Pioneer of the event, Cluster Leader: Culture (Anthropology and Tourism) Dr Maserole Kgari-Masondo, said: ‘This event is in line with the University’s strategic plan of empowerment and community involvement. The contract lecturers were requested to also engage in community involvement as part of their empowerment. Others were involved in our Cluster project: Honours Writing Project, and assisted honours students with their research.’
Award-winners included: Mr Philani Kuluse (Best Tutor Pietermaritzburg), and Dr Gabriel Gyang Darong (Best Contract Lecturer), while the overall winner was Mr Sandile Ntuli. Contract staff also received certificates of service and book prizes.
Discussing the awards function, Darong said: ‘This effort will strengthen the commitment of contract lecturers and tutors to their responsibilities, knowing that they are appreciated by the department. Appreciation, beyond salaries, goes a long way in building the spirit of a person in carrying out chosen or given responsibilities.’
Darong said the secret to his lecturing success was constant awareness of his privileged position, knowing that what he does contributes to what society becomes. ‘Students ought to have an open mindset towards learning and to study with wholehearted dedication as just a small amount of effort can open all sorts of doors.’
Ntuli believes such events are important for tutors and staff because ‘when a person’s work is valued, productivity rises, and one is motivated to maintain and improve on work goals. People want to be respected and valued by others for their contribution because it makes them feel important and appreciated. I hope this will encourage other colleges and disciplines to adopt the culture of honouring tutors,’ he said.
Ntuli’s message to other students is: ‘Believe in yourself. You have the ability to do any kind of work whatever it is, easy or tough.’