Focus on what lies aheadXolani Tshayana from Volkswagen spoke to Mechatronics student Fundiswa Kopi about herself and the course that she is studying.

Tell us about yourself and your family backgroundI am currently doing my final year in a Bachelor degree of Mechatronics. I am an only child and formerly staying with my mother.

The family in total is a family of 9, with me, my grandmother, an aunt, and five uncles. My grandfather passed away when I was in grade 3. I began school at Mngcunube Primary School, then went to Steven Nkomo Higher Primary School, and then matriculated at Solomon Mahlangu High School.

Since I am being raised by a single mother I was very fortunate after my matric to obtain a scholarship from Merseta. This scholarship that is funding my studies pays for everything, which is why now I am able to boldly say that I am doing my final year in Mechatronics.


Mechatronics integrates mechanical and electrical engineering skills with information technology and informatics.The Merseta provides bursaries for these areas of study:University degrees:* B.Sc/B.Eng Engineering – Electrical (light and heavy current); Electronic; chemical; metallurgy and materials; mechatronics; industrial* B-Tech Production Management * B.Sc Materials

University Postgraduate* Management and Executive Leadership programmes

University of Technology Undergraduate (Semester courses)i) National Diploma – Chemical/electrical/mechanical/industrial Engineering; engineering metallurgy; production management; polymer technology ii) B. Technology * Chemical/electrical (light and heavy current) Engineering * Engineering Metallurgy * Polymer Technology iii) Sales and Marketing Program* Level 1 – Sales and Marketing Certificate * Level 2 – Higher Certificate in Sales and Marketing * Diploma in Marketing * BBA Degree level

Contact Merseta on:Head Office 011 484 9310Eastern Cape 041 363 0117Free State/N Cape 051 430 1263Gauteng and N West 011 551 5200KZN 031 208 4600MP and Limpopo 013 692 4616W Cape 021 914

In which year did you start at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University?My first year was in 2005.

How did you become part of this project and what convinced you to choose this path?When I was in matric I received an application form for a bursary being offered by Merseta and I filled it in and submitted it. In January the following year they told me I must write some assessment tests.

After the tests I received a call letting me know that I have to go for an interview and I went to it and everything went well. I received a call that afternoon telling me that I had been accepted for the bursary.

Mechatronics Degree is a new qualification altogether. Tell us about your experience since your first year.In the beginning things were really challenging. I was really shaken by this course.

At some point I went home and told my mother “I can’t take it, I’m going to quit”.But she convinced me otherwise and told me that it is only my first year and things will get better.

So, I decided to give Mechatronics a chance even though during that time I had to accept the fact that for the first time I was really failing. I tried my best and worked extra hard so that things could get better and eventually they did.

I mustered a certain technique with regards to learning and it has been working since then. I still think Mechatronics is quite challenging but with a little bit of faith anything is possible.

How have Volkswagen and General Motors treated you during your vocational periods there?At Volkswagen they are teaching us how it will be when we get to work there and I can say that it is not going to be easy; a lot of hard work will need to be done. The training offered is up to standard and the company also pays us transport money.

How did you manage the freedom of staying alone in the varsity and the peer pressure?I am still learning how to stay by myself. I am an only child so I am used to being with my mother. Peer pressure has always been there and sometimes you fall but the important thing is getting up and not staying down.

How do you feel now that this is your last year of studying?I am very scared and at the same time glad that this is my final year. I am looking forward to the greater things that will be coming my way.

What are you planning to do for your mother once you start working?If I could write everything then the list would be very long, but the most important is: a brand new house (fully furnished), have her visit the rest of the country and then take it from there.

What can you advise your fellow colleagues who are still studying?Not to give up, to persevere and to be strong. When the going gets tough they must get going and not focus on the failures but what lies ahead.

Gxila kwingomuso!UFundiswa Kopi osemusha waba nenhlanhla enkulu ngokuthola umfundaze wesikhungo sezokuqeqesha sakwa-Merseta ukuze aye kofunda ubunjiniyela be-mechatronics eNelson Mandela University, esePort Elizabeth. Manje wenza unyaka wakhe wokugcina futhi uthi bekungelula kepha “okuyiyona nto ebalulekile ukuvuka uthathe ezakho, ungasali ulele”.

Fokus op wat voorlê!Jong Fundiswa Kopi was gelukkig genoeg om ‘n Merseta-beurs te kry om megatroniese ingenieurswese by die Nelson Mandela-Universiteit in Port Elizabeth te studeer.Sy is nou in haar finale jaar, en sy sê dit was nie maklik nie, maar “die belangrike ding is om op te staan en jou nie te laat onderkry nie”.

Tsepamiso ya maikutlo ho seo o tobaneng le sona ka pele!Motjha ya bitswang Fundiswa Kopi o bile lehlohonolo ha a ne a fumana basari ya Merseta ho ya ithutela mechatronics mane Nelson Mandela University e Port Elizabeth.Jwale o se a etsa lemo sa hae sa ho qetela moo, mme yena o itse ha ya ka ya ba ntho e bonolo empa “ntho ya bohlokwa e bile ho ema ka maoto a iketsetse ho en ale ho dula fatshe o sa etse lethoâ€.


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