Isikhungo se-University of Illinois Global Sivakashele e-UKZN

Isikhungo se-University of Illinois Global Sivakashele e-UKZN
Ithimba lase-University of Illinois e-Urbana-Champaign nabalingani balo base-UKZN.Click here for English version

Ithimba lase-College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) ngaphansi kwe-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) lisanda kuhlanganyela izinsuku ezimbili nezifundiswa nabacwaningi e-UKZN ukuzoqinisa amaxhama okuxhamana phakathi kwalezi zikhungo zombili.

Izifundiswa nabaphathi abali-11 base-ACES bavakashele e-UKZN ngokohlelo lwe-Academy for Global Engagement (i-Global Academy) nohlelo lokuqeqesha oluphambili lwe-Office of International Programs ye-ACES, olwenzelwe izisebenzi ezisemazingeni aphansi e-ACES. I-Academy inika abantu ithuba emisebenzini yokufunda nokuthola ulwazi olubenza balungele ukungena “shi” ohlelweni lwemfundo ephakeme.

Emzamweni wokubambisana ukuthola izisombulolo zama-Global Grand Challenges, i-Global Academy isiza ngokuxhumanisa izikhungo ezingeni lomhlaba nezinye izikhungo zocwaningo nezemfundo ephakeme.

I-Dean yase-ACES, uSolwazi Kimberlee Kidwell, ihlanganyele nabafundisa eminyangweni ehlukene yase-UIUC okungowe-Animal Science, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, Sociology, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Extension, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences ne-Crop Sciences. Abaphathi nabamele i-ACES Office of International Programs nabo bebekhona.

I-Dini eyibamba neNhloko ye-School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, uSolwazi Steve Worth, wemukele ithimba egameni lePhini leSekelashansela neNhloko yase-College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, uSolwazi Albert Modi.

‘Imfihlo wukubambisana. Siyazi ukuthi e-College yethu sikwazi ukushintsha impilo yabantu,’ kusho u-Worth, ochaze umsizila obonakalayo weNyuvesi e-Africa kwezokuthuthukisa izitshalo, ezokudla, isimo sokuguquguquka kwesimo sezulu neminye imikhakha.

Ngenkathi ithimba le-Global Academy livakashele e-UKZN, lihlangane nabacwaningi ngamunye bemikhakha ehambisana neyabo emikhakheni yeSayensi yeziLwane, i-Bioresources (yezoLimo) Engineering, ezomNotho wezoLimo, i-Agricultural Extension ne-Rural Resource Management, i-Plant Pathology, i-Sociology, nezeSayensi yoMhlabathi.

Ngaphezu kwezigcawu zokwabelana ngolwazi nemihlangano nabacwaningi ngamathuba okubambisana ekucwaningeni nasekufundiseni, izivakashi ze-UIUC zivakashele izindawo zocwaningo ezisezingeni lomhlaba okubalwa kuzo Ukulinga Research Farm ne-Controlled Environment Facility.

U-Kidwell uthe: ‘Ninento eningaziqhenya ngayo lapha. Sibone amathuba amaningi okubambisana nokusebenza nani. Siyabonga kakhulu ngesikhathi senu, amakhono enu, nemicabango yenu.’

Imiphumela yokuvakashelana izobonakala ngamathuba okuvakashelana kwabacwaningi bezikhungo zombili, ukubambisana ekucijeni abafundi abenza ucwaningo, izivivinyo, ukufundisa kwi-internet, ukusungula ukuphathwa kwamapulazi ocwaningo, imisebenzi yokucija, nokubambisana ocwaningweni.

I-College of ACES yase-UIUC kade yaba nobudlelwano nomkhakha we-Bioresources Engineering wase-UKZN ozoqhubeka ngoNtulikazi ngabafundi base-UIUC abazovakashela e-UKZN ohlelweni i-collaborative project-based study abroad programme.

Amagama nesithombe: ngu-Christine Cuénod


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UKZN Opens Historic Buildings Named after Struggle Icons

UKZN Opens Historic Buildings Named after Struggle Icons
Highlights from the launch of the new buildings on the Edgewood campus.

UKZN’s School of Education recently opened three of its new buildings on the Edgewood campus, Pinetown.

The University received infrastructure funding from the Department of Higher Education and Training to build the state-of-the-art facilities that have now been named after renowned struggle icons and educators. They are the Ellen Kuzwayo Building, Phyllis Naidoo Lecture Theatre and a reconfigured conference centre named after Dulcie September.

The Ellen Kuzwayo building further boasts three lecture theatres, staff offices and a commercial space.

The naming and inauguration of the three spaces culminate a three-year project around the decolonisation of UKZN spaces, and marks a “rebirth” for the Edgewood campus.

Dean and Head of the School of Education, Professor Thabo Msibi said, ‘From being founded as an all-White College of Education, the campus has transformed into a vibrant space; housing staff and students of diverse backgrounds. However, the naming of its buildings, including its spatial configuration, still largely reflects its founding history.’

The launch celebrations therefore mark an important political and academic milestone for UKZN. ‘The three spaces have been named after Black women who were struggle icons and educators. This is to recognise the powerful role that Black women educators played in the liberation of our country and also to address the lack of Black people in the naming of the existing buildings at the campus,’ added Msibi.

UKZN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Nana Poku said, ‘It is fitting that we honour these liberation icons through our University spaces. We are committed to transformation and will continue to pioneer the work of these revolutionary women to inspire a future of inclusivity and harness leadership. The work we do in these facilities will dovetail into what these women strived for.’

In his keynote address, Dr Enoch Nzama, KZN Department of Education HOD, recognised the role of the struggle icons whilst applauding UKZN’s significant stride towards offering decolonised and transformed education. He said he is hopeful that the new facilities would enable students to learn from the liberation stalwarts and implement their values and ideals into their lives. ‘The University has taken a bold step towards inclusivity. The country needs academic institutions to decolonise the environment of learning,’ he said.

Attending the launch were the families of the iconic women. Kuzwayo’s granddaughter, Ipeleng Mkhari thanked UKZN for honouring her grandmother, ‘I hope that UKZN students will embody her spirit and live ethically,’ while Naidoo’s daughter, Sukhthi added, ‘This is a befitting honour for my mother as I know she would love that her legacy lives on in a place of learning.’ Eldest niece of September, Ms Theresa Arendse said, ‘Dulcie made great sacrifices for the freedom of South Africa. Her values are espoused in this place of learning.’

At the Launch, six canvas paintings created by Education students, were showcased in the Dulcie September Conference Centre. The students were encouraged to be a part of the “Make Your Mark in Paint” initiative, curated by Education lecturers, Dr Antoinette D’amant and Professor Daisy Pillay.

Large canvases were set up outside the students’ exam venue. As they came out from writing their exams, they were invited to make their mark on them using paintbrushes and a variety of bright acrylic paints. Many of the students even used objects, jewellery and pictures as a source for their inspiration.

Said D’amant, ‘We were so amazed at the positive and enthusiastic response from the students. Some had never so much as held a paintbrush let alone painted on a canvas that was meant as an artwork! About 4 000 students contributed to the artworks. It was a wonderful experience.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Itumeleng Masa


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I-UKZN Isayine Isivumelwano ne-Health and Welfare Seta Ngamithi yesiNtu

I-UKZN Isayine Isivumelwano ne-Health and Welfare Seta Ngamithi yesiNtu
UNkk Elaine Brass, isikhulu esiphezulu se-HWSETA, nePhini leSekelashansela kwezoCwaningo e-UKZN, uSolwazi Deresh Ramjugernath, ngemva kokusayina isivumelwano.Click here for English version

Umkhakha wezemithi yesiNtu e-UKZN usanda kusayina isivumelwano ne-Health and Welfare SETA (i-HWSETA) ekhempasini i-Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine.

Emcimbini osihloko sithi: Taking African medicine to greater heights, bekunandisa iqembu Ikusasa Lethu, elihlanganisa abafundi base-UKZN elicule umculo wesiNtu futhi basina.

IPhini LeSekelashansela EliyiNhloko eKolishi Lezifundo Zezempilo e-UKZN, uSolwazi Busisiwe Ncama, uthe uyaziqhenya ngokuthi isikhungo sibe nomcimbi onjengalo ohlonipha imithi yesiNtu. Ubalule Ezezifundo ZokuXilonga Imithi yesiNtu, ekhempasini i-Howard College, njengesikhungo esasungulelwa ukuhlanganisa abelaphi bendabuko nabafundi kanye nokubuyisa isithunzi samakhambi esiNtu ngocwaningo olusezingeni eliphezulu. ‘Ngifisa ukubonga i-HWSETA ngemifundaze kwezokwelapha ngamakhambi esiNtu, okuqede umqondo wokuthi le ndima iyeke ukuthathwa njenge“nsumansumane” kepha ibe seqhulwini locwaningo,’ kusho uNcama.

USolwazi Nceba Gqaleni, uSolwazi wase-UKZN noyilungu le-Interim Traditional Health Practitioners Council of South Africa, ubalule ukuthi iNyuvesi yabafaka kanjani abelaphi bendabuko namakhambi esiNtu ohlelweni lokufunda ukufundisa ongoti bezokwelapha nabafundi ukuthi akusibo bodwa ongoti emkhakheni wezempilo.

Uyishayele ihlombe i-UKZN ngokuba yisikhungo semfundo ephakeme sokuqala ukusayina isivumelwano salolu hlobo sokusebenzisana nabelaphi bendabuko kwezempilo. ‘Kuwumsebenzi wethu ukubuyisa isithunzi sobuntu bethu, okuyindima yokwelapha yesiNtu, kanti wumsebenzi omkhulu lona,’ kusho yena.

Kwethulwe uxhaxha lwezinhlelo zokwelapha ngokwesiNtu okubalwa kuzo lokhu okungezansi:

•    I-Traditional Medicine Laboratory yase-UKZN isetshenziselwe ucwaningo olumqoka lwezifo ezingathathelani, ukuvuselelwa kwezicubu, nezifo ezithathelanayo;

•    Kwethulwe incwadi ngoNcwaba wangowezi-2018 ebizwa ngokuthi: Foundations of African Traditional Medicine, A Nguni Perspective;

•    Ukusungulwa kwendawo yamakhambi ebe nocwaningo lwayo lokuqala esiBhedlela iYideni (eMgungundlovu);

•    Ukuqalwa kwezinhlelo ezisebenzayo zokuqeqesha abelaphi bendabuko ngesandulelangculazi;

•    Ukusebenza kwezincwadi zikadokotela ezigunyazwe wumNyango wezeMpilo abelaphi bezendabuko abangazinika iziguli zabo.

UNkk Elaine Brass, isikhulu esiphezulu se-HWSETA, uthe ujabulile ngokuba yingxenye yalo mcimbi. Ukuthakasele ukusayinwa kwesivumelwano nokuqiniswa kobudlelwano bokusebenzisana phakathi kwe-HWSETA ne-UKZN.

Ubongele izitshudeni ezinemifundaze yezifundo zokwelapha ngamakhambi esiNtu, wazifisela impumelelo ezifundweni zazo. ‘Yazini ukuthi nineqhaza elimqoka ekuthuthukiseni lo mkhakha. Sikubheke ngamehlo abomvu ukuthola ikhambi, hhayi lengculazi kuphela kepha futhi nelomdlavuza,’ kusho yena. 

IPhini leSekelashansela kwezoCwaningo, uSolwazi Deresh Ramjugernath, uncome igalelo lamakhambi esiNtu enqubweni yohulumeni emhlabeni.

Ubonge umNyango wezeMpilo ngokuqinisa ubudlelwano bawo neNyuvesi. ‘Ngithakasile ngokusebenzisana kwe-HWSETA neNyuvesi ukwenza ukuthi ukwelapha ngamakhambi esiNtu kuhlonipheke, kube sezingeni elifana nelokwelapha ngamakhambi esilungu,’ kusho yena.

UMnu Vukani Khoza, umQondisi wezamaKhambi esiNtu emNyangweni wezeMpilo KwaZulu-Natali, unxuse i-UKZN ukuthi ibeke eqhulwini izinto ezidinga ukucwaningwa, wabonga Ikusasa Lethu ngokuqhakambisa isiko nomculo kwesiNtu. ‘Ngiyabonga ngaleli thuba kanti ngibubheke ngamehlo abomvu ukusebenzisana neNyuvesi okuzohlomulisa abelaphi bendabuko,’ kusho uKhoza.

Amagama: nguHlengiwe Precious Khwela

Isithombe: wu-Albert Hirasen


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Combating Gender-Based Violence at UKZN

Combating Gender-Based Violence at UKZN
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By Janine Hicks

Students, staff and management at institutions of higher learning across the country, as well as leadership within the Department of Higher Education and Training, have been outraged at the levels of gender-based violence (GBV) on university campuses and residences. This includes sexual harassment, sexual violence and assault, bullying and intimidation of gay and lesbian students, as well as crimes such as rape. While in some instances students complain of unsafe spaces in and around campuses and in off-campus residences, research and statistics reveal that many instances of GBV occur within intimate partner and peer group relationships. With lack of awareness on what constitutes GBV, and what counts as consent to unwanted sexual attention and acts, fear of stigma and lack of confidence in the university reporting mechanism leads many students to either not recognise or report such instances of GBV. 

As a university, we have an obligation to provide a safe teaching and learning environment – which means that we have to put measures in place to prevent and respond to instances of GBV. The UKZN Senate responded in October 2017 by enacting GBV and sexual harassment policies, which can be found online at https://aessupport.ukzn.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Policy-on-Gender-based-violence.pdf

The GBV Policy begins with the following declaration:

Gender-based violence is an affront to human dignity and is fundamentally at odds with the ethos and the values of the South African Constitution, to which the University of KwaZulu-Natal subscribes. The University is committed to providing a work and living and learning environment that is free from violence of any form, unfair discrimination or harassment and, in particular will not tolerate any member of its community engaging in violence on the basis of gender, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.

GBV Policy and Committee

A Procedures and Guidelines document was adopted, which envisages the creation of a Gender-based Violence Committee (GBVC), to monitor reported incidents of GBV and oversee the implementation of the GBV Policy. The GBVC was finally appointed and quorate in September 2018, and we have been extremely busy since then to discharge our mandate and address the unacceptable scourge of GBV at our Institution. 

The GBVC comprises representatives from the SRC, School of Law, Human Resources, Student Residence Affairs, Student Support Services and Student Services, Risk Management Services, Professional Services Board, and other nominated experts and relevant entities. Membership is on a three-year basis, renewable once, depending on members’ availability to serve. All members are required to sign confidentiality agreements, in accordance with the GBV Procedure and Guidelines document.

The mandate of the GBVC is as follows:

•    Monitor and review the implementation and impact of the UKZN GBV and Sexual Harassment policy documents and procedures at UKZN;

•    Monitor the investigation and outcome of all reported complaints of GBV at UKZN and collate all statistical information on the outcome of such cases;

•    Collaborate with University stakeholders to propose the undertaking of special projects to address gaps and shortcomings in the University’s response to GBV at UKZN;

•    Develop recommendations on GBV prevention and awareness campaigns and measures at UKZN, and collaborate with appropriate University and external stakeholders in this regard;

•    Periodically review and propose any amendments to the GBV Policy, Procedure and Guidelines, and Sexual Harassment Policies; and

•    Report regularly to Senate on emerging recommendations, issues of concerns, and progress in regard to the implementation of the GBV Policy.

GBVC interventions

Since our inception, the GBVC has worked to address a range of critical issues to raise awareness of GBV, ensure that an appropriate policy framework is in place, gather and record reported statistics, monitor GBV cases in the system, and above all, to ensure that an appropriate reporting and response mechanism is enacted to assist and respond to those reporting instances of GBV. The GBVC has developed an annual programme of action (POA) to guide the implementation of various reporting, awareness and response measures undertaken by the various UKZN departments as represented in the GBVC. The POA reflects a co-ordinated set of interventions to ensure no gaps and duplication in effort, as well as collaboration amongst key stakeholders. 

Reporting protocol

A reporting protocol has been developed, with clarity on the reporting process, flow and roles of relevant UKZN stakeholders - from RMS to Student Services and the Office of the Proctor. This is currently being reviewed by implementation stakeholders, and once adopted, the final version will be publicised in the UKZN community. We have proposed the development of public information materials reflecting the reporting and response mechanisms for display on posters and through UKZN social media platforms to ensure all UKZN stakeholders are aware of this protocol.

Emergency response mechanism

The GBVC and RMS have been working hard to ensure a viable and immediate emergency response mechanism to instances of GBV. At the heart of this is the mobile panic button, embedded in the UKZN mobile app. The mobile panic app is active and RMS staff have been trained on how to respond and how to track all calls and outcomes on the RMS system which will be monitored by supervisors. The panic app will be launched and popularised within the University community through the Institution’s online communication and social media platforms.

Statistics and progress in reported GBV cases

Of huge concern to the GBVC is the lack of consolidated data on reported GBV cases. The GBVC has developed a matrix to collate such data, and has established a reporting mechanism with the office of the Proctor to obtain quarterly updates on all matters currently before it. This matrix will provide the GBVC with reliable statistics, on a quarterly basis, of all GBV cases currently under investigation or undergoing disciplinary processes together with outcomes on each matter. 

Training of RMS and residence stakeholders

RMS has already convened pilot training sessions for 30 of its officers and its investigators to ensure they are familiar with concepts of GBV and their obligations in terms of the GBV Policy and Procedures document. UKZN has contracted the Advice Desk for the Abused to undertake an in-depth training programme of all RMS officers. Such training will also be extended to Residence Assistants (RAs) to ensure inclusion of reporting protocols in their training and residence tours processes. Comfort Rooms for all RMS campus offices have been identified and resourced and have been operational since 1 April 2019.

Environmental audit

The GBVC has fed issues of concern raised by students in relation to unsafe spaces for inclusion in a UKZN environmental audit. he GBVC is anticipating an update on interventions in response at its next meeting.

Staff induction and training

The GBVC is overseeing the development of material to share with school boards and management committees for inclusion in staff induction. This will include a video that speaks to the definition of GBV, the policy and procedures framework and the reporting protocol.

Development of a compulsory cross-discipline module

The GBVC is liaising with the College of Humanities to develop and pilot a cornerstone type programme for potential roll-out across all Schools. This will address issues of diversity and social cohesion including GBV, homophobia and other forms of discrimination as well as hate crimes.

Way Forward

The GBVC welcomes the appointment of a GBV Task Team on the UKZN Executive Management Committee (EMC). This will serve as a means for us to report on issues of concern relating to GBV, requiring response from UKZN administration. We will be sharing quarterly progress reports, statistics and progress on reported GBV cases, updates on projects initiated by the GBVC, and any issues of concern regarding gaps or challenges requiring intervention by the EMC.

What to do in the case of rape or sexual assault:

•    Contact RMS – 031 260 3777

•    After hours emergencies:

- RMS (Westville) 031 260 7133

- RMS (PMB) 033 260 5211

- RMS (Howard) 031 260 2540/2

•    Report the assault and lay a charge at SAPS (RMS will assist you with this)

•    Go to a hospital/District Surgeon within 72 hours of the rape (RMS will accompany you to a Thuthuzela Care Centre)

•    Make an appointment with a UKZN Student Counsellor in the respective Colleges’ Student Support Services

Additional off-campus support:

•    Lifeline Durban – 031 312 23 23

•    Lifeline PMB – 033 394 44 44/0861 322 322

•    Thuthuzela Care Centres – 031 401 0394: Umlazi TCC, Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital; Phoenix TCC Mahatma Ghandi Memorial Hospital; RK Khan TCC, RK Khan Hospital

•     SAPS Umbilo – 031 203 2409

•    Advice Desk for the Abused – 031 262 5231

•    Open Door Crisis Centre – 084 409 2679

•    Jess Foord Foundation – 0861 333 449

•    Isipingo Support Centre – 031 902 2158

•    Cleremont Women’s Project – 031 707 2221

Janine Hicks is Chairperson of the UKZN GBV Committee and a lecturer in the School of Law. The above is written in her personal capacity.

*Picture of Janine Hicks courtesy of Independent Newspapers


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Owase-UKZN Ugixabezwe nge-SAFRI Fellowship

Owase-UKZN Ugixabezwe nge-SAFRI Fellowship
Kusukela kwesobunxele wuDkt Kimesh Naidoo owudokotela wezingane owathola umfundaze i-SAFRI wangowezi-2018, uDkt Jacky van Wyk wakwa-AL-Research, noNks Keshena Naidoo othole umfundaze we-SAFRI wangowezi-2019.Click here for English version

UNks Keshena Naidoo ofundisa e-UKZN uhlabane ngomfundaze i-Sub-Saharan Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute (i-SAFRI) yomuntu ofundisa ezezeMpilo ukuthi eseke umsebenzi owenza izinto ngendlela entsha esikhungweni afundisa kuso.

Lolu wuhlelo lweminyaka emibili endimeni yezezempilo kulabo abangakwazi ukuphucula imfundo yezezempilo ezikhungweni zabo.

Umsebenzi ka Naidoo wuhlaka oluhlanganisa imikhakha ehlukene ekuqeqeshelweni ukunakekela amakhehla nezalukazi kwabantu abenza iziqu zeqhuzu lokuqala. Umuntu omcijayo ekucwaningeni wuSolwazi Jacky van Wyk.

Lesi sikhungo sikhipha imifundaze ecela kwi-16 minyaka yonke okuhloswe ngayo ukuqeqesha izindlela zokufundisa, ubufundiswa namakhono obuholi nokusungula izindlela zokweseka abantu abenza lo msebenzi kubantu abafundisayo.

‘Kusukela ngo-2003 ngifundisa e-UKZN kanti nginombono wemfundo edidiyele imikhakha ehlukene kubafundi bezezempilo,’ kusho uNaidoo. Unabe wathi umfundaze i-SAFRI yithuba eliyingqayizivele lokuhlangana nabalingani abacabangisa okwakhe e-Afrika.

Amagama: ngu-Nombuso Dlamini


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Kwethulwe uhlelo lwe-Durban International Film Festival

Kwethulwe uhlelo lwe-Durban International Film Festival
Amanqampunqampu okwethulwa kwe-DIFF kwabezindaba.Click here for English version

Uhlelo lwe-Durban International Film Festival (i-DIFF) yama-40, lwethulwe kwabezindaba e-Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) yase-College of Humanities, yase-UKZN, e-Maharani Hotel.

Le festiveli yenzelwa ezindaweni ezehlukene zasedolobheni namaphethelo kusukela ngomhla we-18 kuya kumhla wama-28 kuNtulikazi ngaphansi kwendikimba ethi: Uniting Africa through Film.

I-DIFF izovulwa yi-Knuckle City evutshelwe wumqondisi waseNingizimu Afrika, uMnu Jahmil X.T. Qubeka. Le filimu ibheka isimo somqondo womshayisibhakela waseMdantsane, eyilokishi laseNingizimu Afrika elinomlando wokukhiqiza ompetha besibhakela bomhlaba. IngesiXhosa kanti ibheka indaba yokwazisa ubudoda ngokwedlulele nezinto ezenzeka emakhosombeni lapho kuliwa khona.

UQubeka uthe: ‘Ngisondelene kabi nale festiveli. Ngiyizwa ngaphakathi. Kuyintokozo kimi ukuphinde ngibe nefilimu eqokelwe ukuvula. Ngikubheke ngamehlo abomvu ukuba kwi-DIFF.’

UDkt Lliane Loots, owumqondisi obambile e-CCA, uchaze ifestiveli njengomgubho wamafilimu weminyaka engama-40. ‘Ukufinyelela kule ngqophamlando yefestiveli yamafilimu yaseNingizimu Afrika, nase-Afrika imbala, kuyimpumelelo yabo bonke abenzi bamafilimu asebake bakhombisa umsebenzi wabo kule nkundla nawo wonke umsebenzi wokwenza amafilimu nabo bonke abantu ngamunye asebake bathamela le midlalo. Njengoba i-DIFF igubha indawo yayo e-Afrika nasemhlabeni, sijabulile ukuba yinkundla yokuthi abantu abanganakiwe kulendima babeke ilaka labo,’ kusho yena.

U-Loots uqhube wathi i-DIFF iyaqhubeka nokukhangisa ngamafilimu abantu besifazane, wazibophezela emkhankasweni ka-“50/50 ngowezi-2020” ovunywe kumafestiveli amaningi emhlabeni. Le festiveli izibophezele ‘ekufinyeleleni kumaphesenti angama-50 kulo nyaka kuzo zonke izinhlelo, okuyisibalo esifisa ukufinyelela kuso bese siphinde sisiphucula kumafestiveli alandelayo,’ kusho yena.

Isiphethu - Emerging Filmmakers Hub- ibambisene ne-Andrew Mellon Foundation ne-KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission- izoba nesithangami sokucijana sokuqala sokubhala amafilimu ngesiZulu.

Kukhethwe amaqophamlando ayishumi azoqhudelana emkhakheni wamaqophamlando avelele i-Best Documentary ne-Best South African Documentary. Onqobile uyoba sethubeni lokuqokelwa kwi-Academy Award.

IMenenja ye-DIFF, uNks Chipo Zhou, ithe: ‘Sijabule kakhulu ngohlobo lwamafilimu emcintiswaneni wamaqophamlando kulo nyaka. Sinemingenelo yamaqophamlando engama-950 ethinta izindikimba nezihloko eziningi ezehlukene. Uhlu lwakulo nyaka lugxile ohambweni lwabantu ngamunye, iningi lalo ligxile entsheni ebhekene nezinselelo ezahlukene, okubalwa kuzo indaba yobulili, eyobuhlanga neyesiko. Sikubheke ngamehlo abomvu ukubona la mafilimu nezethameli kwi-DIFF nezinto ezixukuza ugebhezi kulabo abenza amafilimu abazobe bekhona.’

I-12th Talents Durban, ibambisene ne-Berlinale Talents (i-Berlin International Film Festival) inika ithuba abenzi bamafilimu abali-18 lokuthi baye ohlelweni lwezinsuku ezinhlanu zokucijwa.

Izincwajana zohlelo nazo zonke izikhathi zokuvezwa kwamafilimu zizotholakala mahhala ezindaweni zamafilimu nezinye izindawo zokusabalalisa ulwazi.

Ngeminye imininingwane, vakashela ku-http://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/ noma yiliphi ikhasi lezinkundla zokuxhumana ze-DIFF.

Amagama: ngu-Melissa Mungroo

Izithombe: Zithunyelwe


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Social Work PhD Student Part of Bergen Summer Research School

Social Work PhD Student Part of Bergen Summer Research School
PhD in Social Work student, Ms Thobeka Ntini, who got to be part of the Bergen Summer Research School (BSRS) in Norway.

PhD student in Social Work Ms Thobeka Ntini was thrilled to be part of the Bergen Summer Research School (BSRS) in Norway. As an emerging academic, Ntini sees spaces like BSRS as an opportunity for students and junior researchers to hear feedback from researchers and esteemed scholars from different socio-cultural and economic backgrounds, as well as disciplines.

‘Having the diversity of perspectives and some of the best international practitioners in the field of social sciences, all in one room, can stimulate wider thinking that really breaks the boxed thinking of what one is used to – in a sense, you realise your common knowledge is not so common,’ she said.

The programme included lectures, keynote addresses and PhD student presentations. Ntini also enjoyed a guided excursion into the waterscape of western Norway, exploring how the many forms of water have shaped society and created unique landscapes in that part of the country.

‘Besides my enthusiasm for meeting new people and exchanging ideas, I got involved hoping to develop my analytic expertise in relation to research processes and practices. Since my PhD is in its first year, I trust that the conversations with other researchers, and content offered during this course will have substantial benefit for grounding my work,’ said Ntini.

Her research focuses on the institution of domestic work using the lenses of post-structural feminist perspective. The study attempts to unravel dynamics of power and its nuances in the relation between domestic workers and domestic worker employers in the contemporary South Africa.

It strives to break out of the parameters of dominant narratives within the institution of domestic work with the hope of allowing multiple and possibly contradicting truths that lead to more nuanced discussions of power, both as oppressive and limiting in some aspects but also protective in other ways.

Ntini learned more about migration processes and ethical considerations when doing research with immigrants and refugees. ‘The institution of domestic work is underpinned by migration processes both internal and external, we are seeing a lot more immigrants being hired as domestic workers in South Africa, and that is setting a fairly new trend for domestic labour sector in our context that presents its own challenges,’ she explained.

Ntini is passionate about academia. She spent the past two years abroad (Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Uganda) completing her second masters in an Erasmus Mundus programme on Social Work with Families and Children.

‘Through that programme, I have made lifelong and meaningful relationships with people from more than 10 countries. Similar to the BSRS, I believe it will offer me with a chance to build relations that cross borders and create networks for future collaborative work even post the doctoral studies,’ she added.

Her advice to students is ‘Applying for an opportunity starts way before you fill-in the actual application form, meaning that preparation meets opportunity. Give yourself time to search for scholarships, bursaries and send emails for enquiries. Drafting proposals and motivational letters is all hard work that begins before submitting the application. Opportunities do not miraculously land on your lap, you have to jump high enough to grab them – the decision to jump lies with you.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Supplied


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New Centre Boosts Biodiversity and Ecology Research

New Centre Boosts Biodiversity and Ecology Research
Attendees at the launch of the Centre for Functional Biodiversity on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus.

UKZN’s Centre for Functional Biodiversity (CFB) was officially launched at an event on the Pietermaritzburg campus attended by academics, students and researchers from across the University’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, as well as several other institutes and research centres.

Addressing attendees, Professor Steven Johnson, Director of the CFB and South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Evolutionary Biology, explained that the Centre was initiated to draw together research efforts in biodiversity and ecological sciences across various disciplines at the University.

Johnson provided a background on developments in the fields of biodiversity science and ecology and ecosystem functioning that paved the way for the growth in these scientific fields. He spoke about UKZN’s contributions as a leading institution in biodiversity and ecology research.

‘People are doing an incredibly diverse range of ecological and biodiversity science-related work across the University,’ said Johnson. He added that this raised the need for a structure that makes the most of this expertise and the opportunities available to researchers.

Johnson pointed to the abundance of species and habitats in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the richest in the country in terms of its biodiversity, as a motivating factor to establish a centre. Researchers aim to position the CFB as a national and international centre of expertise in a region in which high levels of biodiversity intersect with rapid environmental change.

‘Given our profile at the University and our particular place in the world, we can make a significant contribution,’ said Johnson.

He also elaborated on the mission of the CFB, noting that it will form a hub for leading researchers, including UKZN’s SARChI and University research chairs, with expertise in studying the origins, distribution and maintenance of biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems. Postgraduate training in basic and applied biological sciences will also be a focus.

Within the field of biodiversity and ecology, the CFB aims to initiate and strengthen research, develop the capacity of postgraduate students and young scientists, establish and strengthen research partnerships nationally and internationally, and foster collaboration between researchers in different Schools and Colleges at UKZN.

The Centre will also develop a regional community of practice involving academic institutions, protected area agencies, and non-governmental and municipal biodiversity interest groups or stakeholders. It will foster community engagement and linkages with relevant research agencies, and encourage community engagement with organisations including conservancies, schools, and non-governmental organisations.

Words and photograph: Christine Cuénod


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Living an Emotionally Intelligent Life

Living an Emotionally Intelligent Life
Striving to live emotionally intelligent lives.

The College of Health Sciences, through its “Grow our People”, strategy recently held a number of training workshops for staff on emotional intelligence. The five introspective sessions which included all professional services staff in the College as well as the Director and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, were aimed at ensuring that staff are capacitated to manage their emotions, especially in challenging situations.

Facilitated by counselling psychologist Ms Lucinda Johns, the interactive workshops included team building approaches, developing listening skills, introspection exercises, recognising one’s physical reactions to emotions, identifying one’s fears and appreciating diversity in teams.

Through a customer feedback survey conducted by the College’s Public Relation’s Office, Ms Ngezwi Barbara Sikosana from the Discipline of Family Medicine commented: ‘It was an eye-opening experience for me. One of the exercises we performed, where we exchanged our fears anonymously, left me feeling transformed. I am not the same after the workshop and would recommend more of these going forward. I was personally feeling heavily laden, but after all the fun we had, I feel less burdened and it has improved my level of productivity.’

Feedback indicated that the majority of participants were struck by the fact that team members had similar personal fears. One said, ‘I appreciated the honesty and boldness to speak out about our personal fears and it was eye opening to know that there’s someone else going through a similar path.’

Another staff member commented, ‘This workshop brought awareness to me regarding how I should deal with my emotions in different situations. I am now able to assess and evaluate my responses before I react to challenging and conflicting issues. I learnt how to deal with drama queens and people who throw tantrums.’

Each workshop ended with a fun filled karaoke session and all staff were encouraged to sing their favourite songs. The participants got to know one another on a more personal level outside of the office space. Friendships were formed with staff that one does not usually interact with.

Professor Fanie Botha, Director of Professional Services said, ‘Self introspection is always the key to recognising how one reacts in difficult situations. This workshop helped us to identify our own weaknesses and strengths, ensuring that we show authenticity at all times. It was a fun, enlightening day.’

Words: MaryAnn Francis


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Medical Student Presents at International Symposium

Medical Student Presents at International Symposium
Fifth-year Medical student, Mr Kapil Narain, enjoying Kigali.

Fifth-year Medical student, Mr Kapil Narain, was selected to present his research at the Incision Global Surgery Symposium (IGSS) 2019 held in Kigali, Rwanda. The symposium attracted more than 300 participants from 26 countries. Narain was also selected as one of 10 full scholarship recipients.

‘I am ecstatic to have presented my study Perioperative Blood Transfusion in a Sample of South African Primary Hip Arthroplasty Patients: Incidence and Associated Factors to an international audience comprising surgeons, global surgery experts, registrars and fellow medical students. This study found that age greater than or equal to 70 years and extended surgery were statistically significant factors associated with higher incidence of transfusion.

‘This information can assist surgeons and policy makers in avoiding unnecessary transfusion, thereby reducing the risk of transfusion-related complications and improving perioperative blood-product and patient management. It also has significant implications for communicating to patients and their families, as part of the informed consent process, the potential increased risk of blood transfusion in these patients. I thank Dr Yoshan Moodley for supervising me,’ said Narain.

The IGSS focused on surgery as an essential component of universal health coverage; the role of international organisations in global surgery care; international partnerships; health systems strengthening; advocacy in global surgery; women in surgery and human resources for health. Speakers included representatives from Harvard University, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), Operation Smile, the Ministry of Health of Rwanda, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Rwanda.

Narain also enjoyed the cultural experience in Rwanda. He remarked, ‘It was also a sobering experience visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which commemorates the tragedy of the 1994 Rwandan genocide where over a million Rwandans lost their lives. Today, Rwanda has been cited as the gold standard for universal health coverage on the African continent and one of the few countries in the world to achieve this. According to the United Nations, it is also the cleanest city on the planet. One is utterly mesmerised by the metamorphosis of this nation. It is testament to the power of the human spirit, determination, dedication and political will. The sheer natural beauty coupled with Rwandese hospitality made every day a joy.’

Dr Dominique Vervoort, Chair of Incision and fellow of the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School said, ‘IGSS2019 was a historical meeting, with over 300 students from 16 African countries, showcasing the motivation and eagerness of Medical students to push forward the field of global surgery on the African continent - and their ability to do so. It was a tremendous pleasure to have Kapil Narain with us as one of the 10 funded Travel Scholars, and we are excited to see the great work he will bring about in his home country through InciSioN.’

Narain’s study was recently selected to be presented at the World Congress of Surgery in Krakow, Poland and he was selected to be part of the Future of Surgery Program at this Congress.

Words: MaryAnn Francis


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Alumni Enjoy Film Screening

Alumni Enjoy Film Screening
UKZN alumni at the movie evening.

Fun was had by 120 alumni who attended a special screening of the recently released film, The Sun is also a Star at Musgrave Centre in Durban on 12 June 2019.

Attendees represented diverse professions and all four of UKZN’s Colleges. Each received an information pack of University materials and participated in a lucky-draw for UKZN mementos. These movie evenings are extremely popular and are an annual feature on the UKZN alumni calendar.

Words: Finn Christensen

Photographs: Andile Ndlovu


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Nursing Students Reach Out to Learners

Nursing Students Reach Out to Learners
Fourth-year Psychiatric Nursing students at Montarena Secondary with lecturer, Mrs MA Jarvis; student counsellor, Mrs W Thaver; and teacher, Mr S Moodley.

Fourth-year Psychiatric Nursing students at UKZN held a mini-seminar for Grade 9 to 12 learners at Montarena Secondary School in Chatsworth to equip learners with knowledge to improve their sense of self-efficacy and navigational skills in career pathing.

The seminar was part of the students’ community mental health outreach programme and followed a survey they conducted on the learners’ needs. 

Ms Fauziya Chirwa, Mr Clovis Dusabe, Ms Elzane Miran, Ms Gebisile Miya, Ms Yashveer Santoo, Ms Delicia Subbramony, Ms Zanele Ngcamu and Ms Nene Sinokubusiswa highlighted theimportance of goal setting. Grade 9 learners were provided with information about subject choices and the importance of choosing the right subjects for their intended careers, while those in higher grades received information on funding, choosing a Higher Education Institution and various career paths. 

School teacher, Mr S Moodley, thanked UKZN, especially the Nursing Discipline, for its valuable contribution through their relationship established in 2014, with Mental Health Lecturer Mrs Ann Jarvis. ‘The nursing students that come to the school add value and we are grateful for their work,’ he said.

Speaking on behalf of fellow learners, Grade 9 peer mentor Andile Sishi thanked the students for their contribution and for making a difference in improving the school. ‘I am thrilled that I was selected by my classmates as their peer mentor; and I will work hard with nurses in their programmes to help my peers,’ Sishi said.

The event was attended by approximately 150 learners, Principal, Mr PG Govender, liaison teacher, Mr S Moodley, lecturer, Mrs MA Jarvis, College of Health Sciences Student Counsellor, Mrs W Thaver, and representatives from Richfield and Rosebank Colleges. For more information, visit the website developed by the students: www.montarenasecondary.wixsite.com/self-efficacy

Words: Nombuso Dlamini


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UKZN hosts Women in Leadership Workshop

UKZN hosts Women in Leadership Workshop
From left: Dr Gugu Mazibuko, Professor Colleen Downs, and Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu at the leadership workshop for women in academia hosted by UKZN’s Human Resources Division.

UKZN’s Human Resources Division hosted a leadership workshop for women in academia that brought together women from different disciplines to share their experiences, learn from one another and feel empowered.

Executive Director: Human Resources, Dr Siphelele Zulu reflected on how important it is for the University to empower women and encouraged more women to motivate one another. ‘We need to break down the “only woman” syndrome,’ said Zulu.

Guest speaker, Professor Colleen Downs from the School of Life Sciences and SARChi Research Chair in Ecosystem Health and Biodiversity, reflected on her journey in academia which included attaining her PhD in 1990 from the former University of Natal; and working as a lecturer from 1993; senior lecturer from 1998; and Associate Professor from 2003. She encouraged more women to stay in the field of academia as only a few do after postgraduate studies. ‘What I want is to keep you in academia and research, but I don’t want to preach to you because one shoe does not fit all,’ said Downs.

She commented on the different phases she went through in her career and the challenges she faced in teaching, postgraduate student supervision, and research while juggling these responsibilities with her personal life as a wife and mother. ‘Academia is filled with a lot of pressure to tick all the right boxes, but we need to be able to define success for ourselves if we want to have peace, joy and fulfilment,’ she said.

Thanking Downs, Director: Human Resource Development, Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu commented, ‘I believe women don’t need empowerment because there are a lot of women doing greats things; they just need a platform to showcase their achievements and inspire other women to do the same.’

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Albert Hirasen


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Humanities Writing Place Hosts Workshop for Master’s Students

Humanities Writing Place Hosts Workshop for Master’s Students
Master’s students at the workshop on writing a good research proposal.

A workshop for first-year master’s students on how to write a good research proposal was hosted by The Writing Place within the College of Humanities on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

The subjects covered included topic formulation, proposal drafting, theoretical framework identification and methodology. As part of the workshop, students were assisted with their academic writing skills through an emphasis on essay/assignment structure and understanding academic concepts.

Writing Place Co-ordinator Mr Liberty Mambodiani said, ‘We understand that students struggle with issues of writing so these workshops are designed to improve and enhance academic writing skills to enable students to structure their research proposals correctly and in turn improve academic performance.’

Ms Nomzamo Mbuthu attended the workshop to improve her proposal. ‘Attending the workshop was a great experience and students should take the opportunity to attend such initiatives facilitated by the College. They provide a good support system and grant us the opportunity to get to know one another as postgraduate students,’ she said.

Mbuthu’s research focuses on the environmental sustainability impacts of special economic zones using the Dube Tradeport as a case study.

Another student Ms Zamokuhle Thabethe commented, ‘Being a part of the workshop was a learning experience for me and it helped improve my performance. These workshops are important as they are very informative and provide a safe space for postgraduate students to discuss challenges in their areas of research.’

Thabethe’s research looks at the capacity of librarians to run and support digital resources in public libraries located in Pietermaritzburg.

The students encouraged others to make use of The Writing Place and to continue to work hard.

Words: Melissa Mungroo


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“Meet the CEO” - Bridging the Gap between Business and Academia

“Meet the CEO” - Bridging  the Gap between Business and Academia
Mr Prasheen Maharaj (left) and Dr Rudi Kimmie at the “Meet the CEO” event.

The Aerotropolis Institute Africa (AIA) in collaboration with UKZN’s School of Engineering recently hosted a highly successful “Meet the CEO” event on the Howard College campus. This was part of a series of events that aim to bridge the gap between business and academia.

AIA Co-ordinator, Dr Rudi Kimmie, explained that the “Meet the CEO” initiative exposes students to business active leaders, offers positive roled models, as well as opportunities for networking.

The guest speaker was UKZN alumnus, Mr Prasheen Maharaj, CEO of Southern African Shipyards. The company is Africa’s leading commercial and naval shipbuilder and ship repair company. It has the largest shipyard in Southern Africa and holds the record for building the largest ship ever built on the continent.

Maharaj’s career commenced in financial services where he was involved in the insurance industry, international currency and derivative trading, asset management and corporate finance. ‘The reason why I do business is that my personal ethos is my contribution to society. I am passionate about job creation and developing SMMEs, especially Black owned companies,’ said Maharaj. He shared his insights into current trends in the workplace, offered guiding principles on how to be an asset to a company and provided advice on moving ahead in business and professional networking.

Maharaj stressed the importance of students undertaking work-based research and the need for partnerships between the private sector and universities in order to grow the global knowledge economy.

‘We are not looking for people who have mastered the art of regurgitating current knowledge, but those that bring a new body of knowledge to what we are doing in business’ explained Maharaj.

He identified perseverance, excellence, achievement and resilience as the qualities required in today’s business leaders. 

‘We need innovators, people who can think out of the box in order to solve the complex societal issues that our country faces. It is important to maintain a healthy balance between work and play; write your obituary because where you start you start with an end in mind. Finally, professional business networking is crucial in building your brand and meeting like-minded people,’ advised Maharaj.

Maharaj serves as a Council Member of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a Member of the Board of Directors of the eThekwini Maritime Cluster and as a Member of the Shipbuilding Committee of the Aerospace Marine Defence Industry Body. He is currently in the process of merging Southern African Shipyards with Black Assagay, which will give birth to the biggest Black owned marine defence company in South Africa and southern Africa.

‘Since Durban is a maritime city, it was appropriate to commence with a speaker from the maritime industry. The event was well attended. Going forward, CEOs from major industry sectors in KwaZulu-Natal will be invited to speak,’ said Kimmie.

‘I really enjoyed the event and found Mr Maharaj’s explanation on the link between businesses and the 4th Industrial Revolution very interesting’ said second-year Agricultural Engineering student, Mr Arise Mthembu.

Words and photograph: Zolile Duma


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UKZN Enters New Era with Prof Poku at the Helm

UKZN Enters New Era with Prof Poku at the Helm
Newly appointed UKZN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Nana Poku (fifth from left) flanked by his colleagues in Executive Management.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is set to enter a new dawn as it continues to forge ahead with its business of quality teaching and learning as well as research under the leadership of its new Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Nana Poku.

Prof Poku - who had been serving as the University’s Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal since October 2018 - was appointed by Council to serve in his position for a five-year term.

Prof Poku holds a PhD in International Political Economy and has a distinguished career in research and policy on the political economy of health and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa as well as institutional management.

He joined the University in 2013 as Health Economics and AIDS Research Institute (HEARD) Executive Director. In 2017, he would take up the reigns as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Law and Management Studies. In October 2018, upon the resignation of Dr Albert van Jaarsveld as Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Poku was appointed to the position on an acting capacity.

Dr Letticia Moja, Acting Chair of the UKZN Council, welcomed Prof Poku’s appointment. She said Council looks forward to his leadership and guidance, and is confident of his ability to take the University to greater heights.

The Vice-Chancellor is the highest academic leadership position within the University’s structure and is responsible for providing leadership in all strategic areas.

Accepting his appointment, Prof Poku said, ‘It’s an honour and a privilege for me to be chosen as UKZN’s new Vice-Chancellor and Principal. I’m really excited about the opportunity to lead UKZN into the future, to build on the legacy of the University, and to continue to fulfil the founding vision of UKZN in the strategic areas of research, training, and outreach. I look forward to working with the University Community in achieving our goals.’

The appointment was also welcomed by other stakeholders at the University.

University of KwaZulu-Natal Staff Union (UKSU) Chairman, Raymond Parkies, also welcomed Prof Poku’s appointment, saying the union looks forward to working with him and supporting his endeavours. ‘UKSU would like to congratulate Prof Poku in his appointment. We pray that he will put the well-being of staff and students first so that there is peace in our institution, which is what UKSU is striving for. We hope that he will maintain stability in terms of good governance and make sure that the morale of the staff is kept high,’ he said.

UKZN Convocation President, Mr Fanle Sibisi, commended the transparency and good work of Council in the process of appointing the new VC. He said Convocation was hopeful that Prof Poku would receive sufficient support from executive management and Council in particular; that he would improve staff morale; and align himself to the University’s strategic plan as he discharges his duties as VC. ‘It (the appointment) was a long process. We (Convocation) participated from the beginning to the end and appreciate everyone’s contribution. We support him as long as he will do good. Where he does well, we will compliment him and where he does not, we will criticise him constructively. We wish him all the best,’ said Sibisi.

Words: Sinegugu Ndlovu and Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Photograph: Albert Hirasen


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