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2 December 2022
UWC lecturer the best in the country
University of the Western Cape (UWC) accounting academic Zurelda Mongane CA(SA) has been awarded the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA) National Forum Academic Award for 2022.

Mongane, who is lecturing at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, was nominated for the award by students, and an ABASA panel selected her as the winner of the award.

She said: “I had no idea that I was nominated… I did ask what was said about me. The comments they received based on the nominations was that I bring work down to the level of a student that comes from a background where they know nothing or have limited knowledge about taxation.”

Mongane is a UWC alumnus and her journey as a lecturer started in 2013 at UWC. She first lectured at UWC and then at Stellenbosch University.

Mongane rejoined UWC at the beginning of 2022: “This year was a bit of a difficult year because I started at UWC on 1 March, and I had given birth on 18 January, juggling that with lecturing responsibilities and still now writing up a proposal for my PhD. It’s all a bit hectic.”

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She is humbled by the award that she’s received and said it’s a real privilege to teach at tertiary level. Monagane takes a very practical approach to her lessons and lecturing.

“I always tell students that you have a textbook and you have an Act, but to me that means nothing. I want you to be able to read and understand something new that we didn’t cover in class. One day when you’re working I won’t be there and there will be new things.”

She added: “I focus on explaining work in such a manner so that when a new section comes up you can read it and understand it.”

The reality is that lecturing is often a thankless task and Mongane said she is motivated daily by the change she can make to the future of someone’s life and to some extent their family’s life.

“Being a Chartered Accountant, people always question, why would you go to lecture? You can stay in corporate and earn double the salary. I always say, you will never get the same job satisfaction in the corporate world that you get from lecturing.”

“Yes, you earn a lot more money in corporate, but that facial expression when a student gets good marks, or the good feedback from students, can’t be measured in monetary value. I was surprised by this award and it humbled me. It really is one of the best feelings to know that students value my contribution to their education in such a manner,” said Mongane.

About ABASA

The Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA) was established in 1985 to promote the professional interests of Black persons engaged in the accounting profession. 

ABASA is committed and dedicated in this pursuit and is driven by the need to ensure that every black accountant and aspiring accountant can realise their full potential and aspirations.