And when the late Advocate Dullah Omar bought him a place to stay in Langa (after he successfully defended his court cases in the Eastern Cape) he would live with up to five people in his one-room bungalow. That didn’t stop when he enrolled at UWC as he recruited close to 100 people to study at the University.
“That is the kind of a person I am. I always care about others who are needy and will do anything possible to help them,” he said. “I was lucky at UWC because I had a part-time job at the South African Education Student Trust (SASET) which was offering bursaries to indigent students. So, I used that opportunity to recruit students from the Eastern Cape and I’m so proud that some of them became valuable leaders in different sectors of our society.”
Mr Magida obtained a BProc degree at UWC and LLB and Master of Laws (LLM) degrees from the University of South Africa. Today he is an attorney who specialises in labour law. He recently returned to his alma mater as the new Executive Director for Human Resources.
“I’ve come to a university that has set the bar high, and it’s an opportunity for me to contribute to the generation of intellectual knowledge and to assist UWC to continue on its journey of greatness. Education is very close to my heart and I am grateful that I am now back at UWC. I was a student activist and held different student leadership positions at UWC, and this is where I found my career feet,” he said.
Mr Magida believes that UWC should continue to keep its doors of learning open to everyone - particularly the poor and marginalised - and strengthen its community engagement initiatives.
He said human resources management is about ensuring that an employer has the best systems in place to support its customers; good policies that promote the well-being of employees, and effective structures to create great value as well as a lasting difference in the institution.
“Our job is to support the different Faculties; Departments and various UWC Units by building capability through attracting, developing and retaining talent. We need to ensure the implementation of an effective HR operating model that will promote sound labour relations and good HR governance. Together with all role players and key stakeholders we must work together to implement programmes to ensure that UWC continues to be an employer of choice, as clearly stated in our Institutional Operating Plan. We must support the financial sustainability of UWC through effective employee cost management.”
And what would a transformed UWC look like? “UWC is a microcosm of the society we are coming from. Therefore, our Culture and Environment must be: Inclusive, Diverse, Supportive, Resilient and Innovative. South Africa and UWC have the benefit of diverse students and employees, as a result we need to align ourselves with national and provincial demographics and ensure that we embed equity, fairness and transparency in all our Units; Departments and Faculties.”