Less than 10 years after leaving school, 28 year-old Musa Mbakaza has become the Lawhill Maritime Centre’s fourth former student to obtain his internationally-recognised Master’s Certificate of Competency (Unlimited), the qualification which permits him to command a ship of any size.
Mbakaza is currently serving as Chief Officer on board Safmarine containerships within the A.P Moller-Maersk Group. He joined Safmarine as a cadet immediately after completing his studies, and graduating cum-laude, from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
He was introduced to Simon’s Town School’s Lawhill maritime studies programme through a family friend in Springs, Gauteng, and has since inspired other students from his home town of Welkom in the Free State to follow in his footsteps.
A further two former Lawhill students are expected to obtain their Master’s certificates in 2015.
Since its inception, more than 300 young South Africans have passed through the Lawhill programme, many of them pursuing successful careers in the maritime industry, either ashore or at sea, while others have gone on to make their mark in other industries.
By providing 15 to 17 year old students with specialised knowledge and skills in their last three years of secondary schooling, the Lawhill Maritime Centre at Simon’s Town School has, for the past 20 years, made it possible for hundreds of young South Africans to embark on successful careers in the maritime and other industries.