The Chemical Engineering Class of 2005’s Zama Cele has fond memories of her time at MUT when she served in the ANCYL SASCO and as the Chairperson of the Young Women’s Network (YWN). She also remembers entering the Miss MUT beauty pageant and making it to the top 5. She was a very busy student, hosting events and working during SRC elections, yet she had lots of fun which helped her realise many of her hidden talents.
After completing her diploma, Zama worked as a Process Technician at Industrial Oleochemical Products for three years. She then studied further and graduated with a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering. She moved to Chemical Initiatives and worked there as a Trainee Engineer for 18 months. While there, she did a B.Tech in Operations Management as well as a certificate in Project Management. Further studies enhanced her skills and provided her with many opportunities in the chemical engineering sector, including working for Unilever as a Process Development Engineer and working for Mondi Merebank as a Process Engineer.
After gaining all this experience and training, Zama ventured out on her own and started a health and wellness company called Vico Health and Wellness. She is now a full-time entrepreneur servicing the private and public sector with corporate wellness programmes, wellness days, team building events and workshops, and wellness coaching. Her passion for the health and wellness industry started when she was still employed full-time in the corporate sector and did direct selling part-time with the Aloe Vera Company, which makes natural health and wellness products.
“I also started a Process Engineering Company called Vicochem Engineering Solutions in 2013. The services included the design and installation of rainwater harvesting systems, as well as designing water conservation systems for industries. This hardly took off; the company did just one project and couldn’t keep up since I was working full-time. But since I am now doing business full time, this is one area that I plan to go back to. I feel my engineering skills have to be utilised in something that will help me build a legacy for generations to come,” said Zama. She cautioned current MUT students that doing business requires one’s full attention.
The Celes spent a relaxed Saturday over a picnic and a soccer tournament and got the chance to reconnect with old friends, meet the vice-chancellor and his family and chat to the MUT Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, about their journey as MUT students and how that has shaped their lives as adults. The Celes have been together on this journey which started at MUT for eighteen years, and are blessed with three kids aged 11, 7 and 5.