University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, has been honoured as the 2020 Communication & Leadership Award recipient for her achievement in the field of communication and leadership.
“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,” says Professor Phakeng.
Since her appointment as Vice-chancellor in 2018, Professor Phakeng has led UCT with clear vision and has skilfully steered the institution to more stability, particularly in terms of student unrest. In her efforts, she focused on transformation, while prioritising excellence. Under her leadership, UCT has made much progress, being ranked leading African university in all the five major world university rankings.
Immediate Past District Director, Nikki Quinn, says that Phakeng exudes the qualities of a true leader, making education fashionable and assisting students reach 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.”
The Toastmasters’ Communication & Leadership Award is presented to a non-Toastmasters member, someone outside a Toastmasters branch, either in the community or an organisation -a distinguished individual who has made significant contributions in the fields of communication and leadership within the geographic boundaries of Southern Africa. It has been in existence since 1974 when it was presented to Dr Anton Rupert, and many other recipients including Professor Thuli Madonsela, the late Johnny Clegg, Yusuf Abramjee, Basetsana Kumalo, the late Vuyo Mbuli and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.