“Be kind always” – this is the motto of Viwe Kobokana, the newly elected chairperson of the Stellenbosch University Students’ Representative Council (SRC).
Ms Kobokana was elected earlier this month, following the election of the new SRC. She says that the reality of being elected by her peers to lead the student organisation has not yet sunken in, but that she is excited about the challenge.
She is a final year BSc Human Life Sciences student from Qonce (King Williams Town) and is no stranger to student leadership, having served as the transformation officer of the 2020/2021 SRC. During this period, she and the SRC’s Transformation Committee designed student workshops that focused on topics such as the decolonisation of the higher education sector, gender, sex and sexuality, race relations, anti-gender-based violence (GBV), and mental health.
These workshops will be presented to the new SRC as part of their induction, and extended to the student body once again. One of Ms Kobokana’s top priorities is to focus on transformation and to ensure noticeable changes.
“The University has an amazing framework for transformation and the transformation plan does a great job in outlining that. However, I think the challenge comes in materialising that plan. I know that small changes and results will eventually lead to long-term changes. Those small changes are the results I would like to see,” says Ms Kobokana.
Furthermore, she wants all SRC members to embed transformation in their SRC portfolios, and hopes that the entire SRC will work transformative.
She is also looking forward to collaborating with university staff on various student projects.
“Many staff members want to work with student leaders and help them to integrate efforts to assist students. This is something I want to promote and will assist my team in finding relevant staff members to institutionalise their projects and work,” says Ms Kobokana.
While focused on leading the SRC, Ms Kobokana says her other priority is completing her degree. She says that being involved in student leadership for the last three years has helped her to learn how to balance her academic life with co-curricular activities.
“Being organised is the saving grace!” she says. Photo: Stefan Els