19th Poetry Africa Festival a Treat for All

19th Poetry Africa Festival a Treat for All
The Poetry Africa Festival runs at a variety of centres in Durban until Saturday (October 17).

A select group of poets from South Africa and around the world are in Durban to showcase literature and storytelling at the 19th Poetry Africa Festival.

The Festival, which runs until Saturday (October 17), is being hosted by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities. 

It provides a space for intercultural exchange and dialogue by featuring an extensive community outreach programme with poetry readings, performances and workshops in community centres, campuses and schools across Durban to share ideas about poetry. 

Evening poetry readings and discussions are taking place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on UKZN’s Howard College campus. The Festival finale is on Saturday at the Rivertown Beer Hall in Durban’s CBD, with a closing performance by singer, Nakhane Touré. 

The CCA is proud to feature nine Durban poets in this year’s 24-strong line up. They are: Africa Dlamini, Celiswa Majali, Khanyi Shusha, Kwazi Ndlangisa, Matt Vend, Nokulunga Dladla, Nosipho Magcaba, Thando Fuze, Tshebeletso Mohale. 

‘We are very proud that Durban has produced nine poets in this 19th edition of Poetry Africa, almost half of the programme,’ said Mr Guy Redman, Head of Department: Libraries, Heritage, Arts and Culture. ‘This is a testament to our city’s tremendous talent and artistic integrity as well as its developmental programmes focused on poetry, literature and the arts.’ 

The Poetry Africa stage will also feature prelude poets Khanyi Shusha, Kwazi Ndlangisa, Nosipho Magcaba and Tshebeletso Mophale. 

The annual Prelude Poets programme provides an opportunity for Durban’s creative and undiscovered poets to take part in the Festival. Entrants audition before a panel of judges and those selected display their talent on stage as a prelude to the main programme. 

Tickets for the evening sessions which start at 19h00 in the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre are R40 reducing to R25 for students and pensioners.  They are available at Computicket or at the door.

Tickets for the Festival finale at Rivertown are R70 (or R80 at the door). 

For more information go to www.cca.ukzn.ac.za or like the Facebook page PoetryAfrica or follow on Twitter @PoetryAfrica.


*The Poetry Africa Festival is presented by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts and made possible by support from the eThekwini Municipality, the KZN Department of Arts and Culture, the National Arts Council and the Goethe Institute. The Centre for Creative Arts is housed in the College of Humanities and is a special project of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

UKZN to host World Record Attempt

UKZN to host World Record Attempt

UKZN will host an attempt by 1 600 Durban schoolchildren later this month to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest practical science lesson.

The record attempt, to be held in the Sports Centre on the Westville campus on 24 October, has been lodged with Guinness by MAHLE Behr South Africa and the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME).

UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science is the major sponsor and has put its staff, students and facilities at the organisers’ disposal to help ensure the success of the event. 

Other sponsors include eThekwini Municipality, SpecCom, Wave Paper, Hulamin, and the Zenex Foundation. 

Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor; eThekwini Mayor, Mr James Nxumalo, and UKZN Vice-Chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, will be guests of honour. 

Apart from attempting a genuine world record while having a lot of fun, the innovative project aims to develop a love for Maths and Science among schoolchildren. Participants are in Grade 8 and Grade 9, the critical period for making matric subject choices and educating pupils about the importance of core maths for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers. 

Currently, the largest practical science experiment record which is held by the Royal Chemistry Society, involved 1 383 students. A target of 1 600 has been set for this record attempt to ensure a comfortable margin for the possible new record. 

About 1 600 learners, 60 teachers, 50 stewards and 50 volunteers will join forces at the Sports Centre on the day, with students completing two different experiments which have been constructed using by-product materials kindly donated by MAHLE Behr to save on costs.  Each participating school will receive a set of equipment after the event. 

To meet the very stringent Guinness World Record criteria and standards, the lesson must take place in a given timescale, together in a pre-determined place. 

‘We have to meet a number of pre-requisites in order to get the official stamp of approval from Guinness,’ explained Chief Organiser, Mrs Jolene van Heerden. 

Video evidence of the entire record attempt is also required, as is photographic evidence. 

‘Such strict rules are imperative because it gives credibility and weight to what is a ground-breaking effort,’ said officially-appointed Guinness World Record adjudicator and verifier, Professor Deo Jaganyi, who is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.  ‘Being part of the Largest Practical Science Lesson is the perfect vehicle to generate enthusiasm with 1 600 high school learners, and makes Science fun and exciting.’ 

Jaganyi’s two co-adjudicators include Lawyer and Judge, Ms Suzanne de Villiers, and Durban Metro Police’s Senior Superintendent Theuns van Heerden. 

The record attempt will be an hour long. During the adjudication process learners will enjoy a fun science show, and get the opportunity to visit career stalls to find out more about STEM careers and study opportunities. 

Follow the record attempt on Twitter @sciencerecordsa and Facebook ScienceRecordSA. 

Sally Frost

author : .
author email : .

Edgewood Residences Roll Out Red Carpet for Students

Edgewood Residences Roll Out Red Carpet for Students
Students from Essenwood and Cedarwood Residences at their year-end gala dinner and awards ceremony.

The Edgewood campus entertained students at the Essenwood and Cedarwood residences to an Oscars-themed gala dinner.

Organised by Residence Life Assistant Nompumelelo Meyeza and house committee members of both residences, the event attracted about 150 guests who were feted in the new conference centre on the Edgewood campus and treated to a variety of entertainment.

‘The aim was to recognise and reward hard work and dedicated leadership among those in the residences,’ said Meyeza.

Awards were made for achievements in academics, sport and leadership. In his keynote address titled: “Becoming a ‘Change Maker’ Teacher in the 21st Century”, Residence Life Officer, Mr Julian King, spoke about being a role model who would be remembered long after leaving the education profession.

King further challenged all residence students present to fly the teaching profession flag high and ensure the standard of education was maintained at all times.

Students were entertained by various student groups doing song and dance acts and reciting poetry, while the evening concluded with a reflection on experiences in residence from both a first year student as well as a final year student.

First year student Ms Christine de Waal spoke about the challenges of adjusting to university systems as well as residence life. De Waal said friends made in the residences had helped her adjust.

Final year student Ms Renay Dookie spoke about unity created among students in residences over the four years spent together, saying she would never forget the experience.  Dookie advised first year students to focus on their studies and keep the motto: First Things First, uppermost in their minds.

The evening ended with a delicious three-course meal.

Ridwaan Rees Ally

author : .
author email : .

UKZN Student Making It in the Hip-Hop World

UKZN Student Making It in the Hip-Hop World
Mr Innocent Qiniso Vilakazi.

Third year Bachelor of Education student on the Edgewood campus, Mr Innocent Qiniso Vilakazi – known on stage as Tru Vilakazi – is fast making a name for himself in the world of hip-hop music.

Vilakazi recorded a song I am the Guy and it has been playlisted on various radio stations including Gagasi FM, iNanda, and Yfm as well as on community radio such as Mkhondo FM, UGU Youth Radio, VOC and DUT radio. 

He has also performed at a variety of events including the Youth Hip Hop Festival 2015, 2020 Beach Festival, Magic Tour, Durban Spring Break, Halala KwaMashu Festival, the 1st Annual Mpumalanga NYE Pic Nic, and Sprite Hip hop Uncontainable. 

He has performed with artists including Ne-YO French Montana, Davido, Rick Ross, Yemi Alade , D’Banj, Sakodie, and Cassper Nyovest. 

Born in the township of eThandukukhanya near Piet Retief in Mpumalanga, Vilakazi was raised by his grandparents and mother who noticed his great passion for music at an early age. 

In 2007 he became one of the Mpumalanga’s top hip-hop artists in a competition hosted by the Department of Art and Culture. 

Vilakazi, who describes his music as catchy and vibrant, was recognised by a top hip-hop magazine in Africa - HYPE Magazine - as the Hottest Newcomer’s Delight. 

He manages to balance his studies and his music, enjoying success in both areas. 

‘Music has become part of my curriculum,’ said Vilakazi. ‘I keep the robot green and stay true to myself because for me music isn’t just a career, it’s a lifestyle.’ 

Tru Vilakazi will perform at this year’s Mr and Miss UKZN event, and at a variety of other events in Durban and on the South Coast towards the end of the year. 

Listen to his song I am the guy on YouTube https://youtu.be/kcZwmma4RMk 

Free download


for broadcast 


stream online 


Ndabenhle Moloi 

author : .
author email : .

School of Arts Appoints New Lecturer

School of Arts Appoints New Lecturer
Ms Pumelela Nqelenga.

The School of Arts on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus welcomed new Lecturer in the Department of Drama and Performance Studies, Ms Pumelela Nqelenga.

Nqelenga said she was excited to be joining the academic staff, at a time when she sensed “transitioning”, especially in the Drama Department. ‘It excited me because I’ll be a part of a new beginning.

‘I love the fact we are entering the phase where a lot of African students are interested in Drama, which is very rare where I come from and that means we have to teach Drama differently and see it differently, because our students see it differently.’

Nqelenga (26) holds three qualifications from Rhodes University - a Bachelor of Journalism, a BA Honours in Physical Theatre, Applied Theatre and Contemporary Performance, and an MA in Contemporary Performance.

She said she appreciated the familiarity and shared cultural context at UKZN. ‘Here, there are beautiful cultural references that I resonate with, and this is a space I enjoy and have always wanted to be in.’

Nqelenga’s interest in African performance and UKZN’s hunger for African Scholarship meant that she had found a space where she could make a valuable contribution. ‘I enjoy finding the definition of “African Scholarship” in this Department - what do we mean by African Scholarship in theatre? What do we mean by ‘African’ in the pedagogical way in which we can approach theatre studies through African roots?’ she asked.

Nqelenga’s passion for performance studies stems from her grandmother, who was an Igqirha (traditional healer).

‘I was so intrigued by the dancing and the performance of Amagqirha that all I wanted to be in my life was Igqirha – just because I can dance and could perform like that,’ explained Nqelenga.

Nqelenga performed at the National Arts Festival earlier this year in a production titled Inqindi, which won a Standard Bank Ovation Award. She has also worked with well-known performance artist Gavin Krastin; creative director of Artscape in Cape Town, Mandla Mbothwe; as well as UKZN alumnus and creative director, Rob Murray.

She is currently working on two research papers. One is based on her production Release which looks at social memory, collective memory and collected memory of violence, while the other is about her current production Xeno which examines  ‘constructions of “otherness” and how we construct foreignness in each other every day,’ she said.

Merusha Naidoo

author : .
author email : .

Best Practice and Collegiality Explored at Teaching and Learning Day

Best Practice and Collegiality Explored at Teaching and Learning Day
Participants at a Teaching and Learning Day organised by the College of Law and Management Studies.

UKZN’s College of Law and Management Studies hosted its first Teaching and Learning Day which attracted 13 lecturers from the four schools within the College who shared and showcased their teaching and learning practice.

The event, conceptualised by the College’s Dean of Teaching and Learning, Professor Kriben Pillay, aimed to highlight excellence in teaching and learning across the College’s various disciplines with the academics each delivering a 20-minute presentation for a chance to win a share of R40 000 in research prizes.

Presenters were:

* Ms Suhayfa Bhamjee, Mr Maropeng Mpya and Mr Vishal Surbun of the School of Law.

* Ms Kerry McCullough and Ms Patricia Shewell of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.

* Dr Fayth Ruffin, Dr Upasana Singh, Dr Moggie Subban, Professor Manoj Maharaj, Mr Doug Engelbrecht and Mr Sanjay Ranjeeth of the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance. 

* Dr Muhammad Hoque and Dr Shamim Bodhanya from the Graduate School of Business and Leadership who covered broad topics such as teaching on the legalities of euthanasia, systems thinking, student engagement and the mathematics of hypotheses.

Bhamjee delivered a presentation titled: “Death and Dying in a Constitutional Democracy – ASSISTED DYING, which considered legal and ethical arguments in relation to ‘euthanasia’”. 

Mpya, who delivered a presentation titled: “The Humanist Teacher”, said: ‘As a young academic I have learned what to do and what not to do in lecturing. I learned about various methods of teaching that include effective use of technology. The event has made me a better Lecturer and enriched my knowledge of teaching and learning.’ 

Ruffin presented on “Student Engagement in Curriculum Delivery: A View from Public Governance”. She described the event as an intellectually stimulating and highly engaging experience where teaching practices were shared through wide and varied lenses. 

Singh delivered a presentation titled: “Fitness Bands and Quizzes…What’s the Link?” she spoke about how to use the Moodle Quizzes tool for Formative Assessment. 

Ranjeeth’s presentation on “An Agile Approach to Software Development: A Pedagogical Intervention”, involved a discussion of the teaching strategy used to underpin the transition to Agile Software Development methodology for the development of an information systems project for final year undergraduate students in the Discipline of Information Technology. 

McCullough’s presentation, titled: “Active Teaching. Active Learning”, addressed the relationship between the activities in teaching and learning within the classroom context with a focus on action research on active teaching. 

Surbun’s presentation was titled: “Developing the Art of Drafting Policy through Class Exercises in the Environmental Law Module”. It revealed that the current LLB curriculum and syllabi, and subsequent professional legal training, offered little emphasis in training students to draft policy and legislation.

Shewell presented on “Financial Statement Analysis: Revealing the Story Behind the Numbers”.

Pillay, who said he was pleased the presentations focused on various aspects of teaching and learning, hopes to make the event bigger and better in 2016.

The College’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Mubangizi, applauded the initiative and emphasised that creating knowledge through research and teaching was right in line with UKZN’s strategic plan.

Thandiwe Jumo

author : .
author email : .

Soil Science Students Get Hands-On Experience at Oppenheimer Research Centre

Soil Science Students Get Hands-On Experience at Oppenheimer Research Centre
UKZN Soil Science students during a field trip at Umgenipoort.

A group of UKZN second year Soil Science students enjoyed practical experience and got their hands dirty during a field trip at Umgenipoort in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the research facility made available to the University through the generosity of the Oppenheimer family. 

The 230 Soil students learned about the practical side of pedology, the science of soil formation and classification, after the Oppenheimer Family Trust invited the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science to make use of the facilities and scientific research opportunities on the farm Umgenipoort, and its neighbouring property, Wakefield. 

Mr Kyle Reddy, who plans to major in Soil Science and hydrology, was among 53 students on the excursion.  He explained what a soil mapping survey entailed.  ‘We were broken into groups and each given our own area with boundaries to map,’ said Reddy. 

‘We had to collect soil samples using a metal augur to determine the different types of soil in the area.  We then drew a soil map and explained the different types of soils in a report.  For example, Katspruit is soil that is found near river boundaries.  We also identified Mispah soil.’ 

Reddy said the students also measured the depth of the soil in relation to the gradient as well as drainage and infiltration capacity.  In their final report, they had to use their results to recommend potential land usage for the identified soil types, for example, crops, pasture or natural grazing. 

A further task for the students was to capture GPS locations to ensure precise soil mapping. 

Course Co-ordinator, Ms Nkosinomusa Buthelezi, said the three-day field trip contributed significantly to the Soil 230 semester mark.    She said it had been particularly beneficial for the students to be at Umgenipoort as the soils there differed to those found in Pietermaritzburg.  ‘The area has deep, wet soils. It is interesting for the students because they haven’t seen these types of soils before.  Now they are able to compare theory to practical examples.’ 

Buthelezi said being in the field helped students get an understanding about the landscape and how soils differ. 

Each group of students was given 49ha to map, looking at the texture, colour, structure and consistency of the soils. 

The field trip would be followed by further soil sample analysis in the labs with students later writing up soil profile descriptions.

Sally Frost

author : .
author email : .

Sexual Diversity Debate

Sexual Diversity Debate
UKZN hosted a LGBTI Sexual Diversity Dialogue.

The UKZN AIDS Programme hosted a sexual diversity debate themed “Love Knows No Gender” on the Howard College campus.

The UKZN LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) forum within the HIV/AIDS Programme organised the event to create a platform for rigorous discussions around stigma and discrimination experienced by LGBTI students and the need to have programmes specifically aimed at addressing such challenges within the University.

HIV/AIDS Programme Manager, Ms Nomonde Magantolo, welcomed all present, stressing the importance of a non-discriminatory institution, saying the debate could serve as a stepping stone to steering transformation within UKZN.

MSM/LGBTI Programme Officer, Ms Siphesihle Ngubo, said: ‘Although it is clear that LGBTI students have the same rights as other students at Higher Education Institutions and thus there should be no discrimination against them, the topic of homosexuality has been ignored in most Higher Education Institutions so it was time for debates on the issue to be given priority.’

The SRC emphasised how the University should be an enabling environment for all students.

The dialogue was attended by over 200 students and guests.

Siphesihle Ngubo

author : .
author email : .

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Interacts with UKZN Law Students

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Interacts with UKZN Law Students
Members of BLAsc at UKZN with Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr John Jeffery.

Is South Africa Upholding the Rule of Law? That is the question Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Mr John Jeffery was tasked with answering at an event hosted by the Black Lawyers Association Student Chapter (BLAsc) and UKZN’s School of Law. 

The event created a platform for Law students to discuss topical legal issues such as the court ruling in the Al-Bashir case, the constitutionality of the new parliamentary rules, clear separation of powers, and exploring if it can be said that South Africa’s judiciary is independent from external influence, drawing from inferences from controversial cases in the public eye. 

BLAsc’s  Chairperson, Ms Pearl Biyela, said having audiences with key members of South Africa’s justice system such as Jeffery were a crucial part of BLAsc mission of promoting legal transformation and ensuring that Law students were aware and well informed of the latest development in the legal sector. 

‘In May, we held an event where the relevance of the Legal Practice Act was discussed. It was at such a sitting that students pondered about the side effects the implementation of the Act would have on the separation of powers,’ she said. 

‘There was much deliberation in this light, but clarity was not reached. It is for these reasons that we discussed these burning issues with Jeffery to ensure that students are correctly informed of the factors that will directly or indirectly affect them after their studies,’ added Biyela. 

Jeffery explained how parliament worked and South Africa’s international obligations in the Al-Bashir case.

He said he thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the students in various areas of the law and encouraged them to contact him via his email, cell phone or on social media if they wanted to engage further on issues. 

‘I enjoyed the fairly diverse topics that we have discussed today and I do welcome engagement with students as it is vital that we produce lawyers who are critical thinkers. I thank BLAsc for organising this event and I do hope that you will have me again next year,’ said Jeffery.

Thandiwe Jumo

author : .
author email : .

UKZN Scoops Four Awards at MACE 2015

UKZN Scoops Four Awards at MACE 2015
UKZN Congress attendees doing a selfie at #MACE2015.

Team UKZN scooped four awards at the Marketing, Advancement and Communications in Education (MACE) Congress held at the Greyville Race Course in Durban last week. 

The Congress was themed: “Re-engineering Marketing, Advancement, and Communication in Education: Matching South Africa’s Higher Education Needs and Challenges”. 

Team UKZN scooped the following awards: 

Congratulating the team, Executive Director of the Corporate Relations Division, Mr Lesiba Seshoka said: ‘It feels good to be recognised by our peers. I’d like to thank my colleagues in Corporate Relations and the Colleges for their unstinting support and dedication.’ 

The University of Zululand hosted this year’s Congress which featured a number of speakers on the latest trends in marketing, communication and advancement. 

Breakaway sessions included a presentation titled: “How does PoPI Act Affect Marketing and Communication within the HE Space”, by Project Manager: Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) at UNISA, Ms Peterlia Ramutsheli, and a panel discussion on “The Impact of Conventional Media vs New Media”, featuring Ms Mary Pappaya, Gagasi FM’s Alex Mthiyane, The Sunday Tribune’s Mr Aakash Bramdeo and Mr Themba Sepotokele of Government Communication and Information Systems. 

Hosted by and for public relations departments, it was no surprise the Congress included a glittering gala dinner themed: “Night at the Races”, a play on the Durban July. 

UKZN Graphic Designer Ms Thandiwe Madikazi was recognised for her social media prowess and received a fun award for the Most Social Media Posts at the 2015 Congress. The self-confessed social media butterfly posted over 30 posts in just two days - #Mace2015!

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

author : .
author email : .

Health Advocacy Key to Addressing Health Systems Failures

Health Advocacy Key to Addressing Health Systems Failures
Head of Family Medicine, Dr Bernard Gaede (left), with Dr Prinitha Pillay of the Rural health Advocacy Project.

UKZN’s College of Health Science’s Teaching and Learning Office recently hosted Dr Prinitha Pillay of the Rural Health Advocacy Project who presented an interactive workshop for academics and students on how to teach health advocacy.

Advocacy is an active promotion of a cause or principle to change policies and practices, make broader impact, reform institutions, alter power relations and change attitudes/behaviours. It is a critical skill for any healthcare worker.

Pillay said it was important for lecturers to teach students advocacy. ‘Students need to be taught when to speak out and made aware that they will be protected in doing so. They also need to recognise that there is no one size fits all, knowing different routes to take and alternative strategies are key,’ Pillay said.

Key components include the knowledge and application of legal and ethical frameworks, knowledge of mechanisms that exist - internal within the Department of Health and external to the State.

Internally, the National Managements Complaints protocol and newly formed Office of Health Standard Compliance were important, said Pillay. External mechanisms include the public protector, SA Human Rights Commission, unions, regulatory bodies like the HPCSA, advocacy organisations and the media.

According to Pillay universities need to design a social justice curriculum. ‘At university level a situational analysis must be conducted. Simultaneous reform of the curriculum and its institutional context is important, as it cannot be divorced. A platform to advocacy is the validation of new curriculum and practices that include the contribution of students, and faculty and external stakeholders, including communities.’

According to Pillay, advocacy should start early on in school and as educators, academics should want their students to always recognise public interest. They should be able to reflect on whose interests are served, the best way to deliver services and how they could change things.  ‘That reflection on assumptions, biases and values prior to action will help reduce a clumsy cross cultural intervention.’

Pillay is an experienced clinician in Infectious Diseases and an activist.  She is leading a project VOICE to teach advocacy skills to students, educators and in-service providers. She has worked for Doctors without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in different countries including: Lesotho, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, India, Sierra Leone and in both rural and urban South Africa.

A guide on how to report healthcare challenges is available at http://www.rhap.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/RHAP-Voice-Manual-Nov-2014.pdf, it provides tools, tips and strategies for healthcare workers.

Nombuso Dlamini

author : .
author email : .

UKZN Dance Lecturer on National Arts Festival’s Artistic Steering Committee

UKZN Dance Lecturer on National Arts Festival’s Artistic Steering Committee
Ms Lliane Loots at the recent National Arts Festival’s newly-appointed Artistic Steering Committee.

School of Arts and Dance Lecturer at the Howard College campus Drama and Performance Studies Programme, Ms Lliane Loots, has been invited onto the prestigious National Arts Festival’s Artistic Steering Committee.

This three-year appointment involves Loots sitting on the national committee to guide, steer and re-imagine the Grahamstown National Arts Festival (NAF). 

Artistic Director for the NAF, Mr Ismail Mohamed, says the artistic steering committee is the backbone of the Festival as one of the duties members have is to collectively decide which artists are invited to the main platform of the Festival each year. ‘ Alongside me, they are key to re-invigorating and re-defining the Festival and finding ways to be its artistic ears and eyes on the ground,’ said Mohamed. 

‘The NAF needs a shake up and we have called upon key national players in the arts sector – artists and academics – to take up the culturally and politically important work of steering the NAF into the future,’ he said. 

Loots returned from a two-day plenary meeting of the committee in Johannesburg where heady debate was encouraged around the role of the arts in critical nation building and in the value and work inherent in the idea of a ‘national’ arts festival. 

Loots said: ‘It is a big responsibility to take on and I am humbled by the invite. You realise that in taking this on, positions on your ethics and politics around arts and culture are put into action and that you have to be able to speak critically to national cultural policy.’ 

Loots, one of three new committee members, also takes on the NAF subcommittee of dance, where she acts alongside artist and activist Gregory Maqoma of the Vuyani Dance Theatre in Johannesburg and veteran dance journalist, University of Natal alumnus and Wits Ar(t)chivist, Adrienne Sichel.

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

Durban’s Climate Change Mitigation Measures Outlined

Durban’s Climate Change Mitigation Measures Outlined
From left: Mr Jonathan Brady,Dr Sean O’ Donoghue and Mr Sbonelo Gumede.

UKZN alumnus and eThekwini Council’s Climate Adaptation Manager, Dr Sean O’ Donoghue, delivered a presentation at the University on Durban’s measures to adapt to climate change. 

The event - part of an Arbour Week campaign by the United Nations Association of South Africa’s UKZN Chapter (UNASA-UKZN) - was hosted by Professor Sihawu Ngubane of the isiZulu Department who is a long serving member of the University’s Transformation Council. 

Addressing a small but engaged crowd, O’ Donoghue outlined the global crisis and how inevitable climate change had become due to carbon emissions.  He said because of this, adaptation had become a priority for most cities as an average increase in temperature of 5% was likely to happen regardless of mitigation measures put in place. 

With inconclusive international agreements on emission reduction, municipalities throughout the world had resolved to take up the challenge of adapting to climate change. 

The Durban Council was now a member of international programmes such as the 100 Resilient Cities campaign where collaboration between cities takes place in an effort to mitigate climate change. 

Another progressive adaptation mentioned by O’ Donoghue was the Durban Adaptation Charter signed after the COP17 gathering in Durban four years ago. 

He said in addition to its expanding profile as a progressive city regarding environmental concerns, Durban also played host to the World Forestry Congress from the 1-7 September, where discussions between world leaders and experts on reforestation and climate mitigation took place.  There were also debates about the natural rehabilitation of rivers, forests and land involving communities, local municipal government and NGOs. 

Ngubane congratulated O’ Donoghue on an outstanding and informative presentation. O’ Donoghue in turn said he had been ‘pleased with the quality of the questions in the Q&A Session’. 

UKZN's Corporate Relations Division organised the event in conjunction with UNASA-UKZN.

Jonathan Brady

author : .
author email : .

UNASA-UKZN Chapter Presents Trees to Sastri College

UNASA-UKZN Chapter Presents Trees to Sastri College
UNASA-UKZN students Ms Katerina Arsh (left) and Mr Jonathan Brady (centre) with Sastri College students.

Sastri College hosted the United Nations Association of South Africa (UNASA)-UKZN Chapter as part of their Arbour Week awareness campaign.

The College welcomed the Chapter representatives with open arms in their efforts to promote Arbour Week and the importance of trees for the environment.

Indigenous trees - generously donated by Dr Sershen Naidoo of the School of Life Sciences on UKZN’s Westville campus – were given to the College. The importance of sustainability was emphasised by Chapter members to both school pupils and staff.

The College impressed all with its initiatives to practice sustainability, having a garden of its own as well as water catchment areas in different parts of the school grounds. Students from UNASA-UKZN and pupils from Sastri College were on hand to plant the trees.

Teachers and school management thanked UNASA-UKZN for choosing their school as the site for their presentation, with both groups wanting to work together in similar projects in the future.

Jonathan Brady

author : .
author email : .

New Eye Hospital for KZN

New Eye Hospital for KZN
KZN Eye Hospital officially opened.

The McCord Provincial Eye Hospital was officially opened by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Senzo Mchunu, and the KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, during World Sight Week.

Final-year UKZN students were at the mobile clinic station at the hospital to help conduct free eye screenings, hand out reading glasses and make referrals to the hospital.

Speaking at the opening, Mchunu said thousands of visually impaired locals had used the hospital’s facilities since it opened its doors to the public on 1 April and many of those would now have improved vision.

It is envisaged the hospital will become a centre of hope for Southern Africa.

‘Tonight I will sleep with a clear conscience knowing we’ve done something good for the people of KZN. We’ve done something good for the people of South Africa and the wider African continent,’ said Mchunu, stressing that the opening of the healthcare facility was a significant milestone in a province where eye-care services were scarce for communities outside urban areas.

Mchunu lauded the Department of Health (DoH) and its healthcare professionals who dedicate their lives to assisting those in need of care and treatment.

Dhlomo said more than 500 patients visited the hospital every day. Helping to restore or improve sight significantly improved the quality of life of the visually impaired.

The Academic Head of UKZN’s Ophthalmology Department, Dr Linda Visser, said all levels of eye-care training were offered at the hospital. ‘This hospital will hopefully become an internationally renowned Eye Facility.’

‘It’s an exciting time for all of us,’ said UKZN’s Academic Leader for Optometry, Ms Vanessa Moodley.

 Lunga Memela

author : .
author email : .

Humanities Staff Member gets Prestigious EAC Customer Centric Award

Humanities Staff Member gets Prestigious EAC Customer Centric Award
UKZN’s Ms Sindi Ndaba (third left) with staff members from the Discipline of African Languages.

College of Humanities staff member Ms Sindi Ndaba is the recipient of the Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC) Customer Centric Award which acknowledges an office professional who gives excellent client service and always puts customers first.

Ndaba, the Office Administrator for Teaching and Learning in the School of Arts under the Discipline of African Languages, was overjoyed at receiving the award saying it had further developed, equipped, motivated and inspired her to do more in her job capacity.

‘This award means more exposure and empowerment in my work as a teaching and learning administrator,’ said Ndaba. ‘It has taught me that an administrator is the face of a discipline where effective communication, prioritisation, monitoring and liaison with internal and external customers, are key,’ she said.

School of Arts Manager Mr Adarsh Maharaj said: ‘UKZN has implemented the REACH Campaign, which strives to enhance the service of the University through staff engaging with all stakeholders with integrity, respect and kindness. Sindi has conducted herself in her work environment imbibing the REACH qualities of: Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Client Orientation and Honesty.

‘She is a shining example of what the REACH qualities actually are. Her interaction with staff and students as well as outside service providers imbibes these qualities. Sindi has an outstanding characteristic that far exceeds the qualities of REACH, and that is her always extending herself way beyond the call of duty. Sindi is always ready and willing, with a warm smile to assist others in need, even staff and students who do not fall within her jurisdiction.’

Ndaba advised other staff members to be passionate about their work, review effectiveness, facilitate success and release their potential. ‘Create value and fame for the institution for its future sustainability,’ she said.

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

UKZN Academic at Drake University in US for a Semester

UKZN Academic at Drake University in US for a Semester
Professor Fatima Suleman at Drake University.

Associate Professor at UKZN’s Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Fatima Suleman, is currently serving a semester at Drake University in the United States.

The main aim of the visit is to provide insight into public health pharmacy and global issues on pharmaceutical policy to Health Sciences and Pharmacy students as well as collaborating staff. 

Suleman, a Global Practitioner-in-Residence with Drake’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, has also been invited to deliver the keynote address at the Iowa International Center Dialogue Series on: “Multicultural Approaches to Medicine Use: What Does the Research Say?” 

The Iowa series engages local and national professionals in conversations on global and community issues that affect Iowa and highlights Iowa’s connections abroad.  Said Suleman: ‘My programme will focus on the need for sensitivity and awareness on behalf of the healthcare professional when communicating with and counselling a patient. 

‘In multicultural settings, patients and their families bring many different cultural models of morality, health, illness, healing and kinship to clinical encounters. Religious convictions and cultural norms play significant roles in framing interactions between health care providers and patients. A more informed understanding of these issues is needed to better recognise the role of ethnicity, culture, religion and gender in shaping health care decisions.’ 

During her time at Drake, Suleman will also be a keynote speaker at the Heartland Global Health Consortium Conference.  Her talk there is titled: “The Other Side of the Coin”. 

Suleman has vast research and consulting experience in the area of public health policy for governments and international organisations. She has also hosted, placed and monitored Drake Pharmacy and Health Sciences students in service and professional placements in community settings in South Africa for many years. Suleman also has extensive experience working with the World Health Organization. 

UKZN’s College of Health Sciences has a longstanding and successful Memorandum of Understanding with Drake University for student and staff exchange and collaboration in both teaching and research.

MaryAnn Francis

author : .
author email : .

Students in Durban History Production at Sneddon Theatre

Students in Durban History Production at Sneddon Theatre
UKZN Drama and Performance students on stage.

Fifteen UKZN Drama and Performance Studies students brought to life the tongue-in-cheek production DE COMPLEAT HSTRY OF DBN (Without the boring bits!) at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the Howard College campus.

The show was directed by Themi Venturas, who first staged the production at the Catalina Theatre in 2006. 

This amusing take on the history of Durban is based on the story-telling and comic techniques of the Reduced Shakespeare Company which brought the world the funny Complete Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged) and The Complete History of America.

The set included a cartoon timeline originally designed by Iain ‘Ewok’ Robinson for the original production and a series of interesting photographs of early Durban projected onto a central screen. 

The show was dedicated to the late Tiki Nxumalo who was part of the original show at the Catalina Theatre. 

‘Whilst the historical - or should we say hysterical - facts are all true, the story behind the story is wildly imaginative,’ said Venturas. ‘Drama students and students of history really enjoyed seeing this production. For Drama students it was a very interesting performance style shedding light, and for history learners it inspired a lot of conversation.’ 

Cast members Ms Camilla Rogers and Ms Londiwe Ngema were ecstatic to be a part of the production. 

‘This was such a great opportunity for UKZN Drama students to gain both experience and knowledge about the industry and working with the different cast members and crew,’ said Ngema. ‘It really puts into perspective what it means to be a performer and gave us insight into stage direction, lighting etc.’ 

‘We were able to put all that we had learned into practice for this show,’ said Rogers. ‘It really solidified what we can expect in our future careers and working with Themi was quite a learning experience.

‘Being in this production has been amazing. We brought our passion for performance to the stage and the audience seemed to enjoy it.’

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

I-UKZN ibambe umhlangano wokucobelelana ngolwazi wabafundisa emkhakheni wezobuHlengikazi

I-UKZN ibambe umhlangano wokucobelelana ngolwazi wabafundisa emkhakheni wezobuHlengikazi
Abebehambele umhlangano wezokucobelelana ngolwazi nokuthuthukisa amakhono obuhlelwe abafundisa ezokuhlenga e-UKZN.

Click here for English version

Abafundisa ezobuHlengikazi e-UKZN bebehlangene nozakwabo basekolishi i-KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing (KZNCN) emhlanganweni wokucobelelana nokuthuthukisa amakhono eKhempasini i-Howard. 

Ngaphansi kwesihloko esithi:Clinical Education Model: From the Nursing Education, Training and Practice Strategy to Implementation in the KZN Context, lo mhlangano uhlose ukukhuphula izinga lezinhlelo zokuqeqesha kanye nokucobelelana ngolwazi kwezezinhlelo zezifundo. 

Umphathi KwezeziFundo zobuHlengikazi e-UKZN uSolwazi Gugu Mchunu uthe injongo yethu ‘ukugqugquzela abafundisi ukuthi bakhuphule izinga lezinhlelo zokuqeqesha ezikhona, banikezane ugqozi, basebenzise izindlela zesimanje futhi bakhe uhlelo lwezifundo olufanele’. 

Izingxoxo zibhekisise intuthuko kwezokufundisa ezokuhlenga kanye nesidingo sokuphokophela ekwenzeni  ngcono njalo nokusungula izindlela ezintsha zokufundisa ezokuhlenga. Kubuye kwabhekwa ezezinsiza, ukuhlola nokuqeqeshwa kwezamakhono okuhlenga. 

UMchunu uthe obekuhlosiwe kubandakanye nokubheka kabusha uhlelo olukhona lwezokuqeqesha kwezokuhlenga. ‘ ukuze abahlengikazi abaqeqeqshiwe bahlale bebalulekile KwaZulu-Natali, kubalulekile ukucubungula ukufaneleka kohlelo olukhona nokuthatha izinqumo mayelana nokuthi lungaqiniswa kanjani ukuze luhlomise abahlengikazi ukuhlenga emhlabeni jikelele nokwenziwa kabusha kwezokuhlenga futhi kutholakale nezindlela zokwenza ngcono indlela yokufundisa amakhono okuhlenga.’ 

USolwazi Fikile Mtshali wase-UKZN uthe ikhwalithi yomhlengikazi osebenza kulo mkhakha incike ezifundweni azifundisiwe. Lolu hlelo oluphakanyiswayo  lokufundiswa kwezokuhlenga luphokophele ekuthuthukiseni ubudlelwane phakathi kwenjulalwazi nokufunda ngokwenza. Luphakamisa ukusungulwa kohlelo oluxhumene lwemithetho yezokuhlenga nezokufundisa ukuhlenga.’ 

UMtshali utshele abebehambele lo mhlangano ukuthi kumele benze ucwaningo oluzokhuphula izinga lezokufundisa ukuhlenga, ugcizelela ukuthi ukubambisana phakathi koMkhakha wezobuHlengikazi ne-KZNCN kubalulekile futhi kuyimpumelelo.

Ngu-Nombuso Dlamini

author : .
author email : .

Pituitary Tumours the Focus of Research Symposium

Pituitary Tumours the Focus of Research Symposium
Dr Khaled Elmezughi.

UKZN’s Dr Khaled Elmezughi presented a study titled: “Characteristics and Outcome of Surgically Treated Pituitary Tumours at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH) in Durban”, during a College of Health Sciences Research Symposium.

Elmezughi said his retrospective study aimed to describe the clinical, biochemical, radiological and histological features and the outcome of all patients with pituitary tumours treated surgically at IALCH over a five-year period. 

He had reviewed patient charts from 2008 to 2012. ‘Clinical, biochemical and radiologic data were collected before and one year after surgery. Histopathology findings and perioperative complications were recorded,’ he said. 

Results revealed that patients presenting to IALCH had large tumours and complete resection was achieved in a minority. ‘There was low overall mortality but a high rate of post-surgical pituitary hypofunction.’ 

According to Elmezughi, the study will assist doctors to compare South African results with those in the rest of the world and alert health professionals to refer such patients earlier. 

Elmezughi, originally from Libya, joined UKZN in 2011 and is currently working towards his Masters in Internal Medicine (MMed) in the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology as well as completing training towards a sub-specialty in Endocrinology. 

He hopes to go back to Libya one day and assist in the upliftment of their health system.

Nombuso Dlamini

author : .
author email : .

African Indigenous Leadership Practices Discussed at Inaugural Lecture

African Indigenous Leadership Practices Discussed at Inaugural Lecture
From left: Professors Gregory Kamwendo; Cheryl Potgieter; Vitallis Chikoko and Donal McCracken.

“The Future Lies in our Past: Seeking to Leverage African Indigenous Leadership Practices to Re-shape Education”, was the title of an Inaugural Lecture by Professor Vitallis Chikoko of the School of Education in the College of Humanities.

Chikoko said in his presentation that Africa was currently suffering a plethora of problems including poverty, high unemployment, poor health, poor education, underdevelopment, lack of accountability, abuse of power and high violent crime. These suggested a bankruptcy of sound leadership. 

‘But Africa was not always like that. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, Mapungubwe in South Africa and the Great Zimbabwe monument in Zimbabwe are all world heritage sites and excellent examples of a well led and thriving Africa of yester year.’ 

Chikoko shared some of the indigenous African leadership practices from a study of selected communities in four Southern African countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa and discussed how these could help inform the leadership of education today. 

Concluding, Chikoko said: ‘Key features of African indigenous leadership include a sense of belonging for all, a strong work ethic, communalism, participative decision-making, dialogue, consultation, shared leadership, active involvement towards family and community welfare by all, high regard for knowledge and skills and great focus on achievement. 

Modern educational leadership has a lot to learn from this. Overall, we need a values revolution in our education systems.’ 

Reflecting on the Lecture, DVC and Head of the College, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, said an Inaugural Lecture was a joyous occasion indicating the culmination of the efforts of academics. 

‘With the challenges the Higher Education landscape has, we need good ethical leaders to influence policies, infrastructure, and finances and provide interventions. We acknowledge Professor Chikoko’s continual contribution to Higher Education,’ said Potgieter. 

Dean and Head of the School of Education, Professor Gregory Kamwendo, added: ‘Professor Chikoko plays a significant role in nurturing and creating the next generation of scholars and displays academic leadership. He is dignified, humble and an accessible academic.’ 

Acting Dean for the School of Arts, Professor Donal McCracken, commented: ‘Professor Chikoko has intellectual integrity and we need such academics. We salute and congratulate him and wish him intellectual courage too.’

Melissa Mungroo

author : .
author email : .

Edgewood Contributes to Environmental Awareness Week

Edgewood Contributes to Environmental Awareness Week
Members of the EEF with Lecturer Dr Angela James (far left) planting trees to raise awareness about the environment.

The Edgewood Environmental Forum (EEF) contributed to Environmental Awareness Week by hosting festivities and events around creating awareness about the environment and global eco-sustainability.

The Forum, established on the Edgewood campus in 2001, holds campaigns every year with one of its major objectives being to inform students about sustainable environmental action.

Events held during the three-day campaign included a presentation on the role of the Edgewood Environmental forum by Dr Ronicka Mudaly; Ms Dumile Nxumalo presenting on the campaign objectives, and Ms Thelma Rosenberg and Ms Colleen Deetlefs discussing recycling and upcycling.

An upcycling exhibition followed with students posing questions to the forum on how they could engage in upcycling actions.

The closing event involved EEF members supported by Biology students and Enactus UKZN members, planting trees around the Kinoull residence on the Edgewood campus.

The Heteromorpha arborescens (parsley tree), Umbangandlala (2015’s Tree of the Year) and food crops were planted. Ten indigenous trees donated by environmentalist Mrs Jean Senogles, who has been working closely with EEF, were also planted.

‘The campaign held at Edgewood was informative,’ said Nxumalo.  ‘As students we learned about the importance of taking care of the environment and how man and nature are interdependent.  South Africa is currently facing difficulties in curbing greenhouse gasses due to urbanisation but we can contribute to improving the situation if we work together.’

Senior Lecturer in Science Education, Dr Angela James, said: ‘Environmental awareness activities are for students but it is disappointing how few actually get involved. As leaders they really need to engage in environmental sustainable actions.’

The forum, which is gearing up for more events in the future, acknowledged the support and active participation of staff members and students including James, Nxumalo and Ms Zanele Njapha.

Melissa Mungroo and Dumile Nxumalo

author : .
author email : .