UKZN Alumnus Competes in SA Reality Show, “One Day Leader”

UKZN Alumnus Competes in SA Reality Show, “One Day Leader”
UKZN alumnus Miss Kuhlekonke Watu Ntuli is vying for the title of “One day leader” on SABC 1.

UKZN’s former SRC President at Howard College campus, Miss Kuhlekonke Watu Ntuli, is vying for the title of “One day leader” in the SABC reality TV show which sees six young people tackling modern day South African social, economic and political issues.

Originally from KwaMaphumulo, the 22-year-old UKZN alumnus read for a degree in Geography and Environmental Management and is currently studying towards her Masters of Housing.

Fondly known as Watu, she cut her teeth in political leadership while in high school and went on to focus on social transformation while leading the student body at UKZN’s Howard College campus.

She is actively involved in a number of projects geared at improving the lives of others. ‘I am striving for a South Africa where young people are no longer bound by the chains of generational poverty and illiteracy,’ said Ntuli. 

She is part of the Imbeleko mentorship programme which gives love and hope to orphaned and vulnerable children. ‘It ensures that they realise their dreams which would have been deemed impossible due to their families’ poverty-related issues including HIV and AIDS that result in dysfunctions that erode academic assistance, psycho-socio development, guidance and mentorship from these children,’ said Ntuli.

She is also part of the steering committee of a South African patriotism project under the eNkanyisweni Institute. The project works on creating patriotism amongst traditional leaders, counsellors and young leaders in communities towards knowing and understanding South African treasures and symbols.

Ntuli is confident she is ‘marching on towards the realisation of the dreams of African women.’ She firmly believes that behind every successful women, there is a tribe of strong women supporting her. Her mantra is: ‘A strong woman stands up for herself, but a stronger woman stands up for everyone else.’

She believes her experiences in student leadership at UKZN have prepared her to tackle any challenge with vision, a positive attitude and strong commitment to accountability. ‘I am thankful to you for setting my sights high and making every effort to ensuring that as leaders we grow through the challenges that confront us each and every step of the way,’ she said.

Watch her vie for the title of “One Day Leader” every Thursday evening on SABC 1 at 9pm.

Voting takes place every week, lines open Thursdays at 9:30 pm and close Mondays at 1:30 pm. To vote for Kuhlekonke Watu Ntuli, SMS Leader 3 to 32672.

NB: SMS’es are charged at R1.50 per sms. Free SMS’es do not apply. You can vote up to 10 times per number.

The show runs from 3 February to May 4. 

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


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CCMS Professors Edit Media and the Empire Book

CCMS Professors Edit <em>Media and the Empire</em> Book
Professors Donal McCracken and Ruth Teer-Tomaselli with their book Media and the Empire.

Professors Ruth Teer-Tomaselli and Donal McCracken of the Centre for Media, Communication and Society (CCMS) are editors of the acclaimed Media and the Empire book.

This volume on print and broadcast media in the 19th and 20th centuries highlights the pivotal role that the media played in the establishment and maintenance of imperial power. The media bolstered both the ideological and financial objectives of the empire in a myriad of overt, covert, and downright scandalous ways.

From jeopardising the introduction of wireless telegraphy in order to maximise the financial gains of the investors of under-sea cabling, to newspaper proprietors cashing in on the thrilling, wonderful (and sometimes fabricated) adventures of war correspondents in exotic lands, the media has had a constant background influence in the public’s perception of the empire.

By covering diverse topics from Anthony Lejeune’s radio talk-show “London Letters” – which supported the Allies by boosting morale and providing a link between soldiers fighting abroad and their families during both World Wars, to the complete subversion of imperial influence – as in the case of the proliferation of diverse media platforms being used by migrant communities in Britain as a means to promote “colonisation in reverse”, the book hints at the politics, suspense, and intrigue of both the print and broadcast sectors.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Critical Arts. It is available for purchase from all major online and in-store book retailers.

Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo


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Umfundi Uxoxa Ngohlelo Lokuhambela Ezinye Izikhungo Oluwusizo Kakhulu

Umfundi Uxoxa Ngohlelo Lokuhambela Ezinye Izikhungo Oluwusizo Kakhulu
U-Shaneece Chanderpaul ethokozela iqhwa e-University of Wilfrid Laurier e-Canada.

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Umfundi owenza izifundo zonyaka wesithathu weziqu Zezifundo NgeNhlalo YoMphakathi, uNkz Shaneece Chanderpaul, obengomunye wabafundi abayisishiyagalombili abebebambe iqhaza ohlelweni lokuhambela ezinye izikhungo kwabafundi lwangonyaka wezi-2017.

U-Chanderpaul, ohlale isikhathi esiyisimesta eNyuvesi yase-Wilfrid Laurier e-Ontario e-Canada, uthe kube yithuba elikhethekile lokuthola imfundo esezingeni eliphezulu lomhlaba.’ Uthatheke kakhulu ngezokufunda zakule nyuvesi  nokugxila kwayo ekuxhumaneni kanye nomphakathi. ‘INyuvesi yase-Wilfrid Laurier ingaphezulu kwesikhungo semfundo ephakeme, ingumphakathi wosolwazi, wothisha, wabasizi bothisha, wabasebenzi kanye nabafundi abanakekelanayo ngokwezemfundo nangokwempilo jikelele,’ kusho u-Chanderpaul.

Ukholelwa ukuthi isikhathi asihlale laphaya sizomsiza empilweni yakhe kanye nangokomsebenzi. ‘Ukubhalisa emkhakheni wezokusebenza nomphakathi, kunginike ithuba lokubona ithiyori yesifundo sami isayikholoji isebenza esimweni sempilo okwenze kwakhula ulwazi lwami kulo mkhakha.’

U-Chanderpaul uthe ‘kumthokozisile’ ukululekwa isifundiswa saseNyuvesi yase-Wilfrid Laurier. ‘Omunye wemicabango engithokozisa kakhulu ngoSolwazi Wesifundongqondo u-Deb Glebe, othathe ikhefu emsebenzini wakhe omenza abe matasa ukuze angiluleke futhi angikhuthaze ngekusasa lami emsebenzini wezifundongqondo okuholele ezingoxweni zethu ngempilo jikelele, okuvule amehlo ami ngempilo nje jikelele.’

Lo mfundi oneminyaka engamashumi amabili nane wase-Phoenix, eThekwini, ukwazile ukuzijwayeza amazinga okubanda ashubisa umnkantsha kanye nokubhekana nomthamo womsebenzi wesikole obumningi kakhulu nokuba kude nasekhaya. ‘Ukuba kwelinye izwe wedwa kungifundise ukuthi umndeni uwusizona izihlobo zegazi kuphela  noma ukuba nesibongo esifanayo, kodwa uthando olusixhumanisa nabanye abantu noma bekhuluma olunye ulimi, isiko lihlukile noma indlela yokuphila engafani.’

U-Chanderpaul ubonga uyise onguKapteni embuthweni wamaPhoyisa WaseNingizimu Afrika nomama wakhe ngakho konke abamenzele khona. Uthe: ‘Ngibonga uNkulunkulu uMninimandla-wonke ekuhambeni kwami ngokungihola nokungipha amandla okubhekana nokuba kude nasekhaya izinyanga ezine.’ Uqhubeke wathi: ‘Lolu hlelo lube yisehlakalo esiguqula impilo yami ngokwenkolo, inhlalo nakwezokufunda. Nginolwazi oluningi engilithole kuleliyazwe, ngifuna ukwabelana ngalo noSolwazi, othisha kanye nabafundi base-UKZN.’

Amagama ngu-Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer


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Former GSB&L Champion Giving Former Substance Abusers a Second Chance

Former GSB&L Champion Giving Former Substance Abusers a Second Chance
Mr Lindo Duma with the Iziko Stoves.

Entrepreneur and co-founder of Iziko Stoves Mr Lindo Duma is positively transforming the Durban community by employing rehabilitated substance abusers and helping them reintegrate into society.

Iziko Stoves are innovative cooking and braai stoves made from recycled geysers, gas cylinders and paint drums. The stoves can utilise various fuel sources and are sold by rehabilitated substance abusers.

Duma was part of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership’s Champion Programme in 2015. The programme is, a community development initiative which is part of a partnership between the KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department (EDTEA) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He says as a young man who grew up in rural Ladysmith his main goal has always been to change the lives of others through creating jobs.

‘While doing my BCom Accounting studies in UKZN, I got involved in a student organisation called Enactus UKZN. Enactus gives students a platform to use the knowledge acquired from their studies to develop small businesses in communities. It was from this two-year experience that I wanted to start my own business. It was then when Iziko Stoves was born,’ said Duma.

Apart from using his social enterprise to re-integrate substance abusers back into society, Duma is also empowering students through Iziko Stoves Student Work and Entrepreneurship Experience Programme. The three month paid internship programme provides students with an opportunity to learn about business and social entrepreneurship.

‘In our experience of working with new graduates we have noted that most of them lack skills required in a work environment. These include basic things such as how to send a clear email, communicating with stakeholders, sending proposals and also personal self-confidence. This  programme is designed to allow students to master the knowledge and confidence to run and lead projects, giving them the opportunity to gain new skills and also expose them to entrepreneurship while they are still at university,’ said Duma.

Looking to the future, Duma is looking forward to expanding Iziko Stoves’ operations and encouraging university to students to be entrepreneurs.

‘For me, the beauty about entrepreneurship is that it’s a platform that allows me to change the lives of others through creating jobs and earning an income. I want to show people that it is not as scary as people make it out to be,’ he said.

Words: Thandiwe Jumo


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Ukuqiniswa Kobudlelwane Bangangaphakathi Bamazwe Ase-Afrika Kusetshenziswa Uhlelo Lwe-EU

Ukuqiniswa Kobudlelwane Bangangaphakathi Bamazwe Ase-Afrika Kusetshenziswa Uhlelo Lwe-EU
Ababambe iqhaza ohlelweni lwe-MoBreed (kwesobunxele) nabolwe-ACADEMY (kwesokudla) emhlanganweni i-Kick Off e-Brussels.

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I-UKZN iklonyeliswe ngemisebenzi emibili ye-INTRA-AFRICA i-MoBreed etholakale ngonyaka wezi-2016 ne-ACADEMY eyatholakala ngonyaka wezi-2017.

Uhlelo lwe-Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme lweseka ukusebenzisana kweZikhungo zeMfundo Ephakame ezisemazweni ahlukene e-Africa. Uhlelo lwe-Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme lusungulwe ngaphansi kohlelo i-Pan-African Programme (Development Cooperation Instrument) futhi lususelwe olwazini lohlelo lwe-Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme.

Inhlangano i-Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) iyona enomsebenzi wokuphatha lolu hlelo, ibambisene ne-African Union Commission (AUC), yelulekwa i-Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission.

Lolu hlelo luhlose ukugqugquzela intuthuko eqhubekayo nokunciphisa ububha ngokuhlinzeka izwekazi lase-Afrika ngabantu abaqeqesheke kakhulu. Uhlelo luhlose ukuthuthukisa amakhono nolwazi lwabafundi nabasebenzi ngokwenza ukuhambelana phakathi kwamazwe kube lula. Uhlelo lolu lukholelwa ukuthi ukuqiniswa kokusebenzisana phakathi kwezikhungo e-Afrika kuzolekelela ukufinyeleleka kwemfundo enezingabunjalo eliphezulu futhi lwelekelele abafundi base-Afrika ukuze baqhube izifundo zabo zabaneziqu ezwenikazi lase-Afrika. Luphinde lweseke nokunyakaza kwabasebenzi (abafundisayo nabangafundisi) beya ezikhungweni eziyingxenye yohlelo e-Afrika. 

I-MoBreed (Mobility for Breeders in Africa) yaklonyeliswa ngonyaka wezi-2016. Iwumsebenzi weminyaka emihlanu futhi iwumsebenzi wamanyuvesi amahlanu ase-Afrika asezifundeni ezintathu zase-Afrika kanye nenyuvesi eyodwa yaseYurophu. Ihlose ukuthuthukisa ulwazi mayelana nezitshalo ezingasetshenziswa kakhulu e-Afrika nokuthuthukisa ulwazi lwabafundi ukuze babhekane nesimo sokuhlinzeka ngokudla okwanele. Amanyuvesi abambe iqhaza kulo msebenzi ahlanganise i-Abomey-Calavi  e-Benin, i-Ebonyi State University e-Nigeria, i-Jimma University yase-Ethiopia, i-University of Namibia, i-University of KwaZulu-Natal ne-Montpellier SupAgro yase-France.  Inhlangano i-Mobreed ihlinzeka ngethuba lokufunda i-Masters, ne-PhD, kubasebenzi abafundisayo nabangafundisi. Izinhlelo kufunda nezifundo  ezihlinzekwa yile nhlangano zitholakala kulesi sizindalwazi http://www.mobreed.com/course.php   Uma udinga eminye imininingwane ngalolu hlelo lwe-MoBreed thintana noDkt Julia Sibiya kule imeyili sibiyaj@ukzn.ac.za

I-ACADEMY (African Trans-Regional Cooperation through academic mobility) yaklonyeliswa ngonyaka wezi-2017, ingumsebenzi weminyaka emihlanu owenziwa amanyuvesi  amahlanu asezifundeni ezintathu zase-Afrika kanye nenyuvesi eyodwa yase-Yurophu eyeseka nezogobuchwepheshe. Inhloso jikelele yalesi SIKHUNGO ukubamba iqhaza kwezokuhlinzekwa kohlelo lokuxhumana phakathi kwezifunda ezwenikazi, intuthuko ethinta iningi neqhubekayo. Ikakhulukazi ihlose ukwakha isizinda njengensiza ebalulekile ekuqambeni okusha, ukwabelana ngolwazi nokwazisa ngezindlela ezisebenza ngendlela efanele ezikhungweni ezibambe iqhaza.

Izogxila ekusetshenzisweni kwesiZinda esixube izifunda phakathi kwamanyuvesi abambe iqhaza. Izogqugquzela ukwakhiwa nokugcinwa kwemiphakathi yokusebenza abafundi, othisha, nabasebenzi abangafundisi, futhi izophinde igqugqzele ukwakhiwa kwamathuba okufunda ngokuhlanganyela, ukuqonda ngamasiko abanye, ukwabelana ngolwazi lokwenza izinto nezindlela ezisebenza ngokufanele. I-ACADEMY iwuhlelo oluxhaswe ngezimali oluhlinzeka ngethuba le-Masters, i-PhD, abasebenzi abafundisayo nabangafundisi ukuze babambe iqhaza ezikhungweni eziyingxenye yohlelo e-Afrika. Izikhungo ezibambe iqhaza yilezi i-University of Aboubekr Belkaid Tlemcen e-Algeria, i-University of Ibadan e-Nigeria, i-University of Cape Coast  e-Ghana, i-Kenyatta University  e-Kenya,  i-University of KwaZulu-Natal ne-University of Porto yase-Portugal yona ehlinzeka ngobuchwepheshe. Uma udinga imininingwane ngalolu hlelo lwe-ACADEMY ungaxhumana no-Tasmeera Singh ku singht@ukzn.ac.za

Kulindeleke ukuthi ukubamba iqhaza kulezi zinhlelo kube nomthelela ekuxhumaneni nozakwethu base-Afrika futhi kuqinisekiswe ucwaningo nezinhlelo zokufunda eznezingabunjalo eliphezulu.

Amagama: Tasmeera Singh


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Anthropology Professor Delivers Public Lecture in Rome

Anthropology Professor Delivers Public Lecture in Rome
Professor Maheshvari Naidu, seen in Rome, where she delivered a public lecture at the American University of Rome in Via Roselli.

Professor Maheshvari Naidu, who was recently promoted to full Professor in the School of Social Sciences gave a public lecture to faculty staff and students at the American University of Rome (AUR) in Via Roselli, Rome.

Naidu was hosted by the Classics and Heritage Department at the Graduate School of AUR. Her lecture was based on her study of Robben Island Museum and Interpretive Site.

Robben Island, situated 8km from the mainland off the coast of Cape Town is one of those sites that is evocative of a painful past and ‘few places are as electrified with symbolic power and political contestation as Robben Island,’ she says.  The declaration of Robben Island, a former prison site as a National and then a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1999 is testimony to the political and cultural potency of the site.

Naidu said that prison tourism is not new and that Thana-tourism or tourism of dark and traumatic spaces has gained much currency and popularity. ‘However, Robben Island is one of those spaces that simultaneously occupies two different places at once, it is a space of pain but it is also a space of hope, it is simultaneously evocative of the past as well as that of the future,’ explained Naidu.

The specific drawcard for most visitors to Robben Island was that it was “home” to Nelson Mandela for 27 years. Moreover, it has featured in much of the discourse around nation building and a meta-narrative for South Africa.

Naidu’s interest and study was from the perspective of anthropology of tourism and heritage construction and staging and performance.

‘Performance’, can best be understood as any behaviour that is ‘twice-behaved’ or ‘restored’, said Naidu. ‘This allows a point of insertion for viewing the constructed touristic experience such as the one at Robben Island to be read within the repertoire of ‘performance’ as we look to see what is being performed and inscribed, and how it is being experienced.’

When asked why was it important how tourism products were constructed and performed, Naidu replied that how these products were assembled and performed for an audience of tourists and how these products were experienced, was vital for the simple fact that the world was increasingly rendered mobile and portable in a touristic sense with both tourists (and their money) criss-crossing the globe and geographic (and cultural) spatial co-ordinates. 

Quite often tourist products (such as the Robben Island Tour) attempt to offer a master narrative of national heritage and identity. ‘What the products perform to an audience and how the audience “experiences” these are important in allowing us to understand what “face” we are offering up to the global tourist market,’ said Naidu.

She said that social memory, nation building and heritage tourism has been at the centre of debates in South Africa, and draws our attention to the fact that instances of cultural and heritage tourism are often used as vehicles for a national narrative.

Words: Melissa Mungroo


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President Ramaphosa Inspires Medical Alumnus to Achieve his Dream

President Ramaphosa Inspires Medical Alumnus to Achieve his Dream
Dr Sazi Nzama with our Honourable President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa.

UKZN Medical alumnus, Dr Sazi Nzama, was elated when he heard that Cyril Ramaphosa, whom he fondly refers to as Baba Cyril, had been elected as the new State President. Nzama, a second year Medical intern at the Bloemfontein Academic Complex of Hospitals is one of many students who were able to achieve their dreams through funding from the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation (CRF).

‘I am excited and proud of Baba Cyril’s appointment as the next guardian of our country. I am also highly inspired by it, to continue to strive be great, to reach new heights and to be the best version of myself, every day. His appointment into the highest office in the country shows us, former and current bursary holders what hard work, diligence and commitment can achieve,’ said Nzama.

During his first three years at UKZN’s Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, Nzama struggled to obtain funding despite applying frantically for every bursary offered for the study of Medicine. In 2014, he was ecstatic to find out that the CRF would be awarding him a full bursary. ‘The bursary was and remains truly exceptional in my opinion. Not only did the foundation pay my yearly tuition, study material and residence fees; they catered to my holistic needs as a student and as a child. Tracking my academic progress and offering assistance wherever and however they could, engaging with me on a personal level to encourage me and monitor my psychosocial well-being and also allowing me the opportunity to interact with them face-to-face as well as with other bursary recipients on a biannual basis.’

Nzama recalled his first interaction with the newly-elected president, ‘I remember, one of the first encounters I had with Baba when he told us that we were investments. I was slightly befuddled by this concept until he expanded and explained that we (bursary recipients) are his investment in the future of South Africa.’

‘He is a father-figure not only to me but, I believe to all of us in the foundation (both alumni and current bursary recipients), a socially-conscious leader and a steward of this country’s future. Baba Cyril not only interacts with us when we see him, but he encourages us, pours out his wisdom and challenges us every chance he gets; to read, to acquire more knowledge and to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.’

Nzama also had the privilege of meeting First Lady, Dr Tshepo Motsepe-Ramaphosa who is also an alumnus of UKZN’s Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine. He recalled, ‘Our First Lady is an educated woman and her involvement with various organisations such as the African Self Help Trust shows that she is also a socially-conscious woman with a desire to make a difference. She will continue to be a shining beacon and I hope, an inspiration to young girls in our country.’

Nzama is the youngest of four siblings and grew up in Umlazi and then Queensburgh. As a child, he suffered from uncontrollable asthma and spent a lot of time in trauma units, resuscitation units and wards of the various state healthcare facilities in and around the greater Durban area. His experiences in several healthcare facilities inspired him to pursue a career in medicine. ‘As you can imagine, being unable to breathe is quite a painful and distressing experience. In my early teenage years, my now family Physician, Dr T Smith referred me to a Pulmonologist Dr I Abdullah who was able to finally control my condition.

My decision to become a doctor stems mainly from these experiences; remembering how painful it was to feel helpless in those moments and never wanting anyone else to feel or endure what I did with my childhood struggle with asthma.’

Speaking about his future plans, Nzama said, ‘The future has endless possibilities for me. It seems quite difficult to detail what exactly my future plans are however, I can give you a “sneak-peak” into what they may entail. A Masters in Business Administration, specialisation in Paediatrics and Paediatric Cardiology, a Bachelor of Laws and possibly National Minister of Health...As to when and how I will achieve all of this, I’m still young and I've got plenty of decades ahead of me.’

Words: MaryAnn Francis


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Accounting Academic Encourages Students in Maths Day Initiative

Accounting Academic Encourages Students in Maths Day Initiative
Maths Day participants at Embizweni High School in Umlazi.

This Valentine’s Day, falling in love with Maths was the focus as Financial Accounting lecturer Dr Msizi Mkhize and his son Mr Siphesihle Mkhize, a Master of Commerce student, recently took their passion for the subject to Embizweni High School in Umlazi Township where they celebrated the Love Maths Day with scores of pupils.

The event, attended by approximately 1 180 learners, was held to create a positive attitude towards the Mathematics discipline among high school pupils.

Dr Mkhize, from the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (SAEF) started this initiative at Inanda Comprehensive High School in 2017. After the event, he shared his enthusiasm at being able to work with his son for the first time saying he aims to see the programme expand to other parts of KwaZulu-Natal with the support from the Department of Basic Education.

The father and son duo provided the learners with an entertaining presentation that left them amazed at how Maths can be used in their daily lives and in other subjects such as history and geography. Dr Mkhize gave one of the learners, Ms Hloniphile Buthelezi, a R50 note in which she used to describe the factors and multiples of 50, while mentioning all the properties of a quadrilateral rectangle. With the R50 note bearing the face of former President Nelson Mandela, she gave her peers a short history lesson of how Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island, keeping the money as a monetary reward.

Mkhize said getting positive feedback from learners, parents and teachers inspires him to give back to the community by instilling a passion for Maths in the hearts and minds of young people.

‘After adopting Inanda Comprehensive High School, the schools pass rate increased to 90%. I was able to move one of the learners Mathematics pass mark from 10% to 66% in the 2017 final examinations. The student is now doing a Bachelor in Commerce in Accounting at UKZN Westville campus,’ he said.

Siphesihle said he enjoyed working with his father adding that this was a one of a kind experience that he will never forget, ‘My father has always been in love with Mathematics from a very young age and would teach us (as his children), how to find different ways to solve problems allowing me to love the subject in my primary and high school years,’ he said.

Guest speaker Mr Vukile Buthelezi, Umlazi District’s Mathematics Advisor at the Department of Education, said the presentation was motivational for the pupils adding that he hopes it will change the negative attitude they may have towards mathematics.

‘If you are used to playing with something at a young age and when it comes time to do it properly it becomes easy. So if Dr Mkhize can play around with Maths the way he does, then it is possible for us to pass it at the end of the year,’ said Grade 12 learner Mr Ayanda Memela.

Words: Sibonelo Shinga


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Wingen Heights’ Golden Boy Joins UKZN


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Wingen Heights Secondary School’s top performing matriculant, Mr Erushan Gouden is excited to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Gouden has always been curious about how everything worked, often taking random components and mechanisms apart and then attempting to re-assemble them.

‘In addition to this, watching my dad effortlessly repair devices around the house, modify and mend tools whilst sitting next to him and working as his helper, was like a true apprenticeship. This along with my inherent problem-solving skills led to my interest in Mechanical Engineering.’ said Gouden.

Gouden’s grandfather, who is also his role model, had a successful career as an engineer.  This inspired Gouden to work hard at achieving his dream of becoming a Mechanical Engineer as well. ‘My grandfather was also a talented musician, a go-getter and very enthusiastic about life till the bitter end,’ Gouden added.

He intends to use the principles of mechanical engineering to improve current innovations making them more efficient and sustainable.  ‘I will strive to apply the skills that I have obtained to improve myself as an individual, achieving greater qualifications in life and also contributing to the advancement of our country.’

During his spare time he enjoys playing sport and various musical instruments such as the piano, guitar and drums.

Words: Manqoba Hadebe


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UKZN Graduate School Hosts International Entrepreneurship Weekend for Women

UKZN Graduate School Hosts International Entrepreneurship Weekend for Women
Highlights of the Global Startup Weekend Women 2018.

The South African edition of the Global Startup Weekend Women (GSWW) was held for the first time in Durban this past weekend. Hosted by the UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSBL), the event was held under the theme: Women in Technology.

This international event, which is part of the globally known Startup Weekend aimed to bring together women from across the globe, to allow them to immerse themselves in a startup environment. Durban is the only city in South Africa that has hosted the event. The initiative was designed to encourage more diverse, inclusive, impactful actions in the field of entrepreneurship through technology by and for women.

The winner received a once in a lifetime chance to compete in the Global Startup Weekend Finals scheduled for March 7th 2018 in Paris, France. Second, third and fourth runner-ups received cash prizes sponsored by UKZN InQubate and an opportunity to pitch directly for R500 000 worth of seed funding from SmartXchange.

At the opening of the event, guest speakers: Academic Leader in Teaching and Learning, Dr Macdonald Kanyangale; eThekwini Deputy Mayor Ms Fawzia Peer and United States of America (USA) Consul General Ms Sherry Sykes addressed participants. Kanyangale and Peer said women face a number of challenges when it comes to entrepreneurship. They concurred that attending projects such as the GSWW, will empower women to overcome those challenges and to grow in their innovative thinking and develop their entrepreneurial futures.

‘The fact that you’re here shows that you have initiative, courage, and creative ideas to share.  You’re here, eager and excited to present your ideas and proposals.  Keep that energy and momentum going for the entire weekend. Learn all that you can from one another and from your mentors. This weekend’s opportunities are just the beginning. The skills you learn will help equip you to reach your goals and impact your communities,’ said Sykes.

Day one was all about networking, pitching ideas and building teams. 30 participants registered and 17 people pitched their ideas at the event. Nine ideas were selected to progress through to the next round.

Day two saw the participants work on their business models by validating these ideas, building their Minimum Viable Products and designing their Business Models. Experienced coaches and mentors were available to guide and assist the teams in the development of their ideas.

On the final day eight teams gave five minute presentations to a panel of experienced judges: Mr Michael Jordan, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ms Melanie Reddy, Nedbank, Ms Robynne Erwin, SME Diagnostics and Ms Anitha Ramsuran, of Technology and Innovation Agency (TIA) were tasked with this responsibility. Judges evaluated the team’s presentations on their validation, execution and design and business models.

First Prize went to Ms Farnaaz Shaikjee and Ms Angelina Akande, whose business idea Beauty Butler, aimed to maximise the convenience of consumers seeking beauty services as well as the capacity usage of beauty service providers.

Ms Zenani Jama, one of the runners-ups, said she has learnt a lot from the startup weekend, on how to become a successful entrepreneur. She was also excited at the prospects of investment from GSWW sponsors Ithala Bank and SmartXchange.

‘Startup Weekend is a 54 hour immersion in a startup learning environment. It promotes the practice of lean startup methodologies encouraging and inspiring participants to explore the validation of their ideas in building sustainable startups. This theme was designed to provide a safe learning and experiential environment for women who were toying with technology ideas to learn, build and grow them. The event was successful as a catalyst for startup creation and all participants (including men) have been inspired to pursue their dreams beyond the weekend,’ said the projects Lead Organiser Professor Shahida Cassim.

Words: Sibonelo Shinga


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CCS hosts Seminar on Jacques Pauw’s “The President’s Keepers” Case

CCS hosts Seminar on Jacques Pauw’s “The President’s Keepers” Case
Mr Siviwe Mdoda (third left) from the Right2Know Campaign discussed Public Interest Information vs Private Information: Jacques Pauw’s The President’s Keepers Case.

The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies held its first seminar for 2018 in February. The seminar held in  collaboration with the Right2Know Campaign (R2K) focused on the issue of “public interest” in the context of the controversial book The President’s Keepers by Jacques Pauw. 

R2K has been invited to be amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the court case between the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and Pauw. SARS took legal action against Pauw last year claiming that his book violates the Tax Administration Act. The speaker at the seminar was Mr Siviwe Mdoda a member of the R2K National Working Group responsible for designing popular education programs. 

Seminar discussions centred on the right to privacy and protection of taxpayers’ information which is the argument put forward by SARS. Seminar participants debated how far tax information should be made transparent and also questioned the way in which tax laws serve citizens.

Discussions further focused on “public interest” – the argument put forward by Jacques Pauw’s defence. Here seminar participants debated the importance and methods for protecting citizens’ access to information especially in the context of corruption and the overall quality of democracy in South Africa.

Another discussion that arose was the age of social media and whether it was possible to completely suppress publications such as The President’s Keepers which has become available in pdf format.

CCS Director Dr Shauna Mottiar said, ‘Discussions such as these, centred on the public interest and the right to information are critical at this point in South Africa.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Dr Shauna Mottiar


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Viashna Looking Forward to a Bright Future!

Viashna Looking Forward to a Bright Future!
Ms Viashna Soma.

A fascination with Mathematics and Physical Science is what motivated Wingen Heights Secondary matriculant Ms Viashna Soma to pursue a degree in Engineering.

As one of the top performing matriculants Soma saw it befitting to enrol at the highly acclaimed University of KwaZulu-Natal, where she is currently pursuing her degree in Mechanical Engineering. Pursuing the qualification, she thought, would allow her to put her fascination to practical use through design, construction or operating of structures, machine or system.

‘There are not enough females in the field of Mechanical Engineering and companies are looking at balancing this gender inequality. I feel I am the perfect female because I enjoy hands-on work,’ said Soma who also describes herself as a feminist.

She applauds her parents, who are her role models, for teaching her that ‘hard work always pays off’, this is something she has lived by and it is the reason for her success thus far.  This family-orientated, well-organised individual enjoys performing and teaching classic Kathak dancing in her spare time.

‘I’m dedicated, committed, goal-orientated and I have managed to fulfil all my dreams.  I believe I have the capability to continue doing so in the future.’

Soma has been awarded a bursary from Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations, and Management (AECOM) for her undergraduate degree and she also aims to obtain a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in the future.

Words: Manqoba Hadebe


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Tristan Flies the Solvista Secondary Flag High!

Tristan Flies the Solvista Secondary Flag High!
Mr Tristan Pather.

Hard work paid off for Solvista Secondary’s top performing pupil Mr Tristan Pather who enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal to pursue a degree in Engineering.

His excellence in Chemistry, Maths and Physics is what motivated him to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering. He says these were the subjects he was interested in and passionate about.

‘An engineer is essentially a problem solver and also capable of changing the world and I find this quite inspiring as a result I decided to pursue a career in Engineering,’ said Pather.

He considers both his parents his role models because they are hard workers, always motivated and inspired him. The diligent individual plans to excel in his studies and complete his PhD in Engineering.

‘I want to gain experience and to work internationally,’ said Pather.

He is dependable and describes himself as goal driven and always willing to help. He enjoys socialising with family and friends in his spare time and playing sports.

Words: Manqoba Hadebe


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