Student Leadership Summit serves as guiding compass

The first-ever North-West University (NWU) Student Leadership Summit held on 6 October 2023 at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre witnessed the participation of more than 150 students representing various student leadership structures from all three campuses.

The theme, "Navigating your journey", served as a guiding compass throughout the summit, emphasising the significance of goal setting, planning, and progress tracking in one's personal and professional life.

The various sessions and activities offered during the summit provided invaluable insights and tools for student leadership development and personal growth.

NWU principal and vice-chancellor Prof Bismark Tyobeka praised the presence of numerous young female leaders in the university's leadership structures.

He emphasised that female empowerment is a central pillar of the NWU's strategy and aligns with the principles of sustainable development and progressive societies. “As leaders, it is crucial for you to commit to breaking down barriers and bringing together all stakeholders in pursuit of a sustainable path that contributes to economic growth, social justice, and environmental stewardship.”

He also expressed his excitement about the launch of the leadership programme. “By launching this leadership programme, we are clearly demonstrating our commitment to nurturing these emerging leaders and young giants.”

He reiterated the university's vision to have a long-lasting positive impact on society by nurturing the development of future leaders and change-makers.

“A core aspect of this vision is our commitment to empowering leaders who are driven by passion and have a significant impact, while also prioritising ethical conduct. In today's world, ethics play a crucial role in leadership. Ethical leaders rise above the chaos and inspire communities, particularly in times of uncertainty, to eradicate unethical behaviour in organisations. Through this programme, our goal is to produce ethical leaders who inspire and create positive impacts within their communities.”

Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, executive director for student life added that the aim of this academy is to equip them with additional skills and knowledge. “As you embark on your journey beyond these walls, we want to take pride in the achievements we have helped you gain.”

Dr Corrie Rheeder, director for student life on the Potchefstroom Campus, also shared her sentiments.

“In these tumultuous times, ethical leadership stands as the cornerstone. Our academy remains not just a beacon of hope, but also a guiding light for students ready to step into the professional realm, echoing the sentiment that investment in quality student leadership is not just necessary but imperative.”

Other speakers included Dr Alistair Mokoena, country director for Google South Africa, and Dr Phumzile Mmope, a strategic communication expert and leadership mentor.

Dr Mokoena encouraged students to believe in themselves and harness their unique strengths to create positive change in their communities.

Dr Mmope highlighted the importance of having mentors in life, and said she drew inspiration from her own father who pursued his own education despite the difficult times of apartheid.

The day also included a panel discussion, highlighting the significance of strategic communication in leadership. The panel was led by Prof Leenta Grobler, MBA programme leader, Siphesihle Simelane, senior curriculum specialist, Yikumba Andreas, Student Representative Council chairperson for the term 2022/2023, and Marius van Rooyen, chairperson for arts and culture on the Potchefstroom Student Campus Council for the term 2022/2023.

This summit was a remarkable accomplishment, enhancing the overall student experience and fostering a sense of unity and empowerment.


Listening attentively are from left Clement Manoko, executive director for corporate relations and marketing, Prof Daryl Balia, deputy vice-chancellor for IT and Potchefstroom Campus operations, and Prof Bismark Tyobeka, principal and vice-chancellor.


Watch this video to listen to the speakers at the Leadership Summit share their views on leadership.


Dr Phumzile Mmope, a strategic communication expert and leadership mentor, addresses the students.

Submitted on Wed, 10/18/2023 - 08:20