developmental agenda of South Africa and shaping the futures of disadvantaged communities.

Mr Mpho Tlala, Alumni Committee member

When Mpho Ronald Tlala, a professional registered mining engineer and CEO of MRT Mining and Consulting, talks about contributing to the community and society, he means it. His own long history of voluntary participation in professional and educational organisations is testimony to that. In addition to being a member of the Alumni Association executive committee, Mpho is a Council member of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), as well as a member of its audit, risk and compliance committee, a Council member of the SA Colliery Managers’ Association, a member of the Publications committee of the Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining (SAIMM) and  previously a Council member and a member of the Ethics Committee of the SAIMM, Chairperson of the Wits University Forum, Chairperson of the Black Management Forum (BMF) Sandton branch. Lifelong learning is another of his core values, and again, his own track record speaks for itself. Mpho’s qualifications include BSc Eng and MEng degrees from Wits University, his MBL from the Unisa SBL, and an MPhil degree in Workplace Ethics from the University of Pretoria. Professionally, he has over 15 years of experience in the mining industry and related industries, having worked for Anglo American Coal, then Department of Minerals and Energy, Sasol Nitro, Eskom and African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation, as well as a lecturer within Mining Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand and University of Johannesburg.

Message

As a leader, your contribution is never small. “Enlightenment is when a wave realises it is the ocean” – Thich Nhat Hanh -

For me, the SBL dream, “A Call for Engagement”, sums up why I feel so strongly about participating in voluntary associations and in this way, giving back to society.

The SBL dream calls on graduates to take up the challenges the African continent and globalisation offer and to ensure a legacy for future generations. It challenges us as graduates to make a difference, together, wherever we find ourselves, in creating a society driven by shared values and a caring for all.

This dream inspires me, and that is why I have chosen to continue to be involved with the SBL after graduating, first as a guest lecturer on occasion and now as a member of the Alumni Association executive committee.

Yes, there are benefits for me in participating in voluntary associations like the SBL and others, benefits such as networking and learning opportunities, but this is not just about me. As a leader, I need to contribute to the community and society at large.

To my fellow SBL alumni, I have this to say: We are all unique. Your contribution can make a difference in helping South Africa to deal with some of the socio-economic challenges our country faces. Never underestimate the contribution you can make to the SBL, perhaps as a guest lecturer, or in contributing financially to bursaries or in helping the SBL to ensure its curricula remain relevant.

As a leader, your contribution is never small.  “We ourselves often feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop” –Mother Teresa –

Join us in helping to make a difference.

Mr Levy Motebejane, Alumni Committee member

Mr Levy M Motebejane brings a wealth of leadership and management skills to the Alumni team. He completed a Programme in Leadership Management from the University of Pretoria, and an MDP, DPLR and FMP from the Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership (GSBL). He has also completed a number of short courses. He is currently busy with his MBA, also through the GSBL.

In addition to working as a building and security manager at Unisa for 22 years, he has also served the university in a number of ways:

  • Audit Committee of Council
  • Disciplinary Committee of Council
  • Deputy Chairperson of Nehawu Unisa Branch (representing employees during the merger process)

He is also a member of the IoD and PSASA, and serves as the Chair of Public Safety on Crime under the G&Y Institute.

Ms Cristal Peterson, Alumni Committee member

Cristal’s business experience includes 17 years in higher education ranging from specialist to executive. In her current role Cristal is responsible for Public Relations, Communication, Business Development, Stakeholder engagement and Alumni Relations. She is further responsible for the strategic direction as well as the execution of the International Relations strategy of the Office of the Executive Dean and focuses on international and local partnership opportunities to establish a sustainable income for the business school.

She is a member of the Extended Management Committee of the SBL and serves as an advisor to the Supervisory Board of the business school. She also served as a member of the executive committee between 2009 – 2015.

Her academic qualifications include a Master’s degree in Linguistics and Bachelor of Arts (Language and Culture) awarded by the University of Stellenbosch as well as a National Diploma in Language Practice from the Cape Town University of Technology. She also completed a Diploma in Public Relations at the Public Relations Institute of South Africa.

Before her current role, Cristal was corporate communications specialist for the SBL while she was previously a language and communication specialist at the office of the Auditor-General South Africa. She also worked as a communication specialist at AVBOB and prior to her move to Gauteng she served as a language specialist as well as a marketing officer at Stellenbosch University.

Integrity, commitment and a diligent work ethic are attributes which Cristal values highly. “I pride myself in my ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with our stakeholders ranging from CEOs, human resource executives to ministers and diplomats of foreign embassies across the continent and the globe.

Mr Ozias Ncube, Alumni Committee member

He is a supply chain management specialist and operations researcher with a vast experience in project management, supply chain management (including procurement, logistics and operations management), quantitative analysis, operations research and business processes. He has more than 20 years practical experience in these areas and the following: quantitative modelling, statistical analysis and modelling, research & development, quantitative business performance analysis.

He has supervised more than 50 MSc, MBL, MBA, BSc(hon) student research in supply chain management, operations research and operations management and is currently completing his PhD in Industrial Systems, specialising in Supply Chain Management.

Currently, he is a senior lecturer in supply chain management at a leading South African based business school.

He has presented more 30 papers in local and international forums, mainly on operations research and supply chain management, with publications in both academic and business journals..

He has been acting Area Head: Management Systems at the SBL since June 2016.

Last modified: 2019/08/05