Welkomite in charge on high seas

2015-06-17 06:00
MUSA MBAKAZA, chief officer on board the Safmarine container ships within the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group. 
Photos: Supplied

MUSA MBAKAZA, chief officer on board the Safmarine container ships within the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group. Photos: Supplied

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LESS than ten years after leaving school, the Welkom-born Musa Mbakaza is already achieving great hights.

He has obtained his internationally-recognised Master’s Certificate of Competency (Unlimited), the qualification which permits him to command a ship of any size.

Mbakaza has become the Lawhill Maritime Centre’s fourth former student to achieve this.

The 28-year-old Mbakaza is currently serving as chief officer on board Safmarine container ships within the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group.

He joined Safmarine as a cadet immediately after completing his studies and graduating cum-laude from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

He was introduced to the Simon’s Town School’s Lawhill maritime studies programme through a family friend in Springs, Gauteng.

The ambitious young man has since inspired other students from his home town of Welkom in the Free State to follow in his footsteps.

Doing exactly this is the trio of Bohlale Motsieloa (gr. 10), Bokamoso Molale and Thamsanqa Hoza (both gr. 11). Bokamoso and Thamsanqa are the top gr. 11 learners at both the Simon’s Town School and the Lawhill Maritime Centre.

Last year they took second place in the prestigious 3M and Hip2B2 South African Young Innovators of the Year competition held in October.

The competition – which was won by a team of Durban Boys’ High in 2014 – engages gr. 10 learners of around 100 schools across South Africa in a series of problem-solving workshops designed to nurture an appreciation for Science and Mathematics in overcoming everyday challenges that affect them and their communities.

Since its inception, more than 300 young South Africans have passed through the Lawhill programme, many of them pursuing successful careers in the maritime industry, either ashore or at sea, while others have gone on to make their mark in other industries

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