Sesona Mjuleni Young maritime student aims to break the gender bias at sea!

With fewer than ten percent of the students being women, it’s more surprising to find a young woman from landlocked Somerset East breaking into the Maritime industry!


Western Cape, South Africa – The specialist field of Maritime Studies doesn’t reflect our current world, where we are striving for gender equality. With fewer than ten percent of students being women in this field of studies, it is even more surprising to find a young girl from landlocked Somerset East at the helm.

“I want to go to sea and work as a navigating officer until I reach chief mate, which will take about ten years. The chief mate is just below captain; you’re the captains ‘, right-hand man’. The industry is very male-dominated, out of 110 maritime students in my class, only 9 are girls,” explained Sesona Mjuleni, a second-year student at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, studying towards a National Diploma in Maritime Studies (Navigation) and a Cookhouse Wind Farm scholarship beneficiary.

She continued explaining that this field is so male-dominated that China do not even permit women to study Maritime.

“This male-dominated environment will most definitely be a challenge for me once I start going on to the ships and possibly working my way up. I do find it quite intimidating, and a lot of men keep saying to me ‘what is a pretty girl like you studying this’ or ‘the sea is no place for a woman’.” 

But this has not stopped Sesona from pushing on. Her life has not been easy, but she is determined and passionate about a life at sea. She has a ten-year plan mapped out that includes a stint in Maritime Law when she has completed her ten years at sea, or perhaps even career as a Harbour Master.

“I always wanted to drive something, maybe become a pilot or drive a locomotive. When I told my teacher about this, he suggested that I look into Maritime studies. I initially signed up to do Aviation, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to make the interview. I didn’t let this get me down, and I took this as a sign that I was meant to look at Maritime studies. I have loved every minute of it since making this decision,” says Sesona.

She is one of twelve scholarship recipients from REISA Solar Farm, Umoya Energy Wind Farm and Cookhouse Wind Farm that spent part of their winter term holiday attending programmes that are designed to equip students with necessary skills required for them to be successful students and to address real-life problems in a collaborative way and prepare for the so-called 21st century learning.

“For many young people, being awarded a scholarship is often the only option available for after-school education. However, we like to support our learners with more than just financial assistance as it is often life skills and emotional integration that lead to unnecessary stress and dropouts,” explained Elton Gordon, Community Operations Manager for Cookhouse Wind Farm.

The Cookhouse Wind Farm Scholarship Programme was launched four years ago to provide tertiary education funding for youth. The focus is to contribute towards human resource development in fields considered critical for the South African economy.

Sources: Cookhouse Wind Farm Scholarship Programme | Sesona Mjuleni 
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens or share your good news with us by clicking here
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:
Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African. 

Facebook Comments

Brent Lindeque
About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *