Top Legal Firms Advise Students on Employment Opportunities at Law Professions Day

Top Legal Firms Advise Students on Employment Opportunities at Law Professions Day
Highlights from the Law Professions Day 2019.

Law students from the Pietermaritzburg and Howard College campuses took full advantage of the opportunity to engage with potential employers at the annual Law Professions Days.

Hundreds of students interacted with representatives of some of the top law firms in South Africa, including Adams & Adams, Baker and McKenzie, ENS and Bowman and Gilfillan as well as non-profit organisations such as Legal Aid.

They visited their stalls, collected pamphlets handed out by the law firms, listened to briefings and used the opportunity to apply for jobs.

Fourth-year Law student Mr Ethan Thornes who attended the 2018 event, changed tack this year and prioritised seriously seeking vacation work over freebies.

‘After regretting attending Law Professions Day for the free stuff that firms gave out last year, I decided to change tack this year. I invested a lot of time in preparing my CV which I made copies of and carried along with my academic record. I also attended a legal workshop hosted by Aspen Pharmacare for practical experience and used all the knowledge to showcase that I am a top candidate,’ said Thornes.

While third-year student Ms Zandile Zulu whose passion to pursue Law at UKZN was motivated by the College of Law and Management’s PR Unit schools liaison visit to her high school, Vukile High School in Stanger in 2016 says planning ahead is the only way she does things.

‘I am very interested in environmental law because of the impact that climate change has on the environment. I am grateful for platforms such as these as they inform us about which employment opportunities are available to us in the areas we are passionate and interested in,’ she said.

Garlicke and Bousfield’s Human Resources Manager, Ms Jeanette Swart said she always enjoys personally interacting with UKZN Law students as the talent they see and recruit gets better every year.

 Words: Thandiwe Jumo 

Photographs: Supplied


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Prestigious American Peptide Society Award for A-Rated Professor

Prestigious American Peptide Society Award for A-Rated Professor
Professor Fernando Albericio, proud recipient of the 2019 Murray Goodman Scientific Excellence & Mentorship Award.

Professor Fernando Albericio is the recipient of the 2019 Murray Goodman Scientific Excellence & Mentorship Award from the American Peptide Society. The award recognises career-long research excellence in the field of peptide science and significant mentorship and training of students, post-doctoral fellows, and colleagues.

The A-rated scientist has featured consistently amongst UKZN’s top 30 published researchers and has published more than 900 scientific papers and co-authored four books. He is Editor in Chief of several scientific journals and sits on the editorial board of others.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids with applications including biomaterials, nanotechnology and drug discovery. A prolific innovator, Albericio has filed more than 60 patents for peptide synthesis approaches and applications. His research has included work on peptides with therapeutic activities, particularly in the field of cancer and infectious disease research. His research group is investigating new methods of drug delivery and diagnostics through peptide synthesis; more than 30 of the commodities developed by the group have reached the market and his work is so extensive that it is possible to say that any peptide synthesised worldwide makes use of technology developed by his group.

Training and mentorship of students has been an important hallmark of Albericio’s work, he has supervised or co-supervised 72 PhD students and more than 70 masters students.

Albericio’s academic career began in his home country of Spain, where he received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona. He went on to complete postdoctoral research at Tufts University and the University of Minnesota in the United States, and the Université d’Aix-Marseille in France. He returned to Spain in 1985 as Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona, leaving the institution in 1992 to take up the Directorship of Peptide Research at Millipore in Boston before returning in 1994 and being promoted to full Professor in 1995.

His career has included 12 years as Group Leader at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona and a stint as the founding Rector of Yachay Tech, a university in Ecuador.

Albericio has been deeply involved in efforts to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. He founded and served as the General Director of the Barcelona Science Park, an endeavour that led to the creation of almost 100 start-up companies. He also founded the “Emprendia” Network-Santander Bank; the first Latin American University Network for the Incubation of Companies to create a business network based on research and development results from universities. In South Africa, he is working on the development of BioDurban, a biotechnology incubator, and serves on the board of directors of several companies and foundations.

‘I consider myself as a representative of the New University, which allows me to combine teaching and research with a strong vocation for the transfer of knowledge from such research to society, enabling basic research to become transformative,’ he said.

Albericio joined UKZN in 2012 as a Research Professor after several years of collaboration with researchers at the Institution. One of his major accomplishments at the University has been the establishment of the Peptide Science Laboratory, opened in 2018, the only laboratory in South Africa devoted to the synthesis of peptides with pharmaceutical purposes.

Words: Christine Cuénod 

Photograph: Supplied 


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Umfundi we-Mastazi Obelibangise ku-Golden Key Summit

Umfundi we-Mastazi Obelibangise ku-Golden Key Summit
Umfundi wase-UKZN weziqu ze-Mastazi, uMnuz Bayabonga Zulu, oqokwe waba ngomunye wabafundi abakhethwe ukuthi baye ku-Golden Key Leadership Summit.Click here for English version

Ngenxa yamangwevu akhe ezifundweni zakhe nasekusebenzeleni umphakathini, umfundi weziqu ze-Mastazi noyilungu le-Golden Key, uMnuz Bayabonga Zulu, uqokwe waba ngomunye wabafundi abangama-200 emhlabeni wonke abakhethwe ukuthi baye ku-Golden Key Leadership Summit e-Niagara Falls e-Canada. 

UZulu uthi inhloso yengqungquthela bekuwukucija amalungu ukuthi akhule adlondlobale kwezemfundo, kwezobuholi nakwezokusebenza kanti kuningi akafundile; njengokuthi nje esigabeni esethulwe yisiKhulu esiPhezulu se-Niagara Workforce Planning Board, uMnuz Mario De Divitiis esibizwa ngokuthi Building Your Brand through Academics, Leadership, and Service, ufunde ukuthi ‘wonke umuntu uyigama thizeni’.

UZulu into emchaze kakhulu ngengqungquthela wukuthi omunye wezikhulumi onesifo esinokuthatha kancane, phecelezi i-autism, owathi akwakwazi ukufunda nokubhala kodwa ubhale incwadi. ‘Kuse ngokunye ngibona ukuthi asinqindwa wukungabi namandla kepha sinqandwa wukungaphokopheli. Impela akukho esingekwenza uma sitshela izingqondo zethu,’ kusho uZulu.

Into ayithakasele kakhulu wukuhlangana nezithunywa zakwamanye amazwe. ‘Lapho sidingide izinto ezithinta izinsika zokwenza kahle emfundweni, ubuholi, nokusebenza. Lezi zinto sizophindela nazo emuva emanyuvesi ethu. Ngethemba lokuthi sizokwenza ushintsho emiphakathini yakithi.’

Lo mfundi wezoHwebo uthe ukuthakasele ukuyomela iNyuvesi neNingizimu Afrika. ‘Ngizizwa ngiyisihlabani… Kube yinto enkulu kimi, eshintshe impilo yami ukuba phakathi kwezithunywa nezikhulumi ezihlakaniphile nezivela ezizweni ezehlukene nasezindaweni ezehlukene zomhlaba. Kuthi cosololo kimi!’

UZulu ubonge i-Golden Key International Honour Society noMqondisi oMkhulu oBambile woPhiko lwezokuXhumana e-UKZN, uNksz Normah Zondo, owenza ukuthi akwazi ukuthatha lolu hambo. Ubonge nonina, uNksz Fikile Ngcamu, umndeni wakhe, nebandla lakhe ngothando lwabo nokumeseka.

I-Golden Key International Honour Society iyinhlangano enkulu ehlonipha abantu. Ihlanganisa abantu abaphumelelayo emazweni abo, ezifundeni nasemhlabeni ngamathuba anqabile, imihlomulo nempumelelo. INhlangano igxila ekwenzeni kahle kwezemfundo, ukuthuthukisa ubuholi nokusebenzela umphakathi. Abantu baba ngamalungu ayo ngokumenywa kanti ngeyamalungu angamaphesenti ali-15 ezingeni leziqu zokuqala. Abafundi abayiziqengqe kuyo yonke imikhakha nabo bayamenywa, kubhekwa amagalelo abo ezifundweni.

I-Golden Key inamagatsha angama-400 emanyuvesi ahlukene emhlabeni. Uphiko ngalunye lwase-UKZN lineGatsha lalo eliholwa wuMengameli walo. UMnuz Zulu uwuMongameli oBambile weGatsha lophiko oluseMgungundlovu.

Eminye iminingwane nge-Golden Key itholakala emahhovisi e-Student Governance and Leadership Development ezimpikweni zase-UKZN.

Amagama: wu-Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


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Odokotela Abahlinzayo Besifazane Bangenisa Emkhakheni Ogcwele Abesilisa

Odokotela Abahlinzayo Besifazane Bangenisa Emkhakheni Ogcwele Abesilisa
Ithimba longoti benhliziyo elingabantu besifazane bodwa lase-Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. Kusukela kwesobunxele wuNksz Parasthi Maharaj (ohleli), uDkt Lindiwe Sidali, uDkt Leanne Drummond, uDkt Kudzai Kanyepi no-Sister Nonjabulo Ndlovu.Click here for English version

Ngaphansi kobuholi benhloko entsha uDkt Rajhmum Madansein, uMnyango we-Cardiothoracic Surgery e-UKZN uguqula enye yamagumbi okuhlinza iziguli ebeyikade yaziwa njengegcwele abesilisa balenza laba elawowonke umuntu. Lo Mnyango obe sematheni ngonyaka odlule uphinde wakhiqiza udokotela wokuqala wesimame onsundu eNingizimu Afrika ohlinzayo owungoti wenhliziyo, uDkt Lindiwe Sidali.

Kuqopheke umlando ngenkathi kusebenza ithimba elihlinzayo lodokotela besifazane bodwa egunjini lokuhlinza. Kuleli thimba bekukhona uDokotela weNhliziyo, uDkt Sidali; iNhloko yokuqulekisa abanhlinzwayo eSibhedlela Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), uDkt Leanne Drummond; uDokotela oSizayo, uDkt Kudzai Kanyepi; uNgoti obheka umshini wenhliziyo, uNksz Parasthi Maharaj; noMhlengikazi osebenza uma kuhlinzwa, uSister Nonjabulo Ndlovu.

UKanyepi, odabuka eZimbabwe, wenza unyaka wesithathu njengoMabhalane oMkhulu we-Cardiothoracic Surgery Supernumerary. Wafunda esikoleni samantombazane wodwa, kanti ukhuliswe ngokuthi abantu besifazane bangenza noma yini. ‘Isiqubulo sasesikoleni sethu sithi "Gracia et Scientia", okusho ukuthi ngomusa nangolwazi. Safundiswa ukwemukela ukuthi singabantu besifazane, safundiswa ukuzithoba nokuhlale siphokophele ukwenza izinto ngezindlela ezintsha.’

UKanyepi wakhuthazwa ngomunye wosolwazi bezenhliziyo eZimbabwe, uSolwazi Muguti. ‘Amaphupho ami ngekusasa ancike kwisisho esithi “esikhundleni sokubalisa, shintsha izinto”. Ngifisa ukubuyela eZimbabwe uma sengiqede izifundo zami ngiyokwenza ushintsho khona, ngiphendlele odokotela abaningi benhliziyo indlela,’ kusho yena.

Ungoti osebenzisa umshini wenhliziyo uma kuhlinzwa, uMaharaj uwumuntu ongakaze azithambise ngasekufundeleni into ayithandayo. Wakhulela elokishin i-Phoenix, enyakatho yeTheku. Wayengumfundi wase-UKZN lapho athweswa khona iziqu ze-B Medical Sciences Honours, wedlulela e-Durban University of Technology lapho enza khona i-BTech Clinical Technology (noma i-Cardiovascular Perfusion). Usebenza e- IALCH.

Elandisa ngomsebenzi wakhe uthi, ‘Selokhu kwathi nhlo ngiyazifela ngomkhakha wobudokotela kanti ngaqala nginevuso lokugxila ocwaningweni kepha ngelinye ilanga ngathola ithuba lokuyobuka egumbini lokuhlinzela inhliziyo. Ngathi ngisamile ngibukela umshini kuhlinzwa, ngabona kwehla ukushaya kwenhliziyo yesiguli, yaze yathula nya. Yebo, uma kuhlinzwa inhliziyo namaphaphu kuyamiswa kanti lokho kwakuwumsebenzi kangoti osebenzisa umshini wokuhlinza inhliziyo. Lokho ngangikuqonda engqondweni yami kodwa kwaba ngenye into ukubona inhliziyo ima nse. Udokotela wasebenza ngokushesha kanti ngaqaphela indlela abasebenzisana ngayo udokotela, udokotela oqulekisa isiguli nongoti ogada umshini wokuhlinza inhliziyo. ‘Ngenkathi sesithungiwe isiguli, bayivusa inhliziyo ngaphandle kobuhixihixi. Ngabheka umshini, ngabona ukuthi inhliziyo isisebenza ngokwejwayelekile. Ngasala ngikhexile, kwavele kwembuleka ngalowo mzuzu ukuthi yiyona nto engithanda ukuyenza. Ngathanda yonke into ephathelene nokuhlinza, isimo sakhona, ukubhekisisa izinto nokuzinikela kwethimba elihlinzayo lonke.’

USidali wakhulela edolobheni elincane elinezimayini phakathi kwase-Rustenburg naseDutywa eSifundazweni i-North West. Ukubekezela wakufundiswa ngabantu besifazane abamkhulisa- okuwunina no-anti bakhe. Izifundo zobudokotela waziqala ohlelweni lwezifundo zobudokotela iMandela-Fidel Castro, unyaka wokugcina wawenza eNyuvesi yase-Pretoria ngaphambi kokuthi azoqhuba izifundo zakhe e-UKZN. ‘Ngifisa ukugxila ekuhlinzeni ukulungisa ukukhubazeka kwenhliziyo abantu abazalwa nakho kanti ngiphezu kwamalungiselelo okuqala uhlelo emnyangweni wethu lokuthi ukuhlinzelwa inhliziyo kwenzeke ezibhedlela ezincane,’ kusho yena.

USolwazi Ncoza Dlova, iNhloko yeSikolo Sezokwelapha e-UKZN, kumjabulisile ukuzwa izindaba zethimba labantu besifazane bodwa elihlinzela inhliziyo. ‘Imikhakha ethinta ezokuhlinza idume ngokugcwala abesilisa kanti umnyango wezokuhlinzwa kwenhliziyo, ngaphansi kwesandla sika-Raj Madansein, uwuqedile lowo mqondo. Isithombe sethimba “labantu besifazane bodwa" besegumbini lokuhlinza siveza ukuthi lo mnyango usushintshe kangakanani ngokobuzwe nangokobulili. Ngihalalisela uDkt Madansein ngemizamo yakhe yokukhuthaza izisebenzi zakhe. Ufana nobaba, uyanakekela kanti izisebenzi zakhe ziyazifela ngaye.’

Amagama: wu-MaryAnn Francis 

Isithombe: wu-Rajhmum Madansein

 


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FLAIR Fellowship for UKZN Researcher

FLAIR Fellowship for UKZN Researcher
Dr Veron Ramsuran, FLAIR Fellowship recipient.

Senior lecturer in the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences at UKZN, Dr Veron Ramsuran, has been awarded the UK Royal Society Future Leaders - African Independent Research (FLAIR) Fellowship. In conjunction with the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) the Fellowship aims to produce Africa’s next generation of independent research leaders undertaking cutting-edge research that will address the global challenges facing the continent.

The Fellowships target talented African early career researchers with the potential to become leaders in their field and provide an opportunity to build an independent research career in an African institution. More than 2 000 applications were received across the world and 30 researchers, including Ramsuran, were selected as Fellows to conduct research in a sub-Saharan African institution. The FLAIR Fellowship offers £300 000 for two years as well as support, training, mentoring and opportunities to network both regionally and with the United Kingdom to develop international collaborations.

Ramsuran is a group research leader at the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform (KRISP) and a senior lecturer in the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences. He holds a PhD in Genetics from UKZN and spent the majority of his time during his doctoral research undergoing training in the United States. He was accepted for post-doctoral studies and engaged in cutting-edge research on HIV at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. He returned to South Africa to take up a Senior Lecturer position within UKZN’s Academic Acceleration Programme.

Ramsuran said that the FLAIR Fellowship will enable him to continue his research on HIV human genetics and to investigate which human genes cause people to progress to AIDS. This knowledge will be used to develop new treatment strategies. ‘I am extremely grateful to the UK Royal Society and the AAS for selecting me for this prestigious fellowship. I have confidence that we can conduct high quality science here in South Africa comparable to top international institutes. HIV is a major health concern for South Africa. With 7.1 million people … infected … we need to develop new strategies to end the epidemic,’ he said.

Words: Lihle Sosibo 

Photograph: Supplied


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Usuke Enhluphekweni Waya Esikhundleni Sobuholi

Usuke Enhluphekweni Waya Esikhundleni Sobuholi
UDkt Pamela Pillay onguMholi Wezemfundo Kwezokufunda Nokufundisa eSikoleni Sezifundo Zokuxilonga Imithi kanye noKwelapha.Click here for English version

UDkt Pamela Pillay usuka kude njengoba eseqokwe njengoMholi Wezemfundo Kwezokufunda Nokufundisa eSikoleni Sezifundo Zokuxilonga Imithi kanye noKwelapha (i-LMMS). Uhola uhlelo lwe-UKZN Body Donor futhi ungumcwaningi ovakashile ohlelweni oluphambili lwe-United States National Institutes of Health (i-NIH) oluxhase uhlelo lwe-Developing Research Innovation, Localisation and Leadership in South Africa (DRILL).

UPillay wakhulela elokishini lasePhoenix enyakatho netshonalanga yeTheku futhi waphothula umatikuletsheni wakhe e-Solvista Secondary school. Ekhulela emphakathini omncanyana, nobambisene; wakhuthazwa amalungu omndeni wakhe, abalingani kanye nabafundi bakhe ukubekezela. Uphothule iziqu zakhe zokuqala nezobudokotela e-UKZN futhi usiza abafundi abaningi ngeziqu zabo ze-Onazi, Mastazi nezobuDokotela. Izihloko anentshisekelo ngazo kwezokucwaninga ukwehlukahluka kwemizimba yabantu, ezomthetho kwezokwelapha ama-bioethics kanye nokuziphatha okuhle kwezokucwaninga. Ohlelweni lwe-DRILL, ungumcwaningi ovakashile emkhakheni wezenqubonhle kwezoCwaningo lweZempilo.

UPillay unentshisekelo enkulu ngohlelo lokunikela ngezitho zomzimba. Uphawule wathi, ‘Uhlelo lokunikela ngezitho zomzimba lungena ngaphansi kokuFunda Nokufundisa; ngakho-ke, ngithathe lesi sikhundla sokuba ngummeleli wezomkhakha wezemfundo. Lo ngumsebenzi omkhulu kodwa sinalo ithimba elibhekelele lokhu elibandakanya i-Senior Technician, i-Academic Leader of Research nezinye izifundiswa zomnyango. Njengoba izifundo zami ze-PhD zihlobene nezinqubo zokutholwa kwezidumbu zabantu eziKhungweni Zemfundo Ephakeme eNingizimu Afrika, senginentshisekelo yokwakha ubudlelwane nomphakathi ngokuqwashisa mayelana nokunikela ngezitho zomzimba.’

Ukuthatha le ndima yokuba ngumholi wezemfundo kuwumsebenzi owethusayo kodwa uPillay ukwenze lokhu ngenkuthalo enkulu. 'Isikhundla sami esisha sobuholi siyisinyathelo esilandelayo kule ndlela yami yokuthuthuka njengomuntu kanye nasohambweni lwami lwezemfundo. Nginomdlandla omkhulu ngalokhu kuqokwa okuyingqayizivele njengoba kungenza ngibe yisifundiswa, umholi ekufundeni nasekufundiseni kanye nomcwaningi. Umbono wami... ukuhlinzeka ngokweseka ngokubambisana nabasebenzi abaqeqeshiwe bezemfundo ukuze kusetshenziswe amasu okufunda nokufundisa eSikoleni se-LMMS angabazuzisa abafundi futhi andise imiphumela. Ngaphezu kwalokho, iSikole sizobe sibhekene nezinguquko zohlelozifundo lweziqu zesayensi yezokwelapha futhi mina namalungu ethimba lami sizobandakanyeka ngokugcwele ngaphakathi kweSikole ukuqinisekisa ukuthi le phrojekthi iyaphothulwa ekupheleni kwesikhathi sami seminyaka emithathu. Ngizolwela iqophelo eliphezulu ekufundeni nasekufundiseni ku-LMMS.'

UPillay usebenza njengelungu lomkhandlu we-Anatomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA), usihlalo weKomiti Lezimilo Kwezokucwaninga kwe-ASSA Anatomy kanye nomunye wosihlalo be-ASSA Clinical Anatomy Research Group. Useshicilele amaphepha angaphezu kwangama-20 kumajenali agunyazwe ngabe-ISI futhi usebenza njengombuyekezi wangaphandle nomhloli wangaphandle kwamanye amanyuvesi. Ushadile futhi unendodana eneminyaka eyisikhombisa ubudala, uKeolan.

‘Ekhaya, ngiyasazisa kakhulu isikhathi somndeni wami. Ngithanda ukuthi ngingumama onobungani nokumnandi ukuhlala naye, ngihlale ngizidlalela (futhi ngingenangcindezi). Kanti futhi ngibonga kakhulu ukuba nomyeni ongesekayo ohambweni lwami lwezemfundo,’ kusho uPillay.

Amagama: MaryAnn Francis

Isithombe: Rajesh Jantilal


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PhD Student Headed to World Economic Forum Summit on Africa

PhD Student Headed to World Economic Forum Summit on Africa
Mr Clement Agoni will attend the 28th World Economic Forum Summit on Africa.

Mr Clement Agoni, a PhD student in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has been invited to attend the 28th World Economic Forum Summit on Africa that takes place in Cape Town from 4 - 6 September. He will be part of a delegation of 60 Global Shapers, 65 Young Global Leaders and 40 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs who will represent the Forum’s three Foundations. The Africa Summit is second only to the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos in terms of size and brings together high-level public and business figures from across the region and the globe. 

Agoni is a social entrepreneur with a passion for youth and community development. He received his Master’s degree summa cum laude in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. His PhD focuses on the applications of advanced computational tools to explore and reveal molecular insights on drug-target interactions as well as the design of new therapeutic agents for diseases of global health concern such as tuberculosis, cancer, HIV and AIDS and malaria. He is the founder of Dream Laboratory Consult, a social enterprise dedicated to providing quality health care to remote communities in Ghana through mobile clinics.

A Global Shaper from the Tamale Hub of Ghana, Agoni is currently associated with the Global Shapers, Durban Hub, where is he is part of the health team involved in organising medical screening and health education in rural communities within the eThekwini Municipality. He also serves as a Programme Mentor with the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. Motivated by his personal motto, “live to leave a legacy (L3)”, he hopes to inspire other young people.

Words: Ndabaonline 

Photograph: Supplied


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Research on Risk Behaviours Among Adolescent Prostitutes Published

Research on Risk Behaviours Among Adolescent Prostitutes Published
Dr Sazelo Mkhize and Dr Sogo Angel Olofinbiyi who have published research on the social dimension of risk behaviours among adolescent prostitutes in Lagos metropolis, Nigeria.

Criminologists in the School of Applied Human Sciences, Drs Sazelo Mkhize and Sogo Angel Olofinbiyi’s research on Social dimension of risk behaviours among adolescent prostitutes: Insight from South-Western Nigeriahas been published in the Cogent Social Sciences academic journal.

Mkhize, Olofinbiyi and authors Dr Siyanda Dlamini, Dr Witness Maluleke and Mrs Olunike Blessing Olofinbiyi worked collaboratively. Dr Olofinbiyi designed the study and led data collection, analysis and writing of the manuscript while Mkhize critically reviewed it before submission for publication.

The study examined the social dimension of risk behaviours among adolescent prostitutes in Lagos metropolis, Nigeria. More specifically, it examined the relationship between educational attainment and drug use among female adolescent sex workers; investigated the relationship between drug use and criminal behaviour; examined the impact of drug use on the nature of the sex they engage in; and analysed the relationship between educational attainment and consistent use of male condoms by female adolescent sex workers.

It found that 90.7% of the respondents joined the sex industry due to poverty and hunger, while 98.6% were aware of the diseases that can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. All the respondents had knowledge of HIV and AIDS and 91.7% identified sexual intercourse as a major route of HIV transmission.

‘There was a significant relationship between the use of drugs and the nature of sex of female sex workers … 99.7% of the respondents used male condoms regularly in every sexual act, 5.5% of the respondents used female condoms at irregular intervals in every sexual act, while 84.8% compromised the use of condoms with financial rewards,’ said Dr Olofinbiyi. ‘Consequently, a high percentage of the population was assumed to be at risk of HIV/AIDS, while 7.2% of the sample had become pregnant while on the job and 3.1% of these pregnancies were terminated through induced abortion.’

Furthermore, 44.1% of the drug-addicted, low-income sex workers were found to be involved in criminal activities and 60.3% were victims of different types of violent sexual experiences. The study concluded that socio-economic constraints are the primary factors that push adolescent girls into prostitution in Nigeria and that the same factors hinder them from practicing safe sex within the sex industry.

‘The Nigerian government should develop programmes that will reduce poverty … and unemployment … in order to reduce adolescent/adult prostitution with its attendant problems of HIV transmission and criminal activities in the country,’ said Mkhize.

Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo 


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UNgqongqoshe weSifundazwe uMhlonishwa uSihle Zikalala Ubonisana Nabafundi Abaxhaswe ngabe-EDTEA

UNgqongqoshe weSifundazwe uMhlonishwa uSihle Zikalala Ubonisana Nabafundi Abaxhaswe ngabe-EDTEA
Kusuka kwesokunxele: UMnu Mfanelo Ndlovu, iBamba LePhini likaShansela uSol Brian McArthur, uNgqongqoshe wesiFundazwe uMnu Sihle Zikalala noDkt Nomkhosi Luthuli.Click here for English version

ISikole Seziqu Zezamabhizinisi neZobuholi (i-GSB&L) eKolishi Lezifundo ZoMthetho NeZokuphatha bebesingethe izingxoxo phakathi kukaNgqongqoshe wezokuThuthukiswa KoMnotho, eZokuvakasha NezeMvelo (EDTEA) eSifundazweni sakwa-KwaZulu-Natal, uMnu Sihle Zikalala, nabafundi abaxhaswe yilo mnyango.

I-EDTEA ne-GSB&L baye bangena esivumelwaneni sokubambisana baqeqeshe abasebenzi bezokuthuthukiswa komnotho wendawo kanye nochwepheshe bezocwaningo ukuze kuhlonzwe imikhakha yezomnotho engase ikwazi ukuheha ukutshalwa kwezimali bese ngaleyo ndlela ilekelele ukuthuthukiswa komnotho futhi yakhe nemisebenzi.

Ibamba lePhini likaShansela, uSolwazi Brian McArthur, uthe kube yithuba eliyikhethelo ukuba iNyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natal ibe yingxenye yalo mzamo ogqugquzela futhi oweseka uhlelo lokuqeqeshelwa umsebenzi, izinhlelo zabafundi abenza iziqu zabo, osomabhizinisi kanye nabafundi esebeneziqu ezigxile futhi ezenzelwe ukuthuthukiswa komnotho wendawo.

Ugcizelele ukubaluleka kokubambisana ekugqugquzeleni ukuthuthukiswa kwamakhono lapho kuphuculwa umnotho womphakathi. 'I-UKZN isanda kwamukela Isu Lokusimama okuyilo elizocaba ubudlelwane obuzohlomulisa izinhlangothi zonke kanye namanye amanyuvesi, izimboni kanye namazinga kahulumeni ahlukahlukene. Injulalwazi eyisisekelo ukuba kuhlanganiswe izinhlobo zamakhono, amacebo obuhlakani kanye nezinsiza zezinhlangano ezinkulu nezinamandla ezingase zikwazi ukwakha imihlomulo emikhulu kubo bonke ababandakanyekayo.'

'Ubambiswano oluqhubekayo phakathi komnyango ne-UKZN, sewakhe uhlaka olusebenza ngempumelelo lokuhlonza nokondla abaholi bakusasa kwezokuthuthukiswa komnotho nokuyibo esibahloniphayo ngale ntambama,' kwengeza uMcArthur.

UZikalala uye wakuchaza ngokusobala lokho okulindeleke kulaba abangabahlomuli balolu hlelo wabakhuthaza ukuba badlale indima ekuthuthukiseni umnotho waseNingizimu Afrika ngaphansi kwe-Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

'Ukuze siphumelele ku-4IR kufanele sakhe ithimba lwabantu abaqeqeshiwe abazokwazi ukwamukela futhi bawasingathe amathuba amasha alethwa ezobuchwepheshe bokusebenza ngokudijithali. Yisizukulwane senu okumele sibe phambili, sisungule izindlela zobuciko obusha futhi sithole izixazululo ezintsha neziphumelelayo ezizokwenza intuthuko yethu ibe nenzuzo,' kuqhuba yena.

Uzwakalise ukubonga komnyango eNyuvesi ngokuba ibambisane ukuqeqesha abafundi bomnyango kahulumeni okuyibo abazothwaliswa umthwalo wokuthuthukiswa komnotho. ‘Lolu bambiswano ludinga ukuhlakulwa lukhuthazwe ukuze lukhiqize uhlobo olusha lochwepheshe kanye nosomabhizinisi abangamaciko ngokucabanga.'

Abangabahlomuli bangaphambilini ababili baxoxe ngolwabo uhambo kule ndlela. UDkt Nomkhosi Luthuli, uMfundisi we-GSB&L kanye nowayeqeqeshelwa umsebenzi uthe i-EDTEA yabona okuthile kuyena yena ayengakuboni. Amathuba amaningi awathola amsiza ukuba ahlela ngendlela uchwepheshe anguye namuhla. Wanxusa abahlomuli bamanje wathi: 'Qhakambisani futhi nitshale isikhathi nemizamo eminingi ekukhuleni kwenu, nithole imfundo futhi nihambe ngaphezu kwebanga elihanjwe ngabanye. Kuyinto enhle ukuthi sineziqu zemfundo kepha awanamsebenzi walutho le ezweni, sebenzelani ukuzuza amakhono ahlukahlukene.'

UMnu Mfanelo Ndlovu, umsunguli we-Electri-Coal Technologies kanye nowayebhekelela i-Regional and Local Development Development (RLED), wancoma izinsizakalo zokusekwa yiKolishi nge-psychometric test eyadalula ukuthi ungusomabhizinisi kanye ne-EDTEA ngokuxhasa ngezimali zokwakha isibonelo sebhizinisi lakhe lapho ehlanganyele kuphrojekthi yokubhekelela. Wengeze ngokuthi ubambiswano lwamnika ithuba lokuba yisithunywa sokwenza ushintsho emphakathini wakhe.

'Ngiyiphonsela inselele intsha ukuba isebenzisane nohulumeni futhi idlale indima ecacile ekuthuthukisweni komnotho nasekwenzeni iKwaZulu-Natal umhlanganyeli ophambili we-GDP,’ kuphetha yena.

Amagama: Lungile Ngubelanga 

Isithombe: Albert Hirasen


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International Mother Tongue Day Celebrated

International Mother Tongue Day Celebrated
From left: Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, Dr Gugu Mazibuko, Ms Rooweither Mabuya and Dr Makhubu-Badenhorst at the International Mother Tongue Day celebrations.

The African Languages Cluster in UKZN’s School of Arts hosted the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources’ (SADiLaR) celebration of International Mother Tongue Day on 1 March. SADiLaR is part of the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap in the Department of Science and Technology and the celebration was held to mark UNESCO’s International Year of Indigenous Languages.

The isiZulu mother tongue celebration on the Pietermaritzburg campus attracted 86 guests, including students and lecturers from the University, officials from the Department of Arts and Culture, the Usiba Writers Guild, eThekwini Municipality Language Unit, Durban University of Technology students and the South African National Lexicography Unit (SANLU).

Dr Gugu Mazibuko, senior lecturer in African Languages directed the programme, which was presented in UKZN’s official languages, English and isiZulu, through simultaneous interpreting. Isambane Cultural Group performed at the opening and guests were welcomed by Dr Makhubu-Badenhorst, African Languages Cluster leader. Ms Rooweither Mabuya, SADiLaR’s isiZulu researcher highlighted the importance of creating a digital footprint for South African languages and outlined SADiLaR’s contribution in the form of various computational tools and resources. SANLU member, Mr Terence Ball’s interesting talk touched on the constitutional obligations that all government departments, entities and SANLU have to promote indigenous languages and the importance of using dictionaries to improve literacy levels. Keynote speaker, Acting Dean of the School of Arts Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa focused on isiZulu’s historical context and how the language has grown and developed over time.

The question and answer session that followed demonstrated that the event had raised new questions in terms of language development and the future of indigenous languages. A lively discussion was also held on the next step in developing isiZulu as a language of research, teaching and learning.

Words: Ndabaonline 


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Academic Helps Impart Critical Skills

Academic Helps Impart Critical Skills
Dr Mariam Seedat-Khan with Grade 7 learners at Bayview Library.

UKZN Sociologist, Dr Mariam Seedat-Khan, was invited by the eThekwini Municipality to be part of their programme on Critical Thinking and Reading Skills at the Bayview Library in Chatsworth.

She facilitated a session with 80 Grade 7 learners from schools across the Bayview area that aimed to develop such skills. ‘Every learner understands that formal learning environments favour the visual learning style over others,’ said Seedat-Khan.

Learners were taught to manage their time and tasks by applying 60-minute reinforcing SMART (Simply Managing Academic Related Tasks) techniques. Seedat-Khan advised them to use the thinking styles adopted by creative geniuses.

‘Find perspectives that no one else has taken. Form relationships between unlikely subjects. Make use of diagrams and images to analyse dilemmas. Be productive. Make novel combinations. Think in opposites. Get outside of your comfort zone. Failure can be productive only if we do not focus on it as an unproductive result,’ said Seedat-Khan.

She also shared with learners the eight different types of intelligence: Linguistic; Logical and Mathematical; Visual and Spatial, Musical; Bodily and Kinesthetic; Interpersonal; Intrapersonal and Naturalist.

Seedat-Khan noted that learners’ average attention span is between six and 20 minutes. It varies depending on initial interest in the topic, the room temperature, the time of day, and the learner’s energy level. ‘A change of pace at least every six to 10 minutes can give participants the chance to refocus and renew their interest in the topic. It is important that the pace of the teaching corresponds with the attention span of the learners,’ she said.

Seedat-Khan also spoke on downloading time, which is time set aside every day before homework for anything that worries or distracts learners at school. She suggested the use of music, visual, auditory, kinesthetic and read-write learning in classrooms. Finally, she advised learners to set goals for themselves and outline the steps required to achieve each goal.

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photograph: Supplied


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Spotight Shed on Thin Film Organic Solar Cells

Spotight Shed on Thin Film Organic Solar Cells
Professor Genene Tessema Mola (right) greets Professor C. Muthamizhchelvan from the SRM Institute of Science and Technology at the ICONN Conference in India

Professor Genene Tessema Mola of the School of Chemistry and Physics delivered a plenary presentation on the effect of bimetallic nano-composites on the performance of thin film organic solar cells at the fifth International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONN 2019), held at the SRM Institute of Science and Technology in India.

First held in 2010, the biennial ICONN conference is organised by the SRM’s Department of Physics and Nanotechnology, and attracts researchers from across the world working in the fields of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Previously hosted by Shizuoka University in Japan, GNS Science in New Zealand, the Asian Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Association in Japan and the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, the 2019 conference was sponsored by India’s Department of Science and Technology’s Science and Engineering Research Board, the country’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and private industry partners. It attracted more than 1 000 participants, including academics, researchers, members of industry and students.

Mola, who conducts research in the field of Material Science and Device Physics, has experience of working with materials including silicon and germanium as well as organic semiconductors. He was invited to present a plenary lecture thanks to his more than 10 years of work in the field of nanostructured materials and thin film solar cells, which has been published in several high impact journals.

The presentation focused on investigations on polymer-fullerene based thin film organic solar cells with and without nano-structured metal particles and composites to improve solar energy harvesting. His research group has routinely fabricated laboratory scale thin film solar cells and studied the effect of metal nano-particles on device performance in terms of changes in the optical, electrical and microstructural properties of the photoactive films. These solar cells are solution process-able and the 200-nanometre-thick absorber films can be deposited on transparent substrates such as glass, metal or plastic to convert solar energy into electricity. The advantages of this new generation of solar cell technology include low device processing costs, their lightweight nature and the fact that they are environmentally friendly. As such, they are important renewable energy sources.

Mola’s presentation was well received by fellow scientists and researchers. He said that the conference was also an opportunity to learn about important developments in the synthesis and applications of nano-structured materials. Conversations with other leading researchers gave rise to fresh research ideas and potential opportunities for collaboration.

Mola has been at UKZN for eight years, and has published 92 articles in refereed journals in the course of his career. He has supervised 35 postgraduate students from honours to PhD level and is currently pursuing research in the fabrication and characterisation of solution process-able thin film solar cells, which has attracted interest from both academia and industry.

‘There is … huge investment in this research field globally because of the high potential of the new technology in reducing the costs for solar cell, [and the] lightweight and mechanical flexibility of the devices,’ said Mola. ‘South Africa can benefit from this potential, since energy security is a priority in the country, and the world is moving towards clean sources of energy like these.’

Words: Christine Cuénod 

PhotographSupplied by Genene Tessema Mola


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UKZN Continues Schools Liaison Activities

UKZN Continues Schools Liaison Activities
Mr Sbusiso Hlongwa (pictured at the podium) from UKZN addresses learners at the Mandla Mthethwa School of Excellence.

Learners at the Mandla Mthethwa School of Excellence, a state-of-the-art rural school in eNdumo, northern KwaZulu-Natal, were motivated to work harder after learning about the different courses on offer at UKZN.

Mr Sbusiso Hlongwa of the University’s Corporate Relations Division delivered a talk to Grade 8 and 9 learners at the school and distributed information on different fields of study.

The R298-million school is the first such institution to be built in a rural area and was officially opened late last year. A fee-paying school that is surrounded by no-fee schools, it has 45 classrooms, three workshops, three laboratories, a library, a well-equipped media centre, a multi-purpose classroom, a dining hall, swimming pool, boarding facilities and many other amenities.

After a short presentation Hlongwa responded to a volley of questions, including whether it is possible to change one’s field of study after the first-year and whether a student who receives a bursary would retain it if he/she obtained lower marks than in the first-year of study.

Grade 9 learner, Miss Lihle Mngomezulu, 13, said she learnt that, in order for students to maintain momentum, working hard should start at school.

‘Mr Hlongwa educated us on what we should focus on, how to choose our subjects for the field we choose to study and how to get into university,’ said Mngomezulu.

Miss Bongeka Ndlovu, 13, would like to pursue a career in Engineering or Science. She said that she learnt that learners should research what courses different universities offer; otherwise they might find themselves doing something they don’t want to do.

Mr Sambulo Nxumalo, 14, said that he obtained information on how to apply to university and how to get information on the course he is interested in.

School Principal, Dr Bhekisisa Mthabela, praised Hlongwa for his informative presentation and said he would like to see learners from his school pursuing tertiary education and giving back to the community.

‘This is the deepest rural area in KwaZulu-Natal and the community are the poorest of the poor.

The provincial legislature together with corporate organisations decided to offer learners from rural areas the same opportunities and education that is offered at some of the popular high schools in the city.

‘We want to help learners to be able to compete on the same level. We also need medical doctors, engineers, pilots and construction companies here. We push our learners to work hard and set high standards. We are preparing them for 2022 and beyond,’ said Mthabela.

Words and photographs: Taschica Pillay 


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“YouthForLions” Workshop a Roaring Success

“YouthForLions” Workshop a Roaring Success
Blood Lions and YouthForLions with the workshop presenters.

The Blood Lions “YouthForLions” team hosted a workshop for more than 120 high school and university students at UKZN’s Howard College Theatre on Saturday, 2 March.

The event highlighted and discussed activities associated with the captive lion breeding industry in South Africa, and other pressing conservation and tourism topics, such as responsible tourism, ethical volunteering programmes, and the harm caused by interacting with wild animals. This was followed by a screening of the award winning film, Blood Lions® which follows acclaimed environmental journalist and safari operator Ian Michler, and Rick Swazey, an American hunter, on their journey to uncover the realities of the multimillion-dollar lion breeding and canned hunting industry in South Africa.

The Blood Lions “YouthForLions” campaign is a global movement aimed at informing and engaging the world’s youth around the realities of tourist activities that exploit lion, such as cub petting and walking with lions; and these activities’ contribution to the canned hunting industry in South Africa.


The students were inspired by presentations by YouthForLions Co-ordinator Cath Jakins; Wildlife ACT’s Mark Gerrard and Zama Ncube; Thompsons Africa’s Janine Southwood; Youth 4 African Wildlife’s Fortunate Phaka; and Project Rhino and Rhino Art’s Grant Fowlds; as well as Nune Jobe (Trails Guide and Youth Mentor), Melumsi Matiwane (Rhino Art Educator), and Ben Wallace (Videographer).


Following the presentations and the film, the students broke into groups and were given the task of creating a unique YouthForLions campaign to create awareness around the critical conservation issues they learnt about during the workshop. The Blood Lions “YouthForLions” team were thoroughly impressed by the wide variety of ideas presented by the 11 groups and faced the difficult task of deciding which was the most captivating and original campaign. The winning group received a two-day trip to the iconic Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve where they will have the opportunity to track and monitor wild lions and other priority species with conservation NGO, Wildlife ACT.

The students left the event with deeper understanding of the captive breeding industry, as well as the terms “responsible tourism” and “ethical wildlife volunteering”. They were also exposed to possible career paths and opportunities in the conservation field.

Gerrard commented: ‘It is vital to see such a huge group of youth here posing such relevant questions to the speakers. This event is a great initiative to work towards developing our future leaders in the conservation space.’

Jakins added that: ‘Engaging with the youth of KwaZulu-Natal at our workshop today has been such an amazing experience for myself and the rest of the Blood Lions “YouthForLions” team. It is really inspiring to see such passionate young people getting together to help make a difference for our wildlife.’

Words: BloodLions 

Photograph: Supplied


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Gender Studies Student Showcases Artwork

Gender Studies Student Showcases Artwork
Clockwise from left: Professor Rozena Maart and Ms Coral Bijoux with her artwork.

Gender Studies student, curator and artist, Ms Coral Bijoux’s work is featured at the Dreams, Wishes and Expectations RECYCLED exhibition at the historic 352-year-old Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. The exhibit is part of the Voices of Women Museum exhibition series, which is funded by the MTN SA Foundation. Professor Rozena Maart, UKZN Gender Studies, was the keynote speaker at the opening of the exhibition.

‘The Castle, a building imbued with our history of colonisation, stands as testimony to our resistance as well as our subordination. The Castle forces us to contemplate its existence in a new era where the “Rhodes Must Fall” students have asked questions about statues,’ said Bijoux.

‘This building was built with the sweat and tears of our ancestors and it is more than high time that we reclaim it,’ added Maart.

According to Bijoux, the exhibition is a reminder of the context within which women testify to their “enslavement” (domestic, secondary status, a lack of voice within perceived agency) in one form or another.

‘Space is a curatorial device for me which allows me to present narratives of women (and my own), not with the intention of presenting a victim stance, but rather a testimony to challenge the viewer to experience the space and to consider their own acquiescence in maintaining situations that render “the feminine” mute,’ as though her voice does not matter or is belittled because of patriarchy, explained Bijoux.

She adds that the “feminine” is also positioned as one of strengths within the muted-ness and dares to continue to bring to one’s attention the strangleholds that render one’s dreams unrealised. ‘Daring to dream irrespective of, in spite or despite all else is the position of “the free”...and we all have the possibility for that position,’ Bijoux said.

Bijoux positions herself within the exhibition context; using recycled plastic as a device or metaphor that enables one to consider our inhumanity that produces circumstances that render some powerless and others powerful.

‘Plastic is a material that enables, but ultimately disables our natural environment on which we depend for our survival. This forms a parallel to the feminine within each of us and our ability to survive,’ said Bijoux. ‘Consider then the use of the word “feminine” which is not gender specific, though it embraces one gender more than the other and which has a strength that we rely on for our survival.’

Maart, who is Bijoux’s supervisor, discussed transparency in her address. She noted that, ‘transparency is not only the question of the plastic and how we use and abuse the environment and the Earth but that people need to be conscious of recycling and to look at the transparency within our own lives. We need transparency as a sign of truth and honesty. This is what each of the “Voices of Women,” artists are telling us. The exhibition is important because we have entered an era where we are now looking at psychological components of trauma, oppression and colonisation in a whole new way.’

The exhibition, which runs until 15 April, also features selected artworks from the Voices of Women Collection where women’s art, defiantly rendered in cloth and thread, is framed conceptually by their narrative which outlines the circumstances embedded in their memory (cloth).

Bijoux has written a letter to Jan van Riebeeck who ‘stands masterfully and erect in the space bearing testimony to his role as one of the early and most well-known colonisers. The letter was written so that we may continue to engage in dialogue as well as continue to question ourselves and each other, until we confront our realities,’ she said.

The exhibition includes walkabouts, discussions and presentations by the curator and young guides who have been trained on its content. 

For more information, email the curator coralbijoux.65@gmail.com. The website is under development, but you may view www.amazwi-voicesofwomen.com.

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photographs: Roger Jardin, Coral Bijoux, Creative Feel


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Sociologist Contributes to International Conservation Publications

Sociologist Contributes to International Conservation Publications
Sociologist, Mr Malcolm Draper, who has contributed to international conservation publications.

Sociologist, Mr Malcolm Draper, contributed a chapter on “National Parks, Eco-Frontiers, and Transfrontiersmanship in Southern African Conservation” to Nature Conservation in Southern Africa published by Brill in Leiden, The Netherlands (2019), following a conference with Leiden’s African Studies Centre at Stellenbosch University.

Draper has been a speaker at Leiden’s African Studies Centre and previously contributed a chapter titled, “Holy Trout: New Zealand and South Africa” to Backcasts: A Global History of Fly Fishing and Conservation (2016) published by The University of Chicago Press 50 years after their publication of Norman MacClean’s A River Runs Through It.

His first chapter illuminates how shifting paradigms of human engagement with nature can lead to inversion rather than progression. It shows that a mediagenic and transfrontiersmanship approach was adopted to market southern Africa as an ecotourist destination, a post-national and post-colonial borderless product with culture (particularly indigenous culture) given primacy over and fused with nature, rather than the two being alienated from one another as was the case during the imperial and colonial era.

‘Ecocriticism has opened a new frontier for scholarship and, while showing the shortcomings of the programme, it can also appreciate the sincerity of postmodern transfrontiersmen’s journeys of reconciliation with their past as conquerors turning inward to the ultimate frontier to be tackled within the Western self. Such a perspective can challenge the anti-neoliberal orthodoxy,’ said Draper.

His second chapter expands on his published work on trout in South Africa to compare it with the New Zealand experience.

Draper has been fishing for trout since he was young and manages to combine his passion with his profession. He enjoys wielding his rod as a research instrument and has assisted with World Bank funded research on fly-fishing and tourism in the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Park between Lesotho and South Africa. There are pictures of him fishing for the indigenous yellowfish in the ensuing book, The Maloti Drakensberg Experience published by the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Project (2007).

Draper has also followed the story of trout in Zimbabwe and Kenya. His interest in tourism took him to New Zealand where he spoke at a conference in Waikato and published a chapter on “African Wilderness” in the ensuing book. While there he fished for southern hemisphere parallels and differences between the introduction of trout and the establishment of conservation institutions.

An essential part of this was a rod-wielding pilgrimage to Scotland. The resulting essay, “Holy Trout” is part of a volume on fly-fishing and conservation published by The University of Chicago Press. He extended these ideas as a featured speaker at the World of Trout Congress at Montana State University, Bozeman.

Draper also helped to organise the World Wilderness Congress initiated by late South African conservationist, Ian Player. His work is published in the proceedings and The International Journal of Wilderness. This led to fishing in Alaska. He co-authored two of the chapters in the book that resulted from the Congress, one with Fisheries scientists on trout management and the other with an historian and an anthropologist on the social and cultural values of trout. It will be published soon by the American Fisheries Society.

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photograph: Supplied


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Improving Child Healthcare

Improving Child Healthcare
The Umoja project has given birth to a partnership shoe and sock foundation.

Three Norwegian associates at UKZN’s Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics are not only working to reduce perinatal mortality rates and teaching researchers to write scientific articles aid, but are also giving back to the community.

Since 2004, Professors Eva Tegnander and Sturla Eik-Nes have been involved in training midwives to use ultrasound in KwaZulu-Natal health clinics. They also direct the Umoja project that aims to develop a user-friendly prototype 2 ultrasound machine that is based on a smart tablet to aid the midwives in their work and improve pregnancy care. Since 2013, Sturla’s wife, Professor Nancy Eik-Nes, has been regularly teaching registrars and younger researchers to improve their scientific writing skills. They all are affiliated with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

In the course of their work, they shared ideas with local community member and taxi driver Mr Sipho Patric Dlamini. Dlamini has been their driver since 2004 and the four have developed a lasting friendship. Dlamini has always dreamt of giving back to his community. The three Norwegians joined in and the four developed “Patric’s Charity Foundation for Noodsberg Primary School” which recently donated 100 pairs of shoes and 200 pairs of socks to learners at Primary School at Noodsberg.

Sturla says their general work in KwaZulu-Natal has been influenced by the Scandinavian model for using ultrasound: In Norway, midwives are doing the routine ultrasound examinations offered to all pregnant women at week 18. Sturla started the organisation of routine scanning in Norway in the late eighties. Tegnander who is also a midwife, then developed the formal university based ultrasound training of midwives. Experience has shown that all pregnant women in the peripheral/rural areas should be offered ultrasound examinations in order to reduce perinatal mortality in a country. Offering ultrasound services in private practice in the larger cities only, has little influence on improving the perinatal statistics of the total country.

Based on their work over time, the Norwegians have suggested different organisational models to be applied in the rural areas. One of them is the “Empangeni model”, which involves one large hospital, Lower Umfolozi District War Memorial Hospital (LUDWMH), surrounded by several primary health clinics. Five of the 13 midwives that educated there in 2011/2012 now work at five surrounding primary health clinics. They scan all the pregnant women attending the clinics and refer special cases to the centrally located LUDWMH.

An encouraging result is a fruitful co-operation between the hospital’s sonographers and the ultrasound midwives. Now the midwives identify cases to be further evaluated by the sonographers. The clinic midwives also gather basic information such as the precise gestational age and estimated time of delivery, twins, location of the placenta, etc. This has reduced the sonographers’ workload and resulted in more rational use of the skills of all parties and have made it possible for most of the pregnant woman to benefit from an ultrasound scan.

At the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, Nancy has continued the work she initiated in 2013, providing courses and workshops on scientific writing, as well as working one-on-one with those preparing protocols, articles for publication and PhD theses. Her co-operation with students and staff continues beyond her visits to South Africa and has resulted in young South African researchers being published in scientific journals.

‘It has been a true privilege to be able to participate in various activities that hopefully are of benefit to staff, students and, ultimately to the patients who are affected by the work at the School of Clinical Medicine. The shoes and socks project has deeply touched our hearts,’ said Sturla and added ‘that the support to the Noodsberg Primary School and the overwhelming response from the parents and the children has made us decide to make it a yearly event.’

Words: Lihle Sosibo 

Photographs: Supplied


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