UKZN Students to Perform LOVE, CRIME and JOHANNESBURG

UKZN Students to Perform LOVE, CRIME and JOHANNESBURG
UKZN Drama and Performance students will perform LOVE, CRIME and JOHANNESBURG at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

The UKZN Drama and Performance Studies Programme at the Howard College campus is staging its annual showcase production.  This year, the students will perform Junction Avenues’ award winning play LOVE, CRIME and JOHANNESBURG at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 27 September to 01 October.

LOVE, CRIME and JOHANNESBURG features senior students of the programme in a finely crafted theatre adventure directed by Drama lecturer Ms Kamini Govender.

Known for her own stand-up comedy and her finely tuned and socially edgy performances, Govender was drawn to LOVE, CRIME and JOHANNESBURG because ‘It still speaks to us today! I love the witty and humorous way in which the play tackles really serious issues and how it reminds us to laugh at the painful irony of the political state of our nation.’

Govender has worked with a cast of 24 young actors and dancers in a revised version of the play that includes song, dance and slam poetry interwoven into the original story. A simple set reflects the wealth and poverty that coexists in the multifaceted city of Johannesburg - a city that is a microcosm and a poetic symbol for all our disappointments, delusions and dreams.

Her approach to directing the play has been influenced by Sigh the Beloved Country’s, author Bongani Madondo who writes, ‘South Africa is exhausting. What we never say enough, though, is that South Africa is also enchanting, complex, beautiful, confident, unsure, insecure, and spirit-roiling. It is both a magical and crippling country.’  Govender adds, ‘I hope my version of LOVE, CRIME and JOHANNESBURG will reflect this.’ 

The play, famously takes on Bertolt Brecht’s ironic conundrum that states, ‘Why bother to rob a bank, when you can own a bank?’ Central to LOVE, CRIME and JOHANNESBURG is the character of Jimmy “Long Legs” Mangane, a people’s poet involved in the struggle and who is now accused of robbing a bank.

He passionately asserts his innocence, claiming to work for the “secret secret service”. Lewis, his old friend and comrade from the struggle, now owns a bank. How did this happen? The man of the struggle is now a man of accounts. Added to the mix is an old-style gangster, two girlfriends, a Jewish mother and a very unusual Chief of Police.

For Govender, the play’s protagonist Jimmy “Longlegs” Mangane represents not just a broken individual but a corrupted political ideology. She says, ‘At a time of political upheaval and social scepticism, contemporary South Africa dances on the edge of its own revolution or dissolution – with blatant corruption, increasing violence and frustration dominating our news – we have curled ourselves into a society of exhausted question marks.

‘Set in Johannesburg, this play explores the crossing between the citizens and the state; contrasting the corporate crime, the unspeakable cruelties toward the vulnerable and the – sometimes - quiet kindnesses shown toward each other in the city.’

The play originally won the 2000 Vita Award for best script of a new South African play, and this revision of LOVE, CRIME and JOHANNESBURG is sure to enchant and entertain contemporary audiences. Not to be missed! 

The play runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 27 to 30 September @ 7.00pm and with a matinee on 30 September and 1 October at 3pm. Tickets can be bought at R50 each on the night via the Box Office from one hour before the show begins.

Words by: Melissa Mungroo


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UKZN hosts 2017 John Langalibalele Dube Memorial Lecture

UKZN hosts 2017 John Langalibalele Dube Memorial Lecture
Dr Maureen Tong (third left) with Mr Zenzele Dube (fourth left) and staff from the College of Humanities.

UKZN’s School of Education and the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics (SRPC), in collaboration with the University Language Planning and Development Office and the JL Dube Institute recently hosted the annual John Dube Memorial Lecture at the New Conference Centre, Edgewood campus.

The lecture titled: Violence on and through the Land, Violence on Women’s Bodies: Evoking John Langalibalele Dube’s Voice in Contemporary Debates was delivered by Dr Maureen Tong, the CEO of Coach Companion South Africa.

John Dube was the first president of the African National Congress (ANC) and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

In her lecture, Tong began with a historical account of land dispossession while looking at the various acts and bills passed in this regard. She addressed land dispossession in relation to women; the continuing legacies of colonisation and apartheid; the slow progress towards change and what needs to be done to accelerate programmes targeting access to land, particularly for poor rural women.

She also identified the importance of the role of researchers in writing and investigating the history of women as she feels the system of patriarchy tends to minimise and often ignore the role of women in shaping society. ‘When history is written, it often ignores the role of women or only refers to them as supporters of the male characters being written about,’ said Tong.

She asserts that those working in memory and legacy projects should dedicate time and energy to accurately record the role of women as leaders in their own rights or as shapers of significant milestones in history and human development. ‘In patriarchal society, historians who are often men, tend to look at history through a sexist lens that makes women invisible in the story,’ added Tong. 

She noted that the history of John and Nokutela Dube is intertwined with the history of land dispossession in South Africa, an issue that she feels is yet to be adequately addressed by the post-apartheid government.

‘The post-1994 government had set itself a target of delivering 30% of commercial agricultural land by 2014 and settling all land claims by 2015. Both targets have not been met, less than 10% of land has been delivered as of 31 March 2017, many complicated rural land claims remain unresolved. 

‘The work of Cherif Keita has highlighted the need for researchers and archivists to be more probing to ensure that the contribution of women to significant historical events and milestones does not remain invisible,’ stated Tong.

John Dube’s grandson, Zenzele, who attended the lecture, also believes that teaching history is important particularly for primary school learners as ‘it creates an understanding and appreciation of those that changed the course of history for the betterment of people. Our history should be proudly and accurately told by us.’

Words by: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph by: Albert Hirasen


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Professor Colleen Downs Awarded SA-Canada Trilateral Chair

Professor Colleen Downs Awarded SA-Canada Trilateral Chair
Professor Colleen Downs.

Professor Colleen Downs, South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Ecosystem Health and Biodiversity in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, has been awarded a Trilateral Research Chair through an initiative jointly funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF).

The new South Africa-Canada Research Chairs Initiative is made up of the South Africa-Canada Research Chairs Trilateral Partnership Initiative and the South Africa-Canada Research Chairs Mobility Initiative.  This initiative seeks to invest in the development of research in sub-Saharan Africa through the establishment of trilateral partnerships involving researchers from Canada, South Africa, and another sub-Saharan African country.

Selected from a large pool of strong proposals, the South Africa-Canada-Uganda project in which Downs is involved was awarded CA $ 1 million for up to five years. Downs and colleagues Professor Colin Chapman (McGill University), and Patrick Omeja (Makerere University Biological Field Station, Uganda) will focus on human-wildlife interactions impacting the rural poor of tropical countries.

Omeja has extensive experience as a researcher and has collaborated previously with Chapman, who is well known for his far-ranging research in Uganda, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Downs has been recognised nationally and globally for her work in biology, and is consistently named the top-published female academic at UKZN.

‘This grant is allowing us to do multifaceted forest research work in Uganda (mainly Kibali) and South Africa,’ said Downs.

‘Hopefully this will help address climate change and human wildlife conflict issues,’ she said. ‘It also fosters research co-operation and student training/development between Canada, Uganda and South Africa, which is great.’

‘This collaboration marks a huge leap forward in terms of building stronger linkages between Canadian and South African researchers. It is an example of how we can innovate in the way we collaborate and fund research,’ said Jean Lebel, President of IDRC.

‘Our approach is a fundamental expression of our collective belief in the essential role that research can and has to play, and the necessity of partnership to leverage our complementary strengths,’ said Dr Molapo Qhobela, the CEO of the NRF.

Words and photograph by: Christine Cuénod


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UKZN Academic to Head Up ARTiculate Africa Literary Festival

UKZN Academic to Head Up ARTiculate Africa Literary Festival
Mr Darryl Earl David will head up the exciting ARTiculate Africa Literary Festival.

UKZN Academic Mr Darryl Earl David will head up the exciting ARTiculate Africa Literary Festival to be held at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) from 29 September to 01 October. ‘This will be the literary festival of 2017, nothing will come close to it,’ gushes Festival curator David, founder of SA’s national booktown in the Karoo.

According to David, ARTiculate Africa is no ordinary festival. It carries the dreams of the city that is bidding to become Africa’s first UNESCO City of Literature and will see Durban join cities such as Prague, Edinburgh, Dublin, Baghdad and Reykjavik. The Festival therefore, whilst remaining loyal to Durban writers, also aims to become South Africa’s premier international literary festival.

Some of the literary giants billed to speak at the Festival are Sunday Times Fiction Prize winners – Sifiso Mzobe (Young Blood); Masanda Ntshanga (The Reactive), the 2017 Alan Paton Prize winner Greg Marinovich who will talk about his book on Marikana and Bongani Madondo of Sigh the Beloved Country, a 2017 finalist for the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Literature Prize.

Nationally renowned writers Jonathan Jansen, Fred Khumalo and Afrikaans writers Etienne van Heerden and Deon Meyer will also be at ARTiculate Africa. Other participants will be Deepak Panday (Kings of Durban), Professor Ashwin Desai and Dr Gcina Mhlophe.

A new biography on acclaimed Durban playwright Ronnie Govender will be launched by the President of the English Academy Rajendra Chetty. While Lindiwe Hani will speak on her life as the daughter of Chris Hani.

On the international front ARTiculate Africa is proud to announce the participation of Chris Abani, one of the giants on the American literary scene, and Christopher Merrill, Director of Iowa’s Creative Writing Programme that has nurtured some of the world’s greatest writers.

‘The Festival will also host two of New Zealand’s top female writers Catherine Chidgey, winner of this year’s top fiction prize in New Zealand and Maori writer Paula Morris. These are just some of the 80 strong line up that will make this year’s ARTiculate Africa Book Festival a page turner!’ said David.

Words by: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph by:  Supplied by the Luvvie


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“I’m Deaf, What’s Your Superpower?”

“I’m Deaf, What’s Your Superpower?”
Participants at the Audiology Students’ Deaf Awareness Day.

UKZN’s final year Audiology students recently hosted a Deaf Awareness Day at Kwavulindlebe School for Deaf.

The aim of the event was to commemorate the Deaf Awareness Month which is celebrated internationally during the month of September.

The event also aimed to raise public awareness on issues that deaf people face daily as well as to honour the history and culture of people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

The students held a career expo and sports day with the aim of empowering learners with hearing loss to achieve their goals and to encourage them to aim for success.  The theme for the campaign was: “I’m DEAF…What’s your superpower?”

The learners participated in a variety of sporting codes including sprint, relay, tug of war, sack race, three legged race, balloon race, dribbling race and an indigenous game. Attended by 50 learners and 10 teachers, the programme boasted a number of quality speakers and role models for the children. The speakers related their success stories and provided the learners with information regarding future career paths.

The speakers included Mr Mark Bernard, a hearing impaired rugby coach at Livingston School and a player for the South African Deaf Rugby Union; the Director of Deaf education at DEAFSA, Odette Swift; a Graphic Designer at Vodacom who has had hearing loss since the age of four, Ms Raisah Hoosen; a Job Placement Officer at the KZN Blind and Deaf Society, Mr Alphonce Lehasa and a Social Auxiliary Worker at the KZN Blind and Deaf Society who was born deaf, Ms Gugu Ntini.

The event was organised by the entire fourth year Audiology class.

Words by: Nombuso Dlamini


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CLMS Academic in the Top Performing Researchers List

CLMS Academic in the Top Performing Researchers List
Professor Ziska Fields.

School of Management, IT and Governance academic Professor Ziska Fields is among the Top 30 Published Researchers at UKZN for 2016.

Fields’ research interests focus on creativity and innovation specifically in tertiary education, business environments, entrepreneurship and research. She also developed two theoretical models to measure creativity in South Africa, focusing on the youth and tertiary education specifically.

She has published in internationally recognised journals such as the Journal of Social Sciences with publications looking at measuring creativity in various contexts. She edited two books titled Incorporating Business Models and Strategies into Social Entrepreneurship and Collective creativity for responsible and sustainable business practice.

‘I feel very happy, blessed and extremely thankful to all the researchers, critical readers and editors I collaborated with to make this possible. Without their help, hard work, support and guidance I would not have achieved a position in the Top 30,’ she said.

She is currently editing a book called Preserving Information and Cyber Security in the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is to be released early in 2018.

She is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Responsible Management Education (IJRME) which is focusing on the Principles of Responsible Management Education and working with students on Entrepreneurship and Management research projects to develop them and herself as a researcher.

She has also supervised numerous postgraduate students in the 2016/17 academic year who have sung her praises for her exceptional mentorship and support.

‘I would like to achieve a good NRF rating and improve my research standing through innovative, high quality and high impact publications. I also want to help create a supportive and innovative research and teaching environment for students and academics and hopefully collaborate more with industry experts and internationally recognised researchers’, said Professor Fields.

Words by: Reatlehile Moeti


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The UKZN Griot. Of Dubbing and Translation

The UKZN Griot. Of Dubbing and Translation
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Marketization, Foreignization, Translation. These are terms I have learned during four lengthy visits to China, 2015-2017. Marketization refers to translating Chinese enterprises from the pejorative “faked in China”, an indication of resistant pre-modernity, to “created in China”, an indication of consumerist post-modernity.  Foreignization refers to translating Chinese culture abroad.  And, translation means basically how to enable intercultural communication between China and the world at large.

The practice of translation involves “soft power” as China engages globally, or “Going Abroad”, as its linguists phrase it.

Where South Africa seems to be shedding its foreign language departments, and turning in on itself, China is massively investing in English language programmes and in “Foreign Studies” universities. Business communication, business linguistics and discourse analysis are applied in trying to make sense of that mysterious set of virtual relationships known as “the market”.  The study of advertising and branding is big discourse analysis business, and includes study of how China is branding itself as it emerges out of its slumber.

I was the guest of the Ministry of Culture in June, under whose auspices occurred the 2017 Sino-Foreign Audiovisual Translation & Dubbing Cooperation Workshop, held in Shanghai.  China is the only country in the world where cinema screens are still being continuously built, 45 000 at last 2016 count, up from 1 200 in 2001. The Shanghai Film and TV Market, associated with the Shanghai International Film Festival is an overwhelming  smorgasboard of animation, electronic gizmos and visual effects exhibitions, new technologies and thousands of full length features being pitched, made, and sold.   It was quite dizzying – as is UKZN’s own Durban International Film Festival where local activism often prevails but which does not include a trade exhibition component.

The Chinese cinema dragon is on the rise. Translators, dubbing technicians, directors and producers are all working with the government’s central committee to implement a “Work Plan” to promote Chinese cinema across the globe. Students and academics are actively studying translation in film and TV, e.g., as is offered at the Communication University of China (CUC): theory and history of film translation, sub-titling and dubbing, fansubbing, and translation in the digital age. Students are being trained as dubbing technicians and theorists and thousands of jobs have been created. Chinese film is not being left to chance or the vicissitudes of “the market” as was experienced during the rise of Hollywood in the early 19th Century which coincided with the demise of Hollyveld as a momentary competitor.  The Festival offered an unusual interacting lattice of academics and professionals, analysis and PR, tourism and development.

My experience at the Festival reminded me of some excellent CUC student presentations offered on film translation at a 2015 intercultural communication conference held in Hong Kong, and some of the hilarious mistranslations - especially of a sexual nature - that result.  “Fruitful mishaps” was how one delegate from the California Institute of the Arts put them.  These, she suggested, “aid differance” (as used by the French language deconstructionist, Jacques Derrida).  And, thereby holds an extraordinary tale of Chinese academic and policy ingenuity.

During my 2016 sojourn at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) I interacted with scholars all debating China’s place in the world – through the study of both Chinese and  Western philosophies, going back to Hegel – a 17th Century German scholar and Confucius, who lived two centuries earlier, and whose philosophy fundamentally influenced early American presidents. To understand ‘the West’ my Chinese cultural studies colleagues argued that they needed to understand Western philosophy and how people in the West ‘make sense’.  From a Cultural China standpoint, they were studying how identities form, hybridize and interact. At every conference the question was, how to ‘go global’ peacefully, how to negotiate with America thus, and how to retain a national Chinese identity while acknowledging intercultural difference.  There was no talk of ‘de-colonising’ anything, but of national and cultural re-positioning via the positive principle of ‘differance’.  All the while the hard power spectre of North Korea and America rumbled in the background.

The CASS folks found in British Cultural Studies a means to international negotiation.  Stuart Hall, one of the founding fathers (and a strong supporter of UKZN’s own CCMS) had in the 1960s developed his seminal theory of identity as a moving target by drawing on Derrida’s linguistic deconstructionist concept.  Identity exists in ‘difference’ between cultures, but is popularly taken as fixed and immutable, as in expression like “In my culture, we …” versus its dynamic imperative which admits change and adaptation, mobility and hybridity.  It is the latter relational forms through which China is looking to negotiate its global relations in the post-millennium world.  This is a future-oriented, not a past-oriented, discursive an foreign policy strategy.  It is certainly not a path-dependent victimological one. Blame is not an agenda item. But construction is. No burning, but building.

The Shanghai Translation and Dubbing Festival reminded me of my mid-1970s film career when I co-owned and worked in a 16mm dubbing and sound effects studio in Johannesburg.  I’d cleaned up the sound track on a Devenish/Fugard film, and performed, recorded and edited sound effects on TV dramas.  I knew what was being censored by the dubbing directors contracted to the SABC and I knew how little we actually knew about dubbing and translation.  Now, we know there is now a PhD in the subject at CUC.  The CUC-derived bodies of theory and practice would be a boon to the Afrikaans-and Zulu-language film sectors, with English captions translating Afrikaans and isiZulu dialogue and also into Chinese.

The Festival programme talked about “mutual translation” in the context of mutual appreciation and intercultural understanding.  The week that I departed for China in early June was when the “Belt and Road” initiative, begun in 2015, had grabbed the international headlines.  As part of BRICS, South Africa could be part of this globalising market phenomenon – though we are well off the historical beaten track, tucked away in the deep south, well away from the original Silk east-west roads and maritime routes.  Let’s just hope that we can keep our own country on the financial rails as in contrast to efficient service delivery and corruption-busting China, the Guptoids are dragging South Africa back to new kind of inter-familist colonialism that has nothing to do with mutual co-operation, going abroad or internationalisation at any level. 

China has a strategy.  It is affirming its growing place in the new world order that is emerging.  Translation studies, English language courses and the study of the Western Humanities, in conjunction with fast trains and the Olympics, are top of the agenda. We can in South Africa learn from this big, forward, thinking.  Will the BRICS countries benefit from such planning? The Chinese Ministry of Culture is even borrowing from my own academic travelling as a researcher and published on 11 September 2017 a Chinese translation of this column, along with an earlier English version – see: http://www.cctss.org/show/newsdetail/87431f92fdfb4a2d8d9cdcf1ce3b0743

UKZNdaba is going abroad also.

•   Keyan Tomaselli is a UKZN Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Professor at the University of Johannesburg.   He is also known in China as Ke Yan.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the author’s own.


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Biochemistry Professor to Edit Special Diabetes Issue of Molecules Journal

Biochemistry Professor to Edit Special Diabetes Issue of <em>Molecules</em> Journal
Professor Shahidul Islam.

Professor Shahidul Islam of Biochemistry in UKZN’s School of Life Sciences (SLS) has been appointed as a Lead Guest Editor for a special issue of the international, peer-reviewed European Molecules journal, titled ‘Sugar Substitutes and Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome’.

In his introductory note to a call for submissions, Islam addressed the issue of diabetes being a major global health concern that is increasing at alarming rates. He drew attention to the fact that artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes chosen by diabetic patients are being shown by preliminary studies to have links to negative side effects including increased body weight, insulin resistance and many others.

These substitutes, such as fructose, saccharin, aspartame, cyclamate, sucralose or a combination thereof are chosen due to them having no calorific values and more sweetening power than sucrose. Recent studies have established links between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and side effects ranging from increased body weight to non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, which are linked to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Further scientific information is needed to establish those links in what can be a controversial experimental field, necessitating original research focused on the effects of various sugar substitutes and sweeteners to better understand their beneficial and detrimental effects on health, particularly for diabetics.

Islam is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry with more than nine years’ of teaching experience in Biochemistry and Metabolism. He chairs the Animal Research Ethics Committee (AREC) of the University, and holds a C2 rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF). He is recognised for his expertise in the field of type 2 diabetes and its major contributor: obesity.

He has published seven book chapters, more than 70 full-length articles and one editorial in international peer-reviewed journals. He has also delivered a number of invited lectures around the world, and was a recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Teacher Award in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science. Islam has supervised more than 35 postgraduate students from honours to postdoctoral studies, and teaches undergraduate to honours level classes.

Apart from various anti-diabetic intervention trials, Islam’s research also involves developing better, cost-effective and alternative non-genetic animal models of type 2 diabetes. He has already developed two animal models of type 2 diabetes in use by researchers around the world, with growing global collaborations with institutions like the University of Paris-Diderot. His team’s work on sugar alcohols has also drawn international attention leading to an active collaboration on clinical trials with scientists at St Claraspital Hospital in Switzerland, and their research on medicinal plants is being noted globally. In recognition of his contributions to research on medicinal plants, Islam recently delivered an invited talk at the International Conference on Diabetes and Phytotherapy (ICDP) at Annamalai University, India.

Islam serves on the editorial boards of more than five other international, peer-reviewed journals in his field and was recently invited to participate as a panel member of the National Center of Science and Technology Evaluation of Kazakhstan.

Words by: Christine Cuénod


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GSB&L Academic Tops Young Published Researchers List

GSB&L Academic Tops Young Published Researchers List
Dr Muhammad Hoque.

Graduate School of Business and Leadership academic, Dr Muhammad Hoque has been named as one of the Top 30 Published Researchers and is also ranked first in the Top 10 Young Published Researchers of UKZN for 2016.

‘I am really excited to hear about the news. It was very unexpected as I was competing with rated researchers at our University and to be among the top 30 and being number one in the Young Published Researchers means a lot to me at this very young age of 39,’ said Dr Hoque.

Hoque is a Senior Lecturer and the Academic Leader for Higher Degrees and Research at the School, with vast experience in statistics for which he obtained his Master’s degree at UKZN. He received his PhD in Medical Science from the University of Antwerp, Belgium and his research interests include multivariate analysis, logistic regression, leadership in health, and public health among many topics.

He has received numerous awards for his research work such as; the Best Overall Upcoming Researcher from the University of Limpopo; Young Investigators Award from the 21st Asia Pacific Cancer Conference held in Malaysia in 2011; Travel Scholarship to present research paper at international conferences held in Miami and Lyon in 2014 and 2016 respectively, and received the College Research Award in 2014 and 2016 in recognition of his outstanding research productivity during 2013 and 2015 in the College of Law and Management Studies.

Hoque has published in locally and internationally accredited journals such as PLoS One, African Health Sciences and the Journal of Contemporary Management. He has also presented research papers at conferences both locally and internationally and has graduated numerous masters and doctoral degree students under his supervision.

Hoque is currently working on a research project with an international collaborator on substance abuse among university students and has plans to work on health issues among immigrants in South Africa and reducing unemployment in South Africa.

Words by: Reatlehile Karabo Moeti


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College of Humanities Boasts Top Performing Researchers 2016

College of Humanities Boasts Top Performing Researchers 2016
College of Humanities Top performing researchers for 2016.

Five academics from the College of Humanities were ranked amongst UKZN’s Top 30 researchers for 2016 while four students from the same College were recognised for being amongst the Top 10 published students. The top researchers are: Emeritus Professors Christopher Ballantine, Damtew Teferra Maheshvari Naidu, Deevia Bhana and Vimolan Mudaly

Top published students were Mr Ken Dennis Chisa, Mr Robyn Duncan Wilkinson, Mr Osweiled Ureke and Mr Nathan Adam Esala.

Ballantine’s work is widely published in international and local journals and books; it explores the meanings and social implications of music, and the forces that shape it. In particular, he has written about the music of the last 100 years, the philosophy and sociology of music, and South African music.

His recent publications have shown how music can challenge essentialised or exclusionary ideas about ‘race’, and can help in the shaping of progressive post-apartheid identities.

Academic Leader: Research in School of Social Sciences Professor Maheshvari Naidu described this achievement as a wonderful opportunity to showcase the critically positioned research and researchers emanating from the Humanities and from social science scholars.

Her field of research is social anthropology but her work straddles across many cognate disciplines in the social sciences. She said, ‘My research and published work is likewise a reflection of this multi-disciplinary focus’.

Naidu iterated that UKZN is both a teaching intensive and research driven institute. Naidu said, writing and publishing is not an end in itself but should stem from an authentic belief that one has something meaningful to share.

She believes Humanities and Social Science research has much to contribute to both discourse and praxis in the context of human rights, social cohesion and civic justice. Much of her work is qualitative and her research endeavours to offer a human face to global issues and complexities.

Prof Vimolan Mudaly of the School of Education, says he is grateful to the many people who served as catalysts in motivating him to write. ‘There are few opportunities that are presented to us and we need to grab them. I am under no allusions about appearing on the list. There are wonderful teachers that are not recognised and to them in, particular I, offer my utmost respect.’

Mudaly realised that research and teaching are fundamental to a life at university and sees that there is a need to blend these two together.

He conducts research that relates to improving the understanding of mathematics, both at schools and at universities. Unlike other research in the humanities, research in his field could provide a better platform for teachers to engage with learners and students in ways that can make mathematics more meaningful.

Mudaly said, ‘I specifically work in the area of mathematics proof and proving, especially through spatial understanding, and I look at metacognitive factors that teachers could engage with before, during and after teaching. All of these research areas fall within the broad category of visualisation.’

The top published student Mr Osweiled Ureke from the School of Applied Human Sciences, says he feel very happy about his achievement. He said; ‘I am happy for myself and for my PhD supervisors, Professors Ruth Teer-Tomaselli and Keyan Tomaselli (CCMS) because they always believed in my ability to publish widely.’

Ureke’s PhD thesis is on film. He contextualises it to the Zimbabwean scenario, and has a developed interest in new media research as well as media production. ‘I like research that attempts to tackle issues from a practical perspective and offer solutions that society can benefit from on a day to day basis. Research is a subject for life.’

He added that being ranked amongst UKZN’s 2016 Top published students, gives him confidence to continue working hard. ‘If one stays focused, there is a lot that one can achieve in academia,’ advises Ureke.


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Centre for Socio-Legal Studies hosts Fijian Delegation

Centre for Socio-Legal Studies hosts Fijian Delegation
The Fijian delegation during their visit to the School of Law.

Professor David McQuoid-Mason, of UKZN’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, recently hosted a Knowledge Exchange visit for the Fiji Legal Aid Commission and Fiji Human Rights and Anti-discrimination Commission.

The visit was held from 12 to 26 August in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. It focused on exchanges about the work of Legal Aid South Africa; the SA Human Rights Commission; a number of UKZN outreach and community service clinical law programs; and several other bodies involved in access to justice. In addition, McQuoid-Mason exposed the delegates to South Africa’s rich Liberation Struggle and ecological heritage. The seven delegates consisted of the Directors of the two Fijian Commissions and some of their senior staff.

In Gauteng, McQuoid-Mason took the delegates on a guided tour of the Constitutional Court and the Old Fort Prison – including Nelson Mandela’s cell. Thereafter, he took them to a Safari Park near Tshwane where they interacted with some of the animals as a prelude to their Game Reserve visit in KwaZulu-Natal. McQuoid-Mason also took the delegates to see the Apartheid Museum, Freedom Square in Soweto and the Nelson Mandela Statue at Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The rest of the week the Legal Aid Commission delegates spent their time at the Head Office of Legal Aid South Africa, while the Human Rights and Anti-discrimination Commission spent some time with Legal Aid South Africa, but also at meetings with the SA Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector’s Office, as well as visits to Freedom Park in Pretoria and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. The outcome of the meetings was that Legal Aid South Africa and the SA Human Rights Commission undertook to enter into memoranda of agreement with their Fijian counterparts.

In KwaZulu-Natal, McQuoid-Mason took the delegates on a tour to PheZulu Cultural Village on Saturday 19 August, and then to Imfolozi-Hluhluwe Game Reserve and Ondini Royal Enclosure and Cultural Museum on the Sunday. The rest of the week was spent visiting the UKZN Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, the Durban Campus Law Clinic and the Street Law programme - including attending a class and observing Street Law students teaching Warwick Triangle informal traders about the law. The delegates ended their trip the following Saturday with a visit to Ms Ela Gandhi and the Gandhi Settlement when en route to the Airport. An outcome of the visit to UKZN was that one of the delegates expressed interest in undertaking a PhD programme at the University and two were interested in registering for LLM degrees.

Words by: Ndabaonline


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UKZN and INR Strengthen Relationship through MOU

UKZN and INR Strengthen Relationship through MOU
From left: Mr Duncan Hay, Professor Albert Modi, Dr Shamim Bodhanya, and Mr Bongani Khumalo, Director of the INR.

The Institute of Natural Resources (INR) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) recently celebrated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions, formalising a relationship that has stretched back almost thirty years.

The INR began as an institute of the then-University of Natal until it became an independent entity in the mid 1990’s. It is an applied research organisation which advocates for the natural resource and environmental management sectors in southern Africa. 

Despite UKZN and INR’s work and relationship diverging somewhat over the years, Executive Director of INR Mr Duncan Hay emphasised the importance of recognising the University as the “parent” and originator of the organization. Operational relationships between UKZN and the INR have remained strong over the years, particularly in Disciplines such as  Hydrology, Geography and Environmental Sciences and Crop Sciences.

‘In re-establishing an MOU with the Institute, we already have a relationship that has a life and has direction, and has great opportunities ahead of it,’ said Hay.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) of UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) Professor Albert Modi gave insight into the structuring of UKZN’s Colleges to facilitate multi-disciplinary and far-reaching research. ‘It is clear that we have to reinvigorate the relationship and have clear definitions of our collective mission,’ said Modi.

He went on to note the importance of science produced in South Africa being applied to be of benefit to the country that produced it. This, according to Modi, formed the background for what the University and the INR can do together.

Modi encouraged the INR to draw on University research through collaborative work.

Dr Shamim Bodhanya, the Chairman of the INR, said the MOU demonstrates that the University recognises value in the work of the INR.

This MOU also opens up linkages to universities in the United Kingdom with whom the INR is working on projects that include the resilience of fresh fruit and the management of water resources.

Words and photograph by: Christine Cuénod


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LFTCI helps Students Tackle Assault and Bullying Challenges

LFTCI helps Students Tackle Assault and Bullying Challenges
Highlights from the public debate.

The Let’s Face The Challenges Initiative (LFTCI), a recognised club and society on UKZN’s Edgewood campus, recently held a programme on bullying and assault. Titled: Bullying and Assault; What are we going to do about them? The event included a debate to allow for various views on the issues under the spotlight. 

LFTCI is a registered NPO, founded by Mr Kemi Adebayo, a PhD student in Education and is headed by various students who assist with planning and the implementation of student-based programmes that aim to help the youth face various challenges.

It is a self-funded organisation that aims to gather as many sponsorships and donations to achieve its mission and vision of “raising productive and responsible youth that can face and conquer the modern days’ challenges”.

More than 200 students, academics, and support staff participated in the event. It started off with a very believable drama act on assault and bullying. The drama captured the theme of the day while also enlightening all those who were present.

The team supporting the motion said that the youths are doing nothing because bullying is not only about violence but verbal, social and cyber. They argued citing cases like exclusion of a student from a group study by other members of the group, calling people derogatory names, sending of horrific videos on social media of other youths and the initiation of new/first year students into the schools and universities where they are oppressed and made to do chores for the seniors. 

The opposing team stressed that the youths were actually doing something about assault and bullying but the enormity of the issues is not making us see the efforts that youths are making. They argued that students report cases of assault and bullying to the RMS (University security); where cases are opened and investigated. They also added that youths sometimes do marches against the scourge among other points highlighted at the debate.

Other items on the programme included poetry, comedy, songs and awareness speeches from keynote speaker Dr Bheki Khoza (Academic Leader - Research and Higher Degrees), the Guest Speaker; Mrs Prudence Ndlovu (the Developmental Manager for RMS Edgewood/Howard campuses), the debate moderator; Ms Lindi Ngubane (Psychologist/Student Counsellor Edgewood campus). Students were more than happy to share their views and seek guidance and assistance regarding assault and bullying.

Lecturer, Mr Eugene Marais said, ‘Very interesting programme, I have never seen anything like this before. It was as if everyone; the speakers, entertainers, organisers were paid to put together this event.’

Mr Perfect Mdepha, one of the debaters added, ‘A successfully organised event with mind blowing topics that concerned how to deal with bullying and violence. This sort of programme or initiative should not end in Edgewood. It must be widespread to many communities.’

While Mr Kemi Adebayo, founder and secretary of the LFTCI Edgewood Branch said, ‘We thank everyone; the academics and students that attended our event. We hope to get sponsors so that the programme can be done on a bigger scale.’

LFTCI has held programmes like Exam Tips and Learning Styles, a Motivational Talk on the 10 current Challenges facing SA youth and a series of motivational presentations on radio in the last two years.

LFTCI is run by students for students and is set to continue investing in such programmes in the near future and hopes to tackle challenges faced by students through creating platforms for opinions and problems to be voiced and heard in an open and trustworthy manner.

Words by: Jennifer Sheokarah


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Academic turns to Scripture to Promote Mathematics

Academic turns to Scripture to Promote Mathematics
Members of St Augustine’s Anglican Church with Dr Msizi Mkhize- from left: Dr Mduduzi Ndwandwe, Dr Msizi Mkhize, Dr Njabulo Khumalo and Professor Bonke Dumisa.

Mathematics champion and School of Accounting, Economics and Finance academic Dr Msizi Mkhize recently gave a “sermon” at the St Augustine’s Anglican Church in Umlazi Township.

He was invited as the guest speaker by Graduate School of Business and Leadership academic, Dr Njabulo Khumalo who is also the church’s Chairperson of the Education Committee. The Thanksgiving ceremony is held annually during August/September to celebrate success achieved by church members and to collect funds which are put into its Bursary Fund to assist church members who wish to further their studies. Dr Mkhize also used the opportunity to motivate children and parents about the importance of education.

Mkhize’s sermon was about encouraging children to see mathematics as a fun and easy subject. He referenced scriptures from the bible as examples and also urged parents and the whole congregation to support children when it comes to schoolwork and career guidance.

‘Let us support our children when it comes to education. Unbelievers do well at school while the ones who do believe turn around and do bad things which results in the parents saying the child is misbehaving. It is important to not only focus on religion, but we must have academic support classes here in the church so that the child can excel in both religion and education,’ said Mkhize. He also warned parents not to talk negatively about maths because by doing that they pass on the anxiety to their children.

The ceremony also celebrated church members who have recently graduated and Dr Mkhize urged them to “adopt” a child in the church to mentor them, emphasising the importance of a role model in a child’s life.

He closed his sermon by remembering his late father’s words who said: ‘If you learn more, you earn more but if you study less, you will earn less.’

Words by: Reatlehile Moeti


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Enactus UKZN Appoints New Executive

Enactus UKZN Appoints New Executive
Mr Mzomuhle Mhlongo, Faculty Advisor of Enactus UKZN (left), with the Newly Appointed Executive Team.

The UKZN chapter of Enactus has recently apponted its executive for the 2017/2018 year.  Enactus UKZN had its AGM on 9 September, on the Westville campus. The outgoing executive of 2016/2017 reported on their term of office, the challenges they faced and their achievements.

During the AGM, the 2017/2018 Executive team was announced and the leaders of the various portfolios in the executive accompanied by their Faculty Advisor are as follows:

Faculty Advisor: Mzomuhle Mhlongo; General President: Kwazini Zulu; General Secretary: Siphesihle Sekeleni; Head of Finance: Anele Sibiya; Head of Publicity & Marketing: Nokukhanya Kubheka; Head of Research & Development: Mongezi Dlamini; Deputy President (Edgewood campus): Samkelisiwe Mkhize; Deputy President (Howard College campus): Nkosikhona Shibase; Deputy President (Pietermaritzburg campus): Skhumbuzo Ngwazi; Deputy President (Westville campus): Boitumelo Machele.

These members will be leading Enactus UKZN until 31 August 2018. As they start to their term they will be recruiting additional members to their team. Recruitment will take place from 26 September until 05 October 2017.

Enactus is an international non-profit organisation that brings together students, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. The experience not only transforms lives, but also helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that is essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world. Enactus has established one of the largest global business and Higher Education network in the world. This unique network brings together the knowledge of professional business educators and the expertise of business leaders to focus the potential of university students preparing for leadership roles in business.

Enactus UKZN started in 2003 with only three members, two projects and one campus under the leadership of Thami Zondi. It has grown significantly since its inception and now boasts a membership of over 100 UKZN students on four of the University’s campuses, namely Edgewood, Howard College, Pietermaritzburg and Westville. The UKZN chapter of Enactus has also been crowned as National Champions five times. Therefore, this enabled the team to participate in five Enactus World Cup Competitions against international teams.

One of the biggest achievements in the 2016/2017 calendar for Enactus UKZN was being chosen as finalists and semi-finalists in three of the Special Competitions the team had entered, namely the Barloworld Social Innovation Youth Awards (BSIYA), MTN SA Foundation ICT Enactus Challenge and the Unilever Zero Waste for Job Creation Challenge.

As Enactus UKZN is currently working on a total of eight projects, putting in the hard work and ensuring that we empower our beneficiaries. The projects Enactus does vary from agriculture to technological projects. One of the projects is Jonga Phezulu, The Jonga Phezulu Agri-Hub Farming Program intends to cultivate a culture of sustainable food production using a variety of innovative farming technologies; such as new age systems specifically aquaponics and hydroponics. The program seeks to involve and significantly impact a very wide range of students from different faculties through skills transfer and their direct involvement in every aspect of the program.

The principal objective of this project is to combat the issue of food insecurity and student hunger within the University.  Another one of our projects is uMtate Wamabomvu, Enactus-UKZN was drawn to the area of uMsinga and desired to bring assistance where possible after the area had been hit by floods. It was then the Enactus-UKZN team was introduced to a co-operative of about 231 women called INgqalazi cooperative with land of 66 hectares in size. They practiced vegetable farming along the uTugela river banks as a means to help alleviate poverty. In 2015 Enactus UKZN introduced the Kandu App to the project which is focused on introducing the famers of uMtate Wamabomvu to the national and even international market since the market of uMsinga is very saturated. Since the project began, the beneficiaries have an active and ongoing contract with Edde memme which they supply soya beans to. Currently the farmers are emerging from substance to commercial farmers.

For more information, please contact our General Secretary:

Mr Mzomuhle Mhlongo

Student Governance and Leadership Development Officer

Tel: 031 260 2970, Email: mhlongom10@ukzn.ac.za

Please also like and follow us on social media:

Facebook: Enactus-UKZN     Twitter: @EnactusUKZN      Instagram: @EnactusUKZN

Words by: Nokukhanya Kubheka


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HIV and AIDS Support Unit Reaches Out to Communities

HIV and AIDS Support Unit Reaches Out to Communities
UKZN staff during their community outreach initiatives.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal HIV and AIDS Support Unit recently conducted a series of Community outreach programmes as part of its comprehensive prevention, treatment and care/support strategy.

Institutions and communities visited during the outreach programme include the Streetwise Children’s Home in Marrianridge, the St Vincent Children’s Home in Marrianhill, the Creating Opportunities Community Advancement in Pinetown, the Ashley Home for the Disabled in Ashley, the Zibambeleni Old Age Home in Clermont, Westville Prison, the Inanda  Emachobeni Hall, the Inanda Seminary Clinic and School, Mpilwenhle in Nanda, the Sunshine Bakery, Child Welfare (Edith Benson Babies Home) in Sherwood, St Nicholas Diocesan Church and the uMsinga Community.

These visits are in line with the institutional goal number two, which is Responsible Community Engagement.

The programme plays a key role in delivering prevention services to various communities. During community visits, staff and peer-educators provide HIV testing and other services including education about drug abuse and other socials ills.

Medical male circumcision and healthy lifestyles are also promoted during these visits.

The Unit works closely with government departments, NGO partners, and community partners to provide these services.

Community education serves as an important prevention instrument and helps to reduce the stigma attached to HIV and STIs.

The programme also forms part of the UNAIDS 90-90-90-0 initiative towards ending AIDS. The 90-90-90-0 by 2020 is an ambitious vision for HIV treatment which envisages that by the year 2020, 90% of people living with HIV should have been diagnosed, and that HIV, 90% of HIV positive people should be on antiretroviral treatment and of those 90% should have fully suppressed or undetectable viral load and that there should be Zero stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.

Words by: Thembani Ntobeko Khumalo


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