Cancer - One in every Two People will be Affected by 2020!

Cancer - One in every Two People will be Affected by 2020!
Students at the Cancer Awareness Day on the Westville campus.

Globally, more people are affected by cancer than tuberculosis, malaria and HIV and AIDS combined, says CANSA’s Community Mobiliser, Ms Nadia Baderoon-Ball.

Speaking at a cancer awareness day hosted by UKZN in the run-up to the Cancer Association of South Africa’s (CANSA) Relay for Life in Reservoir Hills, Baderoon-Ball emphasised the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.  ‘Eat healthy, play healthy, use sunscreen and go for testing,’ she said.

Female students were given free breast examinations and completed lifestyle questionnaires to gauge their knowledge about cancer in an effort to ‘bring services back to the community.

‘One in four people are affected by cancer. By 2020, one in two people will be affected by the disease,’ said Baderoon-Ball.

She encouraged female students to have pap smears done annually from when they become sexually active.  ‘You have one body, take care of it,’ she said.

UKZN’s Mr Selvan ‘Tin Tin Pillay said the Relay for Life was held every year to educate the community and raise funds for research and support services.

Pillay encouraged University staff and students to get involved with the relay and be informed about cancer.

For more information about the disease, phone CANSA on 031-205 9525 or visit

* The Relay for Life will be held on 24 October at Siripat Road Grounds in Reservoir Hills. Visit for more information.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

author : .
author email : .

IsiZulu scholar presents paper at 18th International ALASA Conference

IsiZulu scholar presents paper at 18th International ALASA Conference
Ms Phindile Dlamini presenting her paper at the conference.

Language practitioners who translate graded readers from English into isiZulu are proficient in the language, but lack the skills of modulation to make the translation sound natural and authentic.

This was the substance of a paper recently presented by a Lecturer within the discipline of isiZulu on the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus, Ms Phindile Dlamini, to the 18th International Conference of the African Language Association of Southern Africa (ALASA). The paper was titled:  “Analysis of Transposition and Modulation in the translation of graded readers from English into isiZulu.” The conference was hosted by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Dlamini presented her paper under the conference theme: “New directions and perspectives in African language research in the 21st century.”

Dlamini’s research examined indigenous graded readers, which are currently prescribed in schools. An Author herself of original isiZulu graded readers, Dlamini found that due to tight deadlines publishers were translating graded readers, in the same catalogue as her own, from English to all indigenous languages. She thus developed an interest in the translation process, which led her to examine the conceptual integrity in the translation.

Dlamini used procedures which were initially used by the linguistic translation theorists Vinay and Darbelnet in their translation from English to French.

‘It is important to look out for what has worked in other languages and see if it can be applicable to our languages,’ she explained. ‘We want to come up with tools that we can use to assist our budding translators.’

Dlamini’s key finding was that modulation is an essential element in translation, which most translators lacked. She found that these translators were able to transpose, but were unable to make the translation sound natural.

‘The translation loses the essence: and modulation brings in that essence,” explained Dlamini. She added that modulation provides a foundation for any translator. 

‘Once a translator reaches a level where the translator can modulate beautifully, then that piece of work is perfect, it sounds natural, it sounds beautiful,’ she explained. ‘It’s as if it is originally written in that language.’

‘This paper is part of my PhD study which was motivated by my passion for linguistics. I like to analyse things,’ explained Dlamini. ‘I like to find the phonology, the morphology and the nitty-gritty of language, and I found that the graded readers allowed me to do that.’

Dlamini’s paper was well received at the conference.  She said that she had received valuable suggestions and advice from the scholars present. In the next few months Ms Dlamini would like to complete her PhD.  She has further plans of pursuing additional research in the fields of linguistics and translation.

Merusha Naidoo

author : .
author email : .

Latest Trends in Human Anatomy Teaching and Learning Debated

Latest Trends in Human Anatomy Teaching and Learning Debated
Dr Tudor Chinnah.

Clinical Anatomy academics discussed trends in the modern medical education curriculum for human anatomy teaching and learning during a stimulating public lecture at UKZN delivered by visiting scholar, Dr Tudor Chinnah of the University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom

The Lecture was part of Chinnah’s week-long program, visiting the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences’ (LMMS) Discipline of Clinical Anatomy (DOCA) as the guest of senior lecturer, Dr Onyemaechi Azu.

Currently a Senior Lecturer in Human Anatomy and Clinical Education in the University of Exeter Medical School and Academic Lead in Anatomy Curriculum for the undergraduate medical programme, Chinnah is also an external examiner for the University of Manchester’s Medical School as well as a visiting scholar at the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.

Chinnah serves on the editorial board of numerous national and international journals including BioMed Central Medical Education, Medical Education, Clinical Anatomy, and African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine. He is also a distinguished member of several national and international associations and professional bodies.

DOCA was a hive of activity during Chinnah’s visit. He lectured postgraduate students, giving them an overview of the principles and key concepts of congenital malformation, demonstrated a typical problem-based learning session and improved their understanding of teaching and learning methods of clinically applied human anatomy as well as outlining the principles of human development and application in research.

His Public Lecture focused on a paradigm shift for change drivers in modern medical education and anatomy curriculum with participants discussing various innovative approaches to human anatomy teaching and learning. 

Chinnah said medical education needed to service the needs of the country through training locally relevant students, ‘It is not a case of the supremacy of one pedagogical approach over another.

‘Anatomy still maintains its relevance and remains one of the cornerstones of medical education,’ said Chinnah, advocating the establishment of a centre of medical education within medical schools and colleges as well as a review of national core anatomy curriculum in medical schools.

Chinnah said acquiring anatomy knowledge should not only be seen through the lens of cadaver and cadaver dissection or factual details. Rather, ‘anatomy curriculum should be one that embraces the current paradigm shift in modern medical education’.

There was an interactive question and answer session on innovative ways for life-long learning in medical education.

Lunga Memela

author : .
author email : .

Road show success for College of Health Sciences Professional Services

Road show success for College of Health Sciences Professional Services
The road show’s Professional Services Management team.

The management team for Professional Services in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) continues to uphold its mandate of client-orientation to UKZN stakeholders in the area.

This was demonstrated at a recent road show at all three health sciences campuses where academic and professional services staff were informed about the combination of services each portfolio contributes towards realising the vision and mission of the College and the University.

Professional services portfolios comprise Academic Services, Finance, Human Resources, Public Relations, and Student Support Services.

This year, participants were also addressed by CHS Dean of Teaching and Learning, Professor Sabiha Essack, and CHS Dean of Research, Professor Moses Chimbari.

‘The road shows are an effort to promote and make known the functions of different professional services portfolios existing in the College,’ said Professional Services Director, Professor Fanie Botha, who emphasised the importance of improving efficiency in the College by highlighting the various services offered.

Essack said quality assurance was an important part of teaching and learning and this made her passionate about her job. ‘The College of Health Sciences is committed to offering quality undergraduate and postgraduate education, training and research that is community-based across the continuum from primary and community health care to tertiary and specialised services by PhD-credentialed, research-active and prolific academics.’

Chimbari said the College Research Office was mandated to provide academic leadership, co-ordinate research and postgraduate training, formalise across schools collaboration, develop research policy and ensure consistent implementation of centrally agreed decisions on research and postgraduate training.

Issues pertaining to admissions, registration, handbooks, rulebooks, student funding, examinations process and graduation are handled by the College Manager for Academic Services, Mrs Ranitha Ramdeyal, while the College Finance Office is managed by Mrs Farhana Moodley.

College Manager for Student Support Services, Dr Saloschini Pillay, said her portfolio involved three essential roles - supporting and enhancing wellness, holistic growth and development of the student; preventing drop-out and failure; and providing guidance, counselling and therapy to students in the College.

‘We, the staff of HR, pledge to passionately live the UKZN values at individual, team and organisational levels by creating an outstanding experience through our courteous interaction with our clients and colleagues and to deliver high quality professional service,’ said Human Resources Manager, Mrs Nadia Lasich.

The Manager for College Public Relations, Ms MaryAnn Francis, said in order for the College to function optimally every staff member needed to start viewing themselves as brand ambassadors.

Francis said effective communication was one of the performance areas of any successful institution, and a brand ambassador was someone who embodied the brand he or she was endorsing. ‘They provide credible, trustworthy promotion and visibility to a brand.’

Lunga Memela

author : .
author email : .

Male Reproductive Health under the Microscope

Male Reproductive Health under the Microscope
Professor Francis Duru.

Male reproductive health was of global significance and raising constant awareness about it would encourage men to preserve their ability to reproduce.

This is according to andrologist and reproductive biology professor, Dr Francis Duru of Nigeria, who addressed staff and postgraduate students of the Discipline of Clinical Anatomy (DOCA) during a week-long visit to UKZN.

An expert in the field of male reproduction, Duru teaches Human Anatomy in the College of Medicine’s Department of Anatomy at the University of Lagos.  He has published widely in scientific journals and has more than two decades of teaching experience.

Apart from surgical and other causes of testicular malfunction, Duru said infections were the most common cause of male infertility. He stressed it was important to note that not all infections were sexually transmitted.

 Male infertility was the result of all those factors contributing to low quantity and quality of sperm, and it was therefore important for men to avoid life styles and toxic substances such as alcohol, tobacco and cannabis that could reduce sperm quality.

‘It is a very exciting area to work in, helping to solve real problems related to infertility. Africa’s socio-cultural environment puts a large premium on childbirth,’ said Duru.

Compared to traditional treatments for male infertility, the major advantage of orthodox practices was that treatment was based on scientific evidence and therefore had a rational basis. The care provider interviewed the patient, and carried out a clinical physical examination followed by laboratory tests.

‘All these practices enable the care provider to make a diagnosis from which treatment or an intervention plan is worked out.’

Duru said many of the cases of infertility were treatable and there was the option of assisted reproduction for the more difficult cases.

Duru informed the students about specific issues relating to testicular structure and function, shedding light on the anatomy of the testis followed by a practical demonstration of in-situ perfusion of the testis and surgical manipulation of the testis in the creation of experimental animal models.

He also gave lectures on testicular toxicology, blood-testis barrier and the spermatogenic wave as well as a preparation of the testis for quantitative microscopic examination.

Lunga Memela

author : .
author email : .

School of Health Sciences Dean in dialogue with his staff

School of Health Sciences Dean in dialogue with his staff
School of Health Sciences staff at the open discussion.

School of Health Sciences academic and professional services staff enjoyed yet another opportunity to engage in an open discussion with their Dean and Head of School, Professor Mahmoud Soliman.

The Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences continues to make great strides towards positioning the School as a leader in health sciences education and improving communication within the School. He held an open forum with all staff in the School shortly after his new appointment to the deanship in January.

Soliman has kicked off the second semester with an open discussion inviting all staff to share thoughts and vision on the critical topic: “Staff accountability and professionalism and creating a healthy and positive working environment: challenges and solutions”.

Soliman said: ‘The main objective of the open discussion is to emphasize the importance of creating a transparent and efficient communication framework among staff members in the School and how this significantly impacts on progression in achieving the School’s goals, vision and mission.’

‘There is no shade of doubt that the work environment must be based on the values of mutual-respect, mutual-understanding, trust, accountability and responsibility,’ said Soliman. ‘Good communication is the key to the success for any institution. This is the essence of REACH values (Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Client-orientation and Honesty) and the transformation strategy in the University.’

The open discussion began with attendees acknowledging that the University is an ever-changing environment that requires all staff members to embrace its rich diversity of cultures and historical background. Attendees contributed and shared their thoughts about the day’s topic.

Matters arising focussed on ways in which the School’s administration, research, teaching and learning could be enhanced further. While admittedly the work environment had many challenges and frustrations, it was clear that the common goal was the pursuit of excellence at all times.

‘There’ll always be a need for robust, healthy academic debate,’ said prolific research professor and senior lecturer, Gert Kruger, who encouraged research excellence amongst colleagues.

While Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences Academic Leader, Professor Johan van Heerden, promoted working in synergy at all times, Dentistry Academic Leader, Dr Shenuka Singh said respect and effective communication was key.

Staff said they appreciated being given a chance to voice the challenges they faced in the workplace and to make suggestions where applicable. It was agreed that mutual-respect, support and effective communication would drive the School towards achieving its main objectives in line with the College of Health Sciences and the wider university community.

Lunga Memela

author : .
author email : .

Research on Sport Promoting Nationalism in Post-Apartheid SA

Research on Sport Promoting Nationalism in Post-Apartheid SA
Dr Bheki Mngomezulu.

Research on the role of sport in promoting nationalism in democratic South Africa was presented by Senior Lecturer and Academic Leader (IPA Cluster) within the School of Social SciencesDr Bheki Mngomezulu, at the 12th European Association for Sociology of Sport (EASS) Conference in Ireland.

Mngomezulu highlighted different sporting codes and analysed the actions of South Africa’s political leadership in his examination of the issue.

He found that ‘had there been no sport, nationalism would have taken much longer to achieve, especially given the country’s notorious and certainly unenviable history’.

He believes that there is general consensus that sport is one of the many strategies that have been used by the South African political leadership for nation building since 1994.

Mngomezulu examined how sport was used by the apartheid regime to delay the establishment of a South African nation and to forge South African nationalism and then showed how the same sport was later used by the new political leadership to forge a nation and to promote nationalism.

He cited recent developments in South Africa such as xenophobia/Afro-phobia and showed how the present political leadership was again using sport as a way of bringing people together.

 ‘The South African leadership reverts to sport as a mechanism to address some of the evil forces that try to take the country backwards,’ said Mngomezulu. ‘It is intriguing to see how sport has been used to rally support against attacks on foreign nationals.

‘Given the enthusiasm South Africans seem to have about different sporting codes and the manner in which racial and other differences take the backstage during sports events, it is logical to conclude that sport will continue to be a critical instrument available to the South African political leadership for nation building for many years to come.’

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

Explore the world of DIFF on iTunes

Explore the world of DIFF on iTunes
How to Steal Two Million movie available on iTunes.

Movie buffs who missed films shown at this year’s Durban International Film Festival hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities, were for the first time given the opportunity to catch up through iTunes (

iTunes has a history of working with film festivals around the world, including Cannes, TRIBECA, and the Toronto Film Festival, and now allows DIFF to have a presence on the store. 

‘Many people are unable to get to DIFF or simply do not have the time to see all the titles on offer at the festival so we are pleased that for the first time, we built this special area on iTunes for people to access great films associated with DIFF,’ said Film Festival director, Mr Pedro Pimenta.

Staying within DIFF’s areas of focus, films fans can enjoy include Palme d’Or winners such as Marty while they can also experience the musical frenzy that is the Director’s Cut of Woodstock.

Previous films that featured at DIFF also available on iTunes are last year’s hit opening night film Hard to Get, as well as Otelo Burning, How To Steal Two Million, Here and Now and Boyhood.

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

Mental Health Symposium

Mental Health Symposium
(From left) PsySSA KZN Chairperson, Mr Karl Swain; Symposium chair, Mr Suntosh Pillay; invited speakers, Ms Amanda Smith, Dr Devi Rajab, Professor Kitty Uys, and Dr Sibongile Mashphu, and clinical psychologist, Dr Thirusha Naidu, and psychiatrist, Dr Suvira Ramlall.Staff members of UKZN’s College of Health Science co-hosted the inaugural multidisciplinary Durban Mental Health Symposium in July to commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month at King Dinuzulu Hospital Complex (KDHC).

Dr Suviral Ramlall, Head of Unit, Department of Psychiatry, KDHC, said: ‘July being Mental Health month was the official reason for us to host a meeting of mental health minds.’

According to Ramlall, mental health has for far too long been the Cinderella of South Africa’s healthcare system, even though it was well known that ‘there can be no health without mental health’.

Speakers discussed a variety of topics including the following:

•   Dignity in Communication - Professor Kitty Uys, Head of Department, Occupational Therapy, UKZN

•   Are Women Sicker than Men? Women and Mental Health - Dr Devi Rajab, Counselling/Educational Psychologist and writer

•   Living in an HIV Serodiscordant Relationship – Dr Sibongile Mashaphu, Specialist Psychiatrist and Lecturer

•   Who Decides? Practitioner and Service User Perspective - Specialist Psychiatric Nurse, Ms Amanda Smith, and mental health service user, Mrs Ann D’Unienville.

Uys discussed the importance of communication among children with disabilities and among old age patients with dementia. The presentation showed the importance of communication for both groups at different levels.

Uys said good communication was vital for dignified care. She examined different theories and models including the model of creative ability in occupational health; the validation theory in dementia and talking mats a low technology form of communication.

Rajab’s presentation elicited a lot questions from the participants. The presentation looked at who was more likely to develop a mental illness – men or women. She said insanity was more prevalent in women while gender differences in mental health were ignored by all healthcare providers.

Smith and D’Unienville did a joint presentation which investigated the involvement in patient care of mental health users. Smith believes mental health users should be encouraged to be active participants in patient care. ‘A collaboration between families and care givers is important,’ Smith said.  

Ramlall said although this was the first symposium of its kind, they planned to host it annually. The organisers also called on the participants to participate in the launch of Durban Mental Health Advocacy Group to be formed soon.

Nombuso Dlamini

author : .
author email : .

Student Helps Raise Funds for the Homeless

Student Helps Raise Funds for the Homeless
Ms Estrada Naidoo with students who participated in the soccer tournament.

Ms Estrada Naidoo, a second year Bachelor of Social Science student on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus, organised a charity soccer event on the Peter Booysen’s Sports Ground to raise funds for the homeless.

Naidoo says her inspiration came from an awareness that her fellow students were always keen to participate in group activities. Seeing an opportunity to bring students together, and at the same time help those in need, she set up a seven-a-side soccer tournament in which four teams participated.

Money raised from team and spectator entrance fees as well as from the sale of refreshments. was handed over to non-profit organisation Gift of the Givers, who will use it to buy blankets for the homeless as part  of their Winter Warmth initiative.

‘I take a lot of the things I have for granted as most of us do, and it really hurts me to see people sitting on the side of the road in the cold. If you cannot help them with anything else, why not a blanket?’ said Naidoo.

Naidoo also used the event to host a clothes drive in which she encouraged UKZN students to drop clothes off in aid of the SOS Children’s villages, which caters for orphaned and abandoned children.

Regardless of the cold and rainy weather and the added gloom of load-shedding, students came out to support the event and contribute to the clothes drive. Naidoo raised R1 567 from the event, and accumulated 18 bin bags of clothes for the clothes drive.

‘This day was quite successful. I am happy as we collected a great deal of clothes and quite a lot of money,’ said Naidoo

‘I think it is amazing for a young person like Estrada, to take on this kind of initiative for the children, and collect such a fabulous amount of clothes’ said an elated Ms Rashilla Francis of the SOS Children’s villages.

Echoing her sentiments, Ms Tracy Atkins from the Gift of the Givers said: ‘It is heart warming to see people willing to go the extra mile.

‘We commend, salute and say thank you to Estrada for the good work, and for supporting Gift of the Givers.’

Merusha Naidoo

author : .
author email : .

UKZN Geology student receives prestigious Haughton Award

UKZN Geology student receives prestigious Haughton Award
Award-winning student, Mr Keegan Benallack (left) with his supervisor, Dr Andrew Green.

The Council of the Geological Society of South Africa’s 2014 Haughton Award has been won by UKZN Geological Sciences student Mr Keegan Benallack for his Honours dissertation: “The Seismic Stratigraphy and Evolution of the False Bay and North Lake Basins of Lake St Lucia, Northern KwaZulu-Natal.”

The award recognises an honours dissertation of exceptional merit in Geological Sciences produced at a South African university in the year prior to the award.

Benallack’s work is the first detailed study made of the geology and geomorphology of the St Lucia system since the mid-1980’s. At the heart of the investigation was the aim to understand the evolution of the two main lake basins within the context of natural changes in climate and sea level - the rationale being an improved understanding of the natural drivers of the system. Results from the study will benefit management practices at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park where there have been several major droughts dramatically affecting the system.

According to Benallack, the two main depocentres or sites of maximum sedimentation in the lake are underlain by a network of ancient river valleys which host successive cycles of sedimentation reflecting changes in sea level and climate. By analysing these important sedimentary layers using very high resolution seismic tools and sediment cores, researchers can uncover the changes to that area. These appear to encompass several cycles of change from rivers to lagoons and finally to the contemporary lake conditions of today.

He hopes his research, using new tools and knowledge about marine depositional systems, will enable him to carry out competent work in the fields of petroleum geology and basin analysis in the future.

‘I was most impressed with Keegan’s work. He demonstrated a very mature grasp of admittedly foreign concepts that we do not teach at undergraduate level,’ said Benallack’s supervisor, Dr Andrew Green. ‘In addition, he was incredibly hard-working, spending almost eight weeks in the field to help collect data that formed part of a multi-disciplinary project between the School of Chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand and UKZN’s Geography and Geology disciplines. I am really proud of what Keegan accomplished - he has flown the flag high for UKZN. Our department last won the award in 2007 so clearly the Marine Geology team at UKZN is starting to really get things right,’ said Green. ‘A fitting end to a year of dodging hippos, crocodiles, scorpions and mosquitoes!’

Benallack says his interest in Geology was sparked by his lifelong fascination with the natural environment. He has enrolled for his MSc degree at UKZN but has just learned of his acceptance at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland to undertake an MSc in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience, and will sadly be saying goodbye soon.

Speaking fondly of his time at the institution, he says he will miss the UKZN Geology team. ‘The Discipline of Geology here at UKZN has provided me with a first class education to rival any other country-wide. The team of highly trained and professional lecturers and staff left no stone unturned - excuse the pun - in making sure we earned an excellent qualification.

‘The combination of comprehensive lectures with extensive field training ensured our progression to competent young geologists. This was bolstered by a really friendly and welcoming atmosphere at the varsity, which I will always remember. My honours year was by far the highlight of my career at UKZN.’

Benallack says his goal is to be a successful exploration geologist in the petroleum industry, hopefully in South Africa’s fledgling energy industry or alternatively overseas.

Christine Cuénod

author : .
author email : .

MERCK Awards Top Life Sciences Students

MERCK Awards Top Life Sciences Students
Professor Johnson Lin, Professor Samson Mukaratirwa, Mr Hylton Rodel, Ms Carrie Jacobs, Mr Jason Kuppusamy & Professor Ade Olaniran at Merck prize giving.

Top students from the School of Life Sciences were recognised for their achievements by MERCK, a producer of innovative and superior products in healthcare, life science and performance materials.

The awards were presented to the best third year students in Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology in 2014 by the Senior Account Manager at MERCK, Mr Jayson Kuppusamy.

Dean and Head of the School of Life Sciences, Professor Samson Mukaratirwa, welcomed everybody to the function and thanked MERCK for its contributions and investment in UKZN students.

Ms Portia Manditsvanga won the Biochemistry award but as she was overseas, Professor Johnson Lin accepted on her behalf.

The prize for the Best Third Year Student in Genetics in 2014 was awarded to Mr Hylton Rodel. Said lecturer, Dr Paula Sommers, ‘Hylton is an outstanding student, constantly questioning and being captivated by science – qualities that will make him an excellent scientist.’

Ms Carrie Jacobs, who received the Best Microbiology Student award, believes that science is the key to solving all the world’s fundamental problems.

Academic Leader: Teaching & Learning Professor Ade Olaniran, closed the function saying hard work would always be rewarded. ‘Sometimes you do your work with passion and diligence and you may think that people don’t recognise you but in the long run this is what it comes down to - coming here receiving an award and being honoured in the presence of fellow colleagues and staff. ‘Together with partners like MERCK, the School of Life Sciences will continue to recognise and reward excellence.’

Nerson Pillay

author : .
author email : .

UKZN Alumnus live at Centre for Jazz and Popular Music

UKZN Alumnus live at Centre for Jazz and Popular Music
Singer Zoe the Seed who will be at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on 5 August.

UKZN graduate, Swaziland-born singer Zoe the Seed, will perform live at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music from 6pm on Wednesday, 5 August.

Durban-based Zoe the Seed holds a BA in Jazz and Popular Music from UKZN.

Her Swazi background exposed her to soul and gospel music which were interwoven with jazz during her studies.

She says the sound she’s working on at the moment is experimental but carries distinct textures of African modal sounds and contemporary jazz.

Her vocal expressions tackle the deepest emotion as her writing is influenced by everyday experiences people go through, while the lyrics promote love, respect and opposition to women and child abuse.

Zoe the Seed has shown immense interest in bringing music awareness to communities and schools. With assistance from Isupport Music Business and Concerts SA, she has provided workshops to places such as the Amatikulu Primary School and the Albert Luthuli Museum, educating them about jazz music and how it affects our music industry.

She has hosted a variety of shows around Durban and performed at corporative and jazz festival events. She is currently working towards releasing her album.

Also featured at the show on 5 August will be Zoe Masuku (vocals) supported by Sbu Zondi (drums), Sbu Mashiloane (piano) and Dalisu Ndlazi (bass).

Doors open at 5.30pm with a R50 admission fee which reduces to R30 for pensioners and R15 for students.

Please phone Thuli on 031-260 3385 or email for more details.

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

Education Doctoral Student presents Paper at Conference in Canada

Education Doctoral Student presents Paper at Conference in Canada
Education doctoral student presents paper at conference in Canada.

PhD student at the School of Education, Mr Oladele Agbomeji, was awarded the National Research Foundation (NRF) Travel Grant which enabled him to travel to Vancouver in Canada to present his paper titled: “An Exploration of Gender and Education in the Nigerian Context”at the 13th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities.

‘The NRF Travel Grant came as a surprise to me because I never believed the application would be approved,’ said Agbomeji.

‘Presenting at the conference was both amazing and memorable. The quality of higher education and research knowledge I have obtained from UKZN is comparable with that available at any other university in the world,’ he said.

Agbomeji was also selected by the organisers to chair one of the conference sessions titled: “Blending the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol Model with World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Proficiency Levels to Improve Career and Technical Education.”

‘I have never chaired a session before other than experience acquired from my supervisor Professor Thabisile Buthelezi when she often organises preliminary proposal sessions with any of her students a few days before a main proposal defence. This is where I learned some of the techniques I applied at the Conference and it worked!’

He also expressed his gratitude to the NRF for the travel grant and to his supervisor for her assistance and support.

Agbomeji believes these conferences are important for students as they provide an opportunity to assess the quality of their research, knowledge and progress as researchers.

‘Such conferences allow students to share their research study with scholars and to get useful feedback which can help in their writing skills. It opens networking opportunities when scholars see you as a factor and expert in your own field of study and this can provide the student with job opportunities when vacancies become available.’

Said Buthelezi: ‘I am very happy about Agbomeji’s achievement. I am not surprised though because he is a brilliant student. He is also a hard worker and is focused in whatever he does. I congratulate him.’

Earlier this year, Agbomeji presented a paper titled: “Methodology Strategies: an Intervention into Challenges Faced by Pre-service Teachers in Subject Content Knowledge in the Learning of Physical Science”, at the International Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy at the Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Centre in the United States.

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

60 Years of the Freedom Charter, Lilliesleaf, Rivonia

60 Years of the Freedom Charter, Lilliesleaf, Rivonia
Professor Rozena Maart was one of the first speakers of the day. Here, Professor Maart delivers her paper on the contribution of the Black Consciousness Movement to the ideological formation of resistance.

To commemorate South Africa's 21 years of democracy and the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter, a two day colloquium was hosted by the National Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) in collaboration with Liliesleaf Trust on 25 and 26 June 2015 at Liliesleaf Farm, Rivonia, Johannesburg, where the Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955.

The Colloquium focus was to facilitate the ongoing national conversation regarding the value of the history and collective memory of South Africa's liberation struggle.  It brought key national and international scholars together to celebrate South Africa’s 21 years of Democracy and 60 years of the Freedom Charter, themed “Our Liberation Struggle: the treasures of collective memory.”


author : .
author email : .

Geology Professor Co-Authors Study Published in Nature Communications

Geology Professor Co-Authors Study Published in Nature Communications
Professor Mike Watkeys.

Geology’s Professor Mike Watkeys of the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) at UKZN is a co-author of a notable study published in the prestigious Nature Communications open access last month.

In the study titled: “Antiquity of the South Atlantic Anomaly: Evidence for Top-Down Control on the Geodynamo”, the eight authors make use of geological and archaeological techniques to examine why the earth’s magnetic field is getting weaker over South Africa.

This weakening, explains Watkeys, follows a pattern one would expect before a reversal of the earth’s south and north magnetic poles, a phenomenon which occurs roughly every 100 000 years. The group’s data suggest that an area of earth’s core beneath southern Africa may be a trigger for past and future magnetic pole reversals, previously thought to have started at random locations. Interestingly, Watkeys added that the present weakening had resulted in satellites passing over this region being damaged by solar particles, so that they are now shut down for the duration of the passage.

There has been a lot of speculation about an imminent reversal of this kind, but there is a lack of rocks in South Africa that preserve a record of the earth’s magnetic field. This led Watkeys and pre-eminent Iron Age archaeologist in southern Africa, Professor Emeritus Tom Huffman of the University of the Witwatersrand, to explore using archaeological material instead.

Watkeys explained how the team analysed baked pottery and the mud floors of huts and grain bins that were baked as a result of burning.  During the baking process, the grains of magnetic minerals in the clay and mud were heated to the point where they lost their magnetism, and then cooled and regained their magnetism, recording the intensity and orientation of the earth’s magnetic field at that position at that time.

‘It is certainly the first time that a mechanism has been proposed for magnetic reversals being caused, not by processes within the liquid outer core, but by the outer core circulation being affected by a slab on the core-mantle interface,’ said Watkeys.

All the analyses were undertaken at Professor John Tarduno’s labs at the University of Rochester in the United States. Tarduno and Watkeys have been studying the Earth’s magnetic field for about 10 years to establish the strength of the field during the early history of the Earth about 3.5 billion years ago. About five years ago, they turned their attention to using similar techniques to study the weakening of the earth’s magnetic field over the South Atlantic and South Africa in the historical past.

Watkeys and the team took archaeological samples from sites in the northern areas of South Africa and southern Zimbabwe, most notably around Mapungubwe, which is just south of the triple junction between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Watkeys said there was room for further investigation, since their study revealed that two periods of weakening had taken place in the past 700 years, necessitating going further back in time to establish whether there were older pulses.  This is constrained by a lack of archaeological evidence, with Iron Age farmers having only arrived in South Africa around about AD250, with some data only available from fireplaces of hunter-gatherers.

The study has generated a buzz in the science community, with its release being covered by the New Scientist magazine and a German radio station.

Christine Cuénod

author : .
author email : .

Film Festival Award Winners Announced on Final Night

Film Festival Award Winners Announced on Final Night
The Best South African Feature Film award at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) went to Necktie Youth directed by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer.

The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities announced its award-winners at the closing ceremony held before the screening of The Prophet directed by Roger Allers.

The international jury this year was led by former Manager of DIFF and current Director of the Sydney Film Festival, Mr Nashen Moodley, with other members including prolific and award-winning South African filmmaker, Robbie Thorpe; South African film producer, Moroba Nkawe and award-winning Nigerian filmmaker, Newton Aduaka.

The South African feature film jury (Arterial Network’s Artwatch Africa Award jury) consisted of various film-makers and included producer, Junaid Ahmed; renowned story-teller, Gcina Mhlophe; Dr René Alicia Smith of the Durban University of Technology, and DIFF pioneer, Peter Rorvik.

The jurors for the Amnesty International Durban Human Rights awards were Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Betty Rawheath, Professor Lindy Stiebel of UKZN and convenor, Coral Vinsen.

Speaking about her involvement, Professor Lindy Stiebel of English Studies at UKZN, said this year’s documentaries in the Human Rights Award category were widespread in terms of countries they represented – South Africa, Mali, South Sudan, Egypt, Burkino Faso, Indonesia - and themes they covered - environment, freedom of expression, right to work, safety from torture, and war crimes. ‘The Shore Break set in the Eastern Cape, followed by The Look of Silence set in Indonesia, were our front runners.’

The award for the Best Feature Film, which carries a R50 000 cash prize from DIFF, went to Sunrise directed by Partho Sen-Gupta. The film was described by the jury as ‘an uncompromising, brilliantly-crafted film that takes us through a fragmented mind, into a shady world allowing us to enter the reality of Mumbai’s underbelly’.

The award for Best South African Feature Film, with a prize of R25 000, went to Necktie Youth directed by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer.  It also won the award for Best Direction.

The Best Documentary award went to Beats of the Antonov directed by Hajooj Kuka and Best SA Documentary award to The Dream of the Shahrazad directed by Francois Verster.



Best Actor: Didier Michon in  Fevers

Best Actress: Anissa Daoud in Tunisian Spring

Best African Short Film: The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometre 375

Best South African Short Film: Unomalanga and The Witch

Production Merit Award: Rights of Passage

Best Screenplay Award: Sabrina Compeyron and David Constantin for Sugar Cane Shadows

Best Cinematography: Jean-Marc Ferriere for Sunrise

Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: The Shore Break

Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Honorary Award: The Look of Silence

Artwatch Africa Award: Beats of the Antonov

DIFF Audience Award: The Shore Break.

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

Unilever Hosts Business Simulation Challenge at UKZN

Unilever Hosts Business Simulation Challenge at UKZN
Students gear up for the Unilever business simulation challenge at the Westville campus with UKZN academic Ms Lizo Dyili (6th from left).

Thirty top performing final year and postgrad Supply Chain Management students participated in the Unilever Business Challenge on UKZN’s Westville campus.

Unilever partnered with the Discipline of Supply Chain and Marketing in the School of Management, IT and Governance to recruit final and postgrad Supply Chain students. The business simulation challenge tested the students’ knowledge of supply chain principles and their problem-solving skills.

Supply Chain Academy Manager at Unilever, Mr Sipho Sibanda, said the graduate programme, part of Unilever’s Future Leaders’ Programme, allowed them to identify the ‘cream of the crop’ who would then go on to a psychometric evaluation and the final interview process.

Sibanda said there was a ‘high pressure, competitive environment’ at Unilever and the organisation relied on UKZN to provide high quality graduates it could selected from. ‘Uniliver has always enjoyed a very good relationship with UKZN – why go outside of the province when you have strong talent in your backyard?’

‘Today companies are keen to recruit students who are involved in extra mural activities such as sports, choir, and community building projects and who are able to multi-task. Unilever won the Top Graduate Employer for 2015 in Africa and South Africa,’ said Sibanda, who emphasised the company’s focus was on attracting dynamic, unique individuals.

Academic in the School’s Discipline of Supply Chain and Marketing, Ms Lizo Dyili, said the University enabled Supply Chain students to have a ‘high level of critical thinking in making supply chain decisions’.

She urged students to work hard and apply themselves, and said the Unilever Business Challenge had motivated some of her students to improve their academic results. 

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

author : .
author email : .

Kugqugquzelwa impilo yabasebenzi e-UKZN

Kugqugquzelwa impilo yabasebenzi e-UKZN
Abasebenzi besikhungo ngosuku lwezempilo ekhempasini yase-Westville.

Click here for English version

INyuvesi YaKwaZulu-Natali ne-UKZN Medical Scheme babambe uchungechunge lwezinsuku zempilo lapho bebekhuthaza ukuphila kahle kubasebenzi ngokomzimba, ingqondo nangenhlalo.

Amafutha egazini, umfutho wegazi, ushukela nesisindo somzimba bekuhlolwa abahlengikazi bakwa-Discovery Health.

I-Diabetes SA, i-ER24, abahlengikazi bakwa Discovery Health , iRevitalise Day Spa, iKlinikhi ye-HIV ne-AIDS yase-UKZN, Iklinikhi yase-UKZN yeBhayokhaynethiksi, nabafundi bomkhakha wezamehlo nabomkhakha wezenhlanzeko yomlomo bebemi ngomumo ukuze banikeze izeluleko nosizo.

Abesikhwama sempesheni i-UKZN Pension Fund nabo bebekhona  ukuze babhekane nezokuphathwa kahle kwezimali, abebemele abakwa-Alexander Forbes nabo bebekhona ukuzophendula imibuzo.

Umfundi wonyaka wesibili wezifundo zenhlanzeko yomlomo uNkz Kholesa Vundisa uthe ‘Ukulawula ukubola kwamazinyo kuqala ekhaya. Ukuxubha ngendlela efanele nokulwisana nokunqwabelana kwe-plaque kunciphisa amathuba ezinkinga zamazinyo ngomuso.’  

Umfundi weziqu ze-Masters kwiBhayokhaynethiksi uMnu Ebrahim Meer umeme abasebenzi, abafundi nomphakathi  ukuthi bavakashele eKlinikhi YeNyuvesi YeZokunyakaza Kokuphilayo ekhempasini i-Westville ukuzolapha izingozi nokunakekela izifo eziwundendende ezifana noshukela. 

UMeer uthe ‘Ukuzivocavoca kuyalapha.’ Uma ufuna ukuzobonana nabaseKlinikhi yeBhayokhaynethiksi shayela kulenombolo yocingo 031-260 7669

Umfundi wonyaka wokugcina ezifundweni zezaMehlo omele neklasi uMnu Muhammed Joosab, kanye nabafundi abangama-20 afunda nabo, bahlole amehlo abantu.

UNksz Megan James oyimenenja yakwa-Discovery Health Kwezobudlelwano Namakhasimende  ukhuthaze abasebenzi ukuthi babhalise kwisizindalwazi sakwa-Discovery ukuze basebenzise izinsiza ezitholakala khona. Ubuye waphakamisa nokuthi basebenzise nezinye izinto eziwusizo ezihambelana ne-Medical Aid Scheme.

UNksz Philippa Hempson onguMphathi-Hhovisi we-UKZN Medical Scheme ukhuthaze abasebenzi base-UKZN ukuthi bavakashela izinsuku zempilo ezixhaswe i-UKZN Medical Scheme ukuze bathole ukuhlolwa futhi benze ngcono nezinga labo lezempilo.

Abasebenzi abebebambe iqhaza banikezwe izikhwama zokubandisa, imishini ebala ibanga olihambile, okokubamba umjuluko ekhanda, neziphuzo zakwa-Kauai.

Vakashela ku- ukuze uthole eminye imininingwane mayelana nokwenza ngcono impilo yakho

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

author : .
author email : .

Roundtable Discussion on Xenophobia and Higher Education Transformation

Roundtable Discussion on Xenophobia and Higher Education Transformation
The Roundtable discussion panel which focuses on xenophobia and higher education transformation.

The College of Humanities in association with the European Union (EU) and the Foundation for Human Rights hosted a roundtable discussion on xenophobia and transformation in higher education.

DVC and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, said the discussion was a way to reflect, engage and talk about the interrelatedness of these issues.

The discussion was part of the College’s successful Transformation Public Lecture series which is now in its second year. Due to robust discussions resulting from the lecture series and cognisant of national developments in some institutions of higher learning, Potgieter revealed that the College was in the process of changing the name of the series to the Public Lecture Series for the Decolonisation of Higher Education.

Head of the EU to South Africa, Ambassador Roeland van de Geer, who opened the evening’s proceedings, said the series was a good experience and he hoped it would allow for the continuation of the dialogue for development.

The panel for the roundtable discussion included Dr Federico Settler of UKZN; Mr Hanif Vally of the Foundation for Human Rights; Dr Rama Naidu of the Democracy Development Programme; political activist and independent scholar, Mr Andile Mngxitama; Ms Nazeema Mohamed of the Ministerial Oversight Committee on Transformation in South African Public Universities; Mr Lukhona Mnguni of the University of Edinburgh; Ms Yolisa Mfaise of the South African Human Rights Commission, and moderator, Professor Patrick Bond of UKZN.

The roundtable discussion focused on what the role of higher education is in the transformation for inclusivity, sufficient constitutional and other protections for victims of discrimination, and ‘foreigner’ challenge rights.

Opening the evening’s presentations, Dr Rama Naidu contextualised the recent xenophobia violence by arguing that the full outbreak violence against Africans from outside South Africa was the culmination of ongoing harassment and alienation. He also outlined the response of the Democracy Development Programme (DDP) in combatting the violence.

Naidu criticised authorities for the lack of immediate intervention when the attacks began, citing the lack of police presence, the absence of consultation with local organisational committees and no provision of open spaces for engagement on xenophobia, among other issues. ‘We should create spaces to share stories, to understand.’ Naidu emphasised the need of engaging the complexity of issues involved, analysing the spaces of xenophobia, shortfalls in service delivery and socioeconomic destitution experienced in those spaces.

Both Mr Hanif Vally and Ms Yolisa Mfaise agreed that government was slow to act during the attacks and to combat racism despite the South African Constitution providing sufficient protection for migrants. They discussed the roll-out of the National Action Plan and its comprehensive policy framework to provide early warning systems to prevent further outbreaks of xenophobic attacks. ‘We should look at the root cause of xenophobia to prevent a re-occurrence,’ said Mfaise.

Vally emphasised that the role of civil society was important for combatting xenophobia.

Speaking on Higher Education: Transformation for Inclusivity, Dr Federico Settler focussed on the role and contribution of migration and international education in transforming Higher Education institutions. In particular he argued for a shift away from discourses of xenophobia which imagines migrants as either villains or victims towards discourses that regard migrant and migration as part of the normal order of society.

He cited how academics, students and researchers crossed borders to share knowledge and expertise from South Africa to the world and vice versa.  Settler concluded that ‘we need to re-think how we engage with migrants in Higher Education who in part contribute to decolonising knowledge production’.

Mr Andile Mngxitama expressed concern that even higher education establishments had replicated the neo-colonial state form, engaging in ongoing battles between different factions in a bid to capture institutional power on the basis of race and class.

Mngxitama raised the issue of perpetuation of curricula which failed to undergo substantive transformation. He said this entrenched the current lack of academic freedom and institutional autonomy, which merely resulted in superficial transformation.

Ms Nazeema Mohamed said: ‘We are in a democracy crisis and universities are on the compliance route. The middle-class has been co-opted. We have sold out.’

Mr Lukhona Mnguni believed that institutions should self-introspect on the areas of governance, funding opportunities, curriculum development, assessments for both academics and students, and inter-institutional relations.

This will create a basis of fostering inclusivity within the institutions and towards inspiring an integrated non-discriminatory society. Mnguni drew attention to the need for developmental and responsive education, citing inequality as one of the most pressing global challenges that curriculum development and research should respond to, towards building inclusive societies.

The debate sparked conversation around decolonisation of the mind-set with a critical analysis of xenophobia ideologies. Audience members called for more open spaces for honest conversations and deliberations on transformation.  

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

67 Minutes of Yoga for Staff and Students

67 Minutes of Yoga for Staff and Students
Staff and students during yoga session.

In the spirit of Mandela Month and recognising UKZN’s people as change-makers, staff and students were invited to 67 minutes of yoga hosted by the Corporate Relations Division and the Art of Living Foundation.

Instructor, Ms Kassie Gounden of the Art of Living, welcomed everyone and spoke on the virtues of practising the ancient discipline. ‘It is vital to take time to exercise and practise meditation and breathing techniques. It is paramount to live your best life through mindfulness and physical exercise,’ said Gounden.

Staff were taken through a series of poses and techniques, slowly increasing their flexibility and endurance as the session progressed. Participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience with one member of staff saying: ‘It really was soul healing therapy - perfect for staff and students to de-stress. Incredible wellness therapy!’

Corporate Relations organiser, Ms Rakshika Sibran, concluded: 'In the very special period of the Nelson Mandela Month when we are encouraged to give more of ourselves, the session was also meant to give back to our staff and students.

'Before we are able to give the best of ourselves to others, we must first expect, receive and know that we deserve the best for ourselves!’said Sibran.


author : .
author email : .

UKZN helps transform Lakehaven/Zamani Centre during Mandela Month

UKZN helps transform Lakehaven/Zamani Centre during Mandela Month
Staff at Lakehaven/Zamani Child and Youth Care Centre.

The brief was simple – transform a space, turning it from functional and adequate to funky, colourful and brimming with homeliness and warmth.

Commemorating Mandela Month, that’s exactly what UKZN staff and students helped to do at the Lakehaven/Zamani Child and Youth Care Centre in Sea Cow Lake.

They adopted Cottage 2, a girl’s cottage and one of five cottages that accommodates children aged between 6 and 18.  Showing that actions speak louder than words, the UKZN family did not disappoint with contributions flooding in for the cottage and Centre as a whole.

While the young girls of Cottage 2 were away at school, about 30 UKZN staff visited the Centre, eager to begin the transformation. The previous week, paint and roof boarding had been delivered to the Cottage to undertake structural refurbishments so that canvass was complete with the painting done and the roof repaired!

Staff then changed the curtaining in the bedrooms and lounge; placed comforters, pillows and goodies on the beds; put up a painting and a mirror; arranged the new lounge suite, Ottomans and carpet, hung shower curtains and put down bath mats, and refurbished the tables with cloths and vinyl.

There were other more subtle additions such as flowers from the garden and scented fragrances.

The team also planted flowers in pots on the window ledge.

When the girls saw the revamped cottage they screamed in delight, especially at the full length mirror which reflected their excitement and happy smiles! After the ‘revelation’,  the children were treated to an afternoon of snacks and presentations by Ms Tanja Reinhardt from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science as well as a performance by Ms Patricia Opondo and the Ikusasa Lethu, a Gumboot Dance and African Music group.

To round off the exciting day, Mr TinTin Pillay of ICS handed over five computers, a projector and screen donated by the company.

UKZN’s Corporate Relations team added an LG entertainment system.

By becoming Mandela Day change-makers, staff and students proved that actions speak louder than words.

The UKZN team thanks the following for their contributions:

·  The Foundation Unit staff led by Ms Nadia Paul and Ms Elaine Daker who collected money for curtains in the  bedrooms

·  The Internal Audit Unit led by Ms Josephine Naicker  for the flowers and supper for children

·  The College of Law and Management led by Ms Mercy Rajkumar for the kitchen vinyl and toiletries as well as Ms Hazel Langa for the clothing and items

·  The Human Resources Department led by Ms Brenda Accom for the toiletries, detergents, heater, bedding  and food

·  The College of Humanities led by Ms Xoliswa Zulu for sports equipment

·  The Sports Department led by Ms Sushie Rampersad for sports equipment and uniforms

·  The College of Health Science led by Ms Wandile  Mbanjwa for the comforters and throws and Camy Naidoo for the contribution of bags

·  Contributions collected from Library Services through Ms Louann Thomas of the Pietermaritzburg Campus Library and Ms Kerry Hall  of the Westville Campus Library

·  ICS Unit led by Mr TinTin Pillay for the contribution of five computers, a projector and a screen

·  The Corporate Relations team for their contribution of a music and video entertainment system

·  Ms Tanja Reinhardt (AES) for the fun science presentation

·  Ms Patricia Opondo and Ikusasa Lethu for their gumboot dance and African music entertainment

·   Upper Cafeteria and Crystals Furniture


More about Lakehaven/Zamani Centre:

The Centre accommodates children between the ages of 6 and 18 who are accommodated in five cottages and attend mainstream or pre-vocational schools.  Programmes at the facility include leadership development, life-skills, independent living skills, environmental awareness, sports, career-counselling and skills development.  Programmes at the home attempt to instill a culture of learning and include life-skills, sports, gardening, arts and crafts and leadership development.

Anyone wanting to donate towards the Centre should visit the website: or contact Ms Reshina Steyn at 031 65778948.

author : .
author email : .

Access to Justice Workshops on Mandela Day

Access to Justice Workshops on Mandela Day
Mr Van der Merwe, Zinhle Nyembe, workshop facilitators, Law final year students and candidate attorneys at Luthuli Museum.

UKZN’s Law Clinic, in partnership with the Luthuli Museum, conducted access to justice workshops for the community of Groutville in Stanger on Mandela Day.

The workshops, held at the Luthuli Museum, saw final year students and candidate attorneys from the UKZN Law Clinic give community members free legal advice on issues such as family law, domestic violence and divorce.

UKZN Law clinic’s Supervising Attorney, Mr Eben van der Merwe, described the outreach initiative as a practical teaching and learning approach for candidates as they get to translate Street Law and Clinical Law theory into practice.

‘The students interview people and gather all the facts which are then presented to the law clinic attorneys for advice and presentation at the court. In essence, the programme provides legal services to members of the community who cannot afford legal aid as well as practical experience to Candidate Attorneys and final year students at the same time,’ he said.

Community members who attended the workshop said it gave them an opportunity to discuss their issues without fear, allowing them to get the help they needed.

Ms Zanele Mkhize of KwaMaphumulo said: ‘I will definitely spread the word!  Word of mouth is a powerful tool where I come from, and I will read the notes given to me and share them people around me so that they can benefit from the knowledge as well. I will also be tagging a lot of friends on Facebook so that they can be aware of such platforms.’

Mr Vusi Ntuli of the ILembe District Municipality applauded the UKZN Law Clinic team and the museum for putting together the programme. Ntuli, who found the workshop exciting, said programmes that aim at teaching communities were crucial for him. 

Final year Law student, Ms Bhavani Thanker, said the experience was an eye opener as people should not think that law was complicated and out of reach. She enjoyed the suggested topics and felt the programme was beneficial to the community.

The law clinic will also partner with the Luthuli Museum later this year in the Moot Court Competition where learners from high schools in KwaDukuza take part in mock trials.

Thandiwe Jumo and Zandile Nyembe

author : .
author email : .

Law Academic selected for Judicial Services Commission

Law Academic selected for Judicial Services Commission
Professor Nomthandazo Ntlama.Associate Professor in the UKZN School of Law, Professor Nomthandazo Ntlama, has been elected by the Society of Law Teachers of Southern Africa (SLTSA) at its Annual Conference which was hosted by Varsity College, Durban from 6 to 8 July 2015, as its representative on the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) of South Africa.

The JSC is a constitutional body established in terms of section 178 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996 to deal with among other issues, the appointment of judges in South Africa.

During her six-year term of office, Ntlama will attend to all matters of the JSC including participating in interviews of judges, disciplinary hearings, legal action instituted by or against the JSC as well as providing reports to the Society about the functioning of the institution.

As a representative of the SLSTA she has to ensure the voice of the Society is heard in the JSC and that the institution has meaningful representation in the prestigious body.

Commenting on her role, Ntlama said: ‘This role is of great significance considering South Africa's maturing democracy and especially for the transformation of the judiciary which had long been compromised by the pre-democratic dispensation that led to the lack of public confidence in it.

‘I am very privileged to have been elected to represent the Society and I am grateful for the confidence being shown in me to perform this responsibility,’ added Ntlama.

Over the years UKZN’s Law academics have contributed meaningfully in various professional bodies locally and abroad. Ntlama’s appointment follows that of the Dean and Head of the School of Law, Professor Managay Reddi, as the President of the South African Law Deans Association and that of the College Dean of Research, Professor Marita Carnelley, who was appointed by President Zuma to serve on the South African Law Reform Commission.

Ntlama is a Board member of UKZN’s School of Law, a member of the Verloren van Thermaat and Indigenous Law Centre and served as a ‘Think Tank’ for Traditional Leaders while at UNISA.  She enjoys the full backing of her peers who support her agenda on the transformation and empowerment of women in the legal fraternity.

At the same Conference of the SLTSA Ntlama also presented a thought provoking research paper entitled: “The law of privilege and the Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa’s National Assembly: The aftermath of the 07th May 2014 National Elections”.

Hazel Langa

author : .
author email : .

UKZN Students at BRICS Youth Summit in Russia

UKZN Students at BRICS Youth Summit in Russia
UKZN students in Russia for the inaugural BRICS Youth Summit.

Two Masters of Social Sciences in Public Policy students, Ms Xolile Kunene and Mr Nhlanhla Khumalo, were part of a 32-member South African delegation led by the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela, to the first ever BRICS Youth Summit in Kazan in Russia last month.

The delegation comprised youth from government departments, civil society, students and business.

Kunene and Khumalo were both seconded by the South African Youth for International Diplomacy (SAYID), an organising committee of South Africa’s youth participation in the G7, G20 and Euro-BRICS summits.

The members participated in cultural activities and sightseeing at various centres including the Kremlin in the Red Square. They also travelled by train from Moscow to Kazan, which Kunene described as a ‘truly a wonderful experience in the countryside. We also got to see the Kazan Kremlin before the official business started.’

In keeping with Russia’s Presidency of BRICS, deliberations at the Summit concentrated on five areas of co-operation - economic, political, humanitarian, scientific and technical, and information.

At the end of the Summit, an action plan and declaration was presented to the respective youth ministers and executive authorities responsible for Youth Affairs. Each country was invited to send two or three youth representatives to the VII BRICS Heads of States Meeting in Ufa.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the Summit between the different youth agencies within BRICS to ensure collaboration in all areas involved with improving youth development.

South Africa was represented by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). The signing of the MoU will enable the South African youth to have a formal platform that will create a conducive environment for the sharing of best practices, youth exchange programmes and also joint access to all streams within BRICS for youth development.

Russia plans to launch the BRICS Network University and to organise a BRICS Global Summit in Moscow later this year.


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Academic presents paper at conference in Paris

UKZN Academic presents paper at conference in Paris
Professor PS Reddy (R) with Professor M de Vries, President of IASIA.

Professor Purshottama Sivanarain Reddy of UKZN’s Discipline of Governance chaired sessions and presented a paper at the 2015 annual International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) Conference in Paris, France.

The general theme of the conference, held in close collaboration with the Centre National de la Fonction Publique Territoriale (CNFPT) of France, was: “Alternative Service Delivery Arrangements in a Public Administration Context.”

Commenting on the conference, Reddy said the issue of basic service delivery was a major challenge, particularly in developing countries and South Africa was no exception. ‘The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were introduced by the United Nations in 2000, however, accessible, efficient and effective service delivery is still a major challenge for the developing countries globally. Hence, the need for the post 2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will be approved by the UN General Assembly in September this year.

‘The general conference theme was interrogated in keynote addresses, international panels and the 10 working groups which are generally the heart and soul of the IASIA conferences.’

Reddy, who is the Project Director of the Working Group on Subnational Governance and Development, chaired three sessions of the Working Group and presented a paper titled: “Traditional Leadership in Local Governance in South Africa: A Case Study of the eThekwini City Council.”

The co-author of the paper was masters graduate, Mr Sbu Shembe, a former School Principal and ANC Councillor in eThekwini City Council and a member of the Shembe Clan in Durban.

The paper critiqued the participation of traditional leadership in the eThekwini City Council.

Said Reddy: ‘Until three months ago, it was clear that within the eThekwini Municipality, the Amakhosi were playing ceremonial roles when it came to service delivery. Their role was relegated to officiating in sod turning ceremonies without playing a role in the actual planning and provision of municipal services. 

‘The Local Government Municipal Structures Act, 1998 provided for 20% representation of Amakhosi in a municipal council, and unfortunately that was not implemented in eThekwini City Council. However, the situation has since changed as Council decided about three months ago that the traditional leaders would henceforth be full members of the Council, Executive and Standing committees. It is envisaged that this watershed decision will have a very positive impact on co-operative governance, service delivery and ultimately the quality of life of rural communities in Durban.’



author : .
author email : .

Nursing Students spend 67 Mandela minutes with children in need

Nursing Students spend 67 Mandela minutes with children in need
UKZN student nurses with children in Austerville.

Second year Nursing students at UKZN and their facilitator, Mrs Silingene Ngcobo, visited the Women of Wentworth (WOW) organisation to assist in taking care of children at the centre as part of their 67 minutes for Mandela.

WOW runs an after care programme which feeds children and helps with their homework.

Director of the organisation’s family resource centre, Mrs Patricia Dome, said: ‘The aftercare programme is run on certain days of the week depending on the availability of food from local sponsors.’ The centre is also a fulltime home to two children who were neglected by their parents.

The nursing students helped about 20 Austerville children aged between 5 to 12 with their homework and art tasks and also played games with them.

The students became aware of the centre and the community through their community engagement and also from local motivational speaker, Mr Gerard Genis.

Genis recently visited UKZN to speak about his struggle with HIV and AIDS. ‘I wouldn’t be where I am today if it was not for nurses. I wanted these kids to also know the importance of nurses,’ said Genis.

Genis (33) discovered he was HIV positive while in matric. ‘My life then abruptly took a bad turn. I started smoking and drinking heavily. I was also promiscuous until I met nurses who made it clear to me that I didn’t have to live on the streets waiting to die.’

‘I believe creating awareness at a young age will help prevent children escape ending up in a situation similar to mine.’

Nombuso Dlamini

author : .
author email : .

Nursing Students at Addington Primary for educational fun day

Nursing Students at Addington Primary for educational fun day
Second year UKZN nursing students at Addington Primary School.

Second-year UKZN Nursing students presented an educational fun day with the emphasis on life skills and personal hygiene for about 200 Grade 3 pupils at Addington Primary School  in Durban.

A total of 27 student nurses hosted the event as part of their community intervention project. 

Student nurse Ms Justine Grantham said the group brain stormed and came up with an ideal programme for the children.

‘We decided to do it for the Grade 3 class because we believe children are the future of South Africa and will make our country better one day,’ said Grantham.

She said they chose Addington Primary after their lecturer, Dr Mbali Mhlongo, assigned the group to the Point area.

The students started the day by teaching the children about personal hygiene. Student Ms Thandekile Mkhonta explained to the youngsters the importance of taking care of their bodies and the value of washing hands.

They were treated to sing along videos from Sesame Street that did not only entertain them but also taught them the correct way of brushing their teeth and washing their hands.

Ms Halalisile Buthelezi taught the young ones about HIV stigmatisation and myths about HIV, while Ms Slindile Makhwasa and Mr Sikelela Ngobese did a presentation on pollution, and discussed the different forms of pollution ranging from water pollution to land and air pollution.

The children were also shown a video about bullying and asked to make a pledge to never be bullies. 

Motivational speaker Mr Kulunga Khwela gave a talk on the importance of being good children.

All the presentations and videos were followed by question and answer sessions in which children got a chance to win some great prizes.

The learners were also taught about healthy eating habits and nutrition.

Nombuso Dlamini

author : .
author email : .

‘Girlology’ Empowering Young Women

‘Girlology’ Empowering Young Women
Life Coach Ms Karen Burt with Student Support Services Counsellor, Mrs Wulli Thaver.

Student Support Services in UKZN’s College of Health Sciences  recently hosted a series of fun-filled girls-only workshops titled: Girlology - the Ultimate Guide to SURVIVING and THRIVING as a Girl.

The workshops, facilitated by Life Coach Ms Karen Burt, have been held around the country since 2012, empowering and transforming more than 12 000 women aged between 18 and 26.

The four, three-hour UKZN workshops were held on the campuses at Westville, Howard College and the Medical School. Day and evening programmes attracted more than 600 students.

The workshops, designed by Burt and sponsored by Kotex, encourage young women to analyse how they perceive themselves and how negativity and judgments within society can create an unhealthy environment for them. Issues discussed through games included no judging, consequences and unconditional love and sisterly love.

The students were placed in groups of four and two to discuss and share their likes, dislikes, insecurities, judgements, dreams and motivations. They were encouraged to chat to each other in a safe environment and share their personal stories, referred to as ‘empting their balloons’.

The workshops emphasised self-belief, self-esteem, self-love, self-respect and self-affirmation in a positive, fun environment where female students were given the opportunity to focus on how they judge themselves and the impact of such judgement on their well-being.

Male students joined the last session of the workshops for an open dialogue on how men perceive women and vice-versa.

A burning issue for the men was the issue of indecision.  They generally agree that it is difficult to read a woman’s mind and get a clear sense of what they really want.  The women were generally concerned about, ‘why do men cheat’ and the difference between “men” and “boys”. This led to discussions on mixed messages, different perceptions and communication.

Student Support Services Counsellor at the College, Mrs Wulli Thaver, reiterated the support in place to make the journey a successful one, and encouraged the women to always make use of services available to them.

 Nombuso Dlamini

author : .
author email : .

UKZN Student organises Ulundi Youth Summit

UKZN Student organises Ulundi Youth Summit
School pupils at the Ulundi Youth Summit.

Twenty-year-old UKZN Community Development Studies student Mr Brian Ntuli organised the three-day Ulundi Youth Summit which included an educational and business expo for Grade 12 pupils as well as the youth of Ulundi.

Ntuli, who is originally from Ulundi, said: ‘The summit was held to help young people in my community find out about bursary opportunities to further their studies while the business expo aimed to assist unemployed youngsters earn a living through starting their own business thus creating employment for themselves and others in the community.’

The expo involved institutions which fund business ideas of young people, including the National Youth Development Agency and Ithala Bank. 

The summit concluded with a prayer asking for guidance and protection for Grade 12 pupils as they pursue their education and their future careers.

Several UKZN alumni addressed the youngsters, offering advice and encouragement. One of the youngest Members of Parliament, Mr Mkhuleko Hlengwa, encouraged young people to use education to improve their lives.

UKZN alumnus and former leader of entrepreneurial student organization UKZN Enactus , Mr Sethu Sidzamba, spoke on available business opportunities.

Ntuli said the youth were also inspired by Mr Xolani Ntombela, a highly successful businessman in Durban who grew up near Ulundi. ‘He was there to let young people know that they can make it in business, regardless of their background,’ said Ntuli.

The summit was hosted and funded by the Ulundi Municipality and included transport and refreshments for the participants. Said Ntuli: ‘I’d like to acknowledge Ulundi’s Mayor, Ms Jauna Manana: the Municipal Manager, Mr Toti Zulu: Municipal Speaker, Mr S Mlambo; the Director of the Community Services, Mrs Sokhela; and the Communications Manager, Mrs Thandeka Ntombela.’

Ntuli plans to work closely with other municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, particularly those in rural areas, to ‘bring hope to the youth affected by social ills and challenges’. The second-year student also plans to run a programme in 2016 for all first-year students at universities in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Cape Town.

Ntuli said he was grateful for the support he has received from a variety of quarters including his mother, members of the Ulundi Municipality and his church, the Covenant Fellowship Church.

He also thanked his mentor, Mr Jabulani Joseph Zondi, who attended the entire summit and shared ‘powerful words’ with the youth and learners.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

author : .
author email : .

UKZN hosts inaugural Prophet Isaiah Shembe Public Lecture

UKZN hosts inaugural Prophet Isaiah Shembe Public Lecture
Academics from the School of Religion Philosophy and Classics with guests at Prophet Isaiah Shembe's public lecture.

The inaugural Prophet Isaiah Shembe Public Lecture was held at UKZN. Hosted by the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics (SRPC) and its Ujamaa Centre for Community Development and Research in partnership with the Ibandla lamaNazaretha (Ebuhleni), the lecture was organised in honour and celebration of the life, history, and legacy of Prophet Isaiah Shembe, the founder and leader of the Ibandla lamaNazaretha which was the largest African initiated religious formation during the life of Prophet Isaiah Shembe.

It was held at the University of Kwazulu-Natal’s Colin Webb Hall in Pietermaritzburg following a request by UKZN students belonging to the Ibandla lamaNazaretha who wanted an opportunity to host a lecture and inform others about who they are and what their religion is all about.

Professor Gerald West, a senior professor within the SRPC, spoke on the theme: “The Contribution of Shembe to African Biblical Theology”.

West’s research interests lie in African Biblical Hermeneutics, Old Testament Studies and the role of the Bible and religion in the public realm. Widely published having written books, essays in books, and journal articles, he recently became a Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a distinguished reward for outstanding academics and for research excellence.

In his lecture, West sought to acknowledge Shembe’s ‘substantial contribution’ to African Biblical Theology. ‘Isaiah Shembe is part of the heritage of the Ibandla lamaNazaretha particularly, but he is part of the heritage of all of us’, he said.

The Bible was the focus of West’s lecture, in particular ‘its place in Isaiah Shembe’s restoration of African community, in the aftermath of colonial conquest and missionary-colonial-kholwa Christianity.’

The lecture also provided an opportunity for a member of the Nazareth Church, the Reverend FI Ngidi, to respond to West’s lecture, and offer approval on the things which West spoke of which were correct, and also to offer criticism and corrections on other issues.

West was hopeful that the inaugural lecture would lay a foundation for more Shembe lectures in the future, ‘I hope that this will be the beginning of many such lectures, and that those of us who are here for the first, will also be here for the 10th, the 20th and the 30th lectures.’

Merusha Naidoo

author : .
author email : .