Khaya Matiso 2017

Khaya Matiso was born in Keiskammahoek [Qobo-Qobo] near King Williams Town on 10 April 1960.

The son of a domestic worker, he lost his father at the age of one and his mother became his mentor, giving him his life skills. Her motto was “Ndingafundanga nje, ndiyakubafundisa abantwana bam“ meaning “I am not educated, but I will educate my children“.

He attended Lower Gxulu Primary School and wrote matric at Nathaniel Pamla High School in Peddie.

After school, Khaya went to work at Leslie Gold Mines for a period of six months. In 1981, he enrolled at Fort Hare University but was expelled in 1982. He then completed his first degree (in Psychology) at Vista University in 1985, becoming one of the first group of students to graduate from Vista. In 1986, he went to Rhodes University to do a Higher Diploma in Education, and for the first time, was in  class with white students! He likes to reminisce about this experience with his classmate, Mcebisi Jonas, the former Deputy Minister of Finance.

Khaya was one of the Eastern Cape detainees who passed a postgraduate qualification in prison during the 1988 hunger strike which ultimately led to the release of all detainees and the eventual release of Nelson Mandela in 1990.

After completing his Postgraduate Diploma in International Studies from Rhodes in 1989 he enrolled for a Bed degree which he completed on a part-time basis in 1993. The positions he held during this time focussed mainly on teaching and academic work but also included a spell as a Personnel Officer at Volkswagen.

In June 1997, he took up the position of Executive Director of Student Services at the former University of Port Elizabeth and then moved on to become Campus Principal of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Missionvale Campus, a position he held for five years. In July 2011, he was appointed as Dean of Students at NMMU. On 1 June 2014, he took up his current position of College Principal at the Port Elizabeth Technical and Vocational Education & Training College.

In the early 2000’s he continued to study and completed a BTech Business Managemnet and an MBA, both from the former PE Technikon.

During Khaya’s illustrious career, he formed part of a delegation that publically defied the house arrest regulations, and visited the ANC in Zimbabwe. In 1990 he was appointed as Regional Director of the South African Council on Higher Education (SACHED) Trust and during his stint on the Board, numerous literacy campaigns for workers and poor communities were launched.  He was appointment by the late Professor Kader Asmal, former Minister of Education, as a member of the first National Board of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

He served on the Black Management Forum’s National Board from 1996 to 2010 and on the Executive Committee of the South African Association of Student Services Affairs Professionals from 1997 to 2012. He currently serves on the Eastern Cape Sport Federation and the South African Colleges Management Association.

For his loyal and dedicated support of the University and its predecessors, Nelson Mandela Univeristy is honoured to present Khaya Matiso with the Council Prestige Award.