Eastern Cape IT Experts Honoured by IT Professionals Organisation

Ten Eastern Cape IT professionals, students, teachers and scholars were honoured for their achievements at a well-attended gala awards dinner, organised by the Eastern Cape Chapter of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (the IITPSA) and held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday 23 May 2018.

The awards were presented to the winners by Ulandi Exner, the President of the IITPSA, assisted by Tony Parry, the CEO of the IITPSA, and Devereaux Joubert, the Chairman of the Eastern Cape Chapter of the IITPSA.

Michael Marais, of Grey High School, and Samantha Brown, of Linkside High School, were chosen as the joint EC IITPSA 2018 IT Scholars of the Year for their outstanding academic achievements in ICT at their schools.


Keith Gibson, of Alexander Road High School, was awarded the EC IITPSA 2018 IT Teacher of the Year (Lifetime Achievement Award) for his many outstanding contributions to IT and CAT school education in the Eastern Cape and nationally over more than 30 years, producing brilliant scholars who have gone on to be outstanding ICT professionals.


Mbulelo Njamela, of Cowan High School, was awarded the EC IITPSA 2018 CAT Teacher of the Year Award for his outstanding work as a very motivated and passionate teacher, committed to the success of his learners and driven by a vision of excellence and progress. He achieves results which are aligned with those achieved by much better resourced schools, due to his highly professional work as a CAT teacher.


Vuyolwethu Mdunyelwa, of the School of ICT at NMU, was chosen as the EC IITPSA 2018 IT Student of the Year for his outstanding academic results and achievements. He received a Merit Award for his 3rd year Software Development Project in 2015, Merit Awards for Academic Excellence in his IT diploma, was nominated and selected to complete a Chinese experience program in 2017, completed a Seeds for the Future program for Huawei technologies in China in 2017, and presented a research paper at the 2017 HAISA conference in Adelaide, Australia.


Brenda Scholtz, the Head of the Department of Computing Sciences at NMU, was awarded the EC IITPSA 2018 Woman in IT Award for her outstanding work in promoting careers in IT for women. She leads Young African Women in Computing (YAWiC), which organises events such as a “Summer Coding Camp” for young girls in high schools. These girls attend a two day summer coding camp where they are taught that IT and programming is fun. She has organised other events such as “What’s your story”. Here women working in IT or studying IT talk to younger women, telling them their story and promoting careers in IT.


Karen Church, the Head of Department of the School of ICT at NMU, was awarded the EC IITPSA 2018 Woman in IT (Lifetime Achievement Award) for her outstanding academic leadership which has touched numerous lives in many ways, her important contributions to the growth and work of the School of ICT over more than 20 years, and her extramural involvement in initiatives and organisations such as the IITPSA.


Melisa van der Merwe, of her startup, Converttocode, was chosen as the EC IITPSA 2018 IT Entrepreneur of the Year for developing SmarkCreator, SmarkChecker and SmarkOnline, software applications that present Microsoft course material (Word, Excel, etc.) to students doing end-user computing courses at universities and evaluate their practical mastery of this application software. Similar commercial software is unaffordable for South African universities. Melisa developed a South African product that has been extensively used the past 3 years by NMU, saving the university more than R2 million and providing a superior product compared to what is available internationally.


Patrick Monks, the Managing Executive of Business Connexion, Port Elizabeth, was chosen as the EC IITPSA 2018 IT Contributor of the Year for his visionary ICT leadership and active involvement in numerous initiatives, organisations and boards, such as the Sydenham Retirement Home, the NMU Business School and the Board of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.


Quintus Moolman (centre, above), the Sales and Solutions Manager of Dimension Data, was chosen as the EC IITPSA 2018 IT Personality of the Year for his many outstanding contributions to the ICT Industry and civil society in general in the Eastern Cape over more than 30 years. Quintus will be nominated for the national IITPSA 2018 IT Personality of the Year award that will take place later this year.


The IITPSA is a professional body for over 9,500 South African IT professionals, academics, and practitioners, and is recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as a professional body.


(Photos by Ashleigh Brown, PR Intern, School of ICT, NMU)