PhDs for Proud Philosophy Students
Professor Bernard Matolino, an academic from the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, is proud of his three students Drs Joyline Gwara, Christopher Yaye and Kudakwashe Bhasikiti who graduated with their PhDs in Philosophy from UKZN recently.
One of the students, Dr Joyline Gwara, is the first Black African female in Zimbabwe to obtain a PhD in philosophy at UKZN. She said, ‘I want my achievement to be motivation for other students, especially females, to work hard and make their dreams a reality,’ she said.
Her research investigated the extent to which freedom is considered to be consistent with human agency in the face of a deterministic metaphysical substrata as outlined by various thinkers in African philosophy. As it is taken to be the case that a person receives a pre-ordained destiny at creation, Gwara seeks to account for notions of freedom and choice making in the light of a pre-ordained individual life plan.
Yaye’s research investigated the complex nature and relationship between culture and democracy in Africa. He outlined the fact that contemporary democratic dispensation in Africa is problematic in a number of ways. He proposed a new form of democratic governance for Africa called Integrated Consensual Democracy which presupposes the viability of African cultural values and practices in the postcolonial state.
Bhasikiti analysed the gutsaruzhinji (socialism) policy in Zimbabwe. In light of Africa’s quest to find an indigenous polity that is responsive to its citizen’s needs, he suggested that the concept and practice of gutsaruzhinji is a viable form of democracy that satisfies both the indigenous and progressive requirements of African political theorization. ‘As an anthropocentric, humanist and welfare theory, gutsaruzhinji retains the key requirements likely to be the blueprint for Africa’s future development,’ he added.
Words: Melissa Mungroo
Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal