Sinqobile Nkabinde, 32, who was born and grew up in Isipingo and went to school in Umlazi, KZN, took the honours in the Transport, Logistics and Security category which was held in Johannesburg on Thursday last week.
Nkabinde is the chief engineering technician at the Port of East London, a port which had two of the five finalists in the category the other person being the deputy port engineer, Kwazelela Kwazi’ Mcetywa. The only other port to feature with a finalist was the Port of Saldanha.
The awards recognise young talented employees in the 28 to 40-year age category across a variety of industries and leading organisations throughout the country.
Nkabinde’s port manager, Sharon Sijako, is naturally chuffed at the honour that reflects on the port. In congratulating him, she called it a fantastic achievement for a young professional from South Africa’s second smallest port to have beaten hundreds of other entries.
“We are very proud of him and glad to have played a small role in his development thus far. We also congratulate Kwazi on being among the finalists,” she said.
Soon after being announced the winner, Nkabinde described it as an overwhelming feeling. “I was not expecting it, but I am thrilled to have won after various stages of the awards process.”
He described the interviews in particular as “grilling” and said that when he’d completed his, he had no idea where he stood.
“Three panelists interrogated my personal leadership style, my values, ethics and behaviour. There was also a case study which examined the business decisions you would make if you were the director of the company in question.”
In addition, the finalists had to compile an essay outlining their personal attributes, strengths, weak nesses, vulnerabilities and how they are working to address each of these. He said that it was a challenge to juggle the process with his busy workload however he worked on his awards submissions on weekends and after hours.
“This is the biggest highlight of my career so far and I’m looking forward to the networking opportunities it will bring, as well as the opportunity to mentor other young professionals entering the work place.” Nkabinde joined the Port of East London in June 2014.
He is a professional engineering technologist registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa ECSA .
After completing high school at Umlazi Comtech High School, he graduated from Durban University of Technology with a N Diploma and then a B Tech in Civil Engineering in 2013.
Newly married with one daughter, he and his young family now regard East London as home.
He plans to build further on his expertise by pursuing a Masters in coastal engineering. His career began in Durban at WBHO as a quality assurance officer for the airside team at King Shaka International Airport.
He then ventured into road construction as a site agent and was involved in implementing and managing an EPWP Expanded Public Works Programme pilot project for eThekwini Municipality, which employed more than 80 people and in 2012/13 was recognised as the Environmental Engineering Project of the Year at the South African Institution of Civil Engineering SAICE National Awards.
This was prior to his joining Transnet and finding himself at East London.
“I wasn’t familiar with the maritime industry even while growing up in Durban, and my first exposure to the field came when I moved to East London,” he says.
“My journey to the finals for the 2018 Standard Rising Stars Awards began with receiving a nomination from my manager, Owen Hensburg, Senior Engineer. It was a real honour and privilege to receive such a nomination,” he says.
Article source: Mercury Network
By Terry Hutson
Image source: google images