News & Events

NMMU - Madiba Day Celebrations

Golden key Nmmu chapter, together with the NMMU Education Department celebrated Madiba day  , by visiting various primary schools in the Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch District.

The purpose of the event was to motivate learners about education and also to celebrate Madiba’s birthday. This celebration was expressed by our Sixty –Seven minute school visit for Mandela. 

The list of schools we visited:


·      Charles Duna

·      Ebongweni

·      Jarvis Gqamlana

·      Greenville

·      Noninzi Luzipho

·      Kleinskool Community

·      Saphire Road

·      Illinge

·      James Ndulula

During the school visits we read stories and poems to the learners, we talked about Nelson Mandela, and the learners  presented a play for us in celebration of MADIBA. We also handed out stationery packs to every learner in the various schools and participated in all their fun activities, such as dancing, playing drums etcetera . 


To be  part of such a memorable event was glorious and remarkable. Our engagement with the learners, brought out in each one of us, a character of modesty and appreciation. On this day we learnt what is meant by sharing and sacrificing, and it has set the foundation of what was yet to be learnt by Golden Key NMMU.

This event strengthen our understanding of ALL  our Golden Key Pillars, which is ACADEMICS, by promoting the importance of education, LEADERSHIP, which each member expressed in the involvement with this event. Lasty SERVICE,which truly enlighten our understanding of GIVING BACK.

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Golden Key Disability Unit Tutorship Programme Training

In an endeavour to get more Golden Key members participating in activities and assist them in gaining invaluable experience whilst at NMMU, the GK NMMU Chapter started a new tutor’s programme in partnership with the NMMU Disability Unit.

The tutorship programme seeks to assist GK members in gaining experience that count towards two of the Golden Key pillars namely, Academics and Service. As this is a voluntary programme, Golden Key will recognise such service on the new Co-Curricular Record (CCR) which will be part of each student’s official NMMU academic record. This will prove that while being at NMMUGK members took time to assist fellow students and participated in activities other than their personal studies. Potential learning areas for each GK member includes improved time management skills, becoming adaptable in working with people from different backgrounds, who may have different abilities. The idea is to make our GK members as marketable and as employable as possible.

The GK executive committee and fellow GK members attended two training workshops in order to equip them with skills to fulfil their tasks as potential GK Tutors. The first training workshop, Diversity in Communication, on 2 March was facilitated by NMMU Student Counselling which concentrated on respect for diverse cultures and breaking stereotypes and prejudices. The second workshop held on 8 March was called Disability Etiquette and was hosted by the Disability Unit. It equipped the GK members with skills to work with disabled student while being sensitive to their individual needs.

GK members have also become DU volunteers. They have the opportunity to scribe for disabled students which means that they assist students to write tests by reading and writing for them. The GK Tutor programme is a pilot project which we hope will continue for years to come.


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NMMU Make a Pledge

Golden Key NMMU Chapter pledge calls on all men to take a stand against the prevalence of violence against women. It urges men to examine themselves and take responsibility and be at the forefront of curbing incidents of violence in our society.

 To view a video:

Make a pledge.

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Golden Key South African Summit 2013

The Golden Key 2013 South African Summit was all about: Lead – Inspire – Grow. More than 200 Golden Key members, chapter officers and chapter advisors, nationally and internationally, attended this event at The River Club Conference Centre in Cape Town over the two days, 20 and 21 September. Delegates had the opportunity to network and listen to incredible speakers, attend workshops, engage with corporate representatives and enjoyed an enriching personal experience.

It was an honour and a privilege to have Brad Rainey, Executive Director of Golden Key HQ, and Dr. Derek Swemmer, Chairman of the Golden Key Board of Directors, present at the conference. Golden Key celebrated 13 years of existence in South Africa. The South African staff under the leadership of Charlene Gunter, Director, along with her team, Stephan Gericke, Chapter Relations Officer, and Natasha Maharaj, Membership Services Coordinator, are pleased with the Summit and wish every delegate all the best with their future endeavours.

The first day of the conference started with the official welcoming to the conference. The key note speakers on day 1 were Marlene le Roux, a Director at Artscape, who shared her life history as women’s activist during the Apartheid history and her personal struggle with polio. Later, Travis Gale, Director of Appletree, spoke about his personal life experiences and how to equip yourself with personal motivation and drive to succeed in life. He peddled over 16500km’s through 4 continents to raise R1.7 million for children living with HIV/Aids in KwaZulu-Natal in 2000 and how he survived the tsunami in 2004.

Day 2 involved key note addresses from Prof. Charl Cilliers, Director: Centre for Student Counselling and Development at the University of Stellenbosch, who had every individual on their toes with his inspirational message of Essential skills to flourish in life. And lastly, Cathy Sims, founding member and Executive Director of SAGRA (the South African Graduate Recruiters Association), shared her wisdom on graduate recruitment and development based on her extensive Talent Management history.

All of our speakers were incredible! The following workshops were presented by guests and delegates over the two days:

• Managing and engaging chapter members at a distance – Colt Tallent, George Ureke and Amanda Wilson
• Using knowledge processes to Lead-Inspire-Grow organizations: practical applications of theory – Melissa Altimirano, Janis Davis, Joshua Moore and Debbie White
• Intercultural competence: It’s significance in the globalized world – Tariro Anifasi and Tafadzwa Kachara
• Dialogue as a conversational and leadership tool for social change – Mbavhalelo Sundani
• Tverpia: exploring cultures – Dr. Derek Swemmer
• Life in, out and after varsity – Sisi Kubheka, Tatiana Latilla and Katie Mathebula
• Networking and Mentorship – Daniel Bumblauskas
• 10 Steps to Career Success – Beverley Hancock
• Considering Social Entrepreneurship – Dr Sanele Poswa
• Starting in Canada – Making a global impact with service projects – Derek Zhang and Phyllis Tang
• Social Entrepreneurship: Leadership for social change in the 21st century – Nyarai Chirinda
• The fear of the youth to start investigating – Mbavhalelo Sundani and Billy Tshanjane
• The psychology of civic engagement and pro-social behavior – Prof Christopher Walther

Professional development in the form of a Career Expo along with a networking lunch was held with the following representative: Oasis Group Holdings, Bain & Company, Exxaro, TeachMe2, Standard Chartered, PWC, Human Alliance and Rotman School of Management. To support the Service pillar of Golden Key , a service Initiative in co-operation with the Western Cape Golden Key chapters (University of the Western Cape, University of Cape Town and University of Stellenbosch) partnered with Nooitgedacht Primary School. We made 800 stationary bags filled with a ruler, pencils, a pen and highlights and 300 colour-in books along with crayons and educational posters. The Principal, Mr Carolissen, attended the service project and handing over.

An Awards Gala Great Gatsby Themed Dinner concluded the Summit in style! We recognised all our active and hard-working, committed chapters, announced the Chapter Standards and awarded special Recognition Awards to those chapters who go far beyond their goals. The slogan was: “Great Role models Engage Actively Together. Great Actions Transform Success Beyond Yourself.” It was truly a wonderful experience and many new friendships and connections were made.

You can find even more photos on the Facebook group:

Not only did members from South Africa attend, but there was also an international presence as members from North America and the Asia-Pacific region attended. Amanda Wilson, the American Public University GK Chapter Advisor, traveled with two student officers to attend and present. Amanda described her favorite part of the Summit: “I was attending a presentation about social change. After just having toured the country-side, driving through the townships and experiencing the magic of South African culture, I sat watching the future leaders (i.e., the top 15% of students in the country) devise plans to enact change that included integrating service into their communities to make a difference; teaching people to advocate for the value of education; and brainstorming ways to utilize their natural resources in a responsible and efficient way as a country. The passion of the presenters, the activity in the audience, and the overall synergy of everyone at the Golden Key conference was absolutely beautiful and inspiring! They believe, like Nelson Mandela said, that education could change the world, and that’s what was happening, right before my very eyes.”

Read more about Amanda’s journey here. Nearly 20 Golden Key members were awarded $2,000 each to attend with our South Africa Conference Travel Grants.

Check back on the blog tomorrow and throughout the week for highlights on some of the travel grant winners’ experiences! Share this:

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2013 Asia-Pacific Travel Grant Winner: Kenechukwu Ikebuaku from UWC

It was a memorable time attending the Asia-Pacific conference 2013 with the theme ‘Get Connected’.

The conference registration took place on the 7th from 12:00 till 16:00. Then a welcome to Adelaide BBQ held from 16:00 till 18:00. The official opening featured Lewis O’Brien, Professor Joanne Wright, Lieutenant Governor  Hieu Van Le and Brad Rainey.

After the opening ceremony, the delegates embarked on an Amazing race which helped them to get acquainted with the Adelaide CBD.

The opening keynote was the inspirational Sam Cawthorn. He highlighted the important role of positive thinking and bouncing forward. According to Sam, “it is not your condition but you decision that determines who you are”.

On the second day the focus was on professional development and the participation of many companies and partner organisations provided a very valuable day for delegates through workshops, an Expo, a keynote from Curtis Walter (Interview of Stature) and a Careers Panel.

In the afternoon a more altruistic topic of community service showed delegates the importance of continuing their GK community service initiatives. Graham Jaeschke, General Manager South Australia for the Smith Family, gave a great insight into their programs and impact.

On Saturday Rachael Robertson talked about her amazing experience leading a 12 month Antarctic expedition. And later journalist George Negus summarized the biggest global changes of the last 25 years before leading a panel on the topic of ‘Affluenza’.

The Conference ended with a fun night at the National Wine Centre where delegates dressed for the theme of colour-blocking.

During the dinner, I performed an extraordinary poem titled: Now that you have been connected”. I wrote this poem for the event.

Overall, I had a great time meeting new people and learning new things.

Truly I have been connected.


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ISLP Int'l Relations & Diplomacy Feedback, China - Elizabeth Bagley

I attended the Diplomacy and International Relations Programme in China in June. It was an excellent programme and very well put together. Kevin, our Chinese guide, was outstanding. I thought there was a good balance between the university visits and the tourist attractions. A particular highlight for me was visiting the primary school in rural Xi'an. I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many interesting students from all over the world. A great deal was packed into a fairly short timeframe and I would have preferred a little time off, but perhaps that's just because I'm older.

I would definitely recommend the programme to other GK members.

Elizabeth Bagley

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ISLP Int'l Diplomacy Feedback, China - Alexandra Higgins

I attended the international Diplomacy programme in China. It was an amazing experience and to be honest I can really only identify positive aspects. It was very well organised, with interesting activities that I felt provided a good balance between tourist and academic activities. Coming from South Africa I was introduced to an area I had previously not engaged with in terms of international politics and the way this works. I felt the programme encouraged long lasting friendships and truly was a phenomenal learning experience, one that I was able to grow from. Another important positive element I feel important to mention is that I constantly felt safe in China due to the organisation of the programme.

All in all it offered interesting challenges and I felt those running the programme made it all the more easier to face those challenges. I found no negative aspects with this opportunity and would happily recommend it to other golden key members. I hope to work with the ISLP at some point in the future as a result of the fantastic experience I had.

In terms of a quote I follow, "Have the courage to believe in yourself and follow your heart".

Thank you again for the wonderful opportunities Golden Key provides and I hope the festive season was a good one. All the best for the New Year.

Alexandra Higgins

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ISLP Business Delegation, USA Feedback from Willem van Lienden

I attended the ISLP's student delegation on business to the USA in June 2012. A programme of the events we attended and participated in is attached.

This programme was very well organised and very informative. Our group leaders (facilitators) were professional, respectful and intelligent and showed a real interest in every student and his/her background. There is a lot to be learned from students from other countries and the discussions we had about living conditions, cultures and traditions, and the way each of our countries conduct business, were extremely interesting (in some cases eye-opening). Being exposed to different cultures (even on a small scale such as this) is an invaluable experience and will help each person understand that we are all different and think differently about various topics.

There were no negative experiences during the trip. Students are allowed to roam free in their spare time and soak up their environment, experiencing first-hand the people of the USA. Our accommodation was first class, and two more than adequate meals a day were provided for.

During the first week we visited the Capitol, White House and Smithsonian Museums in Washington D.C. and experienced the pride and history of the people of the USA. New York was probably the most memorable experience for me. Go to Times Square, Central Park or just walk the streets of Manhattan and one understands why this is such a great city. Visit the World Trade Center site, walk down Wall St, as well as go up the Empire State Building for the most magical view of the city.

The cultural extension option is a must do. Much more relaxed than the first week and an opportunity to experience student life at UCLA as well as go the beach in Santa Monica. And of course, there's a tour of Hollywood and Universal Studios LA - amazing!

I would absolutely recommend this programme to fellow GK members.

"A unique opportunity to travel and see the world while enriching your understanding of global business cultures and customs. An unforgettable experience!"

Willem van Lienden

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Welcome to Stephan Gericke - New SA GK Staff member

Please welcome Stephan Gericke to the Golden Key South African Team! Based on his academic background, experience in leadership, managerial and networking positions, as well as his prior involvement with Golden Key he will be a beneficial contributor to the South African operations. Welcome Stephan! Some background on Stephan: He has been involved in Golden Key for several years since 2007. He was a recipient of the Chapter Award at the Golden Key New Member Ceremony and he soon became a committee member at the University of Pretoria Chapter where he served on various portfolios. For the term 2009 – 2010 he served as the Chapter President at UP and was appointed CoSM for South Africa. He was fortunate to attend the International conferences/summits and represented a thriving chapter at both events: New Orleans in 2008, and Orlando in 2009. In 2012 he received the Golden Key Study Abroad Award to support his MPhil studies in Music and Science at the University of Cambridge, UK.

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Farewell – Hope Khoza

31 July 2012 marked the end of Hope Khoza, Chapter Relations Officer career at Golden Key South Africa. Hope accepted a position at SIFE and we wish her all the best with her future endeavours.

The SA Office Staff Farewell message to Hope:
Hope has been a valuable asset to Golden Key for the past 3 years and 6 months in her capacity as Chapter Relations Officer. She has been a role model to the officers, a motivator and inspiration to the chapters keeping the spirit on campus alive. She was always professional in all she did. She was a true brand ambassador to the Society on and off campus. Hope has been my right-hand lady over the years and lifted a weight of my shoulders when she started in 2009. She was a pillar of strength I always could depend on. No task was too much to ask and I trusted her with all the GK activities and tasks she performed and carried out. Even though she was a colleague - we became true friends and our special travel-chats will be missed.
It was a pleasure to work with her and I took pride in it and watched her grow.

I, on behalf of the SA team, wish her all the best with her new role. Hope - May good fortune, prosperity and success always be on your path. You deserve the best, always.
GK Greetings, Charlene Gunter

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