USolwazi weKolishi Lezifundo ZezeMpilo Wethule Isifundo Sokuqala

USolwazi weKolishi Lezifundo ZezeMpilo Wethule Isifundo Sokuqala
USolwazi Fatima Suleman ethula isifundo sokuqala. Click here for English version

Imithi iyingxenye ebucayi yokunakekelwa kwempilo yabantu, ikakhulukazi imithi esemqoka, kusho uSolwazi Fatima Suleman weKolishi LeSayensi Yezempilo e-UKZN.

Ethula isifundo sokuqala, uSuleman oyisifundiswa eMkhakheni WezeSayensi Yokuthakwa Nokudayiswa Kwemithi ne-PI yamahlandla amaningana ye-Drill, ukhulume mayelana: Nokufinyeleleka Kwemithi Kwezempilo Zomphakathi.

USuleman uthe imithi esemqoka, njengoba ichazwa yiNhlangano Yomhlaba Yezempilo, yileyo ‘eyanelisa izidingo eziseqhulwini zokunanakelwa kwabantu ngokwezempilo.   

‘Lena yimithi okufanele abantu bakwazi ukufinyelela kuyo itholakale ngobuningi obufanele ngazo zonke izikhathi. Amanani ngokuvamile kufanele abe semazingeni afinyelelekayo,’ kusho uSuleman.

‘Uma ubuka isifo sikashukela, esiya ngokuya sidlanga emazweni anemiholo ephansi nephakathi, ukuthola i-insulin- esindisa izimpilo- kuye kube yinkinga. Lokho kube sekuletha izinkinga ezigulini nasemindenini yazo ekufinyeleleni emithini ephephisa izimpilo,’ kuchaza yena.

Ngokusho kukaSuleman, umndeni oseTanzania ungase, ezimweni eziningi, uchithe ama-53% omholo wekhaya enganeni enesifo sikashukela sohlobo-1. ‘Olunye ucwaningo lwasekuqaleni lwaseTanzania mayelana nokuthi imindeni ibhekana kanjani namanani e-insulin, luveza ukuthi ama-21% asetshenziswayo yizindleko eziphuma ephaketheni, ama-13% ukwesekwa yizinhlangano ezingekho ngaphansi kukahulumeni, ama-35% izimalimboleko kwezentengiselwano, ama-23% yizimalimboleko zomndeni, bese ama-5% avela ngokudayisa izinto.’

Uthe, esikhathini esiningi ingane ayinikwanga isilinganiso sesibili somuthi osukwini ngoba kongiwa i-insulin. Ngenxa yalokho, kunemibuzo engabuzwa mayelana nokulandelayo:

Kungenzeka yini uhlelo lwezempilo lezwe elisathuthuka likwazi ukuhlinzeka ngemithi esohlwini lwalo lwemithi esemqoka?

Lingakwazi, isibonelo nje, ukuhlinzeka ngemithi ebizayo yokwelapha umdlavuza esohlwini lwalo?

‘Akumangazi ngakho-ke ukuthi iziNjongo zeNtuthuko eQhubekayo (SDGs) ezamukelwa kuMandulo (September) wonyaka wezi-2015 ngamazwe angamalungu eZizwe eziHlangene, ayakubona ukuthi ukutholakala okulinganayo kwemithi esemqoka, neseqophelweni eliphezulu, kuyisinyathelo esibalulekile ekuqinisekiseni ukuthi izinsiza zezempilo ziyafinyelela kubo bonke abantu,’ kusho uSuleman.

Ababambiqhaza abaqavile kule nkulumompikiswano bekungabemboni yezokuthakwa nokudayiswa kwemithi. ‘Okwamanje imodeli ejwayelekile yebhizinisi yiyo esebenzayo kwezocwaningo nokuthuthukiswa kwemithi (R&D), kanti izinkampani zezokuthakwa nokudayiswa kwemithi zilawulwa ukwenza inzuzo, nesibophokubika kubatshalizimali nabanikazimasheya bazo,’ kusho yena.

‘Noma kunjalo, kuya ngokwanda ukubambisana kwabezimboni nezokufunda ekusebenzeni ndawonye ocwaningweni lwezengxubekwelapha kwezokuphilayo. Ezimweni eziningi, ukuxhaswa ngezimali komsebenzi wokuqala – noma ingxenye ethile yomsebenzi – kwenziwa emanyuvesi futhi kuvela ezinhlakeni zikahulumeni noma ezimalini zomphakathi. Empeleni yilokho okwenzeka ngemithi ye-Hepatitis C yakwa-Gilead eyatholwa kuqala ucwaningo olwaluxhaswe yi-National Institute of Health, uma sibala nje olunye lwazo.’

Imibuzo ayibuza ibandakanya le:

• Uma ucwaningo luxhaswe nguhulumeni, akufanele yini pho ukuthi leyo mithi ibize intengo ephansi?

• Akufanele uhulumeni noma uphiko oluxhasile lukwazi ukuba nezwi ekuthathweni kwezinqumo ngentengo yomuthi?

• Ingabe umphakathi awuhlawuliswa kabili ngokuba uqale ukhokhele ucwaningo ubuye ukhokhe intengo ephezulu yomuthi? Uthe lesi yisihloko socwaningo yena, kanye nethimba lakhe, abazogxila kuso eminyakeni ezayo.

USuleman uphinde abe uSihlalo WeKomiti Likazwelonke Lokunqunywa Kwentengo Yemithi eMnyangweni Kazwelonke Wezempilo, kanye noSolwazi Osemusha Owelekelelayo (ngonyaka wezi-2009-namanje)/i-Global Practitioner in Residence eNyuvesi yase-Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, USA (eKwindla wezi-2015).

Uphinde abe nguSihlalo we-Prince Claus emayelana Nokuthuthukiswa Nokulingana ngaphansi kwesiqubulo esithi Imithi Yokwelapha Efinyelelekayo Kwezempilo Yomphakathi (kuMandulo [September] wezi-2016 kuya kuMandulo [September] wezi-2018), kuFakhalthi Yezesayensi, iNyuvesi yase-Utrecht yase-Netherlands.

USuleman ubuye futhi waqokelwa kuPhaneli Yezazi zeNhlangano Yomhlaba Yezempilo Yokuhlola Izidakamizwa (2017-2021).

Amagama: NguNombuso Dlamini


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AbaFundi BezobuCiko Bakha Isakhiwo Esibizwa Nge-"Unsettling Space"

AbaFundi BezobuCiko  Bakha Isakhiwo Esibizwa Nge-
Amazwibela avela embukisweni we-Unsettling SpaceClick here for English version

Abafundi beSikole Sezobuciko basanda kwakha isakhiwo esibizwa nge-'Unsettling Space' ekhempasini yaseMgungundlovu.

Lokhu kwakuyingxenye ye-Andrew Mellon Foundation Supra-institutional Project ku-Decolonial Turn (Ukuphazamisa Izinhlelomqondo).

Le phrojekthi yakhelwe ukuqinisa ulwazi ngendlela abafundi abayibona ngayo i-UKZN njengeSikhungo kanye nokubakhuthaza ukuba bakhulume ngalokhu.

Okunye okuhlobene nale phrojekthi kwaba isiqephu somdlalo wesihloko esithi iNgqondoNgqondo: A Walk in their Passage, eqondiswe uthisha wezeshashalazi, uNksz Pumelela Nqelenga. Isiqephu esigxile kulesi sakhiwo sidingida ubunzima bokutholakala kanye nokufinyeleleka kolwazi ngokomoya kanye nokwenziwa esikoleni.

IziFundo Zezeshashalazi zitholakala esakhiweni esisodwa nezifundo Zobufundisi e-New Arts Building, okuholela ezingxoxweni nemibono ethakaselekayo. UNqelenga uthe, 'Lezi zindlela zokuxhumana esikoleni zisemqoka ekutheni lufinyelela kanjani ulwazi kubafundi base-UKZN. Lo mqondo uqondanisa izifundo zombili bese ubeka indima kathisha njengomdlali weshashalazi, umnakekeli, umeluleki wezomoya, kanye nokunye. Ukubaluleka kwalo msebenzi kubhekisela esikhathini sangemva komkhankaso we-Fees Must Fall lapho ukuletha izinguquko ezikhungweni zemfundo ephakeme kwenzeka uma sinyakazisa izindawo ezinezindlelakwenza ezingakaze ziguqulwe.'

Ukholwa ukuthi umsebenzi obhekise ezinhlakeni eziningi nezahlukene ungalekelela ukuhlakaza imibono yengcindezelo ephinde ibe nomthelela ongemuhle ekutheni sifinyelela kanjani olwazini. Ukholwa ukuthi imisebenzi ehlanganisa imikhakha ehlukene ingalekelela ukucubungula izifundo ngencindezi ezisaqhubeka nokuphula umthetho wokufinyelela kulwazi.

Ekufakweni kwezakhiwo zangaphandle, umfundi we-PhD kwezoBuciko, uNksz Caroline Birch, uthe, 'Isihloko esibanzi sezinhlelomqondo ze ‘Unsettling’ kusibonisa indlela abakwazi ukukhuluma ngayo abafundi kuleSikhungo. Leli kube ithuba elihle lokukhuluma ngezinselelo, ukwesaba, amathemba kanye nemizwa esibe nayo kule ndawo eguqukayo,’ esho. Ukukhululeka kwengosi kukhuthaze izithameli ukuba zikhulume ngalesi sihloko ngokukhululeka. 'Lolu hlelo lokuxoxisana lubonise indlela ehlukile yokuthola ulwazi noma ukuqonda, okuqhubeka nokukhulisa kanye nokuhlanganisa indlela yethu yezinjulalwazi eziyisesekelo'.

UBirch ukholwa ukuthi umbukiso ungakwazi ukuhlanganisa abafundi abavela emakhempasini ahlukene abangavamile ukuhlangana. ‘Ukusebenzisana okunje kwalezakhiwo kungenzeka kubange ukusebenzisana kwemikhakha ehlukene. Futhi ngiyethemba kuzoletha ubumnandi', eqhuba. 

Uthisha wezobuCiko, uDkt Kathy Arbuckle, wasijabulela isibalo sabaphumelela kanye nendlela abafundi abavela kuzifundo ezahlukene babexoxisana ngayo kanye nemidwebo asebeyenzile endaweni. ‘Ngiyathemba singenza okuthi akufane njalo ngonyaka njengomcimbi womphakathi wasekhempasini, onomqondo ohlukile njalo,’ esho.

Amagama: UMelissa Mungroo 

Izithombe: UMelissa Mungroo ; uMzwandile Makhanya; uPumelela Nqelenga

 


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Eclectic Chemist Presents Inaugural Lecture to Packed Auditorium

Eclectic Chemist Presents Inaugural Lecture to Packed Auditorium
Professor Bice Martincigh during her inaugural lecture.

Physical Chemist and former UKZN Distinguished Teacher Award recipient, Professor Bice Martincigh, presented her inaugural lecture to an auditorium packed to capacity with colleagues and students.

Martincigh epitomises the seamless marriage of research, teaching and community involvement.

Best known for her ground-breaking studies into the efficacy of sunscreen products, Martincigh has a number of other research arrows in her quiver besides photochemistry; including an interest in environmental chemistry, solution thermodynamics and more recently, nanotechnology.

Martincigh used her inaugural lecture to share details of her personal journey to the professoriate. Born of Italian immigrant parents and growing up in Umkomaas on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, she recalled how she could not speak English when she started school. ‘I grew up speaking first Friulano, then Italian, then English and Afrikaans. The Italian community was very tight-knit. The families worked together, went to church together, and built the Italian Club together. When I started school, I spoke no English, but I learned quickly,’ she said.

After attending Kingsway High School, Amanzimtoti, Martincigh enrolled for a BSc majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics at the former University of Natal (now UKZN). She went on to complete all her postgraduate studies through to PhD level on the Howard College campus.

Martincigh started her working career at the then Natal Technikon (now DUT) before returning to lecture at her alma mater

Her research career has embraced a variety of areas. For her PhD studies, she investigated co-ordination complexes in order to deduce whether primary or secondary nitrogens made stronger bonds to the metal ion. ‘Such knowledge is important if one is removing, for example, pollutants as one can then design the appropriate ligand that must be added to bind and remove the contaminant,’ she explained.

Through a colleague and mentor, Professor Leo Salter, Martincigh became interested in photochemistry, that is, the interaction of light with matter. Her research investigated the active ingredients in sunscreen and how they interact with light. ‘What happens when one applies sunscreen to the skin is that the absorbers, or active compounds, in the sunscreen absorb the solar radiation,’ she said. ‘However, some molecules degrade, or react with the skin, and I looked at what happens: whether the product loses its efficacy, or whether the sunscreen can damage the skin,’ she said.

Martincigh’s research group has investigated a variety of sunscreens and have found that some are stable while others degrade. ‘Our research is of public interest. After all, one of the most important cancer prevention measures the public is told about is the use of sunscreen. It follows that if these sunscreens are not effective, then we have a problem. This is a topical issue since South Africa has a high incidence of skin cancer,’ she said.

Martincigh said she is happy in her career as a lecturer, researcher and chemist, adding that she finds the research component of her job exciting. ‘It is the thrill of new knowledge. I enjoy teaching students. I find it satisfying when I know I have given a good lecture and that the students understand; when their eyes light up and they are having fun. Even if it’s just one or two, it’s worthwhile,’ she said.

Martincigh had the following advice for her students, ‘It is never too late to pursue your dreams. There will be many disappointments, but keep going and don’t give up. When things don’t work out, rely on your own efforts and determination because you will eventually find that solution you are looking for.’

Words: Sally Frost 

Photographs: Albert Hirasen


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Undergraduate Researchers Featured for First Time at Annual CHS Symposium

Undergraduate Researchers Featured for First Time at Annual CHS Symposium
Acting College Dean of Research, Dr Michelle Gordon (fifth from left), celebrates with prize winners at the College of Health Sciences’ 2018 Research Symposium.

The work of undergraduates was for the first time featured at the annual College of Health Sciences (CHS) Research Symposium.

The two-day event, which offers a platform for researchers at the College to display the results of their investigations, was themed: Innovation and Transformation in Health Sciences.

Work done by postgraduate and post-doctoral researchers at the College was featured, and also for the first time that of undergraduate students.

The scientific committee reviewed abstracts, finally accepting 77 that were presented as either oral or poster offerings.

Speaking at the opening of the symposium, CHS Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College, Professor Busisiwe Ncama, said in order to be a research-led institution, the University conducted research and produced findings that provided new knowledge and information. ‘Our mission also requires UKZN’s researchers to go further by conducting research of high quality leading to important new findings that impact the field of study and therefore enhance the stature in the Institution.’

UKZN’s Big Data Informatics Research Flagship Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Francesco Petruccione, spoke on how the emerging quantum technologies were crucial to the success of the Big Data-centered new world.

African Cities of the Future Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rob Slotow, and Professor Relebohile Moletsane, Social Cohesion Pro Vice-Chancellor, also addressed the gathering.

Master’s students who won prizes for their presentations were Kiolan Naidoo; Bongiwe Khumalo; Lerise Anne Peter Merantha Moodley; Deshanta Naicker; Siphesihle Mdlalose and Navlin Naidoo.

In the PhD category, winners were Naeem Sheik Abdul; Louansha Nandlal; Taskeen Fathima Docrat; Tshidi Thaane; Daniel Hassan; Atal Anudeep; Singh Gill; Munirah Motala; Andrew Ross; Veena Singaram; Ayman Yahia Waddad; Saeeda Paruk; Deshini Naidoo; Thembelihle Zulu and Ruma Maji

Fifth-year Medical student, Mr Kapil Narain, won the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award which was presented for the first time.

First prize winners received international travel vouchers worth R30 000, while runners-up got National Travel vouchers valued at R15 000, enabling them to attend conferences of their choice.

Said Acting College Dean of Research, Dr Michelle Gordon, ‘For successful collaborations and partnerships to develop, trust is key - and trust can only be built if you get to know one another and this symposium provides an opportunity for just that.’

The symposium was sponsored by Discovery Health, the Durban ICC, Hilton Hotel and Van Schaik Bookstore.

Words: Lihle Sosibo 


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UKZN Anthropologist Delivers Seminar at Interdisciplinary Conference

UKZN Anthropologist Delivers Seminar at Interdisciplinary Conference
Professor Maheshvari Naidu (third left) with other conference delegates.

Anthropologist and Academic Leader of Research in the School of Social Sciences, Professor Maheshvari Naidu, delivered a seminar at the 6th Interdisciplinary Conference in Tourism Studies in Cappadocia, Turkey, at the invitation of the conference organisers and Editors of the accredited journal Anatolia.

Naidu (who is full Professor in Anthropology) was invited by the organisers to deliver one of the pre-conference seminars that traditionally opened the conference. Her presentation looked at Writing and Publishing Practices and created a space for the various scholars and postgraduate students from the several different countries to exchange experiences around writing and submission.

This was the third time that Naidu had been invited to deliver a pre-conference seminar by Anatolia. Her previous presentations were in Istanbul in 2015 and Bodrum in 2016.

‘This year saw a change in that the conference was smaller with a more focussed approach that still produced a range of highly diversified topics and attracted a multi-cultural group of researchers at different stages of their academic career, affiliated to over 30 institutions and representing 20 countries,’ said Naidu.

The highly interdisciplinary nature of the conference is what attracted Naidu. While topics in hospitality and leisure featured, many scholars at the conference working in tourism studies were economists and sociologists.

‘My own interest in tourism is from an anthropological perspective and I have an interest in heritage and experience, anthropology of tourism and trans-tourism (transformative tourism),’ she said.

Keynote presentations from international scholars on Tourism for the Greater Goodas well as Tourism and Transformative Experienceshowcased the social justice and potentially transformative dimensions of tourism and tourism studies, stated Naidu.

Naidu added that the feedback received from participants at the seminar were highly positive with networks and linkages being assembled, and the overall sense was that the conference itself was of great success.

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photograph: Supplied


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The UKZN Griot. Of Theses, Supervisors and Public Investment

The UKZN Griot.  Of Theses, Supervisors and Public Investment
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When students tell me that the thesis is ‘all their own work’ I ask them to consider the multiple investments in their thesis by taxpayers, the university, administrators, committees, supervisors, examiners, mentors, peers, classmates, funders, deans, academic co-ordinators, lecturers, school boards, senate and other support mechanisms too numerous to list here. 

The supervisor puts in time, shapes the thesis’s structure, provides significant intellectual resources and often closely copy edits and even sometimes assists in writing aspects of the work. 

If it takes, on average, 10 000 hours to complete a PhD, supervision could total a notional 1 000 hours. This figure does not include co-supervisor time, seminars and reading groups. These are the kinds of ratios that need to be considered.

Accepting donor and taxpayer funding places obligations on recipients. Amongst these are: i) completion; ii) sharing of data and information with other researchers on a team project; and iii) acknowledging sources of assistance and funding. Subject communities also want acknowledgement and benefit.

Research should be accountable to the public which largely financed the student’s candidature. A dissertation/thesis is the student’s work and is issued in the student’s name but it has resulted from a collaborative process involving many people. National infrastructures underpin each and every thesis student.

Think of the complexity: assessment and processing of applications and registration, letters of recommendation, funding support letters, grant application templates and quarterly supervisor reports. Then there’s discussion of topics, approval of proposal drafts, presentation of proposals to school colloquia, allocation of proposal discussants - often from external institutions at their own cost, writing up of reports on presentations, submission of revised proposals to supervisors, and submission to school higher degree committees (HDCs). After all that it’s on to ethical clearance committees and final approval by College and university Research Offices. This is before the actual thesis even starts.

Then there is the financial support from universities and especially supervisors when they invest their own research funds into student research projects and sponsor their conference participation. Sadly, this supervisor presence and support are often forgotten by the candidate in the published article.

Behind-the-scenes administration additionally includes bi-annual reports required by HDCs and funders, all of which consume massive amounts of time and effort on the part of supervisors and schools. More reports, filing of comments, discussion at staff meetings, consultations with candidates, sometimes with their parents and their counselors also. In difficult cases, students make no progress, disappear for years on end, have to be tracked down, reminded that they have legal obligations in terms of their registration contracts, and often counselled through dark periods of writer’s block, depression and lethargy. 

All this falls on the supervisor’s back, who is harassed by the institution, wanting to know why progress is not occurring. This may require more reports, correspondence and meetings with university managers. All the while the dean is barking at supervisors because she herself is being barked at by institutional auditors who are themselves subject to national policy on throughput, subsidy and timely graduation – whether or not the student is ready, or signed off by the supervisor.

Blame is apportioned all round – and all the while the student may be blithely unaware of these considerations or the unremitting stress being absorbed by supervisors, HDC, academic leaders and deans – all of whom may be coming up short on their own performance management key indicators due to these stresses. The consequences of not meeting their ‘outputs’ is that staff may be denied sabbatical, forego annual pay increases, and deprived of superannuation or honorary status on retirement. Academics are the only class of professional who are systematically punished for doing their jobs against all odds.

When the miracle of submission occurs, after supervisors have recurrently read, edited, and advised on every single sentence and full-stop, the student can finally take a break. But for the supervisor, no breaks are permitted as she/he might have 10 other students still to supervise at various stages of their degrees. 

In due course the examiners will report – all the while anxious and impatient candidates nagging away at why the process takes so long. Some examiners couldn’t care less, which is why the supervisor and HDC must select with care and experience appropriate and reliable examiners. Examiners cede their intellectual property rights at no cost to students who draw on their reports to make revisions, but ironically, some students refuse to play the game. 

Examiner payments are pathetic. Examining is an act of professional commitment and love of academia on their part, not always appreciated by (a few) students who squander the time, effort and extreme dedication put into the process by these highly educated slaves-who-are-examiners. While most candidates will knuckle under and do the corrections thereby improving the work, some opportunistically scream ‘foul’, threaten legal action, and a few opportunists do take the university to court – a South African past-time. In which case they are no longer students but litigants as they have learned nothing during the process. The intellectual effort, time, administration and committee work invested in each and every thesis student is quite extraordinary, with checks and balances at every level, oversight at programme, school, college and university levels. While things sometimes go wrong, usually they go right if everyone is doing their jobs – while students play the game - in this highly inter-reticulated web of complex relations.

No one works as an individual. We are all embedded in supporting networks and infrastructures. And, don’t forget the heavy investment put in by the supervisor. We must all pay our dues. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the author’s own.



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Pre-service Teachers Work on Agricultural Garden Projects

Pre-service Teachers Work on Agricultural Garden Projects
Together at an agricultural garden project are (from left) Professor Nadaraj Govender, Mr Daniel Allu, and Ms Susan Olaniyan.

Sixty final-year pre-service Science teachers got involved in agricultural-garden projects on UKZN’s Edgewood campus to help equip themselves with environment-friendly skills and knowledge to take to classrooms and communities.

Science education specialist and lecturer, Professor Nadaraj Govender, saw a need to transform aspects of the science education module to accommodate current changes in the global and local arena. This was done by creating projects that integrate theoretical and practical real-life problems, seeking ways to mitigate unemployment and poverty, and developing knowledge and skills.

Govender believes that final-year preservice teachers will face a very different environment in the real world of classroom-communities issues. ‘It is anticipated that these skills will require teachers to be holistic and seek new ways of thinking, acting and engaging with their communities,’ he said. ‘They need to empower their learners to solve problems of climatic change, water shortages, environmental sustainability, pollution and many other global issues. From a critical education perspective, students’ personal experiences and cultural background must be considered in designing and transforming the curricula and must include their voices, resistances and identities towards a learner-centred curriculum,’ said Govender.

The inclusion of an agricultural-garden project as part of the Inquiry-Based Learning Project over five months saw preservice teachers actively engage in digging into soil, growing plants from seeds and seedlings, to finally producing vegetables. They were supported with weekly collaborative consultations by postgraduate students and a visiting lecturer in Science Education, Dr Vongai Mpofu, of the Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe.

As an experimental project, students found ways to integrate their scientific knowledge, including their knowledge of soil pH, nutrients, composition; chemistry of fertilisers; as well as designs to protect their crops for harvest. Students were supplied with basic gardening tools but independently sought ingenious and creative ways to protect their garden patches from the external environment such as using recycled materials to make scarecrows, and finding good use for discarded nets, orange bag sacks, old planks of wood and plastic piping.

Students found the project time consuming, but learned scientific experiment procedures, issues about global warming, climate change, pests and weeds and organic aspects of farming. They worked, solved problems collaboratively and observed and sought sustainable solutions. Moles and monkeys destroying crops were some of the real problems encountered.

‘The project was worthwhile as the students were enthusiastic and found ways to make it work; thinking through their challenges and offering solutions,’ said postgraduate student advisor, Ms Susan Olaniyan. ‘The plants were well taken care of and the best groups were awarded prizes at the end of the project,’ she added.

PhD Science Education student, Mr Daniel Allu, said the majority of students were committed to the project - watering and taking care of their gardens everyday till harvesting. ‘Gendered roles were not significant in this project as males and females cultivated the soil and did the mulching and planting/watering themselves. The students saw the need to cultivate a small garden at home to take care of the family needs for domestic consumption,’ he said.

Govender hopes that students will integrate some of their newly acquired skills at the schools and communities they will work in next year and begin to develop agricultural-garden projects using ecologically sustainable approaches. He plans to extend the project to more science modules and students.

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photograph: Supplied


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Entrepreneurial Boot Camp for UKZN Students

Entrepreneurial Boot Camp for UKZN Students
Highlights from the UKZN InQubate Invest Den event.

UKZN InQubate hosted a highly contested business pitching event titled: Invest Den in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency.

A unit within the UKZN Research Division, UKZN InQubate focuses on the development of the University’s intellectual property in ways that benefit society and the economy; student entrepreneurship; as well as building relationships between academic experts within the University and industry through its consultancy programme.

A call for applications to compete in the event was made to all UKZN students early in September. A total of 41 student business ideas were entered.

The business student cohort was taken through an intensive entrepreneurial development programme using the Kawasaki Pitch Deck. This culminated in a weekend Entrepreneurship Boot Camp, with the business pitch event taking place a few days later during which the Top 10 candidates were showcased.

InQubate Director of Intellectual Property and Commercialisation, Ms Suvina Singh, outlined the Student Entrepreneurship Skills Programme, ENSPIRETM, which is geared at stimulating economic activity and enhancing job creation. Singh said the commitment of the participating students in terms of their entrepreneurial development was so high that all 30 would receive preliminary business support from InQubate.

First place at the Invest Den went to SmartiPants (Pty) Ltd with their innovative mechatronics and robotics workshops geared at promoting Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering for learners. Co-founder and Managing Director of SmartiPants, Ms Nonjabulo Gasa, said the group comprises of Civil, Mechanical, Electronic, Computer Science and Engineering students who not only empower communities with fourth industrial revolutions skills, but also offer professional engineering consulting.

Gasa ran master classes on drone technology for 120 learners at the very first UBER Innovation Master Class in Durban for Qhakaza Girl IT. ‘They assembled their own drones, which actually flew, so right now, in Umlazi, Thabo and Sindi know how to assemble and build their own drones!’ said Gaza.

SmartiPants are finalists in the Maritime Challenge powered by Transnet, ORACLE and Innovate Durban. ‘We have actually solved a problem in the maritime sector already – we currently have a prototype which will use virtual reality to automate cranes in the Durban Port,’ said Gasa.

The team of engineering and science boffins who won first prize of R200 000 at Invest Den announced they have also been selected by Care For Education - the Lego Foundation from the internationally renowned toy building brick company - to co-facilitate the first township World Robot Olympiad for Durban in 2019!

Second prize of R150 000 went to Siyakha Roofing Solutions, while Clinalytics Solutions, which looks at easily accessible health records for doctors operating in rural communities, finished third, winning R100 000.

Student teams ranked between 4th and 10th place each received R80 000 business development funding.

UKZN Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Deresh Ramjugernath, emphasised the role universities should play in addressing economic growth and unemployment in South Africa. ‘It’s not just about producing graduates. It’s also about producing graduates who are fit for purpose and make meaningful contributions to society,’ said Ramjugernath.

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer 

Photographs: Mandla Hlongwane


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Community Scholar Workshop on Activism and Technology

Community Scholar Workshop on Activism and Technology
Participants at a Centre for Civil Society Workshop.

The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies hosted a Community Scholar Workshop on the Howard College campus on Activism and Technology.

Organised by community scholars at CCS, the event zoomed in on various technologies that civil society organisations and activists could apply in their campaigns and advocacy initiatives. The event also aimed to highlight existing technologies that facilitate citizen participation and activism and to start a debate on whether there is a need to develop new technologies and mobile applications to facilitate the work of civil society and enable active citizenship.

The workshop was inspired by recent waves of global protests and movements where participants were armed with digital cameras and smart phones. This has prompted the development of a number of Apps to assist modern protest movements.

Seesmic that allows for live updates on social media; Ustream which streams videos from a mobile device to the world and easily promotes broadcast on social media channels; Find My Friends which easily locates everyone who has agreed to share their location info; Sit or Squat which provides information on the nearest available toilet, and I’m Getting Arrested that alerts family, friends or lawyer via SMS on an arrest, were among the Apps discussed at the workshop.

CCS Community Scholar, Ms Philisiwe Mazibuko, introduced Grassroot as an App used to mobilise and inform citizens about campaigns while her colleague, Ms Nisha Naidoo, introduced AmandlaMobi as an online petition tool changing the way democracy is practised.

‘Grassroot is free to use and does not require a smartphone for operation,’ said Mazibuko. ‘This App is not limited to setting up protests but can be used for any form of meeting or mobilisation,’ she said. Mazibuko shared a story of how Right2Know used Grassroot to assist Transnet workers to mobilise in a way that was efficient and cost-effective during a recent campaign.

Naidoo logged on to the AmandlaMobi website to show the audience how the feature works and some of the campaigns that were currently running on it. She showed a variety of social justice issues that could be supported by signing up and how to start an online campaign on the website.

‘Using AmandlaMobi ensures that local campaigns can easily and effectively reach a global audience and it reduces costs,’ said Naidoo. For her, ‘technology can only bring genuine social change when it is informed and supported by meaningful democratic participation on the ground.’

There was also a brainstorming session on what comprised an effective App for social campaigns and grassroots/community mobilisation. The brainstorming exercise was done by setting up three groups, where participants were asked to consider how technology could assist campaigns and the work of civil society. 

There was a consensus that Apps designed for campaigns and community mobilisations should be free and accessible; and while technology should serve to support the work of on-the-ground movements, it should not replace or displace them.

Words: Melissa Mungroo 

Photograph: Shauna Mottiar 


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Student Support Services Tackles Suicide Risk and Prevention

Student Support Services Tackles Suicide Risk and Prevention
Training session on solution-focused (brief) therapy (SFBT) on the Westville campus.

More than 30 psychologists and counsellors from Student Support Services (SSS) from all four of UKZN Colleges attended a one-day workshop on the Westville campus on suicide prevention and trauma.

Dr Jacqui von Cziffra-Bergs of the Solution Focused Institute of South Africa delivered the day’s training which constituted an accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course. Von Cziffra-Bergs’ presentation covered work done by herself and colleagues, including Dr John Henden, on solution-focused (brief) therapy (SFBT) with clients managing trauma and suicide prevention.

‘Suicide, depression and trauma are on the increase amongst students, and hopefully this will give us some very practical and concrete skills we can use immediately in dealing with these complicated, nuanced issues that we face,’ said Ms Shelley Barnsley, SSS Manager within the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES).

 ‘When we work with clients who are experiencing trauma and having to manage it, we need to help them find hope. If we start building relationships with people and not the trauma, we can help them move on,’ said Von Cziffra-Bergs.

Von Cziffra-Bergs explained that SFBT validates and acknowledges traumatic experiences, but also creates a new experience and highlights clients’ coping and strengths, ultimately seeding hope. She discussed how it aids in increasing compassion through building vicarious resistance, and indicated that the process increases clients’ trust in therapy and builds their resilience. SFBT, she explained, constitutes a brief and short-term approach, is goal-oriented and strategic. Solutions emerging from the therapy, she said, are collaborative and shared between the client and therapist. The brief nature and strengths-focused approach of SFBT, she said, makes it a good fit for dealing with most issues, but especially those in a university environment with the pressures faced by students. In this regard, SFBT’s goal-oriented nature helps students focus on what they want differently while focusing on progressing through their studies.

The attending psychologists expressed their hopes that the workshop would help them empower students with coping mechanisms and be able to effectively evaluate risk.

Barnsley thanked Ms Rossella Meusel, also a psychologist in CAES, for inviting the guest speaker and for organising the workshop, and the Directors of Professional Services in all four Colleges for co-ordinating sponsorship from the Colleges to make the event possible. She also thanked the three CAES SSS intern psychologists, Ms Sarah Miller, Ms Cebisa Nkatu and Ms Lovey Mnisi, for assisting Meusel in preparations for the workshop.

Words and photograph: Christine Cuénod 


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Mindful Leadership Tops Agenda at Empowerment Session

Mindful Leadership Tops Agenda at Empowerment Session
Scenes from the MACE KZN Networking and Empowerment Session.

Higher Education communications and marketing practitioners came from far and wide to take part in the Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education (MACE) KwaZulu-Natal Networking and Empowerment Session which was recently held at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).

Themed: Mindful Leadership-Equipping Leaders for Turbulent Times in Higher Education, the session was attended by marketing, public relations and communication experts from public and private Higher Education Institutions including UKZN, the University of Zululand, Amajuba TVET College in Newcastle, Costal KZN TVET College, Berea’s Technical College, ICESA, the Open Learning Group, Oval, Regent Business School, MANCOSA and DUT.

Balancing leadership with integrity and intention was the focus of the keynote address delivered by UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership’s Professor Kriben Pillay who explored and unpacked the meaning of mindful leadership in Higher Education. Pillay focused on Theory U - the neuroscience and change management method- to contextualise the importance of being transformative leaders who are aware and mindful.

‘Examining our preconceptions, being aware of them and reconditioning our minds to recognise that there are other ways of doing things that we do not explore because we are so used to doing the norm are crucial in these turbulent times,’ said Pillay. ‘Our approach to life, stemming from the apartheid times, is that of exclusion but what we don’t realise is that the more we exclude people the more they knock on our door saying “let me in”. Listening and being willing to face turbulent times by being aware of how we as leaders hurt people and changing from debate to dialogue is the only way that stops the complexities and turbulence within ourselves from manifesting on the outside through becoming more mindful and aware,’ he said.

Pillay also incorporated exercises where he demonstrated how every person’s brain is so used to operating from a place of logic that it is easy for it to be manipulated through reconditioning and misdirected. This led to a robust engagement during the discussion phase where delegates contributed to an engagement of the challenges they face with leadership in their spaces and outlined solutions of how they can adopt mindful leadership as a solution.

Speaking on the importance of such platforms in terms of fostering collaborations and sharing practise, MACE’s newly appointed KZN Regional Chairperson, Ms Hazel Langa, said growing the organisation’s membership was vital if MACE hoped to represent the interests of all Higher Education Institutions in South Africa.

‘Some of the key deliverables for MACE’s regional structures include ensuring that members connect at all times through networking events and professional development workshops such as this one. As the organisation is celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, we extend an invitation to our colleagues from TVET and private colleges as well as our stakeholders in the Higher Education sector to join us in sharing and learning best practice as well showing our executives our role and efforts as communicators,’ she said.

Words: Thandiwe Jumo 

Photographs: Sandile Lukhozi


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T&L Office Saves Historic Theatre Productions for Posterity

T&L Office Saves Historic Theatre Productions for Posterity
The second saved production, Side by Side Masisizane.

The recently created University Television (UTEL), a project of the University Teaching and Learning Office (UTLO) headed by experienced media director, Mr Jasper Cecil, was pivotal in preserving- for posterity - two iconic productions which played in the then vibrant Asoka Theatre at the former University of Durban-Westville (now UKZN).

Tapes of the shows were found by UTLO’s Professor Kriben Pillay in a cabinet after almost 30 years in storage. The tapes were about to reach a stage of being unusable due to mould.

The first production, Mr Bansi is Dead, dates back to November 1997 and is an adaptation by Pillay of the acclaimed South African play, Sizwe Bansi is Dead, by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona. It featured theatre stalwart, Dr Satchu Annamalai, and the late Sherwin Christopher.

The second saved production is Side by Side Masisizane, which was the first original, full-length musical produced by the Department of Drama at UDW. Created by Merle Caminsky (director and choreography), the late Siva Devar of Isidingo fame (music) and Kriben Pillay (book and lyrics), Side by Side premiered on 9 May 1989 and was such a phenomenal hit during its 12-day run in August that year that it was decided to have another run later in the year.

The musical was ground-breaking in that it reflected on the changing racial demographics of UDW in the late 80s and on a society in transition from the deep-rooted ideology of apartheid.

A third version entitled: Coming Home, which told the story in the context of exiles returning home, premiered at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 1993 as part of the main festival.

An off-shoot of this fortuitous preservation is that a revised version of the book: The Drama of South Africa by Professor Loren Kruger, who is based at the University of Chicago in the United States, will include a mention of the Mr Bansi is Dead production in its overview of the impact of the original Sizwe Bansi is Dead.

‘After creating a YouTube channel dedicated to the theatre works of the UDW Drama Department and the Asoka Theatre, there has been a phenomenal response to the material posted there which I hope will grow as we find more,’ said Pillay, who lectured in Drama at the former UDW for more than 14 years.

YouTube Video link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfRZeYBHnN1CkDPWBNLZjlw

Words: Ndabaonline 

Photograph: Supplied


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Kuhlinzekwe Ngo-56 Million Wokwenza Ngcono Ucwaningo Lwezempilo e-Afrika

Kuhlinzekwe Ngo-56 Million Wokwenza Ngcono Ucwaningo Lwezempilo e-Afrika
USolwazi Fatima Suleman ohlomule esibonenelweni esilinganiselwa kuma-R56 million sokwenza ucwaningo lwezempilo.Click here for English version

USolwazi wase-UKZN, uFatima Suleman, kanye nabalingani bakhe bakulezi zikhungo, iMakerere University College of Health Sciences yase-Uganda, i-University of Ibadan yaseNigeria kanye neNyuvesi yaseStellenbosch, bahlomule esibonenelweni esilinganiselwa kuma- R56 million sabakwa-Forgaty sokwenza ucwaningo lwezempilo.

USuleman unguSolwazi weSayensi Yezokuthakwa Kwemithi e-UKZN, ungumcwangi omkhulu osecwaninge kaningi we-Developing Research, Innovation, Localization and Leadership in South Africa; unguSihlalo weKomidi Likazwelonke Lezokunqunywa Kwentengo Yemithi eMnyangweni WezeMpilo; uSihlalo oyi-Prince Claus Kwezentuthuko Nokulinganisa e-Utrecht University; kanye noSolwazi Osemusha Owelekelelayo (ngonyaka wezi-2009-namanje) kanye ne-Global Practitioner in Residence eNyuvesi yase-Drake, Iowa.

Lolu xhaso luzosetshenziselwa ukuhlinzeka ngobuholi ezikhungweni ezahlukene ezitholakala ezwenikazi, i-Afrika, nasekuthuthukiseni isizinda esizokweseka izinhlelo ezenziwa ngokubambisana zokufundisa ezigxile ekufinyeleleni emiphakathini ngobubanzi kanye nakwababambe iqhaza abahlukene. Izinhlelo zingahlanganisa amasimpoziyamu aminyaka yonke, ukusungulwa kwamaqembu asebenza ngezihloko ezithile, umsebenzi wokuqeqesha kanye nokuthuthukiswa kohlelo lwezifundo e-Afrika.

Uxhaso luzoya kwinhlangano i-African for Research and Education for Health (AFREhealth), eminyakeni emihlanu ukuze isungule iNhlangano Yase-Afrika Yabasebenzi BezeMpilo YezokuQeqeshwa Nokucwaninga.

I-Forgaty ikholelwa ukuthi i-AFREhealth isethubeni elikhethekile lokuba yinhlangano enomthelela omkhulu ehamba phambili ekuthuthukisweni kwezempilo nezimpilo zama-Afrika, futhi ibe ibandakanyeka nasekulwisaneni ne-HIV/AIDS.

'ezi zindlela ezintsha nezihlukile ziyadingeka ngenhloso yokuxazulula izinselelo kwezempilo ezibucayi e-Afrika namuhla nangomuso,' kusho uSolwazi Nelson K. Sewankambo waseMakerere University onguMcwaningi oMkhulu walolu hlelo. 'Uhlelo lwe-AFREhealth oluholwa yiMakerere University luqinisekisa ukuthi ama-Afrika athatha indawo yokuhola nobunikazi ekwakhiweni kwabasebenzi bezempilo abanamandla kanye nokuthuthukisa izinhlelo ezisebenza kahle zokuletha izidingo eziyikhwalithi zezempilo - eziqinisekisa ukufinyeleleka nokulinganisa, futhi ezisuselwa ocwaningweni olufanele nolusezingeni eliphezulu,' echaza.

Kukholakala ukuthi i-AFREhealth eqinile, futhi eqhubekayo izokhuphula izinqubo ezinhle iqhamuke nezindlela ezintsha, iqguqguzele futhi ixhumane nazo zonke izinhlaka zezempilo ezitholakala emazweni ase-Afrika angama-Anglophone, Francophone, Lusaphone kanye nawase-Sub-Sarahan Africa. I-AFREhealth isithole ukuhlonishwa okubanzi ngempumelelo yayo kwezokufundiswa kwabasebenza ngezempilo kanye nasekuqiniseni ekucwaningeni emazweni ayi-18 nokwaholela ekusungulweni kwayo ngo-2016.

Izikhungo ezithole uxhaso zithola ukwesekwa ukuze zidlondlobale zikwazi nokwenza ngcono izindlela ezintsha zokufunda, ukuhlola, nokusabalalisa izindlela zokufundisa ezisebenza kahle, ukwethula nokuvivinya izindlela zokuqeqesha okuhlanganisa nezindlela eziyingxubemikhakha, nokuthuthukisa amathuba abafundi okwenza ucwaningo olunomthelela ekhaya njengengxenye ewumongo wokuqeqeshelwa kwabo komsebenz.

Ephawula ngalo mhlomulo, uSuleman uthe, 'Kubhekwe ukuthi lobu budlelwane bamazwe aseNingizimu buqiniswe ukuthuthukiswa kwalolu hlelo, nokuthi umkhankaso oholwa futhi ongowe-Afrika ungaqinisa eminye imikhankaso ezothuthukisa izinhlelo zokufundwa kwezempilo kanye nezempilo ezidingekayo e -Afrika.'

Amagama: nguMaryAnn Francis 


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Linguistics Student Scoops Gradstar Top 100 Award

Linguistics Student Scoops Gradstar Top 100 Award
UKZN PhD Linguistics student, Miss Sana Jeewa, receiving her GradStar award.

PhD Linguistics student, Ms Sana Jeewa, is confident about her future after being selected as a GradStar 2018 top 100 student.

GradStar is a mentorship programme that annually recognises top students who display leadership qualities and readiness for the workplace. Jeewa underwent a rigorous judging process before being selected over thousands of hopefuls around the country.

She believes the recognition will give her an edge. ‘I enjoyed the programme, interacted with students from many different universities and also connected with potential employers,’ she said.

Each top student interacted with a successful business mentor to further prepare them for the workplace.

GradStar Entries Co-ordinator, Ms Khululwa Tom, said South Africa needs more young people like Jeewa. ‘This is the second year that Sana has been selected for the Top 100 which proves that she has star quality about her. She is very passionate about her studies and has a “can do” attitude. She also has a passion for helping others which she shows through tutoring and motivating younger students to fulfil their potential and realise their dreams,’ said Tom.

Jeewa, who was the only Linguistics scholar in the programme, is passionate about language development in South Africa; saying that not all 11 official languages receive the consideration deserved. ‘Equality in languages needs to be realised in South Africa,’ she urged.

A strong advocate for the introduction of inclusive language policies at more universities in the country, Jeewa added, ‘UKZN’s introduction of isiZulu as a compulsory module is an example of an inclusive language policy that gives due recognition to the predominant language in KwaZulu-Natal.’

Jeewa’s PhD study investigates language repertoires and identities among high school learners in KwaZulu-Natal. She is conducting her research in predominantly Indian communities with a focus on variants of ‘South African Indian English,’ exploring how language can shape identities. She is also interested in how the language variants have changed over the years since Indians first arrived in the then Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) in 1860.

For more information on GradStar visit http://gradstar.co.za/

Words: Sejal Desai 

Photograph: Supplied by GradStar


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Former UKZN VC Welcomes UKZN Academic and Student in Austria

Former UKZN VC Welcomes UKZN Academic and Student in Austria
From left: Mr Ayodeji Opeyemi Ogunlesi, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, and Dr Gerry Bokana in Austria.

UKZN academic, Dr Gerry Bokana, and PhD candidate, Mr Ayodeji Opeyemi Ogunlesi, met up with the University’s former Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, while on a business visit to Austria.

Bokana’s and Ogunlesi visit aimed to strengthen research collaboration between the UKZN School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC) as well as the Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

Van Jaarsveld, who as of 1 October 2018 became Director-General and CEO of IISA in Austria, was overjoyed to have Bokana and Ogunlesi at the collaborations meeting; giving them a message to take back to all UKZN staff and students.

Said Bokana, ‘Dr van Jaarsveld wants the University community to know that he had a safe journey to Laxenburg in Austria. He is very keen for more UKZN staff and students as well as representatives from other African universities to get involved in research collaborations with IIASA. The first opportunity for collaboration is the Young Scientists Summer Programme (YSSP) 2019 which he has personally e-mailed UKZN about and encourages the University’s talented young scientists to be part of.’

The collaboration seminar highlights research done by students and supervisors which enhances the understanding of systems analysis in regard to IIASA modalities as well as fostering the research methodology utilised by IIASA.

Ogunlesi - who is an NRF Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC) doctoral scholarship recipient and Bokana - were invited by the Director of IIASA’s Evolution and Ecology Programme, Dr Ulf Dieckmann, to deliver two presentations aligned to the institute’s research interest; exploring solutions to global challenges such as food insecurity.

Food security is the focus of Ongunlesi’s doctoral research titled: Development Economics, Food Security, Food Price, Volatility and Forecasting with a bias for sub-Saharan African (SSA) Countries.

The first presentation was an overview on UKZN’s research interests and the second was titled: Dynamic Growth Models and Agriculture Nexus in Countries in sub-Saharan Africa: A Systems Analysis Approach, which highlighted the major barriers and challenges in the drive to achieve, attain and sustain food security in the region.

‘Time spent at the IIASA was greatly beneficial for our academic development as we interacted with senior researchers who work on real world complex systems. I received first-hand knowledge on system analysis approach which I can apply in my research,’ said Ogunlesi.

The pair has been invited back to IIASA and are currently working on co-publishing a paper on Network Analysis on Food Trade. Both are optimistic that the relationship between them and the institute will be beneficial to other UKZN researchers, students as well as the African region as a while.

For more on information on IIASA, visit: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/

Words by: Lungile Ngubelanga 

Photograph: Supplied


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Virtual Reality Experiences in USA for UKZN Student

Virtual Reality Experiences in USA for UKZN Student
UKZN Enactus member, Mr Muhle Ndwalane, arriving in California for the Enactus World Cup.

Third-year Information Systems and Technology student, Mr Muhle Ndwalane, got a once in a lifetime opportunity of exploring the practical applications of virtual reality during his recent trip to the home of start-up and global technology companies in Silicon Valley, California.

As an executive member of Enactus UKZN, Ndwalane represented the University at the Enactus World Cup where he formed part of a group of about 3 500 students and business and academic leaders from all over the world at the annual gathering that showcases innovative entrepreneurial action and how it is transforming lives and creating a better future.

‘The national Enactus organisation hosts a competition in which all Enactus regional branches compete with the winners representing South Africa at the Enactus World Cup. Although Enactus UKZN came third in the national competition, there was still an opportunity for Enactus members to attend the World Cup by sending a motivation of why they deserved to go. I did just that and was selected. I was driven by the motivation of gathering knowledge and insight into how Enactus UKZN can improve the quality of its projects and bring the organisation closer to its mission of winning the World Cup championships next year,’ said Ndwalane.

Being his first trip abroad, Ndwalane used this opportunity to explore California while at the same time building networks that will serve Enactus UKZN’s strategic vision of developing projects that contribute to a sustainable world.

‘I had the privilege of listening to an inspirational speech delivered by the 66th United States Secretary of State, Dr Condoleezza Rice. This was a very educational moment for me as learning from the wisdom of wise leaders is very important in further developing my leadership skills. I was also very intrigued by how teams use virtual reality in their projects. I am already in talks with a VR specialist to explore how we can adopt this technology in UKZN projects,’ said Ndwalane.

As a student, Enactus member and young man from the small town of Bhobhoyi in Port Shepstone, Ndwalane is thankful to UKZN’s Student Services Division and Enactus for making one of his dreams a reality.

‘Despite my background, I have always believed in the power of dreams,’ said Ndwalane. ‘When I left home for university, I told myself that I would turn every challenge into an opportunity and work very hard to not only realise my dreams, but inspire others like me to see that dreams do come true. This trip proved that I’m on the right path,’ he said.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga 

Photograph: Supplied by Muhle Ndwalane


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Isifundiswa SaseNyuvesi Sibe Ngomunye Wongoti Bezenhlalomphakathi Abasemthethweni Abangama-25 Emhlabeni Jikelele

Isifundiswa SaseNyuvesi Sibe Ngomunye Wongoti Bezenhlalomphakathi Abasemthethweni Abangama-25 Emhlabeni Jikelele
UDkt Mariam Seedat-Khan owuNgoti Kwezenhlalomphakathi eSikoleni Sezifundo Ngenhlalo Yomphakathi.Click here for English version

UDkt  Miriam Seedat-Khan, owuNgoti Kwezenhlalomphakathi eSikoleni Sezifundo Ngenhlalo Yomphakathi, uqokwe waba ngomunye kwabangama-25 kuphela emhlabeni wonke abanezitifiketi. 

U-Seedat Khan ugunyazwe yi-Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS), okumenze waba ngomunye wabesifazane abathathu kuphela eNingizimu Afrika abagunyazwe yi-AACS.

U-Seedat-Khan ukubona lokhu njengomzuzu oyingqophamlando emsebenzini wakhe osezingeni eliphezulu. Uhlonishwe yiKomidi Elibuyekeza Ukugunyazwa engqungqutheleni ye-International Sociological World Association ebiseCanada.

Ucwaningo lwakhe lubalulwe yikomidi ‘njengolusezingeni eliphezulu futhi olukhombise ngokucacile umkhakha wezenhlalomphakathi emkhakheni wakho, wezokufunda nokufundisa nemkhakheni wezemfundo’.

USeedat-Khan uthuthukise izindlela yokufunda nokufundisa eminyakeni esikhathini esiyiminyaka eyi-10 eyedlule nokuholele ekuhlinzekweni komuntu ngamunye ngensizakufunda namasu abangawasebenzisa ezimpilweni zabo.

Eminyakeni engama-20 yokufundisa, ukuqeqesha nokucwaninga e-UKZN nase Nyuvesi i-Witwatersrand, u-Seedat-Khan usanogqozi nokuzinikela ocwaningweni lokuqonda kabanzi ngobudlelwano babantu, ukuqeqesha, nokusungula okusha.

USeedat-Khan, oqeqeshwe eCanada naseNingizimu Afrika, uhambela izindawo eziningi ukuze ahlale enolwazi olusha, izindlela zokwenza ezintsha kanye nemibono emisha emkhakheni wezokukhula komuntu nomqondo. Uthando lwakhe lwemiphakathi yabantu lunikeza isithombe ngendlelakuziphatha emphakathini, emsebenzini, nasezikhungweni zemfundo.

Amagama: nguMellisa Mungroo 


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Arming Students for the World of Work

Arming Students for the World of Work
Final-year Bachelor of Nursing students at the Exit Orientation and Graduate Recruitment Programme.

Final-year Nursing students in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) enjoyed a fun-filled and informative day at the annual Exit Orientation and Graduate Recruitment Programme on the Howard College campus.

The Exit programme was first introduced at the College in 2013 as a support tool for final-year students exiting the academic programme. It is an important first step for graduating students as it provides valuable introduction into expectations in the work scenario and offers useful strategies to overcome fears and problems.

The 2018 programme - attended by about 60 final-year Bachelor of Nursing students - coincided with World Mental Health Day and thus embraced relevant aspects of self-care and mental health issues.

Student Councellor, Mrs Wulganithi Thaver, welcomed and applauded students for nearing the end of their educational journey, saying they were participating in a significant transitional activity. 

‘Your physical appearance and how you carry yourself can indicate whether or not you take your job seriously,’ said Thaver, while giving a talk on CV writing, interviewing skills, image and grooming. 

Thaver also advised students about efficient financial management. ‘Understanding finances is key for new graduates entering the workplace. They should be able to differentiate between needs and wants and learn to live according to their financial means,’ she said.

Medical School based Student Counsellor, Ms Suzanne Stokes, engaged students on ethics and professionalism, also exploring moral and ethical dilemmas that could occur within the world of work. She also touched on how social media can have a negative or positive impact on professional image and explored how it could be used as an online tool in, for example, building awareness or facilitating campaigns on health-related concerns in a community. The dangers of using social media and ethical implications were also emphasised, ‘Think twice before you post or share something on social media platforms as it can come back to haunt you,’ she warned.

Clinical Psychologist and Student Counsellor in the CHS, Ms Sithabile Ndlovu, led a discussion about Mental Health and Wellness. The discussion focused on dispelling popular myths and empowering students to be able to identify mental illness and seek appropriate help as early as possible.

Words: Lihle Sosibo 


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National Pride on Display at UKZN Cultural Day

National Pride on Display at UKZN Cultural Day
It was culture galore at the recent annual UKZN Cultural Day celebrations.

The Corporate Relations Division (CRD) hosted its annual Cultural Day on the Howard College campus to help foster a multicultural environment and encourage diversity among students.

The event formed part of CRD’s responsibility to look after UKZN’s more than 2 000 international undergraduate and postgraduate students; and cultural days represent an excellent opportunity to enhance their overall experience.

Representatives from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda, Germany, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Brazil, Sudan, Portugal, Angola, South Africa, Zambia and France participated in the day’s festivities.

In her welcome address, CRD’s Acting Executive Director, Ms Normah Zondo, said the event aimed to deepen the University community’s understanding of other people’s cultures and learn from them.

Exhibition stalls - each representing a different country - showcased photographs and information about that specific country’s food, traditional attire and unique qualities. Participants also tasted the food and drinks on display, mingled with other students, took pictures and shared contact details.

Political Science student, Ms Laura Zister of Germany, said she was excited to see the different traditional dances; experience the South African culture; learning the values of Ubuntu and seeing how Africans are proud of their culture.

BCom Accounting student from Portugal, Mr Adilson Sibingo, said he saw a lot of similarities in the food between the different countries; which went to show how everyone has a love for food. 

Music, drama performances, poetry and dancing by representatives of different countries entrained the crowd. As the day coincided with Zambia’s Independence Day, Zambian students led the crowd in singing the country’s national anthem. Other performances included a Hare Krishna group who performed a musical item.

Student Governance Officer, Ms Zanele Hlophe, thanked CRD for giving students the platform to share their cultures, saying she hoped that they learned something new from others.

Words: Sithembile Shabangu 


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Taking Hi-Fidelity Simulation from South Africa to Tanzania

Taking Hi-Fidelity Simulation from South Africa to Tanzania
The UKZN team of paediatric simulators in Tanzania.

UKZN’s human patient simulation expert, Mr Naren Bhimsan, who manages the SMART Centre at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban, presented a paper at an international conference in the United States.

Speaking at the the gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists conference at the University of Tennessee’s Centre for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation in Memphis, his paper was titled: Taking Hi-fidelity Simulation from South Africa to Tanzania.

Bhimsan spoke about a very successful visit he led to Tanzania in which he took paediatric simulators from South Africa to Dar es Salaam to train 44 anaesthetists on the Managing Emergencies in Paediatric Anaesthesia course. This course was requested by the Health Department of Tanzania and was sponsored by Abbvie Healthcare. 

The trip to Tanzania was a follow-up to the visit to UKZN in 2014 by 100 delegates from Namibia, Botswana, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia and Rwanda to attend the Anaesthesia Centre of Excellence Programme to share best practice and experiences. The programme included plenary discussions, in-hospital interactive workshops, case discussions, hi-fidelity patient simulation training, ultrasound and vascular workshops, trauma and ICU rounds, pain rounds, and meet-the-expert sessions.

Both the training session in Dar es Salaam and presentation in Memphis were well received. The SMART Centre is currently planning a similar trip to Lusaka in Zambia.

The team of five included four anaesthetic consultants, Dr Christian Kampik, Dr Jonathan Invernizzi and Dr Clive Daniel. While the SMART centre planned the logistics, much credit goes to Jonathan Brown of Abbvie and Dr Dean Gopalan, head of discipline Anaesthesiology and Critical Care.

Words: Lihle Sosibo


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