NMMU Council honours stalwarts

DECEMBER 9, 2015

The NMMU Council recently presented it's Council Prestige Awards for 2015. This year, awards were made to environmntalist Moki Cekisani and businessman, Temba Mvusi and were presented by Council Chair, Judge Ronnie Pillay.

Executive President at the Ubuntu and Environmental Foundation Moki Cekisani is a born activist and scholar of the Black Consciousness Movement.

A previous winner of The Herald Citizen of the Year Award in the Environmental Category, the father of six is actively involved in Community Development projects in Walmer Township where he lives.

Moki was first politically awoken by the freedom acquired by African states such as Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, and was inspired by Pan-Africanist leaders such as Jomo Kenyata, Ndabaningi Sithole and Robert Mugabe. When he was 20 years old he joined the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) and became prominent in the anti-apartheid movement as one of the leaders of the Black Consciousness Movement where he got most of his political knowledge? with leaders such as Robert Sobukwe and Kwame Nkruma having a lasting effect on his political thinking.

He subscribes to the vision of liberating the oppressed people and creating a non-racial society, which is what attracted him to the struggle and the Black Consciousness Movement in particular. He believes that Africa belongs to all who are a part of it, we are all Africans irrespective of skin colour.

Moki was first detained in 1963 for four months under the State of Emergency and was thereafter detained in August of 1967, and remembers his final detention of 1977 by the arrest and death of Steve Biko as well as the brutal torture he suffered which led to him partially losing his hearing. He was finally banned and put under house arrest in 1979, his banning order was the last to be lifted with that of Beyers Naudé in 1986.

After his house arrests and detention, he went on to establish Zamani Sewing Industries in Port Elizabeth and Umtata. In 1989 he initiated the Foundation for Sport in Africa which combined his love of sports and desire to advance the struggle for equality by utilising the skills of professional athletes to train previously disadvantaged athletes.

A year later, the Ubuntu Environmental Project was started. Inspired by FW de Klerk's speech in February announcing the unbanning of all political organisations, Moki wanted to contribute to South Africa's freedom in a non-political and inclusive way. He saw that working for the environment was the answer. 

Raised in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth Chief Executive of Market Development at Sanlam, Temba Mvusi matriculated at Cowan High School, known for its active resistance to the apartheid system as well as for producing learners of high quality.

He has carved out a business career over a number of years, climbing steadily through the ranks of the broader investment, insurance and financial sector, to his current position as executive director at insurance giant Sanlam which he has occupied since December 2009. He is also a Board member of Sanlam Private Wealth, Sanlam Investment Management Holdings, Sanlam Investment Management, and Vulindlela Underwriting Managers. In addition, he serves as Chairman of lemas Financial Services.

Prior to his Sanlam appointments, he has held various positions in the private sector as well as government. Temba has anchored his business leadership journey on experience gained through his close involvement at CODESA, the multi-party negotiations forum that led to a democratic dispensation in South Africa; and his appointment to the executive committee of the first Independent Electoral Commission in 1994.

Founded on a strong belief in broad-based economic empowerment as the kernel for social advancement, Temba spearheaded the Ubuntu-Botho deal - a partnership between Sanlam and Patrice Motsepe which has created more than R16-billion value for black economic shareholders.

Between 60 -100 individuals in the Eastern Cape are beneficiaries, along with trade unions, church groupings and community organisations. This has begun to build a stronger economic baseline in the Eastern Cape, to roll back the frontiers of poverty.

Temba is passionate about education, believing that education can eradicate poverty by making people employable or able to start their own businesses. He continuously engages his fellow business leaders to get involved to make a difference in the lives of others. His life philosophy is that "it should never be a curse that you were born in a particular area. That is an apartheid legacy that we should eradicate with hard work and education."

To this day, he remains connected with Cowan High and is a key force in mobilising corporate social investment at the school. Through his ploughing-back programme, R600 000 has been raised for improvements at the school - including ablution facilities, classroom restoration and kitchen facilities.

Main image: Executive President at the Ubuntu and Environmental Foundation Moki Cekisani is a born activist and scholar of the Black Consciousness Movement (right) receiving award from Judge Pillay.