Talent “Mzukulu” Mbatha in Concert at UKZN

Talent “Mzukulu” Mbatha in Concert at UKZN
Talent “Mzukulu” Mbatha.

The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music proudly presented Talent “Mzukulu” Mbatha in concert with colleagues on 17 July.

Durban-born Mbatha is a versatile bassist, arranger, composer, producer, studio engineer and music lecturer, who derives his music style from a diverse range of influences, including Maskandi, Mbhaqanga, jazz, pop, contemporary rock, soul and fusion.

Spending a large part of his early life in northern KwaZulu-Natal, he grew up listening to musicians such as Mfaz’omnyama, Hhash’elimhlophe, Phuzekhemisi, Mfiliseni Magubane, and the Soul brothers who influenced him to approach even American standards with an African feel.

Mbatha, who began learning to play bass guitar aged 11, assembled his first jazz band in 2008 and since then has performed at events such as the Hazelmere Dam Jazz Festival, Ugu Jazz Festival, the Moratele Park festival as well as on international stages backing other artists.

His formal music education started after matric when he joined a music learnership group at the Bat Centre in Durban which helped him prepare him for study at UKZN where he obtained a Jazz Music Diploma, majoring in Music Performance and Production.

Mbatha has worked with many well-known artists including the multi-Grammy award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Dr Brian Thusi, Zakes Bantwini, Mondli Ngcobo, hip hop’s Kasi Rap General Zakwe, Duncan “Skuva”Mbambo”, Bongi Dube, Ntokozo Masinga, Mondli Ngcobo, Mfiliseni Magubane, and Mdu Mahlobo.

In 2016, Mbatha worked on his own Maskandi album titled Amathanga Omkakho through Mzukulutainment and toured around KwaZulu-Natal promoting it. He is currently in studio recording his second album. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K52VVUYqyFA)

Performing in concert with Mbatha at UKZN was Shemual Mahabeer and Sanele Phakathi (piano), Mxolisi Mdlalose (saxophone), Sbu Zondi (drums), Zoe Masuku (vocals), Thabo Sikhakhane (trumpet) and Mokgethisi Nkotsi (trombone).

Words: Thulile Zama

Photograph: Supplied


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UKZN Doctoral Candidate Attends Summer Research School in Norway

UKZN Doctoral Candidate Attends Summer Research School in Norway
UKZN’s Mr Anthony Maina (far right) with fellow Summer Research School participants (from left) Mr Benedikt Ehrenfels of Switzerland, Ms Sinafekesh Wolde of Germany and Mr George Afrifa of Ghana.

Information Systems and Technology doctoral candidate Mr Anthony Maina was one of the 100 PhD candidates selected from around the world to discuss and explore science advice with some of the best international practitioners at the University of Bergen’s Summer Research School in Norway.

The two-week research summer school created a platform for international lecturers and postgraduate students to explore interactions between research, policy and diplomacy to fulfil the Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Maina – whose research supervised by Dr Upasana Singh relates to the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in healthcare - participated in the multidisciplinary working group titled: Agenda 2030: Poverty, Climate Change and Sustainability.

‘The panel’s objective was to analyse the theoretical and empirical links of challenges such as poverty, inequality and climate change using a scientific framework based on transdisciplinary research and sustainability science,’ said Maina.

‘Revaluation of the global agenda on sustainable development enabled me to see the bigger picture which every research problem ought to address. It was a joy to be part of a multidisciplinary team and to discuss various aspects of my research and the importance of communicating effectively about my work, especially with people from outside my discipline,’ he added.

Maina also presented a two-minute presentation on how his current research contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals.

‘Apart from medical equipment and drugs, eHealth is acknowledged as the third pillar that contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services,’ said Maina. ‘I hope that my research will not only contribute to a greater understanding of the pivotal role that emergent ICTs can play in healthcare but also address how to bridge the existing policy and regulatory gaps that may curtail introduction of these technologies,’ he said.

Looking to the future, Maina hopes his research will contribute towards a more effective national eHealth policy and regulatory framework in Kenya thus promoting the introduction of emergent ICTs, specifically the Internet of Things and big data technologies, in health service delivery.’

Words: Thandiwe Jumo

Photograph: Supplied


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Contribution to Dental Public Health Earns Academic International Recognition

Contribution to Dental Public Health Earns Academic International Recognition
Professor Shenuka Singh received the Excellence in Dental Public Health Award at a dentistry summit.Click here for isiZulu version

UKZN’s Professor Shenuka Singh has received an international award at a dentistry summit organised by the International Venus Foundation in Chennai, India, for her contribution to dental public health.

Singh got the Excellence in Dental Public Health Award and was also a guest of honour and keynote speaker at the summit.

Her presentation titled: Self-Reported Oral Health Status: Perspectives of Patients Undergoing Therapy for Cancer of the Head and Neck Region, in the eThekwini District, was co-authored with her master’s graduate, Dr Saleenna Nujoo-Bauluck.

Singh shared the platform with other award winners from India, Saudi Arabia, Australia and France.

She described the experience as: ‘Exhilarating yet humbling. As a guest of honour, I was asked to light the lamp of goodwill and I had a shawl placed over my shoulders. This cultural and social gesture signifies the immense respect for and dignity given to a guest in India.’

Singh started research supervision in the field of dental public health at UKZN in 2011 and is still actively involved in it. She published papers in local and international journals and has presented papers at both local and international conferences. Apart from dentistry, she carved a niche in research ethics both within UKZN and at a national level.

Singh is an appointed member of the National Health Research Ethics Council in South Africa (2016-2019) and Chair of the Norms and Standards Committee within NHREC. She was appointed Research Ethics Chair: Council for Science and Industry Research in South Africa (CSIR REC R&D: 2015-2018) and was the appointed Research Ethics Chair for the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee at UKZN (2014-2018).

Singh is also very involved in teaching and learning and believes that ‘life-long learning and research requires learning the unknown and unlearning the known’.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied


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Fine Arts PhD Student Receives Prestigious Research Award

Fine Arts PhD Student Receives Prestigious Research Award
Ms May Okafor received the 2019 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Award.

Fine Arts PhD student at the Centre for Visual Art (CVA) on the Pietermaritzburg campus, Ms May Okafor, has received the 2019 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Award from the African Critical Inquiry Programme.

The award supports African doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled at South African universities.

Okafor’s research for her project: Firing: Exploring the Ceramic Process as Rite of Passagewill include work with Zulu potters in South Africa and Ushafa potters in Nigeria as well as her own creative ceramic work.

‘It feels great to get the award,’ said Okafor. ‘I am particularly excited because, beyond monetary benefits, the award launches one into an international intellectual community that continuously engages the recipient. The award is a “pat” on the back that helps students push through the rigors of research. It gives one earnest hope that the entire study is already being appreciated by a wider community of researchers outside one’s immediate discipline, institution and country. The research is therefore worthwhile and, for me, adventurous.’

Okafor’s interest in the processes of pottery making among indigenous potters led her to go beyond the finished product to reconsider the performative “art” and “act” of creating potteries. ‘In several native cultures the process of creating pottery is likened to childbirth - it can also suggest a people’s state of being. Pottery wares are seen as having humanoid qualities,’ she said.

Combining her practice as a ceramic artist and research with Zulu potters in South Africa and Ushafa potters in Nigeria - both of whom also practice initiation rites - the study will explore possible parallels between pottery/ceramics and rites of passage with a focus on their transitional phases of firing and liminality.

Data collection will be done through contextual and documentary reviews, fieldwork, and studio experiments. Deploying rites of passage theories, Firing: Exploring the Ceramic Process as Rite of Passage will bring fresh perspectives to the ways in which ceramics practice can be viewed, re-interpreted, and also present broader narratives for self-expressions.

The project will result in both a written dissertation as well as an exhibition and catalogue of visual art works.

She had this advice for students: ‘Engage in research more passionately, believe in what you are doing, and never be afraid to take bold steps with your research ideas. If you encounter obstacles along the way, then you have discovered what route not to follow. And when your steps lead you to unearth new ideas in your study, Eureka - you have discovered a path! You will be recognised and appreciated.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Supplied


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UKZN Alumnus and Jazz Singer in Concert in Durban

UKZN Alumnus and Jazz Singer in Concert in Durban
UKZN alumnus and jazz singer, Thulile Zama.

Durban vocalist Thulile Zama, who recently completed her BA (Honours) degree at UKZN, will perform at the Jazzy Rainbow club in Durban on 27 July.

Zama, lead vocalist of the successful all women band Heels Over Head, is well known and respected on the South African jazz circuit while her talents have also led to her performing in Hamburg, and Berlin in Germany and in New Orleans in the United States.

The Durban concert will also showcase the Durban Photographers Fotobooth’s Project Backdrop. Fotobooth has donated backdrop fabrics to fashion designers who will customise outfits for musicians to wear. Fotobooth will photograph the final designs in a personalised portrait session.

The fashion designer paired with Zama is the talented Zandile Meyiwa who owns Mimosa Fashion House.

Other musicians previously photographed by Fotobooth who are a part of the Backdrop project and will get customised outfits from talented Durban designers are Madala Kunene, Holly Wasserfall, Nkanyezee Zion Mndini, Annalyzer Muziq Ntsane, Sun Xa Experiment, Zoe Moleelekwa and Lerato Lichaba.

The doors at Jazzy Rainbow at 93 Simiso Road in Morningside open at 19h00 on Saturday, 27 July, with music starting at 20h30. Entrance costs R100 reducing to R70 for students.

To book phone: 031 303 8398 or email: jazzyrainbow@mweb.co.za

Words: ndabaonline

Photograph: Supplied


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UKZN Lecturer Nominated for Film Award

UKZN Lecturer Nominated for Film Award
Mr Mzwandile Makhanya.

Film and Media Studies lecturer in the School of Arts Mr Mzwandile Makhanya has been nominated for a 2019 Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Film and Television Award in the Best Student Film category.

The awards, which started in 2013 to promote KwaZulu-Natal talent, are named after Sabela who was South Africa’s first Black film director.

The nominated movie UBIZO is about a shy and self-conscious theatre caretaker who has to overcome his greatest fears in order to fight for his biggest dream of becoming a professional dancer.

‘The idea for the movie actually came from my 2018 film honours student Natalia Bombala who was at UKZN on the Erasmus Mundus Programme on an exchange programme from the Humboldt University in Berlin,’ said Makhanya.

‘As a lecturer, I was listed as a co-producer. The movie was produced as part of the honours course, which is a very participatory programme with the whole class getting very involved in each student’s film production.’

His advice to other aspiring filmmakers is to never give up. ‘Without commitment, you will never start. But more importantly, without consistency, you will never finish. It is not easy. Keep working, keep striving. Fall down seven times, get up eight! Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.’

Asked about his future plans, Makhanya said: ‘The vision is to produce films that will put KwaZulu-Natal on the national and international map.’

Makhanya thanked students Ms Natalia Bombala, Mr Andile Biyase, Ms Yonela Ndzeku, Ms Nokwanda Nkabini, Mr Mthokozisi Zungu, Ms Nothando Mbhele and Mr Siphokazi Shazi. ‘They were all tireless in efforts to support one another. This nomination is also due to the contribution of other UKZN individuals who were not film students, but contributed a lot. My special thanks to Mr Andile Khumalo and Mr Mlondi Ngubane.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Supplied


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I-Enactus yase-UKZN Iphume Isithathu Kumqhudelwano kaZwelonke

I-Enactus yase-UKZN Iphume Isithathu Kumqhudelwano kaZwelonke
Omunye wabeluleki emKhakheni, uMnu Muzomuhle Mhlongo, namalungu e-Enactus yase-UKZN emqhudelwaneni kazwelonke e-Sandton Convention Centre.Click here for English version

Ithimba le-Enactus yase-UKZN liphume isithathu labambana ne-University of Pretoria ne-Durban University of Technology emqhudelwaneni kazwelonke wale nhlangano esiza abantu obuseGoli.

I-Enactus ichazwa ‘njengenkundla enkulu emhlabeni yokufunda ngokwenza nokucija abaholi bezamabhizinisi nomphakathi’. Abaholi bale nhlangano kwezamabhizinisi, ezemfundo nezabafundi bahlanganiswa wumbono wokwenza ngcono izinto emhlabeni.

Ngosuku lokuqala i-UKZN iqhudelane namathimba ase-University of Limpopo, i-Cape Peninsula University of Technology ne-Rhodes University. Ubunzima umqhudelwano kodwa i-UKZN yedlulela esigabeni esindulela esamanqamu, lapho iqhudelane khona ne-Cape Peninsula University of Technology, i-Durban University of Technology ne-University of Venda.

Ngemva kokuhlunga obekunzima, i-UKZN idlulele kowamanqamu, lapho ishaye into ecokeme iqeda endaweni yesithathu.

Kuyo yonke imincintiswano, ithimba lase-UKZN ligqame ngokucula nokudansa okuthathe amehlo abantu, kwathi amalungu alo anqoba imiklomelo eyehlukene eseceleni. UMengameli we-UKZN Enactus wangowezi-2018/19, uMnu Siphesihle Sekeleni, uklonyeliswe nge-Evan Paulos Leadership Excellence Award yangowezi-2019.

Amalungu e-Enactus yase-UKZN adumele ngomphumela kodwa akhuthazeka ngemuva kwamazwi kaMnu Thomas Radebe wodumo lezinkulumo ezakhayo nezikhuthazayo. URadebe uthe: ‘Kufanele ukuthi nidumale kodwa akufanele nidangale,’ wathi amalungu awaphinde amagama akhe athi: ‘Ukuba phakathi kompetha kusho ukuthi singompetha’.

Amagama: NguNomqhele JD Dube


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UKZN Campus to Campus a Celebration of a Healthy Lifestyle

UKZN Campus to Campus a Celebration of a Healthy Lifestyle
UKZN prepares for the Campus to Campus 10km race from Howard College campus to Westville campus and the 5km fun run taking place on the Westville campus to be held on Sunday 28 July.

University staff, students and alumni are reminded to register and take part in the UKZN Campus to Campus 10km race and 5km fun run which takes place on Sunday, 28 July from Howard College campus to Westville campus.

UKZN’s Executive Director of Corporate Relations, Mr Ashton Bodrick said he is looking forward to an exciting day at this year’s Campus to Campus event.

‘I am confident this year’s UKZN Campus to Campus is going to establish the race as one of the must-do events on the road-running calendar,’ said Bodrick. ‘This race will set the tone for many more Campus to Campus races to come and enhance the spirit of UKZN’s tag line: “Inspiring Greatness.”

‘The race event and the UNAIDS Global 90-90-90 strategy which we support, both aim to promote a healthy lifestyle, therefore, we invite the UKZN community, as well as the public at large, to show their support - and bring along friends and family and have a great day of fun!

‘We encourage all the 5km fun runners to dress to the theme of this year’s event, #1LoveUKZN, and contribute to a day of fun.’

In addition to cash prizes and medals for the 10km race, all participants will qualify for several lucky draw hampers.

Please note:

The 10km race starts at the Howard College campus. Runners will then wind their way through the Westridge residential area to King Cetshwayo Highway, through Sherwood on to Devon Terrace and through the Westwood suburbs, leading to the Westville campus’ University road entrance where the longer event finishes on the sports fields.

Runners can enter at any Pick n Pay Store or via www.finishtime.co.za. Entries for the 10km close on 22 July at 10h00. No 10km entries will be taken on the day of the race. All 10km entrants get free t-shirts. UKZN registered students can enter the 10km race for free (enter via www.ukzn.ac.za).

The 5km fun run takes place on the Westville campus only. It starts at the campus’ Main Hall (MH Joosub Hall) and finishes on the campus’ sports fields.

Entry to the Fun Run is free and participants are encouraged to dress to the theme of #1LoveUKZN. Free t-shirts will be given to the first 250 runners who register for the Fun Run.

Registration, race number and race pack collection will be as follows: Student Union, Pietermaritzburg campus on Wednesday, 24 July; Student Union, Howard College campus on Thursday, 25 July; Main Hall, Westville campus on Friday, July 26; and Admin Building (MW Makgoba Building), Westville campus on Saturday 27 July.

As much as the race is about people having fun and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it is also in support of the United Nations AIDS Global 90-90-90 strategy which aims to assist eradicating the worldwide AIDS epidemic. The Global 90-90-90 strategy is an ambitious UNAIDS treatment campaign which targets 2020 as the year in which 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained anti-retroviral therapy; and 90% of all people receiving anti-retroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

More information at www.ukzn.ac.za and all race enquiries to campus2campus@ukzn.ac.za

For those participating, click here for the Do’s and Don’t’s before and on the day of the race.

Words: ndabaonline

Photograph: Supplied


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UKZN Academic Co-edits Special Issue of Sex Education Journal

UKZN Academic Co-edits Special Issue of <em>Sex Education</em> Journal
Professor Deevia Bhana (right) with her former student Ms Nicolette Carboni whose work also appears in the Sex Education journal.

Professor Deevia Bhana co-edited the July 2019 issue of the Sex Education journal, a special issue focusing on sex, sexuality and education in South Africa.

Bhana co-edited the journal with Professor Mary Crewe of the University of Pretoria, and Professor Peter Aggleton of the University of New South Wales in Australia.

The themed issue seeks to answer some of the big questions concerning how sex, sexualities and education continue to be constructed in South Africa.

Issues addressed include South African contributions to LGBT education internationally, negotiating femininity in the context of sexually explicit materials, male teachers and same-sex desire, feminine sexual desire and shame in the classroom, and the use of innovative methods such as photovoice in working with orphans to explore sexual violence.

The publication has grown steadily over the years to become one of the leading journals internationally in the field. 

Said Bhana: ‘The journal recognises that sex education takes place in a range of contexts - at home, in schools, through the media and in the community.’ 

Sex Education welcomes papers focusing on one or more of these settings.

A symposium and launch of the special issue took place recently with a keynote address by the Dean and Head of UKZN’s School of Education Professor Thabo Msibi. The event was attended by academics from all disciplines, including Education, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Human Geography, and Gender Studies.

The special guest for the event was Professor Julia Hirst of Sheffield Hallam University in England. 

The entire special issue is available under open access for the month of July.

Access the latest edition of Sex Education here

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Supplied


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Fulbright Scholarships Awarded to Education Academics

Fulbright Scholarships Awarded to Education Academics
Dr Zanele Ndlovu and Dr Cedric Mpungose.

Two academics at the School of Education, Dr Cedric Mpungose and Dr Zanele Ndlovu have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships to attend Denver University in Colorado in the United States next year.

Ndlovu, who will conduct innovative research in the field of Mathematics education while in the US, is currently funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) for study on the use of error analysis to improve pre-service mathematics subject matter knowledge.

She will also analyse data collection since 2017 from three teacher training institutions in KwaZulu-Natal and write papers based on her findings.

‘This is a chance for me to develop networks with international scholars and become a renowned scholar myself,’ said Ndlovu. ‘I believe there are still gaps in knowledge production in the field of mathematics education and hope through the scholarship to be able to generate research to contribute and bridge the gap.’

Mpungose will focus on the use of technology-based platforms such as Moodle and emerging platforms like ZOOM, FaceTime, WhatsApp and Skype for research as well as teaching and learning. ‘Visiting the research group in Denver will also assist in building international relations,’ he said.

He hopes to promote African scholarship by positioning his research to draw first from African experience before the global experience of using technology-based environments. 

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Supplied


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I-UKZN Embukisweni i-EDHE Lekgotla 2019 Entrevolution

I-UKZN Embukisweni i-EDHE Lekgotla 2019 Entrevolution
Itafula lombukiso lase-UKZN kuLekgotla yoMnyango wezeMfundo ePhakeme i-EDHE Lekgotla 2019 Entrevolution e-Durban ICC.Click here for English version

UMnyango wezeMfundo ePhakeme nezokuQeqesha (i-DHET) ne-Universities South Africa (i-USAf) ngokubambisana bebenohlelo i-Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (i-EDHE) Lekgotla 2019 Entrevoluton, e-Durban ICC.

Lo mcimbi osihloko sawo besithi Entrepreneurship Through the Arts, ubenendathane yezinhlelo zezinsuku ezine ngokuhlanganyela ne-Durban University of Technology (i-DUT) ne-British Council, wesekwe yi-UKZN.

ILekgotla ivulwe yiqembu elicula umculo wesiNtu nelishaya ingoma evuthayo laseSikoleni Sobuciko, Ikusasa Lethu,elicijwe wuDkt Patricia Opondo.

ILekgotla, obekungeyesithathu ngokuhlelwa wuMnyango wezeMfundo ePhakeme ngenhloso yokushintsha izinto ezithinta amabhizinisi kuwo wonke amanyuvesi aseNingizimu Afrika, ibihanjelwe yizicukuthwane ezinjengoNgqongqoshe weMfundo ePhakeme uDkt Blade Nzimande neMeya eBambile kaMasipala waseThekwini uNkk Fawzia Peer.

ILekgotla ibigcwele izinkulumo ezingezihloko ezehlukene ezithinta amanyuvesi nenselelo yawo yokuba ngamabhizinisi, nokukhuthaza abafundi ukuthi babe ngosomabhizinisi, ngokwezinhlelo nokwenza, ukuphathwa kwawo, izinto ezithinta ubunikazi bomqondo nezindawo zokufukamela osomabhizinisi.

Abafundisa e-UKZN abangoDk Thea van der Westhuizen noNks Malindi wakwa-Discipline of Management bahole izingxoxo ezithinta ezamabhizinisi, uhlelo lokufundisa, ezezinhlelo nokwenza nokufaka umqondo wezamabhizinisi kubafundi.

I-UKZN InQubate, ewuhlaka lwezinhlanu zoPhiko loCwaningo, isiza abafundi bafeze amaphupho abo ahlukile ukuthi abe ngamabhizinisi aphumelelayo ngokohlelo lwamakhono amabhizinisi olubizwa ngokuthi i-ENSPIRE. Lolu hlelo lunika abafundi ithuba lokuqala amabhizinisi besesenyuvesi. Iphini LeSekelashansela (lezoCwaningo) uSolwazi Deresh Ramjugernath lithe: ‘I-UKZN ihamba phambili kwezamabhizinisi abafundi ezweni ngokuba yinyuvesi yokuqala eNingizimu Afrika ukusungula inqubomgomo yezamabhizinisi abafundi ngokohlelo lwe-ENSPIRE ngaphansi kwe-InQubate.’

I-ENSPIRE ihlanganisa isigaba sokuthuthukisa ibhizinisi lapho abafundi beqeqeshwa khona ngokuthi ulwenza kanjani uhlelo lokuqala ibhizinisi, nesigaba sokuphatha ibhizinisi, bathi beqeqeshwa babe beqhuba ibhizinisi bexhaswe yi-UKZN.

‘Ngale kokuthuthukisa amabhizinisi abafundi nohlelo lwe-UKZN lokuba yinyuvesi yamabhizinisi, i-InQubate ihola uhlelo lokuthuthukiswa kwamabhizinisi abafundi elingungqaphambili ophikweni lwase-Westville kanti sihlela ukuthi kube sekuphelile ngowezi-2010,’ kusho uNks Suvina Singh, umQondisi we-InQubate e-UKZN.

Izinhlelo Zolwazi Lwendabuko (i-IKS) zase-UKZN, ezigxile ekulapheni ngemithi yesiNtu yase-Africa, ikhangise ngomsebenzi kaNkk Zandile Mbambo, owelapha ngamakhambi esiNtu nonenkampani ekhiqiza izinto zokwelapha ngesiNtu ezinezithako zemvelo. UNkk Mbambo uthi izinhlobo zezitshalo akufanele azisebenzise uzibona ‘ngesipho samaphupho nezibonakaliso’ bese enza imikhiqizo ngosizo lwe-IKS. ‘I-IKS ingisizile yangiqeqesha njengomelaphi wendabuko, yangisiza ngakwazi ukuqala ibhizinisi lami, ngakwazi ukuzimela njengosomabhizinisi,’ kusho yena.

Emikhiqizweni kaNkk Mbambo kukhona imithi yokugcoba eqeda “umzimba omubi”, imithi yokuqeda izinhlungu, imithi yokukhuculula isikhumba, imithi eyenza amagwebu yokugeza, imithi yokugcoba, amafutha okubhucabhuca nemithi yemvelo yokuhlanza izandla.

Abanye base-UKZN ababekhona embukisweni bekukhona owayengumfundi wakhona uSesethu ‘Sethu’ Sidzamba, umsunguli weWa Azania Aroma, okuyinkampani yamakha ekhiqiza nedayisa amakha aphambili kepha angabizi no-Itumeleng Masa, owumfundi nomthwebuli ongumnikazi we-Tudups Photography.

Amagama: NguHlengiwe Precious Khwela

Izithombe: ngu-Itumeleng Masa


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Congress Award for PhD Candidate’s Presentation on Nutrient Enrichment in Grasslands

Congress Award for PhD Candidate’s Presentation on Nutrient Enrichment in Grasslands
Ms Naledi Zama receiving her award from GSSA past president, Dr Tony Swemmer.

Doctoral candidate Ms Naledi Zama won the award for the best platform presentation by a young scientist at the Grassland Society of Southern Africa’s (GSSA) 54th Annual Congress in Upington.

Zama, who is completing her studies at UKZN through the Agricultural Research Council’s (ARC) Professional Development Programme, is being supervised by Professor Kevin Kirkman, Dr Michelle Tedder and Dr Ntuthuko Mkhize.

Her research for a PhD in Grassland Science involves examining how 68 years of uninterrupted nutrient enrichment, by way of adding fertilisers, has affected productivity, species diversity and soil properties on a natural South African grassland. She is also looking at how climatic conditions have impacted in the variables mentioned above over the years, which may allow scientists to make predictions as to how climate change may affect grasslands.

‘This is important because changes in rainfall and temperature conditions have consequences for veld managers, and so researching these factors together is extremely important for overall veld conditions, including biodiversity, soil quality and more,’ said Zama.

Zama is using data from the long-term veld fertiliser experiment at UKZN’s Ukulinga Research Farm, which has been operating since 1951. Few papers have assessed the cumulative effects of nutrient enrichment on the veld, and the initiation of a nutrient reversal experiment on bushlands is aiding researchers in determining how veld reacts to a withdrawal of nutrients, an experiment that is the first of its kind in southern Africa.

‘If we wish to continue using our grasslands sustainably by not compromising biodiversity and soil quality, we need to assess how adding these nutrients affects overall veld health,’ said Zama. ‘With climate change occurring, incorporating rainfall and temperature patterns will also assist in providing predictions for the future.’

Zama, who completed her undergraduate, honours and masters studies at UKZN, plans to pursue research opportunities at the ARC after completing her PhD to strengthen her research skills. She hopes to one day lecture at UKZN in order to do what she enjoys most - conducting research and interacting with students.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Tauriq Jamalie


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Isithangami Ngesikhathi Sombuso KaShaka

Isithangami Ngesikhathi Sombuso KaShaka
Lezi ezinye zezinto ezazisetshenziswa ngesikhathi sikaShaka ezigcinwe e-Campbell Collections Museum.Click here for English version

I-Campbell Collections yaseNyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natal (i-UKZN) isanda kumenywa esiThangamini esidingida ngesikhathi sokubusa kweSilo uShaka eBandla Lodge e-Ballito.

Isimemo besivela kuMnu Nhlanhla Mtaka, owumhleli nomsunguli wephephandaba iBayede. I-Campbell Collections ibimelwe nguMnu Senzo Mkhize, iNhloko yakwa-Collections noNks Luleka Jakeni, ungoti wezindawo zokugcinwa kwamagugu omkhulu.

Lesi siThangami besiyingxenye yomkhankaso omkhulu wokubuyekeza ezinye izinto ngomlando wakwaZulu, ikakhulukazi umlando weSilo uShaka. UShaka ungomunye wamakhosi angesikhathi usomlando uSolwazi John D Omer-Cooper asibiza ngokuthi ngesokushintsha kwemibuso yabeNguni baseNyakatho. Ziningi izincwadi, amaphepha ocwaningo namafilimu okulandisa ngaye.

Enkulumweni yakhe, uSolwazi Simelane, oyisikhulu sokuphathwa komsebenzi eGunundu Holdings, uthe okuningi okubhalwe ngoShaka nangesizwe sakhe okunamaphutha nokuhlanekezelwa okuningi. Kokunye lokhu kungenxa yocwaningo olushaya eceleni kanti kwenye inkathi kwenziwa wumqondo wabacwaningi baseNtshonalanga noma abamhlophe. Umphumela walokhu wumlando ongakuvezi ukuthi abantu base-Afrika babenendlela yabo yokwenza izinto. Okukhulu kakhulu, wukuthi umlando wangesikhathi uShaka aqhamuka nayephila ngaso nowamenza wadlondlobala waze waba ngenye yamakhosi anamandla ayebusa eNingizimu ye-Afrika, awutolikiwe ngendlela efanele.

Nakuba izinjulalwazi zangaphambili, njenge njulalwazi ye-great man, okanye injulalwazi ye-self-made leader, kodwa manje osomlando sebeyavumelana ngokuthi abaholi bavela ngenxa yesikhathi abasuke bephila kuso. Inhloso yalesi sithangami bekuwukuqonda kangcono ukwenza kukaShaka neqhaza elibalulekile labanye abaholi njengoZwide wakwaNxumalo, uDingiswayo wakwaMthethwa, uBhungane wamaHlubi, uZihlandlo waseMbo. Isithangami sidingide nezinye izihloko ezimqoka eziningi ezithinta isimo senhlalo nezombusazwe nomnotho ngesikhathi sikaShaka.

UMkhize ukhulume ngesihloko esithi Information collection, preservation and dissemination in Shaka’s time, kwathi uNks Jakeni wakhombisa abantu imisebenzi yobuciko nezinto ezithinta umlando wangesikhathi sikaShaka okugcinwe e-Campbell Collections. Isilo samaBandla u-Goodwill Zwelithini ubeyisikhulumi esiqavile. Sichazekile ngezinto zomlando wakwaZulu nezincwadi zomlando wesizwe.

Amagama: NguSenzosenkosi Mkhize


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Masters Student Showcases First Solo Exhibition

Masters Student Showcases First Solo Exhibition
Ms Ingrid Adams at her solo exhibition.

Masters student in Fine Arts at the Centre for Visual Art (CVA) on the Pietermaritzburg campus, Ms Ingrid Adams, showcased her first solo exhibition: Beyond at the KZNSA Gallery in Durban.

The exhibition - part of Adams’s research conducted for her Masters in Fine Arts - is titled Beyond Sumi-e: a Practice-Led Investigation into the Influences of an Ancient Art Form on Contemporary Artists, with reference to the artworks of Hiroshi Senjju and Yoshio Ikezaki.

‘My art practice is rooted in the tradition of Sumi-e, Japanese ink painting,’ said Adams. ‘The all-natural materials date back more than 2 000 years and these are called the Four Treasures: the inkstick (sumi), the inkstone (suzuri), brushes (choryu) and paper (washi). These form the basis of my painting.’

Adams’s focus is on nature, degeneration and regeneration with the themes expressed in organic forms created intuitively in layers, collages and transparencies, drawing on a lifelong store of inexplicable feelings and resonance with nature, translated as yugen in Japanese. Analogies for intrusions on nature, where humans exploit and contaminate, are interspersed and conveyed through the use of thread and the colour red.

Throughout her research, her use of natural materials associated with the Sumi-e tradition has been in part influenced by her working life in fashion and textiles, where she has included the incorporation of cotton organdy, silk and cotton thread. 

‘My personally recycled paper, as well as various washi made out of plant fibres such as mulberry (kozo) and ganpi (ganpishi), are used in both two and three-dimensional artworks. The latter are suspended forms, incorporating elements of my personal history, evident in the melange of fabrics, papers, Sumi-e, stitching, sand, organic matter, feathers, and portions of my wedding dress made out of a WWII family silk parachute,’ she said.

The juxtaposition of these disparate elements in flux, together with shadows and darkness contrasting with lightness, suggest both decay and degeneration as well as regeneration expressing hope.’

These artworks were installed and filmed in a local forest setting which adds further dimensions to the artworks, allowing foliage, movement of air and the play of light, shadow, and ambient sounds of birds and water to enhance the material qualities of transparency and rupture.

‘My intention is not to prescribe to viewers how they should view these artworks, hence no titles, but rather that the artworks evoke sensations within the viewers and that they will respond to subjectively,’ said Adams.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Andile Ndlovu


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UKZN Epidemiologist Completes Applied Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology Training in US

UKZN Epidemiologist Completes Applied Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology Training in US
Mr Siyabonga Dlamini.

Public Health lecturer, Mr Siyabonga Dlamini, successfully completed Applied Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology training at the Epidemiology and Population Health Summer Institute at Columbia University (EPIC) in the United States.

Spatial Epidemiology is a subfield of epidemiology concerned with the description and analysis of geographic variations in disease with regards to factors such as demographic, environmental, behavioural, socioeconomic and genetic factors.

‘I am looking forward to applying the skills I learned from this course in the South African context, particularly in cancer research,’ said Dlamini. ‘Things like disease mapping, geographic correlation studies, disease clusters, and clustering could be done using the techniques made possible in this field.’

‘I am fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to be part of the course and learn from international scholars in the field. It is an exciting field of study that I think brings new insights to the work that public health professionals, particularly epidemiologists, do on a regular basis. The more we learn about the distribution of diseases and their relationship to time and space, the more insight we have on how to intervene, either in terms of curbing their spread or in prevention efforts. I am grateful to the New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP) for affording me the opportunity.’

Dlamini says South Africa is a resource-limited country. ‘The more skills we can leverage in our understanding of disease both at population level and in geography and time, the better we can plan and distribute the resources and implement targeted interventions/programmes which are effective, thus reducing the burden of disease in our country.’

Based at the Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, EPIC offers focused training for investigators and scholars from the health and social sciences sector, public health practitioners, clinicians, and industry professionals.

Dlamini’s area of interest is cancer epidemiology and he believes this course would help in the understanding of cancer distribution, including the associated predisposing factors, in relation to space and time in South Africa and Africa through collaborations, such as the Multinational Lung Cancer Control Program (MLCCP).

Asked about what epidemiologists do, Dlamini replied: ‘This group of professionals, among other things, apply spatial analytic methods in epidemiologic research, focusing on methodologies which involve working with geocoded data to perform a variety of analyses. A sample of the analyses include distance estimation, data integration, exploring how disease clusters occur in space and time, and disease mapping, using Bayesian statistical approaches.’

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied


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UKZN Law Professor Delivers Presentation at International Workshop in Spain

UKZN Law Professor Delivers Presentation at International Workshop in Spain
Participants of the International Institute for the Sociology of Law Workshop.

Professor David McQuoid-Mason of UKZN’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies discussed the African perspective on the number of lawyers and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms during a presentation at an International Institute for the Sociology of Law Workshop - themed Too Much Litigation?: Facts, Reasons, Consequences, and Solutions - in Onati, Spain.

Presentations were also made by researchers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Russia, Israel, Singapore and South Africa. Sessions covered: (a) Defining the questions and challenging the conceptions; (b) Too much or not enough? And access to justice; (c) Means of volume control – how the courts address ‘too much litigation’; (d) Represented, unrepresented, lawyers and ADR; and (e) Comparative methods of delivering justice in different legal systems.

McQuoid-Mason’s topic during the ADR session was: Too Much Litigation? Could Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanisms be the Solution to Post-Colonial Developing Countries – Particularly in Africa. His paper covered: (i) the impact of the paucity of lawyers on litigation in African countries; (ii) the traditional approach to dispute resolution; (iii) traditional methods of dispute resolution; (iv) Western-based legal processes versus traditional dispute resolution processes; (v) can traditional dispute resolution mechanisms be integrated into Western-based legal processes?; and (vi) challenges when integrating traditional dispute resolution mechanisms into Western-based legal processes.

Most of the presenters from other countries were engaged in empirical research and there was a healthy exchange of ideas.

Although McQuoid-Mason relied mainly on desk top research, he included a few of the findings of some of the empirical research on dispute resolution mechanisms in Africa. As a result of the suggestions from the other researchers, McQuoid-Mason compiled a list of the empirical research questions that contemporary African researchers might want to consider in order to test the validity of many of the assumptions made by them.

Words: Ndabaonline

Photograph: Supplied


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UKZN Student Reflects on His Time in France

UKZN Student Reflects on His Time in France
Exchange student, Mr Khulekani Thombo enjoying the sights and sounds in La Loire, France.

Bachelor of Social Science student, Mr Khulekani Thombo is back in South Africa after five months at the Université de Tours in France on an exchange programme.

Thombo, a third-year student majoring in Philosophy and French, said the fondest memories of his sojourn were of meeting French students and sharing ideas with them on the current world situation.

He relished experiencing a different culture and believes this developed his world view. ‘I learned to respect and appreciate people for what they are.’

Thombo says he also learned to question life because an ‘unexamined life is not worth it.’

While the trip was life changing, it was not without challenges. The medium of instruction was French, but the young Francophile improved his grasp of the language and he is now more confident speaking French. 

Another hurdle he faced while abroad was financial challenges. He credits UKZN French lecturer Professor Bernard DeMeyer for ‘helping me get through it.’

Thombo plans to focus his future academic endeavours on French and Philosophy. ‘I want to become a doctor/professor in philosophy and French because French people fascinate me and challenge me to be aware of what I do and the influence I have on other people,’ he said. ‘What interests me is the philosophy of language because it examines the problems of language and its usage.’

Born in Newcastle, Thombo attended Sisizakele Primary School and Mzamo High School.

He thanked his parents, six brothers and two sisters for being supportive throughout his studies.

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Photograph: Supplied


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STEC@UKZN hosts Robotics Workshop

STEC@UKZN hosts Robotics Workshop
Learners from the Umkhumbane Schools’ Project, work together to build their robot.

The Science and Technology Educational Centre (STEC) together with SAASTA TechnoYouth held a Robotics Programme on UKZN’s Westville campus.

The SAASTA TechnoYouth Educational Programme, which began as an awareness programme, is a community engagement project run by UKZN’s College of Science and Technology in collaboration with UNISA and Inspired Science and Engineering Technology (ISET). Youngsters are trained to facilitate workshops with the aim being that after attending three sessions they are able to run their own robotics workshops.

Learners are presented with a challenge and have to apply their knowledge in exercises described as being a hybrid of theory and practice.

Participating learners in the latest project were from Mayville Secondary, Wiggins Secondary and Bonela Secondary - all from the Umkhumbane Schools’ Project which promotes social transformation through improved education access in Cato Manor and Durban informal settlements.

Learners evolved from having no previous knowledge of robotics to programming robots to do specific tasks. ‘The highlight was the joy learners showed when their robots successfully laid a pipeline or removed trash from a desk,’ said STEC@UKZN co-ordinator Dr Tanja Reinhardt.

‘If you want to equip learners with 21st Century skills and the ability to solve problems, you have to start from day one, and keep moving forward,’ said Ms Patricia Gouw, a representative from SAASTA TechnoYouth Educational Programme.

Learners were intrigued by the robots. ‘The whole programme was interesting but the most memorable event for me was seeing the robot that I programmed working for me,’ said Luthando Msomi of Wiggins Secondary School.

‘Pupils had a lot to digest in the three days but it was a huge success. I hope they all learned something and will be able to tell their friends and school mates,’ said Ms Precious Ngcobo of the Umkhumbane Schools Project.

It is generally agreed that training young people for the 4th industrial revolution must include developing 21st Century skills such as problem solving, collaboration, teamwork and critical thinking. Through partnerships such as the robotics workshop, STEC@UKZN can achieve its mandate to stimulate an interest in science and engineering and arouse curiosity for further study and investigation.

Words: Samantha Ngcongo

Photograph: Sashlin Girraj


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Agrometeorology Discipline Hosts Inaugural Workshop on Sap Flow Measurement

Agrometeorology Discipline Hosts Inaugural Workshop on Sap Flow Measurement
Participants at the sap flow and heat pulse velocity workshop on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

Staff from the Discipline of Agrometeorology at UKZN’s School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences SAEES) hosted a two-day workshop on the Pietermaritzburg campus under the topic of sap flow and heat pulse velocity for 60 participants from various South African universities and research institutions.

The workshop was the first of its kind in the country and was precipitated by the increased popularity in the use of the sap flow and heat pulse velocity techniques locally, and the complete lack of such training in South Africa.

According to Senior Professor of Agrometeorology at UKZN, Professor Michael Savage, sap flow techniques are methods for measuring the transpiration of woody stem tree plants and herbaceous plants, such as maize, sugar cane and soybean. In South Africa, about 67% of the total available water resources are used for irrigation. To increase the efficiency of irrigation systems, and for the preservation of natural systems, timely knowledge of water use is essential. Together with other measurements, sap flow measurements allow for the estimation of evaporation.

Savage was assisted in arranging the workshop by Professor Colin Everson and Dr Bruce Scott-Shaw of UKZN’s Centre of Water Resources Research, Dr Alistair Clulow of the Discipline of Agrometeorology, and Mr Vivek Naiken of the Disciplines of Hydrology and Agrometeorology. Presenters covered principles of sap flow on the first day, moving on to practical aspects of sap flow measurement.

Participants included interns, postgraduate students and established researchers from the universities of the Free State, Limpopo, Pretoria, Stellenbosch, the Western Cape, and Zululand, as well as the Agricultural Research Council, the Citrus Research Institute, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, the SA Environmental Observation Network, and the SA Sugarcane Research Institute. Honours, masters and PhD postgraduate students in the Hydrology and Agrometeorology Disciplines at UKZN also attended.

Participants scored the presentation and organisation of the workshop very highly in their feedback, and indicated that they appreciated the knowledge and experience of presenters. Many stated that the knowledge they had gained would be applicable in their research, and said the combination of theoretical and practical aspects was effective in helping them gain familiarity with sap flow theory and techniques.

Participants, who particularly enjoyed learning about installation of systems and data processing, indicated interest in attending future, more advanced workshops, on sap flow as well as on topics such as eddy covariance and surface renewal, data analysis and interpretation, scintillometry and evapotranspiration methods and more.

Savage plays a role in mentoring young scientists, academics and practitioners in his field, and views the hosting of these types of workshops as contributing towards the achievement of that aim.

He arranged similar workshops in 2016, 2017 and 2018 on different topics and hopes to conduct future workshops on topics of relevance and importance in his field.

•   Campbell Scientific Africa and UKZN sponsored the workshop.

Words and photograph: Christine Cuénod


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