Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng was honoured by Toastmasters Southern Africa when she received the 2020 Communication and Leadership Achievement Award at a special online ceremony held on Saturday, 8 August.
The award is presented to a non-Toastmasters member who has made significant contributions in the fields of communication and leadership in Southern Africa. It was first presented in 1974 to Dr Anton Rupert and has since been awarded to Professor Thuli Madonsela, Johnny Clegg, Yusuf Abramjee, Basetsana Kumalo, Vuyo Mbuli and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, among others.
“I am especially proud to receive this award because it connects excellence in leadership with excellence in communication.”
“I am especially proud to receive this award because it connects excellence in leadership with excellence in communication. These are important skills, especially in this year of dramatic change,” said Phakeng on receiving the accolade.
Since her appointment as vice-chancellor in 2018, Phakeng has led the University of Cape Town (UCT) with a clear vision. Under her leadership, UCT has made much progress, being ranked the leading African university in all of the five major world university rankings. In her efforts, she has focused on excellence and transformation, while prioritising sustainability for the university.
Nikki Quinn, the chief executive of Toastmasters Southern Africa, said that Phakeng exudes the qualities of a true leader, making education fashionable and assisting students with reaching their educational goals through initiatives such as #Past3amSquad, #KgethiPhakengScholarship and #AdoptALearner.
“Our core Toastmasters values are integrity, respect, service and excellence and, as the leadership of Toastmasters in Southern Africa, we felt that Professor Phakeng epitomises the concept of true servant leadership, one who is ‘in touch with the people on the ground’, communicating a narrative of putting students first and not being afraid to support it with service and excellence.”
UCT Toastmasters Open House
Of the 217 Toastmasters branches in Southern Africa, 35 are based in and around Cape Town. UCT registered its own branch, UCT Toastmasters, in September 2016, which is based on campus to cater for students and staff.
Phakeng will be the guest speaker at UCT Toastmasters’ online Open House event on Thursday, 13 August, from 16:00.
Under the theme “Speaking is freedom”, the event will offer insights into how Toastmasters can help members of the UCT community to develop their public speaking and leadership skills.
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