Student Wins Prestigious Ivan Karp Award

Student Wins Prestigious Ivan Karp Award
Mr Eric Sunu Doe is the winner of the coveted Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Award.

PhD student in Applied Ethnomusicology, Mr Eric Sunu Doe has won the coveted Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Award under the African Critical Inquiry Programme for 2017.

Sunu Doe said the award will go a long way towards helping him complete his research for his dissertation on Ghanaian Palmwine Music: Revitalising a Tradition and Maintaining a Community. ‘The award takes off the pressure of funding my fieldwork and allows full concentration on the collection of data process before I return to school next year. I hope this award opens more opportunities for me as I complete my doctoral study.’

His research proposes a comprehensive study of the tradition of palmwine music, exploring strategies for its revitalisation and sustenance.

Through interviews and participant observation in performance circles and workshops, Sunu Doe will document the performance praxis of palmwine music in Ghana (in Accra and Kumasi) and investigate whether/how the music currently resonates with the community, and how it might form the basis of a contemporary local music rooted in local experiences and histories.

The project will bring fresh perspectives to ways in which community engagement facilitates revitalisation and sustenance of hybrid traditions in an African context.

His research supervisor Dr Patricia Opondo congratulated Sun Doe saying he deserved the award.  ‘His dissertation project provides a wonderful example of how applied research can impact upon revitalising musical traditions.  The outcomes of his research will make an important contribution to scholarship in the growing field of Applied Ethnomusicology.’

Words by: Melissa Mungroo


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Durban International Film Festival Announces Award Winners for 2017

Durban International Film Festival Announces Award Winners for 2017
Seen are some of the highlights from the 38th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) Awards at the Playhouse Theatre.

The creme de la creme of South African film were honoured at the 38th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) awards ceremony.

Attended by dignitaries such as Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, eThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer, acclaimed playwright, and theatre stalwart Dr Mbongeni Ngema, the ceremony was held at the Durban Playhouse on 22 JulyThe Film Festival is hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts within the College of Humanities.

The award for the Best Feature Film went to A Father’s Will; while the award for Best South African Feature Film went to Vaya directed by Akin Omotoso. The Best Director for a South African Film went to John Trentgrove for The Wound.

Other winners were:

Best South African Documentary was taken by Strike A Rock, directed by Aliki Saragas

Best International Documentary went to Dusk Chorus directed by Nika Šaravanja and Alessandro D’Emilia.

Best Actor went to Nakhane Touré (The Wound).

Mariam Al Ferjani (Beauty and the Dogs) took Best Actress. Best Screenplay and Best Editing went to La Soledad. The award for Best International Short went to WitnessesAll of Us, took the Best African Short with the Hangman directed by Zwelethu Radebe, winning the Best South African Short award.

Best Direction in the international competition went to A Father’s Will (Bakyt Mukul, Dastan Zhapar Uulu) with Best Cinematography (Akjol Bekbolotov).

Artistic Bravery went to Liyana directed by Amanda and Aaron Kopp.  

The Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award which comes with a cash prize of R10 000 went to Strike a Rock and Mama Colonel.

Serpent won the African Critic Award for being innovative and original in introducing a new cinematography into the African film industry.  

The international jury had six jurors this year: award winning producer Carolyn Carew; Head of AFDA David Max Brown; award winning writer, director, script editor and facilitator Thandi Brewer; Producer/Directors Phillipe Lacoste, Etienne Fourie and Michel Zongo.

The South African jury had Thandie Brewer, and Khalo Matabane; while Documentary jury had Neil Brandt, Meganthrie Pillay and Roy Zetisky.

The Amnesty jury had Mark Powell, Margaret Daymond, Nonhlanhla Mkhize and Betty Rawheath.

The African Critic jury had Espera G. Donouvossi, Essam Zakarea and Edwin Micheni; while the Shorts jury were Rumbi Katedza and Dylan Wilson.

Words by: Melissa Mungroo


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UKZN Team involved in Baby Charlie Care

UKZN Team involved in Baby Charlie Care
Dr Julia Ambler at Umduduzi Hospice Care for Children.

UKZN’s paediatric palliative care team, under the leadership of Dr Julia Ambler, was involved in discussions around the care of Charlie Gard, an 11-month-old UK baby who was living with a rare condition.

Baby Charlie succumbed to the illness last week Friday.

The UKZN team was closely involved with the International Children’s Palliative Care Network and the UK based team in helping with the treatment and care of Gard.

Charlie, who was born on 4 August 2016, had a disorder called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which affects the genetic building blocks that give energy to cells. It causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. He is thought to only be the 16th person in the world diagnosed with the condition.

According to BBC News, specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital had said baby Charlie was unable to move and had significant irreversible brain damage. In April doctors were told they could move baby Charlie into palliative care. 

‘The child had an incurable condition and was kept alive by a ventilator,’ said Ambler.

She said his parents had gone to court requesting the child to be allowed to travel for experimental treatment but the court declined the application based on the belief that the child should be allowed to die and not be subjected to further pain and suffering.

Ambler’s colleagues in the UK said that the whole case had been extremely difficult for all involved and not all the details could be released to protect the family’s confidentiality.

Ambler and her team will be co-hosting the 2018 International Children’s Palliative Care Network Conference in Durban’s Elangeni Hotel.

Words and photograph by: Nombuso Dlamini


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I-UKZN Isungule Umkhakha Wamacala Athethwa Mahhala Ukusiza Imiphakathi Entulayo

I-UKZN Isungule Umkhakha Wamacala Athethwa Mahhala Ukusiza Imiphakathi Entulayo
UMmeli uSolly Boshoff eluleka iklayenti.

Click here for the English version

Isikhungo Sezifundo Zomthetho Emiphakathini se-Nyuvesi yaKwaZulu Natali kanye Nomtholampilo Wezomthetho Ekhempasini bagubhe usuku iMandela Day lwalo nyaka ngokwakha isikhungo lapho amacala abantulayo ezothethwa khona mahhala (iPro Bono Unit). Amacala amahhala kusuke kubhekiswe kusizo kwezemithetho olunikezwa abazomthetho mahhala kulabo abangenayo imali yokukhokhela abammeli. 

Umkhakha wamacala amahhala uzokwenza ukuthi abasebenzi besikhungo nomtholampilo kanye nabafundi bezomthetho ababhalise ngaphansi komkhakha wezoMthetho KwezeMigwaqo kanye neziqu zezoMthetho ezaziwa ngele (-Clinical Law), ukuthi bakwazi ukunika ulwazi lwezomthetho kanye nezeluleko mahhala esikhungweni Impumelelo kuze kusizakale abakhubazekile basOhlange.

Usizo luzotholakala kuMgqibelo wokuqala wenyanga ngayinye, oluzoqala ngoMqgibelo mhla ziyi-19 kuNcwaba ku-2017. Kunethemba lokuthi enye ingxenye yabasabenzi beSikole sezoMthetho, kanye nabayingxenye yezinhlangano zabafundi bezomthetho ezifana ne-Students of Law for Social Justice (SLSJ) bazongena kulo mkhakha ngokuzithandela ukuze ukwazi ukudlulisela okwenziwayo kwezinye izindawo.

NgoMgqibelo mhla ziyi-15 kuNtulikazi ku-2017, uSolwazi David McQuoid-Mason, ongumqondisi kwiCentre of Social-Legal Studies, uMmeli uRishen Singh kanye nabammeli abasafufusa uMarc Larkin kanye noSolly Boshoff eMtholampilo WezoMthetho Ekhempasini, kanye nabafundi ababili be-LLB yezomthetho, uNkszn uSaadiya Kadwa, umfundi wezoMthetho zaseMtholampilo, kanye noMnum Suhail Ebrahim, umfundi wezomthetho owenza unyaka wesithathu, banikeze izeluleko zezomthetho zamahhala kubahlali bakwaMashu esikhungweni Impumelelo ngehora lesi-9 ekuseni kuya ehoreni le-12 emini. UThami Shandu ubesiza ngokutolika. Phakathi nalesosikhathi, kutholakale abantu abayisithupha abangaba amakilayenti eMtholampilo WezoMthetho. [Perfect]

Ngesikhathi esifanayo iqembu lithole ukuthi kukhona abantu asebekhulile ngeminyaka futhi abakhubazekile abangama-200 esebekhishiwe emafulethini ayekade ekhokhelwa uMasipala weTheku, kodwa adluliselwa kubona njengabananikazi eminyakeni edlule. Umkhakha wamacala amahhala uzosebenza njengendlu ezohlenga  uMtholampilo WezoMthetho Ekhempasini enesivumelwano ne-Legal Aid South Africa. Esimweni lapho amacala angakwazi ukuxazululeka kangcono abanye abammeli bakwamanye imitholampilo yoMthetho, azodluliselwa ezinhlanganweni noma abammeli abazimele, abanesivumelwano noMtholampilo.

Amalungu abasebenzi abangathanda ukuba yingxenye yohlelo lwamacala amahhala futhi basize ekwalulekeni ngezomthetho kumele baxhumane noMnu Marc Larkin we-Law Clinic ku: LarkinM@ukzn. Labo abangathanda ukusiza  ekufundeni nge-Street Law-type kumelwe baxhumane noNkszn Phumzile Xulu, ongumhleli we-Street Law KwaZulu-Natali ku: 215081133@stu.ukzn.ac.za.

Umqondisi woMtholampilo WezoMthetho Ekhempasini, uDkt Dave Holness uthi ujabule kakhulu ngalesi sinyathelo futhi wagcizelela ukuthi ukuze amakilayenti akwazi ukuthola usizo oluqondile, kwakubalulekile ukuthi abafundi labo abanikeza izeluleko zezomthetho babe ngabaqeqeshwe kahle. USolwazi uMcQuoidMason wachaza nokuthi ukuba khona kwabammeli boMtholampilo bazoqikelela ukuthi lokhu kuyenzeka. Waphinde washo nokuthi wayethembe ukuthi lomkhakha uzonika abasebenzi bezomthetho e-UKZN kanye nabafundi ithuba ukuba baqhakambise isisho saMongameli owedlule uMandela, esithi “Asikho sipho esidlula leso sokunikezela isikhathi namandla akho ukusiza abanye abantu ngaphandle kokulindela ukubuyiselwa okuthile”. 

Amazwi ka: UKZNDabaOnline


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Mo’s Magical Journey from Engineer to Entertainer

Mo’s Magical Journey from Engineer to Entertainer
Mo Magic delights alumni and fans at UKZN with the art of magic.

After reading for a BSc (Electronic Engineering) degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Mahommed Moorad, popularly known as Mo Magic, started out his career as an engineer at Toyota, but quickly realised that while he loved engineering, something was missing from his life.

While preparing for an assignment with a classmate, he saw world-renowned magician David Blaine on the television and after seeing the looks of “delight and excitement” on the audience members faces realised he had missed his “calling”.

Addressing alumni at an event hosted by UKZN and the Durban Alumni Association, Mo Magic said that weekends spent on self-reflection and personal development classes coupled with researching magic led him to make the decision to become a full-time entertainer.

While he has followed his passion for magic, he credits his degree in engineering and his time spent with Toyota for laying the groundwork for his successful career in entertainment. ‘As long as you have a degree, you have all your bases covered. As an engineer, I learned how to think and execute plans – how to take a problem and break it down into its simplest form,’ he said.

Highlights from his career spanning over 15 years include a highly successful television series on SABC 3 and being profiled on Top Billing. ‘When I was ready, the universe knew,’ he said.

The results orientated magician and entertainer says choices and decisions have consequences.  ‘People speak a good game, but for me as an engineer, results matter.’

Mo Magic is an example of someone who has parlayed his degree into a highly successful career. To find out more about his fascinating and magical journey through life, visit: http://www.ukzn.ac.za/our-stories/mahommed-dawood-moorad/

Follow him on Twitter: @MoMagic

or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoMagicFanPage1/

Check out his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MoMagicSouthAfrica

Words by: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Photograph by: Abhi Indrarajan


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Engineering Winter School Educates and Excites’

Engineering Winter School Educates and Excites’
Durban Girls’ High School learners (from left), Sange Nomjana, Kayla van Heerden and Caitlin Simons were ready and raring to take on the boys at UKZN’s Engineering Winter School.

About 130 Grade 11 and 12 pupils from UKZN’s top feeder schools descended on Howard College in July for the School of Engineering Winter School held during the school holidays.

The enthusiastic learners had expressed an interest in studying engineering at the University and the outreach event gave them information about the various study options offered by the School of Engineering.

‘The aim of Engineering Winter School is to enlighten secondary level learners about the different disciplines of Engineering and career paths that they can pursue if they decide to study in a particular field,’ explained Public Relations Officer Ms Prashina Budree, who co-ordinated the event.

The learners also visited various disciplines and participated in different hands-on tasks and exercises.  Engineering disciplines included bioresources/agricultural engineering, as well as chemical, civil, computer, electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering, and land surveying, property development and construction studies.

Engineering staff and current postgraduate students shared their engineering insights and experiences with the pupils. External speakers from the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) and eThekwini’s Water and Sanitation Division spoke about possible work opportunities available once they finished their studies.

To show that engineers also know how to have fun, the participants were treated to a braai and to Dr Megan Govender’s exciting and unpredictable Science show featuring experiments that demonstrated the fundamental laws of Physics.

The week ended with a tour to Smiths Manufacturing in Pinetown and an educational tour of the Moses Mabhida Stadium - one of Durban’s most beautiful engineering sites.

‘We did many exciting things and met wonderful people. I really enjoyed the UKZN Engineering Winter School. It definitely captured my interest. I am now putting in every effort into obtaining better marks so that I can study Engineering,’ said Mr Kashvir Sewpersad, a pupil from Dundee.

Words and photograph by: Manqoba Hadebe


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Lesotho Delegation visits UKZN

Lesotho Delegation visits UKZN
UKZN Centre for Socio-Legal Studies hosted a 30-member delegation from Lesotho.

A delegation of civic education teachers and administrators from Lesotho visited UKZN’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies to learn about the Centre’s Democracy for All and Street Law programmes.

The visit, which took place on 19 July, was organised by the Democracy Development Programme. The 30-member Lesotho delegation was addressed by Professor David McQuoid-Mason, Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and Ms Phumzile Xulu, the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Street Law Co-ordinator.

McQuoid-Mason gave the delegation a brief history of the South African Street Law Programme that was established by the then University of Natal in 1986, when Professor Mandla Mchunu went out and taught Street Law at five African, Indian and White schools as a pilot project. 

Mchunu was the first Street Law Co-ordinator, and later became the CEO of the Independent Electoral Commission for South Africa’s first democratic elections.

After the success of this project the Street Law programme was given funding by the Attorneys Fidelity Fund and eventually spread to 16 universities.

The Lesotho delegation raised a number of questions including;

(a) What are the hallmarks of a good civic educator?

(b) Apart from the Library, what other avenues exist for accessing Street Law publications?

(c) How does Street Law mobilise communities of different ages and backgrounds when they convene community events about any aspect of their programme?

(d) How does Street Law report their activities?

(e) Who are Street Law’s key audiences?

(f) What kind of programmes does Street Law run and how are they implemented?

(g) What kinds of community outreach programmes does Street Law do in KwaZulu-Natal and beyond?

(h) Who are Street Law’s partners?

Xulu and McQuoid-Mason responded to the questions.

Xulu mentioned that Street Law was planning to collaborate with local NGOs, CBOs and forge partnerships with Street-law students and legal professionals to teach communities, particularly those from the previously disadvantaged backgrounds, about the law, human rights, access to justice and democracy. The teaching will be done through interactive workshops and seminars, designed to be based on practical legal issues faced by these communities. The organisations that Street Law is approaching to collaborate with are based in Umlazi, Wentworth, Warwick Junction, Hillcrest, and Pietermaritzburg. Street Law will also be involved in the new Pro Bono Unit established on Mandela Day.

The meeting concluded with an undertaking by the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and its Street Law programme to partner with the Democracy Development Programme to assist the Lesotho delegates in developing a civic education programme for Lesotho.

Words by: UKZNDabaOnline


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Classics Paper Raises Conversation About Gender

Classics Paper Raises Conversation About Gender
Ms Liliana Carrick-Tappeiner gives women issues a fresh perspective.

The Classics Programme in the School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics (College of Humanities) recently hosted a thought-provoking colloquium where a UNISA Classics lecturer presented a paper titled: Women on Top: “A Bakhtinian reading of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata”.

The paper, by Ms Liliana Carrick-Tappeinerinvestigates the degree to which Lysistrata (a Greek comedy by Aristophanes) sees the inversion of the typical hierarchy of the sexes.

The relevance of this study in the modern age is noted by its ability to raise conversations about gender. In contemporary society women are still subjected to various forms of subjugation and oppression as noted in the play. Inadvertently, this study permits the reader to question the prevailing mistreatment and misconception of women in the 21st century.

Carrick-Tapeiner who holds a Master’s degree in Classics and has majors in Latin and Greek firmly believes that humanities has the power to produce and nurture skills which in turn harness the power to evoke change. In her perspective as an educator she has noted that ‘Classics has a role to play in shaping critical, empathetic, and well-informed individuals who have a lot to offer society and the workplace.’

‘I am also enthusiastic about the research aspect of my work in Reception Studies through which I interrogate the relationship between Classics and the modern world and try to challenge the stale and elitist associations that denigrate the image of Classics in the 21st century and, in particular, Africa,’ she added. 

Words and photograph by: Ziphezinhle Silindile Biyela


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HEARD hosts High-Level Retreat for Universal Health Coverage

HEARD hosts High-Level Retreat for Universal Health Coverage
Delegates attend a high-level event at the Thanda Private Game Reserve.

The Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD), recently hosted the second in a series of high level retreats on domestic financing and prioritisation of health under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The meeting took place at the Thanda Private Game Reserve in Hluhluwe between 28 June to 1 July and aimed to create a platform for shared regional experiences and learning, to identify key entry points, to offer practical innovations, and to ultimately assist regional governments in setting actionable priorities.

A core group of former and current Ministers of Health from the eastern and southern region of Africa (ESA), academics, representatives of regional and sub-regional intergovernmental organisations, as well as high level representatives of multilateral organisations dispensed with formalities and engaged in open discussion under Chatham House Rules.

Guided by three overarching themes, the meeting revolved around planning for the transition to reduced levels of donor funding, the expansion of domestic fiscal space for health, how to accommodate expectations of larger and more effective health systems, particularly for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and toward the advancement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) under the SDGs.

The meeting outcome document will be posted on HEARD’s website.

Words by: Dr Tamaryn Crankshaw


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IMCDA hosts Second Joint Partners Meeting

IMCDA hosts Second Joint Partners Meeting
Participants at the IMCDA Second Joint Partners Meeting.

The Improved Masters in Cultivar Development for Africa (IMCDA) programme held its fourth Joint Partners Meeting in Durban from 11-13 July.

The IMCDA programme is funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) with funding received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

It trains plant breeders using modern breeding technologies, with a significant portion of the training delivered through e-learning materials developed by Iowa State University’s Plant Breeding E-Learning for Africa Project (PBEA) in collaboration with the African Partner Universities.

The IMCDA is being implemented in three universities; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, Makerere University in Uganda, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa, which hosted this visit.

The Programme Manager for UKZN, Dr Julia Sibiya, welcomed delegates to Durban, noting representation from Mexico, the USA, Italy, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, Ghana, Niger and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). She welcomed the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UKZN, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, and Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) Professor Albert Modi, saying that the programme was honoured to have their support. The meeting took place over two days at the Southern Sun Elangeni-Maharani, with a working session on the final day at UKZN’s Howard College campus.

AGRA Programme Officer Dr Rufaro Madakadze delivered greetings from AGRA on behalf of its Vice-President, Dr Joe DeVries. Dr Gary Atlin, Programme Manager from the BMGF, joined via video conference during the event.

‘We are training a new breed of scientists/plant breeders with a product development mind-set that can work in the public or private sector,’ said Madakadze.

‘The footprint of UKZN throughout the continent is enormous,’ added Madakadze. ‘Thank you for being one of our first key partners in capacity building and demonstrating how this can transform lives in Africa.’

The programme has admitted 91 MSc students, graduated 21, and seen good progress on breeding programmes and academic staff skill upgrades. Seven of UKZN’s 2015 cohort graduated in April 2017, three cum laude.

The meeting involved reviewing the programme, learning, improving, sustaining and scaling it out.

Modi emphasised UKZN’s appreciation of the partnership with AGRA, which makes significant contributions to the mission of the university to inspire greatness in academia and in the lives of ordinary people.

Van Jaarsveld thanked organisers for the opportunity to welcome international partners and colleagues from the African continent to Durban and UKZN. He gave an overview of UKZN, noting especially the fact that half of the Institution’s PhD graduates are from the rest of the African continent, making the IMCDA programme exemplary of what the university works to achieve.

‘I hope that in your few days here, you will take hands with colleagues from UKZN to collectively inspire greatness through everything that you do,’ said van Jaarsveld.

Words by: Christine Cuénod

Photograph by: Corrette De Jager


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Academic Adds Fun into Accounting

Academic Adds Fun into Accounting
Students during the Knight’s Tour Game.

Games are the last thing one expects to find in an Accounting class, unless the lecturer is Dr Msizi Mkhize. The School of Accounting, Economics and Finance academic has once again found a way to spice up Accounting by creating an educational game for his Accounting students.

The game helps students in analysing and interpreting financial statements.

‘As an Accounting 1 lecturer and Module Co-Ordinator, I wanted to provide something that would be helpful to students in understanding the financial statements analysis, he explained.’

The Knight’s Tour Game consists of a number of questions relating to financial statements where students are divided into teams with the leader being elected as a “financial manager” who asks his/her teammates the questions, verifies them and gives them points for each correct answer. At the end of the session, the scores are tallied up and the team with the highest scores wins the game.

The students participated in the game during their tutorial sessions. The participants were skeptical at first but excitement grew once they had started with the activity.

They added that they found the game entertaining and educational because it asks questions related to the module and also engages teamwork and group discussion and can also be used as a form of revision test for the exams.

Mkhize has a number of games lined up for the students which he hopes will help them study better and understand their modules. These include a crossword puzzle based on accounting theory; shapes game based on company financial statements and retained income account; word search game based on financial accounting and auditing; hunt for odd and even numbers based on the sale of fixed assets and– isondo (the wheel) based on the conceptual framework for financial reporting.

Reatlehile Karabo Moeti


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Nursing Students Promote Hygiene in Cato Crest

Nursing Students Promote Hygiene in Cato Crest
Second year Nursing students with their lecturers and grade 7 learners.

Maintaining good personal hygiene can help prevent the spread and development of infections. This was one of the main messages imparted by second-year Nursing students to Mayville Primary school pupils during a workshop held recently.

The students presented the workshop as part of their community engagement programme under the supervisions of their lecturers, Mr Ntandazo Dlatu and Dr Mbali Mhlongo.

Despite the informative messages, the pupils of the Cato Crest school also received goodies which included soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, toilet rolls and sanitary pads for girls.

During the workshop, the students touched on topics like hand washing, mouth care, pad insertion and scabies. They also performed poems for the children and a role play where they focused on the trouble of puberty and bullying.

‘Maintaining personal hygiene is necessary for many reasons,’ Ms Charlotte Marshall told learners. ‘Personal, social, health, psychological or simply as a way of life. Keeping a good standard of hygiene helps to prevent the development and spread of infections, illnesses and bad odours,’ she continued.

‘We targeted grade sevens in particular because many of them are going through puberty and their bodies are changing which requires new hygiene needs,’ said Ms Gebisile Miya.

The students also donated posters from the presentation to the school so that the learners could pass on their new knowledge to the rest of the primary school.

Words and photograph by: Nombuso Dlamini


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Leadership Comes Under the Spotlight at Imbokodo Workshop

Leadership Comes Under the Spotlight at Imbokodo Workshop
Clockwise from top right: Professor Urmilla Bob, Dr Roseline Laka-Mathebula, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa and Ms Noxolo Bhengu.

What makes a good leader and what are the main challenges facing women in the workplace? These were some of the questions discussed at a recent “Imbokodo – A Women in Leadership” workshop.

Held at Coastlands Musgrave in late July, the workshop was hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Human Resources Division in partnership with Corporate Relations. The workshop brought together a number of respected women leaders at the University who have and continue to make a mark in their respective fields.

Human Resources’ Mrs Busi Ramabodu said Imbokodo had been conceptualised to inspire women leaders to achieve greatness while it also serves as a platform to engage on issues and for women at the University to network.

Executive Director of Student Services, Dr Roseline Laka-Mathebula, explored the courage to lead with authenticity, a concept initially explored by the University of Worcester’s Dr Fiona Beddoes-Jones. ‘They say that leadership is not for the feint-hearted. Anyone who says otherwise has probably not tried to lead,’ said Laka-Mathebula.

She emphasised the importance of having the courage to be different and being true to oneself.

Having grown up as a “village girl from a very rural area”, Laka-Mathebula had the courage to pursue her dreams and became a scientist, majoring in immunology. She then ventured into the “crazy world” of academic management.

Twenty-three-year old Ms Noxolo Bhengu, who serves as the Central SRC President at UKZN, said being a woman in leadership means you have to “constantly fight for your position”.

A 5th-year Medical student, Bhengu juggles her leadership role with her demanding academic studies, while serving over 47 000 students at the University.

She cautioned against the “PhD” or “Pull-her-down” syndrome often experienced by women in the workplace. ‘It takes a united front to fight against issues like gender inequality,’ she said. ‘It’s not just a female struggle; it has to be a societal struggle.’

Dean of Research Professor Urmilla Bob spoke about her experiences as a student leader at the University of Durban-Westville in the 1980’s. Bob, who was a student activist during the struggle against apartheid, spent several months in detention before writing her exams.  Echoing Bhengu, she said, ‘There is no greater power than investing in education.’

Bob cautioned against bullying in the workplace and slammed “professional bullies” who use their titles instead of empowering the next generation.

She said leaders who are unhappy are dangerous in the workplace and that insecure people are a “recipe for disaster”.

‘These issues do not just occur at the University but happen globally’, she said.

Bob said that good leaders are selfless, nurturing, caring and understand that there is a difference between popularity and respect. She stressed the importance of being knowledgeable in your field and being decisive.

Acting Dean and Head of the School of Arts, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, referred to herself as a ‘servant leader’. She said good leaders should be resilient, humble and ‘build networks of people that work around you’.

Echoing Professor Bob, Hlongwa cautioned against bullies in the workplace. ‘Please don’t divide and rule in your environment. Bullies create camps in the organisation,’ she said.

She also cautioned against the “PhD” syndrome: ‘As women, we are supposed to support one another – don’t pull others down.

‘Get skills that will allow you to meet the requirements and don’t assume you will be favoured because of your gender,’ she said.

Acting Executive Director of Corporate Relations, Ms Normah Zondo, thanked all those who had made the event a success. The Director of Library Services, Ms Joyce Myeza, served as Director of Proceedings.

Words by: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer captainr@ukzn.ac.za

Photographs by: Albert Hirasen


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Student earns Protea Colours

Student earns Protea Colours
Ms Sanhaviya Sookrajh receives Protea colours.

A UKZN student has earned herself the Protea colours for being a South African Karate Champion.

Ms Sanhaviya Sookrajh, who is pursuing an Honours degree in Exercise Science, was awarded Protea colours following a good showing at a competition held in Zambia in 2016 where she achieved gold, silver and bronze medals.

‘It is difficult to balance my studies and participation at competitive levels – I must admit that I always chose sport over academia! However, being an Exercise Science Honours student is a distinct advantage as I have a deeper understanding of fitness programmes and diets that promote ultimate performance,’ she said.

Sookrajh draws her motivation from her parents, Reshma and Rohith Sookrajh, both retired academics from UKZN. ‘My parents have completed 12 Comrades Marathons. Their boundless energies offer me complete inspiration,’ declared Sookrajh.

The Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences (BELS) is extremely proud of Sookrajh’s sporting accolades, ‘Although travelling locally and nationally to compete, Sanhaviya earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sport Science last year,’ Dr Rowena Naidoo, Academic Leader (BELS) said.

Sookrajh owes her introduction to Karate to Yajur Chotai who runs a dojo (SKKSA) in Shallcross. She joined the dojo about 10 years ago.

Her massive medal haul includes those earned at regional and national competitions. She has been placed first at several AUSC Region (Zone 6) tournaments in Zambia and Zimbabwe and has enjoyed the South African team spirit and experienced competing at some form of international level at these tournaments. 

The Commonwealth Karate Championships in Sydney, Australia 2011, was her first exposure to an international tournament as a Protea athlete.  Here she won a silver medal in her individual category, and won the crucial bout to win a bronze medal for the South African junior female team amid tough competition.

Words and photograph: Nombuso Dlamini


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