16 November 2021

TUT podiums and mace stand will sport a student design

by Gerrit Bester

From next year, speakers at TUT graduation ceremonies of the University will do so from behind brand-new podiums. The TUT mace used at these ceremonies will also sport a new stand. An Interior Design student, Silindokuhle Matabata (28), has just been named the winner of a competition challenging students to submit podium and mace stand designs that will be manufactured and used at official ceremonies hosted by the University’s Certification Management Office.

According to Clifford Moleko, lecturer at the Department and driving force behind the competition, the Certification Management Office contacted the Department last year with a request to assist it with the design of new podiums and a mace stand.

Subsequently, it was decided to do it by way of a competition among some 30 third-year students and formed part of the Department’s Simulated Work-Integrating Learning (WIL) project.

The ceremonial mace, a symbol of university scholarship and integrity since the 11th century, is used to lead the academic procession at commencement and other special ceremonial occasions, signifying the importance of the event, and the confirmation of the academic process.

The competition brief for both the podium (of which two designs were needed) and the mace stand included several general and technical requirements. The designs had to adhere to TUT branding and be transportable. In addition, each of the podiums also had to feature a light for the reader, a microphone, and one had to ease the handling of name cards used during graduation ceremonies, among others.

Clifford Moleko, lecturer at the Department of Interior Design, flanked by Silindokuhle Matabata (28), winner of the podium and mace stand design competition, and Kathleen de Klerk (22), runner-up.

Silindokuhle bagged R5 000, and runner-up, Kathleen de Klerk (22), R2 500, sponsored by the Certification Management Office. 

Daniel Badenhorst, formerly of Reddeco and third-year moderator, assisted with the initial selection of the top two designs. The entries were further assessed by Keo Mokholwane of Vesuvio Luxury Interiors, and Rammona Lesole of RA Design Studio.

Silindokuhle’s designs will soon be manufactured and ready for 2022 events. Clifford says the entire manufacturing process will be recorded and, possibly, prototyped and displayed for other students to also benefit from the project.

An excited Silindokuhle, who is currently enrolled for an Advanced Diploma, says he initially did not know that it was a competition, and was amazed when he was announced as the winner. He adds that the project was quite different from other student projects since, this time around, they had to work with real clients. 

The budding interior designer hails from Mount Ayliff in the Eastern Cape. His educational journey has been tough, but worthwhile. He arrived in Pretoria with only a few bags containing his personal belongings four years ago and could only find a place to stay in Tembisa from where he had to travel to the Arts Campus every day. He has since found accommodation in the Legae residence.

The go-getter plans to gain as much industry experience as possible before starting his own business. He added the prize money to other savings and bought himself a personal computer from which more inspiring designs will most certainly originate.

In congratulating Silindokuhle, Dr Makkie Pieterse, Assistant Registrar: Certification Management, says their office is very impressed with his designs and that the internal partnership was a win-win for all. 

Silindokuhle’s winning design of the podiums and mace stand that will be manufactured next year.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Phaphama Tshisikhawe, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 4711   Email: tshisikhawerpt@tut.ac.za