The Archbishop Thabo Makgoba Development Trust (ATMDT) has awarded three WSU female students for their outstanding entrepreneurship essays during its annual memorial lecture held at the University.

ATMDT is a South African Trust with objectives to have greater social impact by addressing social economic challenges by providing educational opportunities, skills and entrepreneurial development as well promote health awareness.

A call was made to the university's final year undergraduate and Honours students in 2020 to submit a six-page essay which they discussed leadership values important for the attainment of local economic development in South Africa.

The number one contender, Annatoria Ndlovu, a final year student in Environmental Sciences from WSU’s Mthatha campus received a cash prize of R5000 and a WSU trolley bag.

"At first I was very reluctant to enter the competition because it wasn't part of my field of study. However, it gives me great pleasure to now know that I am capable of achieving something like this. It has taught me to take more chances and grab opportunities," said Ndlovu.

In second place was Athabile Kellem who is doing her Advanced Diploma in Public Management at the Komani Campus. She received a cash prize of R3000 and a WSU trolley bag.

"My motivation behind the entering the competition was to somehow express my views and opinions regarding leadership values that are expected in leadership roles for local economic development in the country. I was touched beyond words when I heard that my essay was in the top three in the university. It was such an honour,” said Kellem.

Coming in third place was Sibabalwe kela, a 3rd year Office Management and Technology student at Ibika Campus who received a cash prize of R2000 and WSU trolley bag.

Kela said, “I am very inspired and excited about this achievement. I have realised that writing is something that I would keep as a part of me. I want to continue with it and improve on it."

Adjudicating the competition was Writing Center Coordinator at the WSU Zamukulungisa site, Stanford Matenda, Dr Anthony Masha of the Komani campus and Dr Kin Sibanda.

Matenda expressed that he was highly impressed with the quality of writing presented by these three students.

"This competition helped me to see that we have a lot of gems in academic writing at WSU," he said.

Dr Masha who was highly impressed with the excellency in writing, added, "Their essays focused on topical issues around Local Economic Development, Leadership and Job Opportunities. They wrote using an academic writing style with a bibliography at the end of each sentence."

Mthatha campus Rector, Prof Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele emphasised the importance of positive competition amongst students in the university, highlighting that it motivates others to want to compete in such highly prestigious academic platforms.

-Ongezwa Sigodi