Managing tomorrow

Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences


On May the 12th, grade seven learners from Jarvis Gqamlana Primary School in New Brighton saw elephants for the first time. The scholars were treated to an educational day-trip to the Addo Elephant Park as part of a community upliftment project that was organised by a group of 3rd year NMMU Management students.

The group consisting of Austrian exchange students, Florian Mich and Bernhard Bruckner , German exchange students, Dennis Schweikart, Oliver Bernhard, Christoph Gottwald and Marcel Ganter, and South African students Mzlwokuthula “Goodman” Nikwe, Dngeziwe Hokwinisa, Zizipho Nongauza, Siphokazi Mntonga, Yonela Dlembula and Simamkele Samuel Mancoba, were just one of the many groups that were challenged by Management and Entrepreneurship lecturer, Mr Paul Tai-Hing, to make a difference in the community.


After hearing that only 5% of New Brighton residents, had seen an elephant, the students decided that their project will be what changes this statistic. An educational tour for under-privileged scholars to the Addo Elephant Park was just the activity to do this. “Children are the future, we should empower them,” said German exchange student, Dennis Schweikart.


Bradley Levack – Educational Development Officer for Djembe’ Heritage Initiatives, was the tour guide for the day. He enriched the scholars with knowledge on all the animals and plants seen during the tour. “The learners are so receptive when taken on outings like this,” said Bradley “One can teach them what would normally be taught in two weeks, in one day”


The student’s initial plan for this project was to give the children a day of happiness, but after working with Djembe Heritage Initiatives, they decided to organise the project in such a way that it can be continued by the foundation after the students leave. “We hope to have planted a seed in the minds of future exchange students who will visit NMMU, to come and work with Djembe Heritage Initiatives and make a difference in the local communities,” said exchange Oliver Bernhard, who describes the experience as eye opening. “The kids here have so little, but are still so happy. You would never see this back home in Germany,”


The students also took the initiative to get sponsors for the day trip, with Addo Elephant Park sponsoring the entire tour group free entrance into the park, Blunden Busses providing free transport as well as Summerstrand Spar and Mr Paul Tai-Hing sponsoring the food for the lunch packets given to scholars.