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​​Wits principal enjoys Jozi's cosmopolitan feel​
​​download (26).jpgNongxa, resident in the city since late 2000, finds there is "so much to do" in the city - theatre, music, concerts, jazz, lakes for having picnics. "Eighty percent of leading artists are in Johannesburg," he adds.

​And yet, just 10 kilometres outside Joburg there're game reserves and restaurants, which he enjoys visiting.

He likes being in a place where you'll hear all 11 national languages, and other African languages.

Nongxa was born in Indwe near Queenstown in the Eastern Cape 50 years ago. He attended the University of Fort Hare, where he obtained his BSc (Masters) degree in 1978. He achieved the best undergraduate results in the entire history of the university and was awarded the prestigious Rhodes scholarship, to Oxford, where he obtained a doctorate in mathematics.

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He has taught at several universities: Fort Hare, Lesotho, Natal and Western Cape, where he was appointed professor of mathematics and dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. He has also been visiting research scholar at several American universities.

Wits approached him in 2000, offering him the post of Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research. In 2002 he was appointed vice-principal and in November 2002 he became acting vice-chancellor. In September 2003, in an exuberant ceremony in the Great Hall, he was installed as vice-chancellor of Wits.

Although he let slip that he loves Cape Town - we'll overlook that - Nongxa admits that the fast pace of Jozi doesn't overwhelm him.

"It depends on how you structure your programme. You have to be responsive but not give in to pressure. Most people, business or otherwise, are here. You can get into your car and be with them in 30 minutes."

And for him, it depends on the company that you keep, in the big city. You could go for the latest car, the trendiest holiday, or you could just take a drive out into the countryside, and pull up at a country restaurant, and enjoy your meal.

He'll be doing that for the next 10 years, the duration of his new appointment, with his wife and three children.​

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