The prestigious awards, which are a flagship event on the Alumni Association calendar, celebrate the local and international success stories of graduates who have not just climbed the ladder in their respective fields but have become inspiring leaders and change agents across various parts of the world.

During the awards ceremony, Dr Ntholi reminisced about how, leaving home to attend university, her mother gifted her with a gold necklace and a message about commitment. “She said commitment is all about what you set yourself out to do and that if you are committed, your actions should speak than the words you claim to be committed to. These words stuck with me forever…

[and] I’ve lived by them,” she said.

She is passionate about applied geology and its contribution to the sustainable management of natural resources. She is also zealous about demystifying science, especially and making it more accessible to students and communities.

Dr Ntholi obtained her PhD in Geology and Earth Stewardship Science in 2017, with her research focusing on using leading-edge technology to treat acid mine water in the deep gold mines of South Africa, managing and reversing its damaging environmental impact.


Back, from left) Alumni Relations Director Paul Geswindt, award recipients Litha Soyizwapi, Robin West, Quinton Uren, Mzukisi Kota and Alumni Association president Khwezi Blose. (Front row, from left) Recipient Dr Thakane Ntholi, Vice-Chancellor Prof Sibongile Muthwa and Alumni Association vice-president Michelle Mbaco.