Student’s Hard Work Rewarded

Student’s Hard Work Rewarded
Ms Michaela Stead (left) receiving her award from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

‘A wonderful reward for all the hard work I put in last year,’ was how UKZN Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student Ms Michaela Stead described her Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

Nineteen-year-old Stead is one of five students in the College of Health Sciences who received the prestigious award. 

The Scholarships are awarded to the five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first year to second year in each of the four Colleges of UKZN.

‘I feel honoured to receive this scholarship. It is such a privilege and I feel extremely grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead.  My family is very proud of me and all the hard work I have put into my studies,’ said Stead.

The award has opened up many opportunities for her and taught her how to believe in herself. ‘I am truly honoured.’

Apart from the financial gain, the scholarship had given her a greater belief in her abilities and potential. ‘It has rewarded me for all the hard work I put in last year!’ 

Stead plans to complete her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and then continue to do her master’s degree after her community service year. 

She is also keen to travel and experience as much of Occupational Therapy as possible. 

‘My passion for Occupational Therapy keeps me going as I have a desire to see people reach their full potential. I have always been a determined and hard-working person. This has been instilled in me by my parents and I am very thankful for how they have raised me,’ she said.

Stead advised her fellow students to never give up and to stay positive: ‘Take one day at a time and plan in advance. Always do what you love and follow your heart.’

‘I am a Christian and I thank God for bringing me to where I am today. I believe that every person has a future and hope.’

Nombuso Dlamini


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Distinguished Student Award Thrills Proud Parents

Distinguished Student Award Thrills Proud Parents
Distinguised Student Award winner, Ms Kelley Sloley.

Distinguished Student Award winner, Ms Kelley Sloley, received heaps of praise from her parents who are ‘exceptionally proud of her achievements through the years - in all aspects of her life’.

‘She has always been dedicated and committed to whatever project she takes on and gives 100% of herself,’ said her father, Mr Shaun Sloley. ‘This award is a result of everything she has accomplished throughout her university years. We are proud and humbled by her achieving this incredible honour.’  

A Sports Science Masters student, Kelley said it was a great honour to receive the award. ‘When I received the call, I was shocked but extremely delighted. To be acknowledged for the efforts I have made in my community project and developing my career is incredible and makes me appreciate it all so much more.’

She said the scholarship would allow her to further develop her projects and career. ‘It also brings a sense of renewed energy to continue all that I have been doing. I believe that what you give out will one day come back to you. I never started my synchronised swimming community project to get anything in return, however this scholarship in a sense is the community giving back to me.’

Synchronised swimming has always played a vital role in Kelley’s life. She was part of the South African team for many years and retiring, she wanted to give back to the sport that gave her so much enjoyment and support.

This led to her career choice and studying Sport Science at UKZN.

‘UKZN and my community project worked hand in hand. Through the education I was able to practise techniques in the community project and the project allowed me to get hands on experience that gave me another perspective in my studies. This continued relationship has kept me going.’ 

Kelley believes in living in the moment and seeing where life and your career take you. ‘I have no set plans for my career although furthering my education in the Sport Science world has always been on the agenda.’ 

She advised her fellow students to take opportunities to practise what they are taught in the real world. 

Kelley paid tribute to the sponsors of the award: ‘Thank you for the recognition and honour you have bestowed on me. I will use this opportunity wisely to ensure continued growth in what I want to achieve going forward. This is a great award and I hope it will continue in the future as it will inspire more students to get involved in their community and use their knowledge for a better future.’ 

Johannesburg-born Kelley spent her childhood years on a farm outside Pietermaritzburg where she said her love for the outdoors and sports started.

She is currently doing her master’s degree after which she wants to complete a PhD.

Nombuso Dlamini


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UKZN Law Graduate’s Grim Struggle for Academic Excellence Rewarded

UKZN Law Graduate’s Grim Struggle for Academic Excellence Rewarded
Mr Ntokozo Qwabe received the UKZN Distinguished Student Award and the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship.

The road to academic brilliance has been a long and hard one for summa cum laude Law graduate Mr Ntokozo Qwabe - it includes dropping out of university and working as a cashier in a supermarket! 

But memories of those hardship days faded somewhat for Qwabe when he added the UKZN Distinguished Student Award and the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship to his list of impressive academic achievements. The awards were made to Qwabe at UKZN’s Scholarship Awards Ceremony. 

The Distinguished Student Award - the highest honour a student can attain at UKZN - is presented for academic excellence, university service and extensive community engagement. 

Qwabe’s journey to academic success has been earmarked by determination and success in adversity. 

Growing up in a huge family of 13 children - all dependent on the sole income of their father who was employed as a caretaker at a high school in Durban - Qwabe dropped out of university because of funding problems and worked as a cashier at Checkers Supermarket! 

Later he was able to return to his studies at UKZN and achieved 34 distinctions, 20 Certificates of Merit and seven Dean’s Commendations among other awards - a true testament to tenacity, dedication and hard work. Apart from his academic achievements, what enabled Qwabe to win both the Distinguished Student Award and the Mandela-Rhodes scholarship was that throughout his degree, he was never a bookworm.  

He ensured that he got involved in different initiatives, as evidenced by his co-founding of the UKZN Student Law Review, the Rural Students’ Society and his leadership in the Black Management Forum, Students for Law and Social Justice, and many other student movements.  

‘In life, falling is inevitable so I always focus on developing an aura of “bouncebackability” and ensuring that I come back stronger from each fall,’  said Qwabe. 

‘I am aware that there are fellow students who – as I did – face enormous socio-economic challenges in their studies. But I hope that I am able to inspire them to see that nothing is impossible.’  

Through the Mandela Rhodes scholarship, Qwabe has continued his impressive journey of academic excellence. He has, with the aid of the scholarship, half-completed (with distinction) a Masters in Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Cape Town where he was at the top of his class for all his registered courses and served as a Teaching and Research Assistant at their Department of Public Law. 

‘What I have loved about the Mandela-Rhodes Scholarship is that the scholarship is not just about post-graduate funding. It is about building young African leaders who are going to lead Africa to its rightful position in the global economy. What sets the scholarship apart from others, therefore, is its deliberate focus on building each scholar as a leader and as a person.  

‘Through the scholarship’s impressive extra-academic programs, I have had a chance to meet some of the country’s and continent’s leading intellectuals, and have had a rare opportunity to intern at the Constitutional Court of South Africa for Justice Edwin Cameron. I would therefore recommend the scholarship to everyone who is interested in serving our country and continent in a meaningful manner.’  

Thandiwe Jumo


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Future Physician Receives Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Award

Future Physician Receives Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Award
MBChB student Mr Dimitrije Mamontov receiving the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

‘This award came to me as a very pleasant surprise at a very stressful time,’ said MBChB student Mr Dimitrije Mamontov after he received the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

The scholarships are awarded to the five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first year to second year in each of the four colleges of UKZN.

‘I knew my academic performance was good, but I had no idea that it was deserving of this major award. The scholarship is a word of encouragement from the University, inspiring me to keep giving one hundred percent,’ said Mamontov.

He said the scholarship meant so much more to him than the substantial monetary reward. ‘It is a testament to the value of hard work and dedication as well as recognition by UKZN of all my efforts.’

Mamontov plans to graduate from Medical School and regardless of what field he goes into, be the best Physician he can possibly be.

‘Although it may look like it on the surface, striving for excellence is not about competition or ambition, it’s about passion. I have the opportunity to study something I truly love and want to make absolutely sure I make the most of it,’ he said.

Mamontov advised his fellow students to be dedicated, diligent, disciplined and to enjoy ‘every second of it’.

He thanked the scholarship funders for the tremendous opportunity, saying his family valued education and were delighted to see him succeed at university. 

His parents came to South Africa as immigrants from Serbia (then Yugoslavia) about 25 years ago. ‘We all speak the language fluently and are proud of our heritage,’ he said.

Nombuso Dlamini


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VC’s Scholarship Supports Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the Making

VC’s Scholarship Supports Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the Making
MBChB student Ms Aditi Singh with Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Award recipient, MBChB student Ms Aditi Singh, finds the human heart to be the most fascinating aspect of medicine.

Singh said her goal to explore cardiothoracic surgery was now more attainable thanks to the scholarship.

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships are awarded to the five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first year to second year in each of the four Colleges of UKZN.

‘When I first heard about this scholarship last year it became something I aspired to. I am overjoyed about receiving the award and now being able to relieve the financial pressures on my family. My family feels honoured that I was richly rewarded for my hard work,’ said Singh.

The award meant acknowledgment of her efforts and dedication to her goal of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.

‘Passion for the subject matter is definitely a driving factor when it comes to pushing through tough times as well as keeping goals in mind.’ 

The support from her family had played an integral role in her achievements. ‘There were many nights when my mother would stay up with me just to help me keep going.’

To her fellow students she said: ‘Although we learn and grow throughout our lives, the phase that we are in now is a rare opportunity for us to dedicate our time to the development of ourselves and the pursuit of knowledge.’

Singh (18) from Ashley in Pinetown is the younger of two daughters in her family. ‘I come from a loving and highly educated home where there is no lack of support. Qualifying as a Medical doctor will not only fulfil my dreams but also my grandfather’s dreams and I will be the first doctor in my family.’

Singh is part of the Hare Krishna Movement and said her religious beliefs were her rock.

‘Apart from being a Medical student, I am also a traditional Indian dancer and I also enjoy art,’ she added. 

Nombuso Dlamini


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Honours Student Wins Two Prestige Scholarships

Honours Student Wins Two Prestige Scholarships
Ms Candice De Boer was awarded the Zak Yacoob Scholarship and the Maryam Babangida Scholarship.

Ms Candice de Boer, who is completing her Honours degree in Biochemistry in the School of Life Sciences, has been awarded two scholarships following her outstanding results and commitment to her studies.

The awards are the Zak Yacoob Scholarship and the Maryam Babangida Scholarship.

De Boer, who graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry and Genetics summa cum laude in April this year, was dux at  Port Shepstone High School winning trophies for Physical Science, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Accountancy,  Life Orientation and Afrikaans. 

De Boer received certificates of merit for every module completed during her undergraduate studies at UKZN and was awarded Dean’s Commendations for each semester of study.

The scholarships are also not the first for de Boer. Based on her outstanding matric marks, she was a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship in 2011 which covered all of her university expenses during her first year at UKZN. This scholarship was renewed for each year of study thanks to de Boer’s ongoing dedication to her work.

De Boer is now being recognised for her diligence through the Zak Yacoob Scholarship for the top honours student overall at UKZN and the Maryam Babangida Scholarship for the best female student at UKZN, proceeding from undergraduate to honours study.

‘It is an awesome feeling knowing all my hard work and dedication paid off,’ said de Boer.

‘I’d like to say thank you so much to the sponsors of both the scholarships. I am extremely grateful as these awards allow me to do my honours degree without worrying about finances. They have given me the opportunity to contribute towards scientific research.’

The Zak Yacoob Scholarship is named after Judge Zakeria (Zak) Yacoob, the last Chancellor of the former University of Durban-Westville, a veteran anti-apartheid activist and long-time member of Natal Indian Congress and Constitutional Court judge of distinction. The Scholarship was first awarded in 2011.

The Maryam Babangida Scholarship, from an anonymous Nigerian donor, honours Dr Maryam Babangida, who contributed to the improvement of living conditions of Nigerian women.

De Boer attributed her consistently excellent academic performance to her perfectionism and dedication to attaining good results.

‘My work ethic is to always try my best in all I do.’ 

She credits her lecturers in the School of Life Sciences for showing support to her studies in Biochemistry and assisting her whenever she had any queries.

De Boer also expressed gratitude to her mother for her support and encouraging words over the years.

‘I plan to do my Masters at the University of Cape Town in Health Sciences (Biomaterials) at the Cardiovascular Research Unit.’

Christine Cuénod


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Masters Student Wins Rick Turner Scholarship

Masters Student Wins Rick Turner Scholarship
Scholarship winner, Mr Kevin Igwe (left) with Dean and Head of the School of Applied Human Sciences, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize.

Masters student in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Mr Kevin Chizoba Igwe, has won a Rick Turner Scholarship for Masters-level study in recognition of his student leadership and community engagement.

The Scholarship is named after Dr Richard Albert David Turner, a visionary scholar and lecturer at the former University of Natal who was assassinated in 1978. Turner was an inspiration to many young activists and played a role in the labour movement’s renaissance.

Igwe, who is one of the five UKZN students being awarded the Scholarship this year, embodies the values of the award because of his dedication to understanding and contribution to the lives of those around him.

Igwe, who is from Enugu State in Nigeria, completed his undergraduate studies at Ekiti State University (EKSU), formerly known as the University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD).

His belief that charity begins at home led him to become an active member of the UKZN chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students in South Africa (NANSSA). Igwe, who joined UKZN in the second semester of 2012 to begin his honours study, was the Public Relations Officer of the Association from 2013 to August 2014.

Igwe is also an active member and the Secretary of the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus branch of the Association of Catholic Tertiary Students (ACTS).  For Igwe, being an active member of these associations as well as other registered students’ associations provides a primary means of understanding the needs of his fellow students and discovering how he can be of help to others.

He is doing his Masters by Research in the field of Evolutionary Algorithms, specifically Genetic Programming. His Masters topic is: “Automatic Programming using Object Oriented Genetic Programming”.

Igwe, who said his work ethic stemmed in part from the example set by his parents, expressed gratitude to the lecturers and supervisors who played a pivotal role in his academic career.

Being at UKZN has made Igwe realise the role an institution plays in the success of a student. ‘At UKZN, I realised that one’s ability improves hugely when one is at the right place. I have been inspired by many activities including the recognition the University gives to people who have achieved outstanding performance in their area of study or research.’

Igwe is also a member of the Nature Inspired Computing Optimization Group (NICOG) at UKZN, who he credits with contributing towards his success.

Igwe plans to continue his studies at UKZN and hopes to register for his PhD once he has successfully completed his masters. For the moment, getting a good result in his masters research is his top priority.

Christine Cuénod


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Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Awarded to First Year BSc Student

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Awarded to First Year BSc Student
Mr Mark Chambers.

Mr Mark Chambers, currently completing his Bachelor of Science in the School of Life Sciences, has been awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for his achievements during his first year of study.

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships, first instituted in 2012, are awarded to the five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first-year to second-year study in each of the four Colleges.

Chambers, who elected to study at UKZN because of the University’s proximity to his home in Howick and because of the excellence of its Science disciplines, hopes to major in Genetics, Biochemistry and Chemistry. His preference for these subjects is due to their application in modern medicine, most notably in cancer research and the development of treatments.

‘The main reason I chose this field of study is because it will allow me to help people,’ said Chambers.

The scholarship means a great deal to Chambers and his family as it will relieve the financial burden of his university education and allow him to move closer to campus.

Chambers said his academic successes could mainly be attributed to his self-motivation. ‘I set myself high goals and try to achieve them.’

He has been inspired by the lecturers and staff in his disciplines to persevere and discover more about their respective fields. ‘Professor van Heerden of the Chemistry Discipline and Professor Goldring of the Biochemistry Discipline have been incredibly supportive and have really gone the extra mile for me,’ said Chambers.

‘They have been very willing to help me and have increased my passion for the subjects they teach.’

His experience of university life at UKZN has encouraged him to aim to become a professor in one of his chosen fields of study.

Chambers expressed gratitude to the University and the Vice-Chancellor for the award and said the Scholarship would be instrumental in furthering his studies. He felt it was a good investment from the University into the lives and careers of its top students.

Christine Cuénod


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BA Student Gets Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship

BA Student Gets Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship
Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter (right) awards Bachelor of Arts student Ms Gaone Moagi with the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

UKZN Bachelor of Arts student Ms Gaone Moagi has been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

This Scholarship is awarded to five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first year to second year study in each of UKZN's four Colleges.

Said Moagi: ‘I am so happy and blessed to get this scholarship. It means a lot and allows me to make a good example of myself for my family, who are also very proud of me.’

Moagi is grateful the University awarded her the Scholarship saying it would cover the cost of her studies.

‘Getting this Scholarship has motivated me to do well in my studies and to make sure I achieve my dreams and goals. Students should always work hard and never give up.’

Moagi plans to do postgraduate studies and then work in the music industry.

Melissa Mungroo


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Humanities Students Receive Archbishop Denis Hurley Scholarships

Humanities Students Receive Archbishop Denis Hurley Scholarships
College of Humanities students who were awarded Archbishop Denis Hurley Scholarships.

Five students from the College of Humanities  - Mr Lennox Luzipho, Mr Thabang Mafolofolo, Mr Obadiah Moyo, Mr Johnbosco Nwogbo and Ms Zona Sofono - were recently awarded Archbishop Denis Hurley Scholarships.

This scholarship allows disadvantaged but academically excellent candidates to read for honours degrees. 

Hurley awards identify special candidates whose study areas, community involvement, leadership qualities and ethical vision resonate with the life, spirit and accomplishments of the late Archbishop Denis E. Hurley, who was a Chancellor of the former University of Natal.

All five students were thrilled to receive the scholarship with Nwogbo saying that since the award he had registered at a Philosophy conference where he presented a paper.

Nwogbo has since registered for another conference in September where he will also present a paper.

‘Without this scholarship award I would not have been able to register for these conferences. I plan to continue along this line as well as pursue my studies towards a PhD and then become a lecturer and a writer.’

Sofono, the only woman to receive the scholarship this year, said: ‘The award has helped me to think about making a difference in my community and that I should not give up on my dreams. It is not just about getting money to study, it develops you as a person and that is why I think it is extremely important. I wasn't fully aware of my capabilities,  strengths and weaknesses before this scholarship but when I was applying and read what was required, those things became a little clearer.’ 

Zimbabwean student Moyo is grateful to UKZN and the scholarship donors for freeing him financially to complete his studies. ‘This is actually a relief for my finances and my family is so excited that I got this funding.

‘I congratulate all future recipients of this scholarship and advise them that anything is possible especially with awards of this nature.’

Melissa Mungroo 


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Social Sciences Student gets Abe Bailey Travel Bursary

Social Sciences Student gets Abe Bailey Travel Bursary
Social Sciences student Mr Mfundo Mdletshe (left) with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Jonathan Blackledge.

Social Sciences student Mr Mfundo Mdletshe has been awarded the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary. 

The Abe Bailey Trust provides a unique opportunity for top students or young lecturers from South African universities to tour the United Kingdom as part of a group with the aim being to bring together young people from this country who exhibit exceptional leadership qualities. 

Said Mdletshe: ‘I believe I am one for the future rather than a finished product. And as someone who holds the view of behaviour theorists, who maintain that “great leaders are made, and not born”, this scholarship is certain to mould and polish my leadership skills to enable me to contribute to a better world in general and a better South Africa in particular. 

‘I would like to assure the donors of this award that I will do everything in my power to ensure the objectives are achieved.’ 

Mdletshe has started the process of applying for postgraduate studies and intends to read for his Masters in Development Studies at UKZN. He hopes to get some experience in both developmental issues and the gaps in the current research of those issues, before registering for a PhD. 

‘I am fortunate to have been granted numerous opportunities by this great institution. From being invited to give “my UKZN experience” at the Scholarship Voucher Ceremony last year to being afforded the opportunity to study at the University of Calgary in Canada for a semester - an opportunity I unfortunately had to turn down for personal reasons. 

‘But Christa McAuliffe once coined the phrase, “I touch the future, I teach” and I would say being recommended, and afterwards hired, to be a Supplemental Instruction Leader for Environmental Systems (ENVS120) only in my second year of study has really inspired me. I have been afforded a platform to contribute to the academic success of others. I have a knack for reaching those students and I do it with passion!’ 

He encouraged his fellow students to be actively involved in university societies and in their communities at large.

Melissa Mungroo


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Three Students Get UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarships

Three Students Get UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarships
College of Humanities students Mr Mondli Ntshingila (left) and Mr Sandile Zulu who won the UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarships.

College of Humanities students Mr Sandile Zulu, Mr Nomzamo Zulu and Mr Mondli Ntshingila have won UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarships for outstanding achievements at provincial, national and international levels in rugby and hockey.  

Sandile, who is studying Town Planning, dedicated the scholarship to his mother. ‘She raised four children on her own and her values in life have always kept me humble. She is a selfless person who continually strives to help others succeed. 

‘I chose to study at UKZN because my mother recommended the University.  Getting this scholarship will help me complete my studies and assist us financially.’ 

Criminology student Ntshingila said: ‘This award is definitely for my mother because she has been a single parent for as long as I can remember and such a loving mother. She always reminds me of where I come from and the need to work hard at all times to improve myself and the family.’ 

He says UKZN has helped him think outside the box.  ‘I remember when I first came to UKZN, I was immature and narrow minded but the academic standards at the University have assisted me to widen my perspectives of how the world operates. I am much more aware of religious issues, how sensitive they can be, and also of gender issues.’ 

All three students are thankful to the University and the sponors of the Scholarship and have vowed to continue to excel both on sports fields and in the academic arena. 

Melissa Mungroo


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Phd Students Receive UKZN Doctoral Scholarships

Phd Students Receive UKZN Doctoral Scholarships
Two PhD students who were awarded prestigious UKZN Doctoral scholarships, Mr Jean Paul Ngoboka and Ms Quraisha Dawood presented to them by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Jonathan Blackledge.

Two PhD students from the College of Humanities, Mr Jean Paul Ngoboka and Ms Quraisha Dawood, have been awarded prestigious UKZN Doctoral scholarships. 

The scholarship is awarded at senior postgraduate level from UKZN funds.   

‘It’s hard for me to believe that I am the recipient of this scholarship,’ said Ngoboka. ‘I feel blessed. It means fewer problems. My family can concentrate on other issues rather than being worried about my financial situation. My children are also motivated to work harder hoping that one day they might become beneficiaries of a similar scholarship.’ 

Ngoboka believes that the scholarships are important in two ways: material support and recognition of individual achievement and motivation.  ‘In my case it came as a response to a difficult situation I was in because I left my job to register as a full time student. Financially, I’m now secure and can concentrate on my studies. Also it is a motivation for me to work harder.’ 

Dawood was elated saying she appreciated being recognised for her research. ‘UKZN has opened many doors for me as a post graduate student and this scholarship affirms that such an institution believes in students who work hard. 

‘UKZN has allowed me to make my family very proud. Often students can feel invisible and alone, especially when doing a PhD, but opportunities like this prove that hard work does not go unrecognised at UKZN.’ 

Dawood’s message to other students is ‘continue to strive to do your best and make the most of opportunities’.

Melissa Mungroo


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Music Student Receives Two Scholarships

Music Student Receives Two Scholarships
Two scholarship awards for Music student, Ms Jessica Osborne.

Music student Ms Jessica Osborne has won two prestigious scholarships - the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship and the Townley Williams Scholarship which is awarded to the best student entering the final year of study in a first degree.  

Osborne was surprised but ecstatic saying she was grateful to the University and the sponsors for awarding her not one but two scholarships! 

‘I feel very honoured to receive these awards. They mean a great deal to me and my family and serve as a reminder of how hard I worked to maintain a good academic aggregate.’  

This scholarship will assist Osborne in pursuing her Master’s degree in Music Education as well as encouraging her to continue to do her best academically. 

She believes that scholarships are important as they motivate students to work hard. She advised other students to try to maintain good academic aggregates to be in line for an award. 

‘My whole family have inspired me to be the person I am today. I have learned so much from them all and would definitely not be the person I am today without them. A dear friend of mine, Brendon, has also inspired me to be the best person I can possibly be. 

‘I have started as a piano teacher in Pietermaritzburg and intend to focus more on this as a career once I have completed my masters. I would like to study Accountancy because of my love of Mathematics.’ 

Osborne thanked the sponsors and UKZN and its teaching staff.

Melissa Mungroo


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Rick Turner Scholarship for Development Studies Masters Student

Rick Turner Scholarship for Development Studies Masters Student
Mr Nsizwazonke Yende (left) received a Rick Turner Scholarship.

Development Studies masters student Mr Nsizwazonke Yende received a Rick Turner Scholarship during a recent UKZN awards ceremony.  

The Rick Turner scholarship was established to honour the memory of slain activist Dr Rick Turner and the contribution he made to the Discipline of Political Science at the University as well as his much wider contribution to civil society.  

This award is aimed at postgraduate students who excel in the broad disciplines of Politics and Labour Studies and contribute to the development and upliftment of their communities.

‘This Scholarship is a blessing and such a great honour, which rewards my hard work, determination, and sacrifice,’ said Yende. ‘Winning the scholarship is not just about receiving funds to reduce financial burden. For me, it is indispensable; it tells me that I have been recognised as an agent of change in the future of our society - that I have a responsibility to make change possible.’ 

Yende chose Development Studies because it provides students with the knowledge, critical perspectives and skills needed to engage with the issues and problems of national and international development, especially as they relate to the Global South. 

‘The most impactful part of my experience at UKZN thus far has been with the staff members and my colleagues,’ said Yende. 

‘It has been inspiring to spend time with folks who are so genuinely passionate about inspiring greatness, not only among people within the University, but also outside UKZN. I am consistently amazed by their ability and willingness to achieve greatness. It has motivated and challenged me to explore and try to follow in their footsteps.’ 

Yende’s advice to others is to always strive to achieve more, to be the agent of change, and to keep up with good work. 

He plans to do a PhD and to continue engaging himself in community service. ‘I hope to enhance the well-being of the community and strengthen mechanical solidarity to achieve harmonious society.’

‘Furthermore, I want to use my leadership skills to enhance self-reliance and empower sustainable communities, more especially in my hometown of Piet Retief in Mpumalanga.’

Melissa Mungroo


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Humanities Students Get Frene Ginwala Scholarships


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Two students at the College of Humanities, Ms Senzokuhle Ntombela and Ms Snegugu Khweshube, have been awarded Frene Ginwala Scholarships. 

The scholarship is awarded to achieving black African women who arrive at UKZN as undergraduate students. 

The scholarship is named after the first Chancellor of the University, and the former Speaker of Parliament, Frene Ginwala. 

‘Winning such a prestigious scholarship has made me so happy because it shows me that my hard work and dedication have been recognised and it is not all in vain! I am being rewarded for doing what I love and this motivates me even more,’ said Ntombela. 

She believes that scholarships are important because they help underprivileged students who are financially disadvantaged. ‘This scholarship is a form of appreciation for what one has achieved and also serves as an inspiration towards what one is looking forward to doing,’ she said.  

Both Ntombela and Kweshube advised other students to work hard during their studies and to pursue their dreams. They were grateful to the donors and saw the award as an investment in their future.

 

Melissa Mungroo


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Education Student Wins Two Sought After Scholarships

Education Student Wins Two Sought After Scholarships
Ms Snegugu Khweshube received the Frene Ginwala and the Hugh Africa Scholarships.

Bachelor of Education student, Ms Snegugu Khweshube, has been awarded two prestigious scholarships.

Khweshube received the Frene Ginwala Scholarship - awarded to top black African female undergraduate entrants, and the Hugh Africa Scholarship -made annually to a top new entrant studying Education. 

‘The scholarships mean so much to me and my family, coming at a time when we needed them most. These scholarships will assist me with the registration fee, the residence fees and also for tutorial notes. They will make such a difference to my life.’ 

Despite being apart from her grandmother and family, Khweshube believes her hard work and dedication towards her studies at UKZN will pay off and she’ll be able to take care of her family while at the same time making a success of her life and inspiring colleagues, friends and family to strive for success. 

‘I owe much to my family especially my grandmother - they have been with me through good and tough times and I want to remind them that though I'm in University and away from them, I still love them and care for them a lot.’ 

Khweshube believes that UKZN has taught her to be responsible, to work hard and to work with others. ‘UKZN is my source of inspiration and someday I’d like to work as a lecturer at this University and teach other students and help them make a success of their lives.’

Melissa Mungroo


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Civil Engineering Student Receives College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship

Civil Engineering Student Receives College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship
BSc Civil Engineering student, Mr Mishlin Pillay with Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

BSc Civil Engineering student, Mr Mishlin Pillay, says his College Deputy Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship has motivated him to aim higher.

The final-year student, who also has an interest in photography and hiking, said his reason for pursuing an Engineering degree was to contribute to the uplifting of society and improving the quality of life. 

Pillay, an admirer of folk singer Bob Dylan, plans to work towards obtaining his Professional Engineering registration and after sufficient experience in the profession, he will consider pursuing an MSc Engineering degree.   

The scholarship has motivated Pillay to aim higher. ‘It has not only provided financial relief for my family and I, but more importantly, it has served as a motivating factor for me to realise my full potential and achieve my goals.’ 

The high achiever, who admires and respects his parents greatly, also attributes his success to his lecturers. ‘I would also like to express my appreciation to all the lecturers and staff at Civil Engineering at Howard campus. They have always encouraged us to be independent and challenge ourselves,’ said Pillay.

Prashina Kallideen


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Hard Work Worth it in the End for UKZN Award Winner


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‘It  is a wonderful feeling knowing that all those late nights, hard work and constant stressing were worth it in the end,’ said  Bachelor of Pharmacy student Ms Naeema Bayat after she was awarded a College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

The College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships are being awarded for the first time to the three top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from second to subsequent years of study. 

‘I feel humbled and elated and am immensely grateful. The scholarship has brought me not one but two steps closer to achieving my goal and I sincerely appreciate it!’

Bayat said her family were proud and very happy for her, ‘They always support and encourage me.’

She said receiving the scholarship was extremely rewarding for her and a great honour. ‘It truly means more than words can express.’

Bayat’s main aspiration is to become the best Pharmacist she can be and serve the community, ‘This scholarship definitely makes that a possibility,’ she said.

Her parents and friends kept her going. ‘It’s so important to have people who encourage you and are always there for you; without them things would not be the same.

‘To my fellow students - remember nothing is impossible, even though sometimes during this Pharmacy course it does seem so, but don’t give up, persevere, do the best that you can and know that no matter what others say, you gave it all you had.’

Bayat comes from a close-knit family in Durban and is the eldest sibling and only daughter. ‘There’s never a dull or quiet moment at home and when I’m studying I make sure that everyone studies with me.’ 

Bayat is a firm believer in prayer. ‘If one has faith and puts one’s trust in Allah he will always guide you, help you and make it easy for you in everything you do and you will sail through every obstacle in your path!’

Nombuso Dlamini


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UKZN Student’s “Financial Stress” Relieved by Scholarship

UKZN Student’s “Financial Stress” Relieved by Scholarship
Sports Science student Ms Tayla Henry received a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

A weight was taken off the shoulders of second-year Sports Science student Ms Tayla Henry when she received a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

‘I now no longer have to stress about the financial burden of tuition fees - what a huge relief!’ said Henry.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships are awarded to the five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first year to second year in each of the four Colleges of UKZN.

‘I was, and still am, quite shocked to be receiving it as I know that there are numerous high-achieving students who study at UKZN and particularly in Health Sciences. I am grateful to the funders of the award and I hope they continue to provide this wonderful opportunity to future students. They are helping to enrich the lives of our country’s future leaders,’ said Henry.

Her family was extremely proud of her and her achievements. ‘It instils in me a sense of pride that hard work does indeed pay off and that I can achieve my dreams. It proves that success is a direct result of putting in the long hours.’ 

She hopes to continue giving of her best and working hard while enjoying her time spent at UKZN. She also plans to graduate at the end of next year and then work towards an Honours degree in Biokinetics.  

‘This scholarship instills in me a greater drive to achieve these goals.   As long as I know I have done all I could, then I know I have succeeded,’ said Henry. 

She advised her fellow students to never leave things to the last minute.  ‘Always seek new knowledge. Don’t just take what your lecturer says as the only answer, explore other possibilities. Work consistently throughout the semester and it will result in less stress during exam week.’

Henry enjoys spending time with friends and family, participating in sport, going to the theatre and coaching rhythmic gymnastics.

‘My family is very important to me and both my parents have inspired and assisted me in becoming who I am today.’

Nombuso Dlamini


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Medical Student Reaps Reward for Diligence

Medical Student Reaps Reward for Diligence
Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter (right) awards Ms Preyanka Pillay with the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship.

This scholarship confirms that hard work and determination reap rewards, says MBChB fourth-year student Ms Preyanka Pillay, who was awarded the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship.

The scholarships are being awarded for the first time to the three top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from second to subsequent years of study. They recognise top performance over two or more years of undergraduate study.

Pillay said the award affirmed that making a sacrifice was worth it. ‘My family and I are extremely happy. I am deeply honoured and grateful to receive this scholarship. I realise that my hard work and dedication throughout my studies paid off and I feel a strong sense of achievement.’ 

Pillay promised to make the most of the opportunity and continue to do her best. In a few years she plans to be a well-educated, analytical, community-engaged and sought after doctor!

‘I would like to contribute to medicine and explore new ideas. Ultimately I would like to make a difference and inspire others.’ 

She thanked the scholarship sponsors for giving her an opportunity to fulfil her dreams. ‘This scholarship will make my dreams a reality and I am deeply grateful for this. Thank you for your generosity and willingness to help me reach my full potential.’ 

Pillay, who matriculated at Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School with nine distinctions, is a part of a family of five.  Both her parents are educators and very supportive. 

She advised fellow students to make the most of any opportunity and strive to reach their goals. ‘Continue to work hard, never give up and do your best. Aim to make a difference and inspire others.’ 

Pillay plans to continue with her studies and dreams of becoming an inspiration to others by contributing to medicine.

Nombuso Dlamini


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Scholarship Winner following in the Career Footsteps of His Dad

Scholarship Winner following in the Career Footsteps of His Dad
Electrical Engineering student Mr Nathan Sparks.

Electrical Engineering student Mr Nathan Sparks plans to follow in the footsteps of his father and become an Electrical Engineer. 

Sparks says it is a “great feeling” to be rewarded with a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship which he felt he earned after hours of hard work and dedication. 

‘I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to UKZN for its generosity and kindness. Scholarships allow students to go to university with fewer worries over financial constraints,’ said Sparks. 

His role model is Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer who in 1911 led an Antarctic expedition which became the first to reach the South Pole.  ‘Amundsen’s perseverance was stronger than those who challenged him,’ said Sparks. 

His interest in Electrical Engineering stems from his father who is an Electrical Engineer. With aspirations to complete his postgraduate studies overseas, Sparks spends his free time playing cricket, running or fishing.

Prashina Kallideen


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Student Feels “Privileged” to Receive Two UKZN Scholarships

Student Feels “Privileged” to Receive Two UKZN Scholarships
Mr Lance Oom was named the best single undergraduate student and received the Lawrence and Constance Scholarship and the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

Mr Lance Oom, a Mechanical Engineering student, says he feels privileged to be the recipient of two prestigious UKZN scholarships – the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship and the LC Robinson Scholarship.

‘I have always worked hard and applied myself in the pursuit of academic excellence and I am privileged to be ranked amongst the top achievers at the University,’ said Oom.

His love for Mathematics and Physics at secondary school level encouraged him to pursue an Engineering degree.  During his high school career Oom was always assisted by his uncle, his role model, on various projects and assignments.  Taking his lead from his uncle, a Chemical Engineer by profession, he decided on a career in Engineering.

With plans to do a postgraduate degree in the future, he eventually aims to move into industry and help improve health care in South Africa through technological innovation.

This high achiever spends his spare time playing tennis, scuba diving or fly-fishing in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

Prashina Kallideen


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UKZN First Year Medical Student Gets Pius Langa Scholarship

UKZN First Year Medical Student Gets Pius Langa Scholarship
Ms Selina Naicker, a first-year Medical student (left) with Ethekwini Speaker Mr Logie Naidoo.

Ms Selina Naicker, a first-year Medical student at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine at UKZN, is the recipient of the prestigious Pius Langa Scholarship. 

The Scholarship is awarded to students ranked in the top 10 in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Education Department's NSC examinations, or top nationally in the IEB matriculation examinations. 

The scholarship is worth R50 000 a year and is awarded to top-performing new undergraduate students. It is named after the renowned former Chief Justice of South Africa, Pius Langa, who was the last Chancellor of the University of Natal and the first Ombud of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.   

‘I was very excited when I received the news and I am extremely pleased and honoured as the award is a testament to excellence,’ said Naicker. 

‘My special thanks go to the sponsors. With two siblings, this relieves the financial stress on my parents who are both teachers. They have showered me with love, support and guidance, and are now extremely proud.’

Naicker was placed second in Quintile 5 school selection at the National Matric Awards last year. 

‘I plan to complete my studies and specialise in Paediatrics. I would also really like to work and contribute towards HIV and AIDS research in the future.’ 

In her spare time, she enjoys reading and doing karate. 

Naicker has an older brother, Shaun, who is a fifth-year Medical student at UKZN.

Zakia Jeewa 


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Medical Student Receives Pius Langa Scholarship

Medical Student Receives Pius Langa Scholarship
Ethekwini Speaker Mr Logie Naidoo (right) with scholarship recipient, Medical student Usha Govind.

Medical student Usha Govind is the recipient of a Pius Langa Scholarship worth R50 000 annually. 

Govind, one of four students who received the scholarship, said: ‘I am extremely grateful. Thanks to the funders of the scholarship for their contribution in recognising our academic achievements.’  

The scholarship, awarded to top-performing, new undergraduate students, is named after the renowned former Chief Justice of South Africa, the last Chancellor of the University of Natal and the first Ombudsman of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  

The scholarships are awarded to students ranked in the top 10 in KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Education Department NSC examinations, or top nationally in the IEB matriculation examinations. 

Govind said the award served as a reminder that ‘there is no substitute for hard work and it will certainly motivate me to achieve more and to help others wherever I can. Each year, I will strive to maintain a high academic standard in order to be re-awarded this scholarship and to excel in my career as a doctor.’ 

Govind’s family and friends play a huge role in her life, supporting and motivating her in whatever she does. ‘I am driven by both my achievements and failures as they motivate me to work harder.’ 

Recreational activities such as spending time with friends, exercising, dancing and watching TV keep the 18-year-old very busy.  

She advised fellow students to always strive to improve themselves, keep working hard and to enjoy what they did. 

Govind, who completed her matric at Durban Girls’ College, is from a very medically involved family - her father is an Anaesthetist and her mother a Pharmacist.  

Govind’s brother is currently a fifth-year Medical student at UKZN.  

Nombuso Dlamini


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Pius Langa Scholarship for College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Student

Pius Langa Scholarship for College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Student
First-year Bachelor of Science student, Ms Aadila Moola (left) with Ethekwini Speaker Mr Logie Naidoo

First-year Bachelor of Science student, Ms Aadila Moola, was the only recipient of the Pius Langa Scholarship from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES).

The scholarship is named after the renowned former Chief Justice of South Africa, Pius Langa, the last Chancellor of the former University of Natal and the first Ombud of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The scholarships are awarded to new undergraduate students who are ranked in the top 10 in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Education Department National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations or top nationally in the Independent Examinations Board matriculation examinations.

Moola, who achieved outstanding matric results at the Orient Islamic School last year, said: ‘The Pius Langa Scholarship gives students the opportunity to excel in fields they are passionate about and to play a vital role in inspiring greatness. Through the scholarships successful leaders are produced at the forefront of progress in South Africa.

‘As a recipient of this scholarship, I feel I have a responsibility to use the fruits of my experiences at UKZN in a manner that will benefit the community.’

Moola continued on from her exceptional academic performance at school by attaining four distinctions in her first semester at the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science. She attributes her continued achievements at University ‘to the vibrant, spirited individuals who make up the diverse university community’.

Already in her first year of study, Moola hopes to major in Mathematics and Physics and will choose either to teach or to study further and lecture.

Dean and Head of School: Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Sciences, Professor Kesh Govinder, said: ‘It is heartening to see Ms Moola translate her outstanding matric results into exemplary performance in her first year.  She is exactly the sort of student we wish to see progress through our system and become part of the knowledge creation community in South Africa.  

It is a testimony to her maturity that she is already focussed on giving back to South Africa by becoming involved in Education.  It is my hope that she continues on this trajectory and becomes a leading academic in South Africa.’

Leena Rajpal


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School of Life Sciences Student Receives Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship

School of Life Sciences Student Receives Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship
Ms Jananee Padayachee, who received a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship.

Hard work and long hours of study paid dividends for School of Life Sciences student, Ms Jananee Padayachee, who received a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship. 

The scholarships are awarded to the five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first to second year in each of the four Colleges. Ms Padayachee’s outstanding results in her first year earned her the award. 

Padayachee, who attributed her exceptional results to ‘hard work and long hours of study’, said she was extremely proud and humbled. 

‘The scholarship has motivated me to excel in my studies and I hope to fulfil my dreams of completing a doctorate in the field of genetics,’ said Padayachee.  

She acknowledged the lecturers and staff of the School of Chemistry and Physics who gave her immense support in her first year. ‘Even this year the encouragement from the School of Life Sciences was invaluable.’ 

Dr Paula Sommer, a Lecturer in GENE24, said: ‘Ms Jananee Padayachee is a very hard working, motivated student with excellent potential – she was a real pleasure to teach and I look forward to teaching her in her third year.’ 

Dr Taurai Mutanda, a lecturer in BIMI120and MICR213, said: ‘Ms Padayachee is a hard working student who is so passionate about her academic work.’ 

Dean and Head of the School of Life Sciences, Professor Samson Mukaratirwa, said: ‘The School of Life Sciences would welcome such a talented, diligent, passionate and hardworking student pursuing a postgraduate study with us after completing her undergraduate degree. We are confident she will receive all the necessary academic support and mentorship to realise her dream of obtaining a PhD degree in Genetics.’ 

Interim Director:  College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Access Programmes, Professor Neil Koorbanally, said: ‘I taught Jananee Organic Chemistry in 2013.  She was a quiet, unassuming, pleasant and humble student who always excelled in her tests and examinations. I have no doubt she will be one of South Africa’s leaders going into the future and a role model for her peers.  It was an honour having such an amazing student in my class.’ 

Padayachee’s mother, Mrs Malini Padayachee, said: ‘The whole family is really proud of Jananee. Her quiet, humble demeanour on receiving the news was very touching. Her dedication to her studies has been aptly rewarded and we want her to enjoy every moment.’

Leena Rajpal


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Chemistry Student Scoops Two Top Scholarships

Chemistry Student Scoops Two Top Scholarships
Ms Kimberleigh Bianca Govender of the School of Chemistry and Physics received two prestige awards.

Ms Kimberleigh Bianca Govender of the School of Chemistry and Physics has received two prestige awards - the University of KwaZulu-Natal 100th Anniversary Scholarship and the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship. 

The UKZN 100th Anniversary award – presented for the first time - is a Prestige Undergraduate Scholarship given to the top three performing students from the entire student population.  

College Deputy Vice-Chancellors’ Scholarships are being awarded also for the first time to the three top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from second to subsequent years of study.  

Govender said: ‘It is an honour and privilege to be awarded both these scholarships. I am inspired daily by my fellow students and lecturers who continuously encourage and support me to do my best. In addition, the scholarship is my motivation to continue to achieve in current and future studies. ’  

A lecturer in Applied Chemistry, Dr Brenda Moodley, said: ‘Kimberleigh deserves both awards as she is a very hard working student. Her results speak for themselves and we are very proud of her achievements and hope that she will stay on for postgraduate studies as well.’

Lecturer in the School of Chemistry and Physics, Dr Letitia Pillay, said: ‘It is always a pleasure to teach someone as motivated and dedicated as Kimberleigh. She has excelled in her studies thus far, completing every semester with a Dean’s Commendation and is therefore truly deserving of both her scholarships. I have no doubt that Kimberleigh is going to be a success in her postgraduate studies.’ 

Govender intends furthering her studies at UKZN. ‘Since being awarded the scholarships I aim to study further to get my Honours in Chemistry.’

Leena Rajpal


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Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Winner wants to “Make A Difference”

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Winner wants to “Make A Difference”
Bachelor of Science Student Mr Muhammad Shoaib Ikram (left) with Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

Bachelor of Science Student Mr Muhammad Shoaib Ikram has a goal to ‘someday create an application or program that will make a difference’. 

And Ikram is on the high road to achieving his goal after being awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship. 

The Scholarship is awarded to the five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first year to second year study in each of UKZN’s four Colleges.  

Ikram, one of the top students from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science to receive the award, is in his second year of study in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. He passed his first year of studies (2013) with seven distinctions.   

Ikram, who is from a single parent home, said the scholarship had lightened the financial burden on his mother and would help to finance the education of his two brothers, one of whom is in his first year at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine and the other in matric. 

The scholarship benefits have motivated Ikram to continue achieving at the highest level.

He has also taken a keen interest in Computer Science and Mathematics. 

‘It is my ambition to someday create an application or programme that will make a difference. I intend to continue with my studies through to my Masters degree and doctorate.’ 

Ikram acknowledged the support of his lecturers and the multicultural environment that formed the basis of his inspiration to excel. ‘On entering university for the first time in 2013, there was a challenging flow of emotions. However, the friendly relaxed environment of lecturers, administration staff and older students assisted me in adjusting to tertiary life,’ said Ikram. 

Dean and Head of School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Professor Kesh Govinder said: ‘Mr Ikram has consistently produced outstanding results at UKZN.  This has been achieved in spite of challenging personal circumstances.  He is a role model to others who find themselves in similar situations. 

It is particularly pleasing that he already sees the value of postgraduate study and we look forward to seeing him as part of that cohort in the near future.’ 

Said his mother, Ms Zubeda Mansoor: ‘The scholarship is a reflection of his commitment to hard work. He is an inspiration and motivation to everyone around him.’

Leena Rajpal


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Scholarship Recipient Ready to take Astrophysics to Greater Heights

Scholarship Recipient Ready to take Astrophysics to Greater Heights
Ms Zahra Essack.

Eight distinctions in her first year of study at UKZN were more than enough to earn Bachelor of Science student Ms Zahra Essack a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship. 

Essack attributes her excellent performance to the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. 

‘I am honoured and humbled to have my hard work and achievements acknowledged by the University through the award,’ said Essack who has taken a keen interest in research in the field of Astrophysics. ‘The Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship will allow me to make a valuable contribution to Astrophysics in the South African context.’ 

The scholarship had also motivated her to maintain her exceptional results and pursue her dreams.  

Dean and Head of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Professor Kesh Govinder, said: ‘Ms Essack is one of our truly outstanding undergraduate students.  She has applied herself to the pursuit of her passion - Astrophysics - with great zeal.  We are enormously proud of her achievements and are confident that she will go on to be a leader in astrophysical research in South Africa and abroad.  She sets an excellent example for other students and we hope that others are inspired to emulate her achievements.’

Dr Matt Hilton, Mentor at the Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, said: ‘I taught Zahra for MATH265 (Introduction to Astronomy). She is an excellent student - not only talented, but also very hard working. I’m sure that if she continues to apply herself in the same way, she will be able to achieve whatever she sets out to do, whether that is eventually in Astrophysics or elsewhere.’

Physics Lecturer Dr Suleman Moolla said: ‘It is seldom that a student as outstanding as Zahra Essack comes around. In fact, I would go as far as to say that she is a “once in a generation” student. To achieve an average mark of over 90% in every semester so far is remarkable.’

Course Co-ordinator at the Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, Professor Kavilan Moodley, says Zahra has sustained an outstanding academic record in the Physical Sciences at UKZN and is destined to have an extremely productive research career in astronomy. ‘The success of excellent students like Zahra bodes well for the growth of South African Astronomy as we can look forward to a large pool of highly-skilled researchers to fulfil the investments being made in exciting projects such as the SKA telescope.’

Leena Rajpal

 


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Academic Excellence and Sporting Talent Earn Law Student Prestige Bursary

Academic Excellence and Sporting Talent Earn Law Student Prestige Bursary
Soccer player, Mr Njabulo Sithole.

For Law student and talented Soccer player Mr Njabulo Sithole receiving the UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship at this year’s Awards Ceremony means he can now fully explore his potential in academia and on the sports field. 

Sithole, who has to balance his passion for Law with his love for soccer, said as the scholarship covered all his tuition fees he could now concentrate on doing his best to excel in both fields.

‘Securing this scholarship means I can now focus on my studies and finishing my Law degree in the prescribed time,’ said Sithole. ‘I am very grateful to the sponsors for giving me this opportunity. They have helped me a great deal because before this scholarship I had no idea how I would pay my fees for this year.’  

Sithole said it was a thrill to wear the University’s soccer jersey for the first time and score his first goal for the team.

He feels this achievement is a sign that he is destined for great things as his future plans include ensuring UKZN qualifies for the USSA games as well as being selected for Bafana Bafana. 

‘I intend to improve on my level of playing and hopefully that means I will be funded until I finish my degree. UKZN is a great Institution and I am grateful to be a part of it,’ said Sithole.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Civil Engineering Student Wins T.B. Davis Scholarship

Civil Engineering Student Wins T.B. Davis Scholarship
T.B. Davis Scholarship winner Mr Prosper Bopoto to follow a career in Civil Engineering.

A passion for construction and infrastructure development led T.B. Davis Scholarship winner Mr Prosper Bopoto to follow a career in Civil Engineering

Bopoto said receiving the scholarship was a blessing and would provide huge relief from the financial pressures felt by his family and himself in meeting the costs of tertiary education. 

Bopoto describes himself as an innovative person who cares about the well-being of people.  His choice to pursue a Civil Engineering degree stemmed from his interest in his father’s construction business. 

‘As I grew up, I developed a huge passion for construction and infrastructure development. All these things have helped me choose my career as a Civil Engineer.’ 

His uncle, a successful Mechanical Engineer, is his role model. ‘My uncle has transformed the lives of most of the people around him. He is never shy to assist people,’ said Bopoto, who spends his spare time playing soccer and reading. 

Prashina Kallideen


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Karate Champion Cleans up with Prestige Sports Scholarship

Karate Champion Cleans up with Prestige Sports Scholarship
Chemical Engineering student and Karate champion Ms Riasha Singh.

Chemical Engineering student and karate champion Ms Riasha Singh – who won a UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship - is fanatical about keeping the environment clean. 

Singh feels that sport is as important to her as her academics which led to her interest in preserving the environment around her.  ‘I am quite a fanatic about keeping the environment clean and I was told that through Chemical Engineering I would be given opportunities to ensure that we have a clean and sustainable environment.’ 

“Karate sensation” Singh has travelled extensively to compete in various tournaments and has received her colours for the sport several times for KwaZulu-Natal as well as her junior and senior Protea colours.  

Singh’s Coach and Teacher, Sensei Brando, is one of her role models. ‘He motivates me and inspires me to be the best that I can be. He has always told me that the sky is not the limit for me and that I should always reach out far beyond the stars because there is no place for ordinary people in this world.’ 

Singh describes her dad as her pillar of strength who has helped her build a strong character which she hopes will contribute to her one day being a leading female Engineer in South Africa. 

An avid reader and sports enthusiast, Singh hopes to continue with her studies to do a postgraduate degree.

Prashina Kallideen


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Cricket Opens Doors for Scholarship Winner

Cricket Opens Doors for Scholarship Winner
UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship recipient Gareth Wissing.

Cricket has opened many doors of opportunity for UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship recipient Gareth Wissing. 

Opportunities such as going to a ‘great school like Glenwood High’ and ‘a fine university’ such as UKZN. 

‘I feel very fortunate to have received the award and to be able to represent UKZN,’ said Wissing.

His curiosity about how large structures function led him to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering.  ‘Engineering is the application of mathematics and science to improve the quality of life for everyone. Fortunately my Mathematical and Science aptitudes were decent enough to allow me to pursue engineering,’ he said. 

Wissing’s future plans are to complete his undergraduate degree and begin working as a Civil Engineer however, he has every intention of continuing with cricket. 

Wissing’s father, who is his role model, introduced him to cricket and supported him.  ‘Cricket, and sport for that matter, have affected my life positively in so many ways. Playing cricket has opened many doors of opportunity including being able to go to a great school like Glenwood High and furthermore, studying at a fine university like UKZN,’ he said 

‘Sport instills a sense of discipline and a work ethic that sometimes nothing else can replicate.’

Prashina Kallideen


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Cricket Puts Student on the Scholarship Scoreboard

Cricket Puts Student on the Scholarship Scoreboard
Mr Matthew Boote won a UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship for his achievements in cricket.

Sport helps me lead a healthy, social and disciplined lifestyle which is pretty important especially while studying, says Mr Matthew Boote, who won a UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship for his achievements in cricket. 

‘I would encourage all students to join a sports club at varsity! Sport reveals character in a person so it has helped me learn more about myself and other people in general,’ said Boote. 

He is grateful for the scholarship saying it is a major financial benefit for him and his family. 

The Land Surveying student was motivated to study Engineering after his father, who also has an Engineering degree, introduced him to it.  ‘What appealed to me was that I could be outdoors in this profession as well as having the opportunity to be guided by my father while learning the trade.’ 

South African cricketer Hashim Amla is Boote’s sports role model but he also admires his father who is a dedicated and hardworking Engineer.   

His sports career has provided him opportunities to meet many great people.  

This sports fanatic hopes to open his own Land Surveying business some time in the future.  However, for now he intends to carry on playing ‘stacks of sport’ while working to become a professional Land Surveyor.

 

Prashina Kallideen


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Award Boosts Confidence of B-Medical Sciences Student

Award Boosts Confidence of B-Medical Sciences Student
Mr Kyle Pillay.

B Med Sciences third-year student Mr Kyle Pillay, who received a College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship, says the award has given him added confidence in himself.

College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarships are being awarded for the first time this year to the three top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from second to subsequent years of study. 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Rob Slotow said, ‘The newly established Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship is one manner in which the University recognises excellence in academic achievement. It is important to promote and support scholarly achievement, and recognition such as through this Scholarship, provides a mechanism for building further the success of our top performers so that they reach their full potential.’

Pillay said the scholarship had definitely built up his confidence: ‘It feels good knowing I can contribute to the financial aspect of my education.’ 

He plans to study further, perhaps doing postgraduate studies or moving into a different field. 

His friends and family have been an incredible support network. ‘They are always encouraging me. The desire to make a difference in the world is also a big motivation for me.’

Pillay, who is from Johannesburg but currently lives with relatives in Pinetown, said his mother was very proud of his achievements. ‘I have also inspired my cousin, who will begin tertiary education soon.’

He advised fellow students to never give up even when it seemed like there was no hope: ‘Always do your best, push your boundaries and enjoy what you do!’

Being very grateful to the funders of the scholarship he said: ‘Thank you very much for this initiative. It helps us in so many ways.’

 

 Nombuso Dlamini


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Frene Ginwala Scholarship Motivates BCom Students to Aim High

Frene Ginwala Scholarship Motivates BCom Students to Aim High
Brightsparks: College of Law and Management Studies Frene Ginwala Entrant Scholarship recipients at the ceremony.

Making the Top 10 list of black African female undergraduate students awarded the prestigious Frene Ginwala Entrant Scholarship has empowered seven BCom students to unlock their full academic potential. 

The Entrant Scholarship is awarded to the top 10 African women entrants who register at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. They are each are awarded R18 000 as a stepping stone to a successful academic career. 

Ms Sinehlahla Dlamini, Ms Thembelihle Magutshwa, Ms Sibahle Nkomo, Ms Sibongile Mchunu, Ms Andile Mkutyukela and Ms Nothando Mabaso say that securing the Frene Ginwala Entrant Scholarship will ensure success in their chosen vocation of accounting.

 For Nkomo the pursuing a qualification in accounting will allow her the opportunity to address the shortage of young African women in the accounting field. 

‘Since being awarded the scholarship my plans are to study hard so that I can be able to graduate with my degree and honours in record time.  

‘My  dream is to one day have a foundation that invests in the education of young black women because I believe that the time has come for young black women to prove their worth in this country,’ she said. 

For Mkutyukelwa pursuing a qualification in accounting means she can make a valuable contribution towards the financial stability of the country. 

‘A career in accounting is a gateway qualification into any career as most leaders in the business world have a financial qualification. I aspire to become a fully qualified accountant who makes a valuable contribution towards the country’s economy,’ she said. 

For Mabaso her academic interests are in pursuing a Charted Accountant (CA) career and being part of the driving force that will change the face of South African business.

Thandiwe Jumo


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Prestige Sports Scholarship for Young Cricket Star

Prestige Sports Scholarship for Young Cricket Star
Mr Kurtlyn Mannikam (centre) with his parents.

First year Sports Science student, 18-year-old Mr Kurtlyn Mannikam, has been a Cricket star since he was a kid.

He played for the U11, U12, U13, U15 and U17 divisions of the KwaZulu-Natal Inland Cricket Union (INLAND) and was named President’s X1 captain in 2013. He won a Jacque Kallis Scholarship from 2009 to 2013 and played first-team Cricket for Pietermaritzburg College in 2013.  This year he’s a member of UKZN’s 1st XI and has joined the Dolphins Academy.

So there’s little doubt the young sportsman is brimming with talent! This was recognised by UKZN who awarded him a Prestige Sports Scholarship.

Mannikam says a highlight was playing cricket in England when he was 12. His sporting career has taken him to many foreign destinations including Ireland and Zimbabwe. In Grade 10 he was a sports exchange student in Germany from where he travelled to Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

He said he was surprised to receive a UKZN’s Prestige Sports Scholarship because he had decided to move to Cape Town where he believed his sporting career would blossom. ‘It was such an honour getting the UKZN scholarship.’

Mannikam decided to study Sports Science because he wants to stay as close to sport as possible. ‘People don’t really know what Sports Science is. They think it’s merely related to coaching. I love the Chemistry practicals, Anatomy and Physiology side of it.’

Mannikam said academic qualifications were a necessary back up to a sports career. ‘Your body is your money maker. It’s always good to have something to fall back on. Over investing in one thing makes you live an unbalanced life.’

He balances sport and academics with his passion for music – he plays drums and guitar at his church.  Family time is important to him and strives to be the very best at everything he does.

He enjoys a braai at the beach after a game of Touch Rugby when he is not at home studying or watching sport on television. Mannikam hopes to play for the Dolphins-B side by the end of 2014 and professionally within the next three years.

He paid tribute to his parents for their support and understanding.

Lunga Memela


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Brawn and Brains Secure Dental Therapy Student Prestige Sports Scholarship

Brawn and Brains Secure Dental Therapy Student Prestige Sports Scholarship
Mr Joshua Nkosi supported by his girlfriend, Ayanda Hlongwane and Ntethelelo Sibiya, his friend and training partner – also students at UKZN.

The mental and physical muscle of Bodybuilding champion Mr Joshua Nkosi earned him a UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship.

Nkosi received the award in recognition of his outstanding performances at local and international Bodybuilding competitions.

The 23 year old Dental Therapy student recently won a title at the 2014 National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA) WFF Universe Competition in South Korea, repeating his performance at the contest last year in Greece.

In 2013 he was named UKZN Sportsman of the Year after winning titles at the NABBA provincial and national competitions in South Africa. Nkosi was placed second in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) East Coast Classics and provincial competitions in 2013, was second again at the IFBB KZN NOVICE CLASSIC Competition in 2012 and finished third at the NABBA Universe Competition in the United Kingdom in 2010.

Growing up, Nkosi enjoyed playing Cricket, Tennis and Rugby never imagining his long-term sporting success would be in bodybuilding. After suffering rugby injuries, he met influential body builders who inspired him to take up the sport as a form of fitness training.

Bodybuilding was now not just a hobby but a lifestyle. ‘It’s who you are and healthy eating is an important part of it.’

He said sport cleared his mind - it was his “me-time”, energising him and providing an incentive for his body to keep going. It also helped him to strike a balance between his academic and social life.

He is currently based at King Dinuzulu Hospital Complex as part of the third year curriculum for Dental Therapy.

Nkosi said clinical placements were important because that was where “theory met practice”. Being situated in the actual hospital environment challenged students to work under pressure and within real life situations. ‘It’s quite a privilege,’ he said.

Passionate about his academic life as well, Nkosi looks forward to pursuing postgraduate research and further developing Dentistry as a profession.

Nkosi said he was humbled to receive the UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship. ‘There were a lot of other eligible students from various sport codes in the mix.’

While Nkosi enjoys reading and keeping abreast with current affairs, he also spends a significant amount of his time as an active member of the Christian Revival Church (CRC) in Durban North where he answers to his calling of coaching people from various disadvantaged communities on healthy living.

Lunga Memela


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Fifteen Health Sciences Students Awarded Frene Ginwala Scholarship

Fifteen Health Sciences Students Awarded Frene Ginwala Scholarship
Frene Ginwala Scholarship awardees at the Annual Scholarship Awards.

Fifteen female students from UKZN’s College of Health Sciences were awarded the Frene Ginwala Scholarship at the annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony on the Westville Campus. 

Named after the University’s first Chancellor and former Speaker of Parliament, the Frene Ginwala Scholarship is a prestige entrant equity scholarship awarded to top African female entrants who register at UKZN. They each receive R20 000.  

Twelve of the recipients are Medical students registered for the MBChB degree while the others are registered for Bachelor of Pharmacy degrees. 

The award winners all expressed their deep gratitude saying they were determined to work hard and make full use of the scholarship.

‘In line with the UKZN slogan of “Inspiring Greatness”, I am humbled to be recognised as one of the qualifying recipients of this scholarship,’ said Ms Mbali Ngcobo, a first-year Student at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine.

Student, Ms Samkelo Mtshali, said: ‘It’s a privilege to be recognized by the institution as being deserving of this scholarship which to me is a reward for the hard work I put in at school. I am grateful and honoured and I’m also encouraged to work even harder!’ 

Another student, Ms Noxolo Cebekhulu, said: ‘I was a member of the UKZN Surgical Society Shadowing Programme during the holidays. It was great to shadow young surgeons of such wisdom and artistry, some of whom went to the same Medical School I am at!’

Ms Philile Mhlongo discussed her future plans as a first year medical student, saying that she would like to get her degree without having to repeat any year. ‘Once I am a qualified Medical Doctor, I want to further my studies in Gynaecology and Obstetrics or Neurosurgery. I really want to be a successful person who helps others, especially patients.’ 

The three Bachelor of Pharmacy students - Ms Elizabeth Mthembu, Ms Fezile Nyathikazi and Ms Amanda Mgwengwe - shared similar sentiments. Said Mgewengwe: ‘Personally this scholarship has raised the bar of academic excellence and elevated my personal ambitions. I hope to be the first Pharmacist from my community.’ 

The other scholarship winners are Ms Philisiwe Ziqubu, Ms Phiwayenkosi Mkhonza, Ms Busisiwe Mkhize, Ms Ayanda Hadebe, Ms Philile Zwane, Ms Sihlengiwe Nyawose, Ms Noluthando Kunene and Ms Nonhlanhla Nkomo. 

 Zakia Jeewa


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Desire to Make Parents Proud Drives Award Winner

Desire to Make Parents Proud Drives Award Winner
Mr Theshan Naidoo (centre) with Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

A desire to make his parents proud is the driving force in the academic life of Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship winner Mr Theshan Naidoo. 

‘It is a great honour to receive such a prestigious award - it leaves me with a feeling of deep self-fulfilment and satisfaction’, said Naidoo, a Medical student. 

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships are awarded to the five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first-year to second-year study in each of the four Colleges of UKZN.  

He aims to maintain if not improve the level at which he performs to ensure his continued success  

Naidoo advised his fellow students to work hard and to have a positive mind set so they were always able to perform at their best. 

He thanked the scholarship sponsors for their considerate and generous actions. ‘It is indeed an honour that drives and inspires students to perform at their best.’ 

Naidoo, who describes himself as a competitive person, enjoys playing a variety of sports Including Soccer, Cricket, Hockey and Golf.

‘I have a very loving and supportive family. They are always there for me. It is an honour to know them,’ he said.  

Nombuso Dlamini


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UKZN Celebrates and Salutes the Achievements of its Students

UKZN Celebrates and Salutes the Achievements of its Students
Distinguished Student Awards recipients, Mr Ntokozo Qwabe (left) and Ms Kelly Sloley (right) with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning and Chair of the Scholarships Committee, Professor Renuka Vithal.

More than 100 of the 4108 University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) scholarship winners for 2014 were honoured at the University’s Annual Awards Ceremony on the Westville campus on 27 August, receiving awards worth around R97 million. 

The scholarships recognise and reward academic excellence and exceptional achievement in sport.  

A total of 21 000 awards - comprising loans, scholarships and bursaries worth about R774 million - have been presented this year to UKZN students who achieved outstanding results in undergraduate, honours, masters and doctoral studies.

The awards, funded by the University and by donors, are an indication of the calibre of students choosing to study at UKZN.

At the awards ceremony, summa cum laude Law scholar, Mr Ntokozo Qwabe, and Sport Science Masters candidate, Ms Kelly Sloley, each received a prestigious Distinguished Student Award. 

Distinguished Student Awards are presented to highly talented, caring and exceptional graduates judged to be exemplary in embodying the ideals and attributes the University aims to create in every graduate. 

The award, based on nominations from staff and students, also recognises and rewards outstanding academic achievement together with excellence in community engagement or University service as reflected in UKZN’s vision, mission and goals. 

Qwabe was also a recipient of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. 

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation provides a special opportunity for high academic achievers to compete for the scholarships that support post graduate study at South African universities. Winners must possess strong leadership qualities, deep community engagement, a commitment to reconciliation and reflect a spirit of entrepreneurship – in other words, young people who resonate with the legacy of Nelson Mandela and Cecil John Rhodes! 

Guest speaker, UKZN Alumnus and Clinical Psychologist, Mr Suntosh Pillay - himself a former Mandela Rhodes Scholar- encouraged students to continue with their studies.  He also advised them to not only participate in conversations but to drive debates, speaking their minds with compassion. 

Ms Candice de Boer, an Honours Bachelor of Science student, was the top Honours student receiving both the Zac Yacoob Scholarship and the Maryam Babangida Scholarship. 

Development Masters student, Ms Basheera Mohamed, won the Emma Smith Overseas Scholarship. The scholarship provides postgraduate scholarship opportunities for top-performing female students resident in Ethekwini to study abroad.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning and Chair of the Scholarships Committee, Professor Renuka Vithal, highlighted the University’s commitment to support students with funding and reward excellence. 

‘We are very proud of the way we support our students,’ said Vithal. 

Prestige Undergraduate scholarships were awarded to the three top-performing undergraduate students in the entire University – ie the three top students in a cohort of more than 30 000 students.

Mechanical Engineering student Mr Lance Oom was selected as the best single undergraduate student in the entire University receiving  the Lawrence and Constance Robinson Scholarship. He also received the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for being the top undergraduate student in the College of Agriculture Engineering and Science. 

Second placed student and recipient of the Brenda M Gourley Scholarship was Music student, Ms Rashalia Pather.   

Ms Kimberleigh Govender, a Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry student, was awarded a new scholarship - named for the first time in recognition of the University centenary year and given to the third-placed student among undergraduate top performers. She also received the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship. 

Vithal announced that the University was inaugurating a new scholarship - the Hugh Africa Scholarship - named after Professor Hugh Africa, a distinguished educationist, former Vice-Chancellor, member of the UKZN Council and UKZN honorary doctorate recipient. The Hugh Africa Scholarship will be made annually to a top new entrant choosing to study Education at UKZN. 

The first recipient of the Hugh Africa Scholarship, Ms Snegugu Khwebushe, said she was grateful for the financial relief the scholarship would bring to her and her family, coming at the time when she needed it most.

Khwebushe was also one of 27 students who received the Frene Ginwala Scholarship, an award made to top incoming black African undergraduate students in all disciplines.

Vithal said Sports Scholarships were included in the Annual Scholarships Ceremony for the first time. These were awarded for outstanding achievements in sport at international, national or provincial level. 

Student Services Executive Director, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, thanked the University for making the Sports Scholarship possible. Ten awards were made to students for their achievements in a range of sporting codes.

 Sithembile Shabangu


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Masters in Science Student Earns Mandela Rhodes Scholarship

Masters in Science Student Earns Mandela Rhodes Scholarship
A Mandela Rhodes scholarship recipient, Ms Cerene Rathilal (left) with UKZN Alumnus and former Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Mr Suntosh Pillay.

A Mandela Rhodes scholarship carries with it a responsibility for the recipient to be a proactive citizen with character and intellect Africa will be proud of. 

These are the words of Ms Cerene Rathilal who was the only postgraduate student from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science to receive the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship this year.  

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation scholarships provide special opportunities for further study for high academic achievers who possess strong leadership qualities, deep community engagement, a commitment to reconciliation and who reflect a spirit of entrepreneurship.  

Rathilal’s excellent performance is evident through her attaining her Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude with a triple major in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics, and then earning her Bachelor of Science Honours degree. 

‘There are few suitable words that can describe the honour of carrying a Scholarship that bears the name of Nelson Mandela,’ said Rathilal. ‘Receiving the Mandela Rhodes scholarship is more than just a prize, it is a responsibility to be a proactive citizen, in whose character and intellect Africa will take pride.’ 

The Foundation runs three development workshops for every Cohort that deals specifically with the principles underpinning the scholarship. The two workshops that have already taken place focused on Leadership and Reconciliation. 

‘My experiences thus far as a scholar have been amazing - I have already created special memories with the Mandela Rhodes family that will last forever such as our visit to Groote Schuur, Rhodes memorial, and the invaluable opportunity to hear the experiences of Christo Brand and  Vincent Deepa and Cheryl Carolus,’ said Rathilal.  

Rathilal is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in Mathematics focussing on the area of Topology dealing with the theory of Hyperspaces. ‘I want to do my doctorate and postdoctoral studies with a focus on lecturing and research.’ 

Rathilal said she had been inspired by her lecturers including her current co-supervisor Professor Dharmanand Baboolal and her supervisor Dr Paranjothi Pillay. 

She also acknowledged the great mathematical minds of ‘Carl F Guass, Leonard Euler, John Milnor, and Terence Tao’ that motivated her.  

Baboolal and Pillay spoke highly of Rathilal saying: ‘As supervisors, we were fortunate to have Cerene as a Masters student. She is dedicated in her studies and this dedication comes accompanied with a strong passion and hunger to learn more about her subject. We are aware also that she devotes a lot of her time to education projects involving high school learners in her local community, and as a tutor of undergraduate students at UKZN. This combination of deep commitment to study and community engagement makes her a worthy recipient of a Mandela Rhodes Scholarship.  

‘She has already displayed great promise to do research in Pure Mathematics. This bodes well for the future, not only for UKZN but for the country as a whole, since the number of students engaged in postgraduate work in fundamental Pure Mathematics research in the country is small.’ 

Said Rathilal: ‘I have a deep sense of gratitude for the Mandela Rhodes staff and donors who have exposed me to an environment where great minds representing the continent of Africa skilfully engage with important issues – that is something I could not get anywhere else.’

Leena Rajpal


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