Why you should join a student club or society?
A rich university experience is about more than only focusing on your studies. Joining a student organisation provides a perfect opportunity to expand your social circle by meeting new people, learn about yourself, and make a difference. And it looks good on your CV. Here are some student clubs and societies worth joining.
Founded in 2003 as Student in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Enactus UKZN boasts a membership of 145 students from across four UKZN campuses, namely Westville, Pietermaritzburg, Howard and Edgewood campuses. The club, which has representation in 37 countries around the world, is dedicated to developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators and represents South Africa in national and global competitions.
Enactus Executive President and recipient of UKZN’s Top 40 Students Inspiring Greatness Award in 2018 and 2019, Muhle Ndwalane, tells us more.
What is the motivation behind Enactus?
‘We are motivated by the opportunity of experiential learning while making a difference in our communities. As Enactus members, we are also part of international network of Students, Academia’s, and Business Leaders who have a mind for business and a heart for communities, so we learn a lot and do better.
We live our values of integrity, passion, innovation and collaboration in all that we do.’
What is the meaning behind the name Enactus?
‘Our brand name is an acronym, which defines what we all about which is: Entrepreneurship: igniting business innovation with integrity and passion. Action: the experience of social impact that sparks social enterprise; and Us: student, academic and business leaders collaborating to create a better world.’
What three words best describe Enactus?
‘Entrepreneurial, passionate and excellence.’
What characteristic makes a student a good fit for Enactus?
‘It is the willingness to sacrifice time and learn while serving community and the organization. One must be driven by seeing opportunities where there are challenges. Every now and then, you have to sacrifice some sleep just to meet Enactus work deadlines. Sometimes you might even have to travel out of the province or country while your classmates are studying. So in essence, one really has to be an agile and adaptative person.’
How does being part of Enactus enhance a student’s university experience?
‘Being part of Enactus gives one exposure to how the real world works and empowers one to think and act innovatively. It gives us as students a competitive advantage among our peers, and we become more knowledgeable about things happening around the world. Yes, it does come with pressure but that is what pushes us to learn how to be responsible and achieve balance between our schoolwork and Enactus work.’
Through Enactus we also get to represent the university in the annual Enactus South Africa national competition and represent the country in the Enactus World Cup, if we win the national championship title that year.
Our competition judging criterion is as follows: “which Enactus team most effectively demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership to drive business and innovation for sustainable positive impact to benefit people, planet, and prosperity within the last year?” That’s why most of we must be committed and deliver impactful results in everything we do.’
What type of projects does Enactus do?
‘The projects we do vary depending on the identified community needs, currently we are focusing on the sectors of Agriculture, Education Technology and Women Empowerment. We use the Assets Based Community Development (ABCD) Model to conceptualise and implement all our projects. In any project we undertake we use entrepreneurship as a tool to empower communities socially, economically and environmentally in a sustainable manner.’
One can visit our digital platforms to learn more about the work we are currently doing. So far this year, we are recognized by the Ford Fund Company as part of top 14 teams with innovative projects in the Ford Fund College Covid-19 Challenge. As well as Harmony Gold as part of the Top 8 teams in South Africa on the 2020 Harmony Local Economic Development Challenge’
To learn more about Enactus visit their digital platforms;
The Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa, popularly known as ABASA, is a student society with a mission to advance the interests of black (African, Indian, Coloured) students in the study of accounting and its pursuit as a profession.
ABASA President and third-year BCom Accounting student Samkelo Khathi tells us more.
What is the motivation behind ABASA?
‘To encourage and facilitate the entry of black students into accounting education and the profession; to promote and assist with vocational training and enable black accounting graduates to embark on training contracts; to identify and work for the removal of conditions which are detrimental to academic and professional success; to assist deserving students in acquiring financial support; and to encourage academic excellence by providing free extra classes.’
What three words best describe ABASA?
‘Passionate, innovative, focused.’
What characteristic makes a student a good fit for ABASA?
‘One needs to be doing a BCom Degree with accounting as a major. Students should be enthusiastic and passionate about accounting and be willing to learn, explore and grow in the accounting field.’
How does being part of ABASA enhance a student’s university experience?
‘The fundamental characteristics of accounting are ethics, integrity and discipline. When students become part of ABASA they learn to apply each of these characteristics in their everyday varsity lifestyle, enabling them to make better choices and informed decisions especially when dealing with finance. This means that students not only get to study accounting but, through us, they get to live it . There is nothing to lose by joining the ABASA family as our affordable membership fee get you an experience organization that has a strong reputation, diversity and reach to ensure that you leave varsity with more than just a degree..’
What projects does ABASA handle?
‘We host events and seminars where we invite firms and individuals who have made it in the profession to talk to members about the many options available in the accounting field. Not only does this give students a better understanding of the environment but it also gives them a chance to make connections with their future employers and colleagues. As a non-profit organisation, we also care for the less privileged, and we donate to old-age homes and children’s centres. This encourages our members not only to be corporate driven but to have a giving heart.’
To learn more about ABASA visit their Instagram page @ my_abasa_ukzn_westville
Westville Poetry Nights
Westville Poetry Nights is a poetry movement based at UKZN’s Westville Campus that gives students an opportunity to express their artistic talents. Founded in 2017 by UKZN students Siboniso Mdlalose, Sifundokuhle Kweyama and Phumlani Zuma, the poetry circle hosts events showcasing different forms of poetry which address societal issues such as gender-based violence, domestic violence, family matters, land expropriation and others issues. Poetry is also often recited and interpreted through music.
The management of Westville Poetry Nights lets us in on what the movement is all about
What is the motivation behind Westville Poetry Nights?
As Westville Poetry Nights, we enhance art among university students. We do not just do shows for entertainment but as a way of creating a platform from which societal issues can be addressed. The fact that most of our poets are studying for degrees unrelated to the arts is evidence that as students, we need avenues where we can socialise, be entertained and express ourselves creatively.
What three words best describe Westville Poetry Nights?
Family-oriented: members are offered benefits and flexibility that make it easy to find balance; Collaborative: members work well with one another to master their talents; and Nurturing: the organisation supports its members’ growth and development, giving each member clear feedback and suggestions before they take their work to the audience.
What characteristic makes a student a good fit for Westville Poetry Nights?
The poet must recite their original work, and be dedicated and willing to sacrifice time for the society. Students must be able to respect boundaries and multi-task as we are a society that abides by a strict code of conduct. We also require members to participate in group activities so they need to be able to make time for these responsibilities.
How does being part of Westville Poetry Nights enhance a student’s university experience?
We encourage academic excellence, hence we always ensure that our members know how to maintain a healthy balance between their art and academics, which is a skill that will benefit them in their future careers. Since we have diverse members, we give students an opportunity to meet and interact with people they might ordinarily have not socialised with, therefore forming a community where everyone can express themselves freely and build lasting friendships.
What projects does Westville Poetry Nights handle?
We are a society that aims to give artistic inspiration to the UKZN community, so most of our work is of a dramatic and theatrical nature – from poems to short stories – and we also encourage lyrical poetry where members sing and play instruments. We frequently host shows at G5 on the Westville Campus, a space that has been sponsored by the University. We also give many thanks to the College of Law and Management which has been supporting our society in various forms since 2018. We really appreciate this support. We therefore call upon the UKZN community to take note of all the artistic activities happening in our institution and support them.
To learn more about Westville Poetry Nights visit their Facebook page @Westvillepoetrynights. You can also watch videos of their poetry performances on their youtube channel here