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Junior designer a role model for youth TV show

By Anne Naidu

Thando Nxelewa, Junior Industrial Designer at VUT Science Park, will be encouraging the youth through the SABC's educational show, TOMZ, by sharing his inspirational story.

Nxelewa caught the attention of the producers of the programme who were inspired by the fact that he took his talent and made it work for him.

Having been born in the Eastern Cape and grown up in Gauteng, Nxelewa often wondered about where he would end up and what he would become; would it be a pilot or a doctor?

Then, one day, he stumbled upon his uncle's sketches, and found himself fascinated with a drawing of a sports car among them. He started emulating the drawings and wished to learn how he could bring them to life.

After attending a career exhibition, he discovered that he could further his interest through studying three dimensional design at a tertiary level. After graduating, he applied for a position at the Science Park as an Intern in the Design Department and was later appointed Junior Industrial Designer.

He thoroughly enjoys his job and encourages others to follow their dreams. He is presently working on a project that gives him the opportunity to convert an old idea into something modern using the latest technology (provided to him by the Science Park). He has a mentor who has been especially assigned to him and who follows his progress and offers full support to ensure the success of his project and his career.

State-of-the-art 3D printers have brought his drawings to life and the client is extremely pleased with the work.

There are many such opportunities that are available to students at the VUT Science Park and they are encouraged to take full advantage of turning their dreams into reality.

"If you can dream it, you can make it, so dream big and believe that you can succeed. Don't disregard your dreams, work on it and make it come true," says Nxelewa.

His story will be aired on TOMZ on SABC 1 in the next few months and details will be posted as soon as they become available.