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SMU’s Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Community of Practice (EDHE) – a glimmer of hope

SMU’s Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Community of Practice (EDHE) – a glimmer of hope

The days of some students completing their degrees, only to be faced with the reality of unemployment and the frustrations that come with it, are surely numbered. Thanks to SMU’s Entrepreneurship in Higher Education Community of Practice (EDHE) graduate students finding it hard to get jobs, will be equipped with entrepreneurial skills in order to unleash their creativity to create jobs for themselves and for others.


This ground breaking initiative was recently launched by Prof Eunice Seekoe, deputy chairperson of the National Community of Practice for Entrepreneurial Universities, at the Fire and Ice Hotel, in Pretoria.


In her opening remarks, Prof Seekoe, said “Today marks the beginning of our journey to formalise the Community of Practice (COP) at SMU. The first 120 students of the SMU will be trained as entrepreneurs from tomorrow.”


“The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and Universities South Africa (USAf), with the support of the British Council, made a call to all the universities to position themselves in the global commercialisation of higher education institutions,”.


“Since 2016, the EDHE developed a model to guide universities, in South Africa to respond to a call for transformation to become entrepreneurial. Universities are guided to create an entrepre-neurial ecosystem through establishing communities of Practice. In order to achieve this goal, universities are expected to ensure closer engagement with industry, business, and communities to form a helix model of partnerships. And SMU identified the need to respond to this call”, shed emphasized


Having set the stage, an impressive array of speakers, who are leading lights in their various fields, took to the stage, to speak, at Fire and Ice Hotel, and others joined virtually, via Microsoft teams. The most notable speakers who also spoke were Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, SMU’s own alumna, in her own right but also the Chancellor of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). Ramokgopa spoke on the topic ‘National Health Insurance (NHI): Implications and opportunities for entrepreneurs in the health sector.


Ms Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, Member of the Executive Council (MEC) of Gauteng Province addressed the Role of Gauteng Finance and e-government in driving innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth development in Gauteng: opportunities and implications of the 4IR”.


Representing the EDHE at Universities South Africa (USAf) was Dr Nora Clarke, who delivered a virtual talk and spoke about the policy framework and objects of entrepreneurship in higher education.


Mr Saki Zamxaka, from the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller, spoke on the range, scope and criteria for financial and non-financial support programmes and packages.


Dr Irene Mohasoa, SMU’s Director of Student Affairs, addressed Entrepreneurship: Enabler for promoting sustainable development amongst university students.


Ms Gugulethu Dhlamini, SMU EDHE Student representative, spoke about the Past lessons and future expectations in entrepreneurship programme for the student community. She said student expectation is to be empowered with skills that spark entrepreneurial spirit which will enable them to develop problem solving skills to address socioeconomic challenges. She added that experience shows that most successful societies in the world are those that have high rate of entrepreneurship amongst its populations.


Mr Thato Masekoa, SMU SRC President spoke about the role of the SRC spear heading entrepreneurship development. He also pointed out the need to reinforce health sciences skills acquired by students with money management skills, to enable them to be well rounded health professionals.


Mr Kgatso Kobo, NYDA, on the topic, range scope, and criteria for financial and non-financial support programmes and packages by NYDA. He spoke about the need to empower students to see far ahead and be able to see the bigger picture and not be fixated on small petty and small stuff. He called upon the students to conduct their own proper market research, pricing and knowing their competitors. He said NYDA offer funding. But repayment on funding may not be repaid, but NYDA can offset it if and when the beneficiary makes success of the businesses and hires young people.



SMU’s Family Medicine department spreading its wings beyond our borders

SMU’s Family Medicine department spreading its wings beyond our borders

The South African Family Practice Journal (SAFPJ), after years of applying, has been finally approved and listed with MEDLINE, said Prof Gboyega Ogunbanjo, popularly referred to as Prof ‘O’, the head of the department of family medicine & primary health care, and the editor in chief of the SAFJP.


MEDLINE, which is based in the United States of America (USA), is the biggest database containing journal citations and abstracts for biomedical literature from all over the world. Having the SAFJP listed with MEDILINE for Prof Ogunbanjo, is a dream come true, after years of attempts to list with MEDLINE were turned down because of the strict criteria for admission.

The benefits of enlisting with this database for Ogunbanjo as editor in chief and for SMU are immense. “MEDLINE is the equivalent of a top soccer team playing in the proverbial football premier league. It offers huge exposure and international credibility for researchers”, quipped Prof Ogunbanjo.

The department of family medicine & primary health care is one of the leading departments in as far as research throughput is concerned, at SMU. The secret behind this success, Prof ‘O’ says, is “team work”, as no one, in the department of family medicine & primary health care, is allowed to publish any research work as a lone ranger. Twice a year, we go out to places like Swartruggens in the North West province for a whole weekend for scientific writing workshops facilitated by the head of department, thereby building human research capacity in the department”, he said.

“The results of this human research capacity building programme are bearing fruit – high quality and relevant papers are published in the Department of Higher Education and Training peer reviewed list of journals, having national, regional and international impact,’’ he added.

Prof Ogunbanjo lives a very busy life juggling academic, clinical, teaching, pastoral duties, and still manage to have a normal family life. He serves in various local and international medical science forums in which he is able to advance the African Renaissance Agenda by sharing his experience and expertise where such expertise is required.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has benefitted from the agenda, with many of its family medicine physicians initially trained under the former Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA), followed by University of Limpopo and currently under SMU, since 1997. Under his tutelage and support from his colleagues in the department, a new breed of family medicine specialists and trainers are training fellow Congolese doctors, in the discipline of family medicine at the Université Protestente au Congo (UPC), Kinshasa, DRC.


The second cohort of locally trained and context-based family medicine specialists will graduate at UPC on Saturday 3 August 2018. Prof ‘O’ concluded by saying that “SMU should have a strategic focus to build long lasting collaborations with other universities on the African continent, as this will be beneficial for our academics and students”

SMU continues to foster strategic partnerships in Research

SMU continues to foster strategic partnerships in Research

SMU and King’s College London had recently established a five year strategic partnership in the research and academic exchange programme between the King’s Centre for Ultrastructural Imaging and the Electron Microscopy Unit of SMU.


Strategic Partnership: Prof Fumni Olonisakin, Vice President and Vice Principal International and Prof Olalekan Ayo-Yusuf, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Postgraduate Studies and Innovation.

The impact of SMU research output will be much greater through the exchange programme. The scope of the partnership entails promotion of innovative use of modern electron microscopy (EM) techniques by working with PhD and Masters students in health sciences research; provide training for PhD and Masters student to operate microscopes and prepare specimens; work with principal investigators to introduce innovative EM imaging techniques to the SMU research community; and provision of a dedicated supervisor for ongoing consultation and support.


“Top staff from King’s college will come and teach SMU Masters and PhD students using the electron microscope machines. To ensure high quality data is collected and prepared for publication, the collaboration will support researchers with experiment design and data interpretation,” said Prof Lekan Ayo-Yusuf, SMU DVC.

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University to observe World Obesity Day under the gloominess of Covid-19

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University to observe World Obesity Day under the gloominess of Covid-19

Media Advisory
Date: 04 March 2021

Obesity is a serious issue worldwide; it has occurred as a serious risk factor for severe diseases in the current epidemic disease of Covid-19.

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University’s participation in this international event marks its contribution towards the realisation of the UN’s Sustainable Development (SDG) Goal 3 – which seeks to bring about healthy lives and promote well-being for all.

Members of the media are hereby notified of the planned activities for World Obesity Day at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, which will take place today 4 March 2021.
This year’s activities will be held virtually due to the conditions presented by Covid-19.

World renowned weight loss expert and SMU Head of Department of Surgery Professor Zach Koto will share his expertise on obesity and Covid-19. Other speakers will focus on obesity and diet, obesity and Covid-19 effects on mental health as well as metabolic surgery. There will also be testimonials from those whose lives were changed by the programme.

Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital (DGMAH)/SMU bariatric Surgery Unit is accredited to perform metabolic and bariatric surgeries, making it the first public hospital in Gauteng to do this.

“SMU as a Health Sciences University is on a mission to educate people about health related matters and make a meaningful contribution especially during these difficult times of Covid-19. We are taking a lead in ensuring that we engage with our communities, raise awareness and offer them life-changing health care services and advice through programmes such as this one focusing on Obesity, which is a very serious health hazard”, says Dr Eric Pule, SMU spokesperson.

Details of the virtual proceedings are as follows:
Date 04 March 2021
Time: 16h00 – 18h00
Link :

Members of the media can make arrangements for post event interviews with the experts for more in-depth perspectives on Obesity and Bariatric surgery and other alternative ways of treating Obesity.

Issued by the Marketing & Communication
For more details, please contact Dr Eric Pule, email address
Phone 012 521 4563 Cell: 0635035587

Download Media Advisory World Obesity Day 2021

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University to observe World Obesity Day under the gloominess of Covid-19

SMU congratulates Professor Joshua Olowoyo for attaining a C2 NRF rating

Media Statement
01 March 2021
For Immediate Release

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) congratulates Professor Joshua Olowoyo for attaining a C2 Rating from the National Research Foundation. The rating is given to researchers as a recognition for having recently produced a body of quality work recognized by their peers. Prof Olowoyo was able to identify activities that are introducing trace metals in the environment including vehicular emissions and various industries, especially mining industries, which are responsible for introducing numerous hazardous metals into the environment.

“My research has also been able to demonstrate that humans are affected by the levels of trace metals in the environment. For instance, one of my research findings revealed elevated concentrations of toxic metals such as Pb, Cd and As in blood not only in occupationally exposed individuals but also in their immediate family members”, said Prof Olowoyo.

Interestingly, the research has also demonstrated that certain plants such as lichens and other higher plants have applications in biomonitoring the levels of these toxic metals in the environment.

Prof Olowoyo has vowed to continue working on emerging pollutants in the environment and their impact on human health with particular focus on women and children living within the vicinity of polluted or urban environments.

The number of NRF rated researchers and scientists at SMU is growing. Prof Olowoyo is attached to the SMU Biology department.

Issued by the Marketing & Communication
For more details, please contact Dr Eric Pule, email address
Phone 012 521 4563 Cell: 0635035587

Download Media statement Prof Joshua Olowoyo attains a C2 rating from NRF