(Published - 5 March 2020}
University of the Western Cape student Sikhulule Nkomphela has been nominated to serve on the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) Media Committee for the next three years – a first for the university. You've probably seen him around, taking pics during graduation or sports events - and you may know him as the Photographer Guy.
Media, Marketing and Communications Office caught up with him to find out more about that.
Tell us about yourself and what you are doing at UWC.
I was born and bred in the small Eastern Cape town of Cofimvaba. I’m doing my last year (finishing in June) of my BSc Environmental and Water Science. I’m also working for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support’s communications office. I also work in the Media Office for UWC Football.
What sparked your interest in media and photography?
With the influence of society and parents, I was forced to
attend a science school which I found no window of opportunity to invest in this gift. But when I got to university, I started associating myself with the media space - and things got better as time went by.
How did your nomination to the FISU Media Committee come about?
Each country is obligated to nominate and send names to FISU for different committees to lead for three years. Late last year. I was nominated by the University Sport South Africa National Executive Committee to stand for FISU Media & Communications Committee. In the end, I was the only one in Africa who had been selected into that Committee.
What will you be doing?
It is a part-time job that will require me to travel internationally since we have events happening around the world and FISU offices are in Switzerland. The job description is to write, edit, and distribute content, including publications, press releases, website content,
annual reports, speeches, and other marketing material that communicates the
FISU mission. I also have to respond to media inquiries, arrange interviews, maintain effective relationships with journalists, and maintain a media database, and act as a spokesperson for FISU. In addition, I have to seek opportunities to enhance the reputation of the FISU brand, and coordinate publicity events as required, maintain records of media coverage and collate analytics and metrics.
What attracted you to the FISU offer?
The experience. Somehow and somewhere I know it's going to open doors for me. And putting aside all the benefits that come with this offer, most notably I’ll get a chance to document the world through my lenses.
How has UWC assisted you in securing this move?
UWC has assisted me in so many ways. Firstly for affording me the opportunity to perform and do what I love. Secondly, the support I’ve been getting from colleagues in Sports Administration, especially my coach Thina Mbuli and the Director Mandla Gagayi, have been amazing and greatly appreciated.
What would you want to achieve in your field?
FISU is the second-highest sporting organisation, right after the Olympics. My dream is to work for the Olympics one day. I will come back to plough back to Africa with the goal of paying special attention to women’s sport.
Do you have any advice for other youngsters who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Dream big, keep chasing your dreams, and never let anyone tell you otherwise. Hard work pays off. It might not be now but eventually it will pay. Don’t be a follower. Avoid being part of the crowd. Lastly - and most importantly - be humble. Being humble allows you to be open to learning, and making adjustments that help you become a better person.