A picture of pride, dignity and hope for the future, sits Majuba TVET College’s Deputy Principal of Innovation and Development, Patrick Ntshangase neatly behind his desk, ready to take on the world.

With a clear vision, Ntshangase explained his past ventures and a journey which led him to where he is today. Born in Paulpietersburg, Mr. Ntshangase lived with his uncle who had a passion for farming with cattle. “My father and mother both worked in Johannesburg, which is why my uncle took care of me for a while.” Here, he excelled academically, finishing every standard with a first place, top of the class achievement.

His father eventually moved the entire family up to Wasbank, where he attended Lubelo Primary School and completed his Grade 6 in 1976.

“I eventually attended Sigweje High School, where I completed my Matric in 1982. I must say,
I had great teachers back then. These teachers included the likes of Dr. Mahlobo, Mr. Hlubi,
Mr. Sokhela and Mr. Mhlongo, just to name a few,” he said. Mr. Ntshangase said he excelled in subjects such as Physical Science, Mathematics, Biology, English, Afrikaans and Isizulu. As a young boy, he said he had a dream of becoming a Mechanical Engineer, but the cost of studying such a field was expensive and his family could not afford such exorbitant fees.

“So, I decided to move to Newcastle in search of work in order to pay for my own studies.”
Along the way, Mr. Ntshangase developed an interest in teaching he realised very few students were able to study Engineering Sciences. “This is also when I realised how many students were struggling with Mathematics and Science subjects. So I wanted to contribute in assisting these students to study in the field of Engineering.” In 1986, he ended up working for Iscor Newcastle.

This was also when he was selected for an interview to become the first African artisan at Iscor Newcastle. “This wasn’t something I had planned for, so I continued to further my studies. In 1988 I passed my trade test Diploma. Thereafter I was appointed as an Artisan at the Iscor
Coke Ovens.”

When Mr. Ntshangase eventually left the company as a Superintendent, he still continued to study for his future. “I ended up completing my National Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.” This is where his journey with Majuba TVET College begun. “I still wasn’t happy my methodology of teaching, which made me study for a B.Tech Degree in Post School Education at the University of South Africa, followed by a Post Graduate Degree in Leadership and Management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. My passion to study went on and I completed my Advanced Project Management Studies. I also achieved my Honours Degree in Education Management. This was soon followed by a full research as a Master of Education in Education Management.”

He excelled in completing his Master of Education degree in one year. Currently, Mr. Ntshangase is writing an article before commencing with his PhD Proposal, set to take place in September of 2018. For three and a half years, he worked as an educator as well as an Assistant Director for six years and six months.

In 2013 he was eventually appointed as Deputy Principal at Majuba TVET College, where he is involved in Innovation and Development. Mr. Ntshangase said his main goal in his current position was to get SETAs, Industries, government departments and registered small businesses on board, to absorb the students at Majuba TVET College to gain experiential learning in order to acquire their diplomas. “I also wish to conduct an informed research to influence the curriculum which should be aligned to various companies.

I would also like to increase International partnerships for our learners as well as our lecturers to learn the best practices which would enhance the performance of Majuba TVET College.” As a leader and an educator, he said one must be disciplined, a motivator, passionate and prepared to be a lifelong learner. “It is my honour to mention that there is a wonderful progress for learners who are doing their apprenticeship, learnership, skills development, Community Outreach Programmes and staff development to enhance teaching and learning at the college.” Majuba TVET College learners are placed in various Industries, Government departments, and registered Small businesses. The college is also pleased to have partnership where currently 31 students are placed in China, to further their studies.

When asked where he drew his inspiration from, Mr. Ntshangase responded “I obviously draw inspiration from my Almighty God who protected me in all challenges on my way and wisdom and wise words from my father, and the father of the nation, Nelson Mandela, who said” a winner is a dreamer who never gives up”. He also drew inspiration from men and women who graduated before him, and who had changed their own lives by contributing to the country’s economy and who had contributed to the body of knowledge. “I am also inspired by great professors in the likes of VJ Pitsoe and T. Zengele from the University of South Africa and Professor K. Pillay from University of KwaZulu Natal, just to mention a few.”

Aside from being a mentor and a man of strength and power, Mr Ntshangase has been happily married to his wife, Mrs. Ntshangase, with whom he had raised fi ve children with, who will all soon follow in the brave footsteps of their father. His wife is a teacher by profession and worked as a Principal at Glencalder Primary School, and two of his children have already pursued careers as lecturers. His other three children are currently doing a third year B Com Accounting, second year as an Architecture and a first year studying Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality. Mr. Ntshangase advised all learners to continuously study in order to change their own lives. “Change your life and the lives of your families, and this will eventually change the poverty engulfing our country.”