Isigcawu Sokuhlanzwa Kwendle Sithele Izithelo

Isigcawu Sokuhlanzwa Kwendle Sithele Izithelo
Izihambeli zesigcawu sokuncibilikisa indle kusale amanzi ebesesi-UKZN.Click here for English version

Bekunomhlangano wokucobelana ngolwazi kwezokwakha ubudlelwano bezomhlaba kwezokuhlanzwa kwendle eSikoleni Sobunjiniyela e-Nyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natali (e-UKZN).

I-Cranfield University yase-Bedfordshire, eNgilandi, ibihlele umhlangano wezinsuku ezimbili, ngokubambisana ne-University of Witwatersrand ne-Pollution Research Group (i-PRG) yase-UKZN lapho bekukhona ongoti, abacwaningi nabasebenzisana nabo emkhakheni wokuhlanza isidadada sendle nokucwaninga amathuba akhona ukusincibilikisa kusale amanzi angasetshenziswa nokubheka amathuba akhona ocwaningo olungenziwa.

UDkt Tosin Somorin wase-Cranfield uthe: ‘Ezindaweni eziningi emhlabeni indle ayikhucululwa, okuholela ezifweni. Ukuhlanza indle ukuze kusebenze amanzi ayo kunesidingo ezweni nasemphakathini ukuze kube namanzi kuwonkewonke, okudinga izindlela ezihlukile nezintsha zokuphatha, ukuqoqa, nokusebenzisa udoti wendle.’

Kulo mhlangano bekunezethulo zongoti ngocwaningo lokubutha indle nokunye ukungcola, kugxilwe ezibonelweni zaloko osekwake kwenzeka. Izingxoxo bezigxile ekubhekeni loko okufanele kube seqhulwini ocwaningweni nokwenza izindlela zokubambisana ekuncibilikiseni udoti wendle, ikakhulu emsebenzini osahlongozwa womxhaso we-Grand Challenge Research Fund wase-United Kingdom.

Bekugxilwe ezindleleni ezintsha zokwenza imikhiqizo ewusizo neyongayo kadoti wendle. Kube nohambo oluya e-Black Soldier Fly Plant eSiphingo.

UDkt Santiago Septien Stringel wase-UKZN uthe: ‘I-Black Soldier Fly Plant yindawo yokuhlanza izibi zendle ezindlini ezincane ezisemabaleni (izindlu ezincane eziyimigodi). Udoti wendle udliwa yizimpethu zezimpukane ezimnyama, eziqhumayo bese zibulawa zingakabi yizimpukane eziphelele. Izimpethu ezibulawayo kube sekumuncwa amafutha kuzo angasebenza emikhakheni yokuzicwala nokukhiqiza amandla kagesi.

‘Inqwaba yaloko okusalayo inamaphrotheni angasetshenziswa ukuphakela imfuyo emapulazini. Ingcosana yezibi zendle esalayo ingasetshenziswa njengomquba noma isetshenziswe njengamalahle ngemva kokwenziwa kwawo,’ kusho u-Santiago.

UNks Ruth Cottingham weKhanyisa Projects uthe uhlomule lukhulu kulo mhlangano. ‘Kuhle ukuhlangana nabantu ubuso nobuso ukuqinisa ubudlelwano nabantu abasemkhakheni ofana nowakho nokuthekela ulwazi ngezindaba zokuhlanza udoti,’ kusho yena.

Amagama nesithombe: ngu-Zolile Duma


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Visiting Academic Speaks on Statistical Meta-Analysis

Visiting Academic Speaks on Statistical Meta-Analysis
Staff and students at a public talk on statistical meta-analysis.

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science on the Pietermaritzburg campus hosted visiting Professor Ding-Geng Chen who gave a talk on statistical meta-analysis.

Meta-analysis is a statistical analysis that combines the results of various scientific studies to test a hypothesis and reach a more reliable and efficient conclusion.

Chen is a Professor in Biostatistics in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health in the United States and a Distinguished Professor at the School of Social Work at the Wallace H Kuralt Centre at West Charlotte also in the United States.

Chen is also Chair of the DST-NRF-SAMRC SARChI, an extraordinary Professor in Biostatistics at the Department of Statistics at the University of Pretoria, and extraordinary Professor at the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at UKZN.

Given the wide applicability of meta-analysis in research, Chen’s talk attracted a wide audience of academics and students from an array of disciplines.

‘We would like to extend our gratitude to Professor Chen for giving a very informative talk and taking the time to share his research and meta-analysis methodologies,’ said UKZN’s Professor Henry Mwambi.

Words: Pumla Dlamini


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UKZN Supports Crazy Socks4Docs Campaign

UKZN Supports Crazy Socks4Docs Campaign
Mr Mpilo Sbusiso Bhengu showing solidarity for those living with depression and other mental challenges by supporting the #CrazySocks4Docs campaign.Click here for isiZulu version

UKZN Medical students supported the #CrazySocks4Docs (CS4D) campaign to show solidarity for all medical professionals and students living with depression and other mental challenges.

As part of the campaign, Falke, the Ithemba Foundation and Cipla donated 12 000 pairs of high quality, highly visible socks to medical professionals and students around South Africa.

The idea was to encourage as many participants as possible to wear the bright and mismatched socks on 7 June and post pictures of themselves and others on social media with the hash tag #CrazySocks4Docs and #ithembafoundation.

President of UKZN’s Medical School Student Representative Council, Mr Ali Mlambo, said CS4D awareness brought to light very important issues in the medical fraternity.

‘There are many factors that contribute to mental ill-health problems among students and also healthcare professionals so research in this area would help to positively influence approaches and interventions,’ said Mlambo.

‘I would like to see more targeted programmes to address mental health issues, starting with de-stigmatising the problem and encouraging sufferers to seek professional help, especially Black students, as well as programmes to raise awareness and educate students on how to protect and take better care of their mental health, and the creation of environments that promote good mental wellbeing,’ he said.

‘More emphasis is needed on traditional, spiritual and other alternative approaches to therapy.’

The mental strain on medical professionals working in South Africa is immense at times. It is well-documented that levels of depression and mental fatigue are particularly high among professionals who dedicate their lives to the treatment of others.

A Cape Town study titled: A Bitter Pill to Swallow, found that 30% of public primary healthcare doctors are living with moderate to severe depression. At the same time, it is estimated that around a third of South African Medical students have suicidal thoughts, and that over 6% of Medical students attempt suicide.

The #CrazySocks4Docs campaign, which aims to highlight such issues and give moral support to Medical professionals battling with mental health issues, was launched in Australia in 2017.

Falke SA group marketing executive Keaton Quarmby says that Falke is proud to support the initiative and help raise awareness of the pressure on doctors and health care professionals in South Africa and the impact it has on their well-being. ‘We would like to start a conversation and raise awareness and open dialogue around doctors with mental health issues, and encourage them to seek help if they need it.

Said Paul Miller, CEO of Cipla Medpro: ‘The #CrazySocks4Docs campaign is about highlighting the highly stressful nature of the medical profession and reminding doctors that they must also ask for help when they need medical care – whether it is physical or mental. We want to help reshape the culture of the medical industry and show doctors that their colleagues are there to give them support when they need it. At the same time, we also want to encourage the rest of the world to help take care of those who care for them.’

Said Ms Suzanne Stokes, student counsellor at UKZN’s College of Health Sciences: ‘Let’s make a difference and speak about the unspoken topic of mental health. Let’s show care for our carers!’

Supporting the campaign, fifth-year Medical student at UKZN, Mr Mpilo Sbusiso Bhengu said: ‘Your Mental Health Matters. Depression is real and it is not a shame to speak up and ask for help. Who do doctors turn to when they need help? Speak up, call for help and be the good doctor that you are destined to be!!!’

The Ithemba Foundation is a non-profit entity working to raise awareness about depression as a biological illness, and garner funding to support relevant research efforts.

If you or someone you know suffers from a mental health condition, or have suicidal thoughts and are in need of help, call the CIPLA 24-hour mental health helpline on 0800 456 789 or WhatsApp 076 882 2775 for free counselling.

Words: Lihle Sosibo


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Shining the Spotlight on Traditional Birth Attendants’ Role

Shining the Spotlight on Traditional Birth Attendants’ Role
Traditional birth attendants, traditional healers, and guest speakers at the IKS conference hosted by UKZN and DHEST.

In partnership with the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology (DHEST), UKZN hosted the first of its kind conference on the critical role played by traditional midwives - known as Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) - in communities around the country and in various developing countries.

The two-day conference themed: Restoring African Dignity through Traditional Birth Attendants, aimed to pave the way for ‘mapping the knowledge and skills of TBAs, and developing norms and standards against which their competencies can be assessed, thereby contributing to the formal recognition of the discipline’. This follows requests from TBAs to the government to formally recognise their work.

According to DHEST, while the majority of the country’s births take place in hospitals, traditional birth attendance continues to play a significant role in the lives of many rural communities, and forms an important part of indigenous knowledge-based sexual and reproductive healthcare systems. Despite this, the practice continues to suffer widespread marginalisation. 

The conference offered TBAs from around the country an opportunity to share knowledge, skills and experience on the challenges they face in carrying out their work, and to protect, promote and develop indigenous knowledge systems.

DHEST is the custodian of the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of the Indigenous Knowledge Bill that is expected to be enacted by the sixth Parliament. It aims to protect, archive and develop South Africa’s vast storage of indigenous knowledge.

In her welcome address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Busisiwe Ncama said that the role of TBAs cannot be over-emphasised as they provide basic healthcare, support and advice to pregnant women in their communities, especially in rural and remote areas where health services are under resourced. She added that they bring with them rich knowledge and years of experience gained from their ancestors.

Ncama commended DHEST and the University’s Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (CIKS) for organising the conference and for challenging TBAs’ marginalisation.

Challenges raised by TBAs included the shortage or delay of ambulances as some call centres take long to respond; a lack of supplies and resources; the ill treatment they suffer at the hands of health workers when they take the mother and baby to hospital after the birth; and lack of compensation for their work. The rise in teenage pregnancies is another reason a number of young people are giving birth at home, as they are either too embarrassed to visit health clinics or want to hide the pregnancy from their parents.

Dr Mlungisi Cele from DHEST thanked the TBAs for being part of the conversation, and for their commitment and dedication to their work. He noted that many communities still rely on IKS methods to survive, and that TBAs in rural areas and informal settlements are part of that knowledge.

Cele added that the conference would hopefully, assist in ensuring that TBAs are formally and professionally recognised like nurses and doctors; this depends on all stakeholders working together. He said the Department will continue to monitor the implementation of the agreed norms and standards finalised at the conference.

Dr Andrea Mason from the Harmonic Connection Plus Institute in the USA, who spoke on reclaiming and embracing TBAs’ knowledge and African practices in the Diaspora, praised TBAs for holding on to tradition. She observed that African American traditional midwives have been stripped of their culture and family traditions adding that while legislation is important, holding on to traditions and protecting IKS is just as significant.

Ms Olive Tengera from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Rwanda looked at the challenges and prospects for TBA education in African Higher Education. She said the lack of support as well as other resources are some of the challenges faced by TBAs in Rwanda. She noted the need for linkages between TBAs and the health system and for countries to get together to share best practices.

As the way forward, DHEST will consolidate the challenges noted during the conference and facilitate the discussion with other partner departments. Since the norms and standards were validated during the conference, DHEST will continue to launch the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) pilot process in KwaZulu-Natal; and the finalisation of the norms and standards in all provinces will continue noting the budgetary constraints.

Words: Sithembile Shabangu

Photographs: Albert Hirasen


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Isifundiswa KwezesiNtu Siwine i-Ed Bruner Book Prize

Isifundiswa KwezesiNtu Siwine i-Ed Bruner Book Prize
Usolwazi Sabine Marschall nencwadi yakhe eklonyelisiwe.Click here for English version

USolwazi Sabine Marschall weSikole Sezifundo Ngenhlalo yoMphakathi uthole umklomelo i-Ed Bruner Book Prize ngencwadi yakhe ethi: Tourism and Memories of Home: Migrants, Displaced People, Exiles and Diasporic Communities.

Lo mklomelo uwunikwe yi-Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association (i-ATIG).

‘Njengomuntu oyigoduka nomuntu othanda ukuvakasha, eminyakeni embalwa edlule ngacabanga indaba yothando lwami lwezindawo ezingichazayo ezake zaba mqoka kimi, kusukela emakhaya ami akudala, izikole engafunda kuzo nezinye izindawo ezimqoka,’ kusho u-Marschall. ‘Kwangithinta kakhulu, kwamnandi ukukhumbula izikhathi zakudala nezinto engangizibona, imisindo yakudala, namaphunga akudala.’

Njengomcwaningi wezokuvakasha, wayezibuza ukuthi abanye abantu kubathatha izinga elingakanani ukuhamba ezinyathelweni zabo zakudala nokuthi ngabe bake baluthatha yini uhambo olunjalo.

I-Tourism and Memories of Home ibheka uhambo lwabantu olunjalo beya emakhaya abo akudala nawemicabango yabo noma emakhaya abo njengamagoduka, ababaleki, nabasekudingisweni. Ikhombisa ukuxhumana phakathi kwabantu, abakukhumbulayo nemvelaphi yabo nokuthi ibakhuthaza kangakanani abantu baseNtshonalanga nakwezinye izindawo ukuthi bathathe uhambo ‘olubuyela ekhaya’ ngisho bona bengaziboni beyi‘zihambi’.

Ucwaningonto oluningi encwadini lukhombisa ukuthi izihambi ziziqhelelanisa kanjani nezindawo zokuvakasha nezindlela zazo zokwenza, ngokwesiqu nokwemvelaphi, ekuqondeni uhambo lwazo lokugoduka noma ukuvakashela ekhaya.

U-Marschall uthe: ‘I-Tourism and Memories of Home iphetha ngesahluko sika-Nelson Graburn esithi Home, Travel, Memory and Anthropology, okuyisahluko esimnandi esihlanganisa ngobuchule izindikimba zencwadi nemicabango yomuntu ngohambo lokugoduka impilo yomuntu yonke.’

Amagama nesithombe: ngu-Melissa Mungroo


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Aspiring Legal Practitioners Impress Judges at Moot Court Competition

Aspiring Legal Practitioners Impress Judges at Moot Court Competition
2019 Moot Court Competition participants with UKZN’s School of Law staff and final-year students.

UKZN’s School of Law, in partnership with the Luthuli Museum, hosted the annual Mini-Moot Court Competition for Grade 10, 11 and 12 high school pupils who hope to follow a career in Law.

The competition involved youngsters from underprivileged schools in the Groutville Community in KwaZulu-Natal - where the homestead of Chief Albert Luthuli and the Luthuli Museum are located - presenting oral arguments to the court.

The exercise aimed to create awareness about the justice system and encourage learners to study towards entering the Law profession.

A team of fourth-year Street Law students under the supervision of lecturer, Ms Janine Hicks, trained the learners on appropriate legal content and how to make written and oral arguments to assist them in their bid for selection to compete in the national moot competition, run by the Department of Basic Education.

Those selected presented arguments in a hypothetical court case in which a 15-year-old learner suspended from school, challenges the constitutionality of the school’s code of conduct. Some of the competition contestants were tasked to stand as representatives for the applicant, arguing that the code of conduct was unconstitutional and violated the learner’s right to equality and education, while others represented the school.

Announcing the competition winner, Dean and Head of UKZN’s School of Law, Professor Managay Reddi, said the contestants were all winners and should be very proud of the work they put in to make the event a success. ‘We (the judges) are all very impressed by your eloquence and knowledge,’ said Reddi.

The overall winner was Ms Sthokozile Nyembe of Groutville Secondary School, who thanked UKZN, the Luthuli Museum and her school for helping her - through the competition - gain new knowledge and open her mind about the prospect of a career in Law. ‘It was a stressful but great experience which helped improve my public speaking skills,’ said Nyembe.

Reddi presented Nyembe with a R20 000 bursary to study Law at UKZN.

Nyembe now goes on to deliver an address at the Annual Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture at UKZN.

The prize for the best overall team was awarded to Nyembe and her Groutville Secondary School colleague, Mr Lindokuhle Dlamini.

Fairbreeze Secondary School teacher Ms Anusha Jairam thanked the Luthuli Museum and UKZN. ‘This is an excellent initiative and a great empowerment tool for our learners. Many are unsure of what expect going forward and the moot competition gives them insight to the Law profession and exposure to what to expect when they enrol.’

All participating learners submitted legal essays to the Department of Basic Education from which they will be considered for selection to the KwaZulu-Natal team to compete in a provincial schools moot competition.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied


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Isifundiswa Siyazigqaja Ngekhono Lokucwaninga Elisezingeni Eliphezulu Ngemuva Kohambo LwaseMelika

Isifundiswa Siyazigqaja Ngekhono Lokucwaninga Elisezingeni Eliphezulu Ngemuva Kohambo LwaseMelika
USolwazi Andrew Green esohambweni lwakhe lwaseMelika e-Bay of Fundy, edume nge“koMkhulu longoti bezimo zasolwandle”.Click here for English version

USolwazi Andrew Green uthi uyaziqhenya ngezinga lokucwaninga lwezikhungo zaseNingizimu Afrika ngemva kohambo lwakhe lwaseMelika lwe-Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar Program (i-FVRSP).

USolwazi Green, oyiNhloko yoPhiko lwezoCwaningo ngoMumomhlaba Ngaphansi koLwandle eSikoleni sezeSayensi yeZolimo, ezoMhlaba neMvelo (i-SAEES), uvakashele izikhungo eziningi eMelika ngenkathi ekhona.

Lo mshikashika waqala ngowezi-2013 ngenkathi u-Green evakashelwe yi-Fulbright Scholar, okwamkhuthaza ukuthi naye afake isicelo sokuba kulolu hlelo oluhlonishwayo lwe-FVRSP.

Ngokuhamba kwesikhathi waba wusokhaya kunengqungquthela yomhlaba ngoshintsho esimweni solwandle lapho kwakudingidwa izihloko eziningi ezingasetshenziswa yithimba lakhe olwazini locwaningo eNingizimu Afrika, wase ebheka igalelo i-FVRSP engaba nalo kulolo cwaningo.

‘Izibonelo zaseNingizimu Afrika naseMelika esizisebenzisayo ukunqanda ukusondela kolwandle zifana ngezindlela eziningi kanti okumqoka kakhulu wukwehluka kwazo, okwasiza ukuthi sibone kahle isimo somhlaba wonke kusukela kwaqala le nselelo,’ kusho u-Green.

Ukusebenzisa kwakhe i-FVRSP kwaba yimpumelelo, kanti u-Green uthe isikhathi asihlala e-University of Maine, e-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution nase-United States Geological Survey (e-USGS) kusukela ngoMandulo kuya kuZibandlela ngonyaka odlule sathela izithelo.

Okwathatha u-Green ngalolu hambo kwaba wukubona ukuwa kweqhwa e-White Mountains nokubona ungqoqwana izinsuku ezintathu ngenkathi kunesichotho e-New Hampshire.

Okunye okwamchaza kwaba yithuba lokusebenza e-USGS, lapho athathwa khona ukunikezwa imvume yokusebenzisa imishini esezingeni eliphezulu nosizo lwezisebenzi zakhona uma kubuzwa imibuzo noma kunezinkulumo-mpikiswano.

U-Green wathanda nokwehla ngesihlenga e-Penobscot River ohambweni labafundi abangakabi naziqu e-University of Maine.

‘Ngathola abangani nabalingani abaningi eMelika,’ kusho u-Green, okholwa wukuthi lobo budlelwano nososayensi abahlonishwayo endimeni yezokucwaninga isimo samanzi kuzomsiza ocwaningweni lwakhe kwezesayensi.

‘Ngithole ukuthi izinga lethu locwaningo, amakhono engiwafundise abafundi bami e-UKZN nemiphumela yomsebenzi wethu ngemali encane esinayo kusezingeni elilingana nezikhungo ezihlonishwayo zaseMelika. Ngibuye ngeneme ngezinga lomsebenzi wethu eNingizimu Afrika namathuba ekusasa laseNingizimu Afrika kwezoMumomhlaba Ngaphansi koLwandle.

‘Ngikholwa wukuthi senza okusezingeni elilinganayo nelaseMelika, ikakhulukazi uma ubheka isimo sesabelomali esisebenza ngaso. Ngiyaziqhenya ngalokho, ngiziqhenya kakhulu ngokuthi abantu baseNingizimu Afrika bakwazi ukusebenza ngalokho abanakho. Sengiziqhenya kakhulu ngokuba ngowaseNingizimu Afrika kusukela ngibuyile. ’

Amagama: ngu-Christine Cuénod

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


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School of Arts Hosts Celebration for Umakhweyana Bow Teacher

School of Arts Hosts Celebration for <em>Umakhweyana</em> Bow Teacher
Highlights from Brother Clement Sithole’s celebratory event.

The Music Discipline at the School of Arts hosted a celebration for its longstanding umakhweyana bow teacher, Brother Clement Sithole.

The event was held in partnership with the National Arts Council, the UKZN African Music Project and the KwaZulu-Natal United Music Industry Association (KUMISA).

The celebration was initiated by the Director of the African Music Project at UKZN, Dr Patricia Opondo, who brought Sithole from the Inkamana Abbey in 1997 to teach the indigenous instrument at the University. ‘Brother Clement is a multi-faceted legend who has played an important role in my life. He is both a care-giver, a nurturer, but also an outstanding instrument-maker. His music is a gift to us all,’ said Opondo.

Dean and Head of the School Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa praised Sithole for his unwavering support of African culture in the School and beyond. ‘We are honoured to know you and share in your knowledge. We wish you well,’ said Hlongwa.

KUMISA General Manager, Mr Thando Nyameni, thanked Sithole for ‘instilling the values of African pride in UKZN students and continuing to promote indigenous music.’

The umakhweyana is a single-stringed, braced bow, usually associated with young unmarried women who play it when performing daily chores or alone in the evenings when missing loved ones. The use of this instrument has become rare, following the introduction of Western musical instruments such as the guitar into Zulu music.

Sithole said he was both happy and proud and thanked everyone for recognising his contributions. ‘This is a God-given gift. Teaching the umakhweyana is one of my duties as a Benedictine monk to make the world civilised,’ he said. ‘I have taught many students to play the instrument and it is rewarding to see them do so. I hope that they continue to showcase the wonder of the bow. They must hold onto their culture and take pride in it. This knowledge needs to live on.’

Sithole’s nephew, attorney Mr Benedict Buthelezi, spoke highly of his uncle and his passion for the bow, education, African culture and the environment. He shared humorous anecdotes about Sithole’s life as well as his earliest recollections of his uncle and his spiritual pursuits. ‘It brings me such joy to see the influence that my uncle has had on so many people. He does so much for so many…never expecting anything in return. Long live my uncle.’

Two documentary films on Sithole - The Life of Bro Clement Sithole and Passing on the Baton – which were made by UKZN alumni, Mr Khulekani Zondi, Mr Lebogang Sejamoholo, Mr Nhlakanipho Ngcobo and Mr Siphamandla Ngcobo, were screened at the event.

Said Dr Astrid Treffry-Goatley, who completed her master’s thesis and self-published a biography on Sithole: ‘Meeting Brother Clement was an important turning point in my life. I grew up in a middle-class society with little exposure to the daily struggle for food, upliftment, health and education that so many South Africans experience. My contact with Brother Clement and the Inyoni Kayiphumuli Children’s Home opened my eyes to a very different reality.’

Treffry-Goatley noted the tremendous effort Sithole had made throughout his life to ensure the survival of indigenous Zulu musical forms.

One of his students, Ms Thabsile Nkosi, said: ‘It is an honour to be taught the umakhweyana by Brother Clement. I love learning from him and I hope to teach others about the bow, especially maidens who participate in the Reed Dance. This is something that we’ll treasure as part of Zulu culture.’

Many of Sithole’s students paid tribute to the living legend by performing original compositions and sharing memories of him. The Inyoni Kayiphumuli (The Bird that Never Rests) children’s home that Sithole founded performed an Indlamu item that was curated by Mr Iphupho Lethu. Sithole’s brothers from the Inkamana Abbey in Vryheid performed Gregorian Chants in his honour.

Sithole joined his African Music and Dance (AMD) students onstage for a performance that led to a standing ovation.

It was also announced by Opondo that a Book of Tributes of the AMD programme would be conceptualised and designed in the upcoming months. One of its major features would be on Sithole.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Val Adamson and Andile Ndlovu


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Lecturers and Tutors Honoured at Culture Cluster Awards

Lecturers and Tutors Honoured at Culture Cluster Awards
Winners at the inaugural Culture Cluster Tutor Awards ceremony.

The Culture Cluster within the School of Social Sciences held its inaugural awards function for first semester contract staff who are tutors and lecturers on the Howard College campus.

Pioneer of the event, Cluster Leader: Culture (Anthropology and Tourism) Dr Maserole Kgari-Masondo, said: ‘This event is in line with the University’s strategic plan of empowerment and community involvement. The contract lecturers were requested to also engage in community involvement as part of their empowerment. Others were involved in our Cluster project: Honours Writing Project, and assisted honours students with their research.’

Award-winners included: Mr Philani Kuluse (Best Tutor Pietermaritzburg), and Dr Gabriel Gyang Darong (Best Contract Lecturer), while the overall winner was Mr Sandile Ntuli. Contract staff also received certificates of service and book prizes.

Discussing the awards function, Darong said: ‘This effort will strengthen the commitment of contract lecturers and tutors to their responsibilities, knowing that they are appreciated by the department. Appreciation, beyond salaries, goes a long way in building the spirit of a person in carrying out chosen or given responsibilities.’

Darong said the secret to his lecturing success was constant awareness of his privileged position, knowing that what he does contributes to what society becomes. ‘Students ought to have an open mind-set towards learning and to study with wholehearted dedication as just a small amount of effort can open all sorts of doors.’

Ntuli believes such events are important for tutors and staff because ‘when a person’s work is valued, productivity rises, and one is motivated to maintain and improve on work goals. People want to be respected and valued by others for their contribution because it makes them feel important and appreciated. I hope this will encourage other Colleges and disciplines to adopt the culture of honouring tutors,’ he said.

Ntuli’s message to other students is: ‘Believe in yourself. You have the ability to do any kind of work whatever it is, easy or tough.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Supplied


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Religion Student Presents Doctoral Research Findings at UCT Conference

Religion Student Presents Doctoral Research Findings at UCT Conference
PhD student, Mr Ntobeko Dlamini who presented his research findings at a conference at UCT.

PhD student in Religion Studies Mr Ntobeko Dlamini presented his research findings at a conference at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

The conference was themed: Autodidacts, Forgotten Thinkers, Silenced Women in 20th-Century South Africa.

Dlamini’s paper was titled: Inkosazana yamaWeseli : The Untold Story of the First Black Woman Ordained in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, the Rev Nikiwe Mbilini.

Dlamini spoke on the “black side” of the story of women being ordained in the Methodist Church, raising the forgotten and neglected history of Black women ministers. Dlamini explored the challenges faced by the Rev Nikiwe Mbilini - a Black woman minister at Harding in KwaZulu-Natal – and her contributions and achievements in her ministry.

He noted that it was never easy for Mbilini to minister in Harding. ‘The people she was sent to had never seen a woman minister before – ministry was perceived as a vocation for men only. She was single and in her early thirties when she was sent there. For her to be accepted, she had to cover her hair with a “doek” whenever she went in public or conducted services,’ said Dlamini.

He said according to Zulu culture when a person died in an accident, women were not allowed at the graveyard. ‘Nikiwe broke the barriers of culture because she buried people despite the restrictions set by cultural systems,’ said Dlamini. ‘She became known by various names, the best being Inkosazana yamaWeseli (the Methodist princess).

‘We remember the sacrifices of Inkosazana yamaWeseli and honour her contribution in the mission of women in ministry. Today, Nikiwe is retired and lives at her home in Cofimvaba.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Supplied


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