UKZN Community Says No to GBV

UKZN Community Says No to GBV
UKZN staff and students held one-hour silent protests on all campuses in the fight against gender-based violence.Click here for isiZulu version

Members of the UKZN Executive Management, staff and students came out in their numbers to support the fight against the continuing scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual assaults on women and children during one-hour silent protests held on all campuses, and a night vigil on the Westville campus.

Over 500 staff and students from all disciplines and departments, dressed in black and carrying banners and posters gathered and marched in open spaces on each campus.

During the protest held on the Westville campus’ quad area, male and female staff members and students raised their security concerns and condemned violence against women and children. After the gathering, the group marched to hand over a memorandum to the University’s Risk Management Services.

Honours Geology student, Mr Sashan Manikam said men need to understand the role they play in perpetuating GBV and that everybody has a role to play in eradicating it.

Ms Anele Khumalo, third-year Medical Sciences student, said that she is afraid to go anywhere as she is worried about her safety, as well as that of all women, especially children. She said she hopes the country eventually finds peace and that this might require a cleansing ceremony as she believes the atrocities of the past have come back to haunt us.

In his message to the University community, UKZN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Nana Poku, urged anyone who experiences or witnesses any form of sexual violence, harassment, gender discrimination or bullying to report this immediately. ‘As a University we need to build a sense of community that will stand up to the pathology of violence that is prevalent on all our campuses. GBV and any other form of violence has no place at this University in particular and no place in society in general.’

Professor Poku proposed the following immediate measures in the fight against GBV:

•    Establishment of a referral mechanism to link GBV complainants with counselling and support services and/or the South African Police Services immediately.

•    Instituting a single point of contact from the Student Support Services on each campus. They will be available on a 24/7 basis to offer pre- and post-counselling services for students and also facilitate access to all other necessary support services.

•    Efforts are currently underway to strengthen Campus Clinic Services using UKZN’s Medical School/Health Sciences and other Social Science disciplines.

•    We have put in place mechanisms to remove and suspend perpetrators and provide a safe space for survivors to interact with counsellors.

•    We are appointing a senior retired Judge to conclude all outstanding cases as a matter of urgency. Executive Management will continue to monitor the monthly statistics to ensure all cases are finalised speedily.

•    To ensure that student disciplinary matters are concluded efficiently and within a minimum time frame, we will appoint a full-time Proctor.

•    Together with the academic community we are committed to the development of educational programmes and materials that raise awareness and sensitivity training on GBV related matters. This will be put in place by the beginning of the 2020 academic year.

•    University management is working to operationalise a mobile security app that enables students and staff to alert Risk Management Services of an emergency situation at the touch of a button. We anticipate that the roll out will take place in October 2019.

Words: Sithembile Shabangu

Photographs: Supplied


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Women in Science Award for UKZN Astrophysicist

Women in Science Award for UKZN Astrophysicist
Ms Tankiso Moso (centre) with her family at her honours graduation.

Ms Tankiso Moso, a Masters candidate in Applied Mathematics at UKZN specialising in Instrumentational Astrophysics received the Albertina Sisulu Fellowship for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology at the Department of Science and Innovation’s (DSI) annual Women in Science, Technology and Innovation Awards. Moso was one of two honourees from UKZN, with Professor Verusia Chetty from the School of Health Sciences also being recognised.

The awards acknowledge and reward female scientists and researchers for excellence in their fields and encourage them to serve as role models for aspiring young female scientists. The theme for the 2019 event was Making the Fourth Industrial Revolution Work for Women.

UKZN’s Dean of Research Professor Urmilla Bob, who nominated the recipients on behalf of UKZN, and Professor Betty Mubangizi, SARChI Chair in Sustainable Local (Rural) Livelihoods, attended the awards ceremony to support the UKZN honourees. Mubangizi, who was one of the judges, said that she is proud that, as in the past, UKZN women featured so prominently.

Moso was the only student recognised from the province of KwaZulu-Natal, with other award nominees coming from academia. She said it was an honour to be recognised for this national award in her first year of Masters study, and expressed her gratitude to God. She thanked her supervisors Professors Cynthia Chiang and Matthew Hilton, and Dr Ilya Sinaskiy for their support.

Chiang called the award well deserved, saying that Moso had played a key role in ground-breaking radio astronomy in the harsh environment of Marion Island, tackling the challenges she faced with confidence and positivity.

Moso’s research involves using the redshifted 21cm emission of neutral hydrogen to observe different epochs of the universe. Her project is part of the effort to build autonomous antenna stations that will map the low frequency sky. It uses the Probing Radio Intensity at high-Z from Marion (PRIZM) and the Array of Long Baseline Antennas for Taking Radio Observations from the Sub-Antarctic (ALBATROS) telescopes based at Marion Island. If successful, South African astronomers will be able to explore frequencies that have not been observed since the 1970s, a major advance in the field. Using these observations, scientists hope to be able to probe the earliest epochs of the history of the universe, as far back as the time stars were born.

Moso is the first in her family to reach master’s level, having followed an unconventional path. She first completed a National Diploma and BTech in Electrical Engineering at the Durban University of Technology, going on to BSc Honours studies in Physics at UKZN through the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP). Catching up on the Physics material she missed in her Engineering studies was a formidable task that Chiang said Moso managed with aplomb, making her an inspiring example for others wishing to pursue further studies no matter their academic background.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan


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UKZN Alumnus Honoured with 2019 JOMBA! Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award

UKZN Alumnus Honoured with 2019 JOMBA! Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award
From left: Ms Tegan Peacock, Dr Lliane Loots and Mr Bonwa Mbontsi.

UKZN alumnus, Mr Bonwa Mbontsi is a recipient of the prestigious 2019 JOMBA! Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award, in honour of the memory of Eric Mshengu Shabalala who tragically passed away in 2011. He shares the award with fellow Pietermaritzburg dance-maker, Ms Tegan Peacock.

The award recognises performance and choreographic excellence, but also dance practitioners who have worked tirelessly to help grow a culture of dance and dance training in KwaZulu-Natal and have supported the growth of dance as an art form at both community and regional level.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Artistic Director of JOMBA! and UKZN lecturer Dr Lliane Loots said, ‘This year the award is being given to two incredible dance champions. These amazing individuals have dedicated years of their still-young lives being part of an incredible resurgence and regrowth of dance in Pietermaritzburg, being a powerful nexus for contemporary dance in KwaZulu-Natal. Most significantly, they have not done this only in their own work, but have found a way to create a bigger sense of community and of sharing spaces and resources to grow dance – this is what this award is honouring.’

Mbontsi has a BA in Psychology and Drama and Performance Studies, with a focus on dance performance and choreography. He has worked with choreographers and dancers, PJ Sabbagha, Fana Tshabalala, Shanell Winlock and Craig Morris, taught at Maritzburg College for four years and co-founded ReRouted Dance Theatre.

In relation to the award, he runs an outreach youth development project in Pietermaritzburg and Melmoth in association with J.A.W. (Justice and Women). In 2018, he founded the Bonwa Dance Company, which has a strong outreach and dance development programme called the Super Troupers that prides itself on its integrative approach to dance education, performance opportunities and youth empowerment.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Val Adamson


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UKZN Student Represents KwaZulu-Natal at National Cross-Country Competition

UKZN Student Represents KwaZulu-Natal at National Cross-Country Competition
Ms Phethego “Penny” Makaleng represented KwaZulu-Natal in the Athletics South Africa 2019 cross-country national competition, and (right) during her recent graduation.

Ms Phethego “Penny” Makaleng was selected to represent KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) as part of the Athletics South Africa (ASA) 2019 cross-country team that competed at Uitsig High School, Pretoria earlier this month.

A member of the University Athletics team and the chair of the Westville team, Makaleng said that it was a great experience competing in the championships with other provinces. She was the only athlete chosen from the UKZN Athletics team.

She graduated with a BCom in Economics and Supply Chain Management during the Law and Management Spring Graduation ceremony and is currently studying towards a postgraduate degree.

Makaleng hails from Byldrift Village in Limpopo and is the older sister to two brothers. She said she is inspired by Nelson Mandela’s words, ‘Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.’

Makaleng’s passion for sports, mainly athletics and soccer, began in primary school. While she first became involved in athletics as an occasional sport, things changed when she was introduced to cross-country in Grade 11. In 2017 she decided to devote her time to running as she had achieved more in athletics than in soccer. She thanked her family and friends for being supportive of her sporting journey and encouraged other students to take up sports while at University. ‘Academics shouldn’t limit anyone from exploring other things. It all depends on time management and dedication to what you put your mind to. Throughout my studies I was involved in student leadership and also an athlete, and in the end it all paid off,’ added Makaleng.

Elaborating on the challenges athletes face especially the Westville team, Makaleng said, ‘it is sometimes hard for the female runners or runners in general to be consistent because without a coach guiding your performance it is hard to see whether you are improving or not. My wish is that the University could invest in cross country runners the same way they are doing with track and field runners.’

The KZN team took third place earning themselves a bronze medal.

Words: Sithembile Shabangu

Photographs: Sithembile Shabangu and Supplied


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UKZN hosts its 16th Golf Day

UKZN hosts its 16th Golf Day
Scenes from UKZN’s Golf Day where golfers braved the rainy and windy conditions at Zimbali Golf Course for a worthy cause.

UKZN alumni, staff, students, corporate sponsors and friends of the University took to the Zimbali Golf Course on 5 September for a round of golf and to award scholarships to eight deserving students.

Over R250 000 was raised this year for students from the “missing middle”.

In his welcome address, the Executive Director of Corporate Relations Mr Ashton Bodrick thanked all the sponsors, including Standard Bank who has been the lead sponsor for 10 consecutive years.

Bodrick spoke to the golfers about the University’s key social role in KwaZulu-Natal. He emphasised the importance of not being “reactive” with gender-based violence (GBV) and said we need to proactively engage with students and ask ourselves: ‘What kind of leaders are they going to be tomorrow?’

Head of Corporate Sales at Standard Bank, Mr Themba Rikhotso, said celebrating 10 years of sponsoring the Golf Day was especially heart-warming for him as an alumnus of the University.

Rikhotso echoed Bodrick’s sentiments about GBV and paid tribute to University of Cape Town student Ms Uyinene Mrwetyana who was tragically raped and murdered a few days before the event. He said he ‘feels the pain’ of students who need to overcome not only poverty, but ‘selfish and barbaric’ acts like GBV, among other overwhelming challenges.

Speaking on behalf of the students, bursary recipient Mr Thabiso Jele said he was honoured and that the money would make a difference in his life. Jele also won a laptop sponsored by ICS in a lucky draw.

Executive Director: Institutional Planning and Governance (Acting) Mr Kishore Gobardan, who was the overall winner in the Staff/Convocation category, thanked all the sponsors and the companies who supplied lucky draw prizes. He acknowledged everyone who had made the day a success, including Corporate Relations’ Ms Shakila Thakurpersad, the tournament organiser.

Sponsors included Standard Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Investec Bank, First National Bank, DALRO, the Fairmont Zimbali, Travel with Flair, Serendipity Tours, LDM, The Dynamic Group, Nashua Communication, Shepstone & Wylie and The ProGroup.

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Photographs: Itumeleng Masa


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PhD Student Wins Best Paper at International IEEE Conference

PhD Student Wins Best Paper at International IEEE Conference
Mr Dauda Ayanda (centre) receiving the best paper award at the annual IEEE Wireless Africa Conference in Pretoria.

Electronic Engineering PhD student, Mr Dauda Ayanda, won best paper at the international Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Wireless Africa Conference (WAC) at the University of Pretoria.

The IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organisation that is dedicated to advancing and fostering technical innovation for the benefit of humanity. This was the second annual WAC which was sponsored by the Vehicular Technology Society (VTS) and hosted by VTS South Africa.

The conference provided a platform for wireless researchers to share their results, collaborate, and exchange innovative ideas on cutting-edge research in wireless technologies. Technical workshops were held on Implementing Industry 4.0, 5G Industry Technology/Business Forum and Spectrum Sensing and Sharing for 5G Cognitive Radio Networks. Keynote speakers from the USA, Spain, South Korea and South Africa discussed their current work as well as future research directions in wireless technology.

Ayanda won best paper for his presentation on A Unified Error Analysis of Uncoded Space-Time Labeling Diversity with Three Transmit Antennas in Rician Fading Channels which focused on wireless communications and multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) techniques in the physical layer of an Open System Interconnection model.

‘I am investigating uncoded space-time labeling diversity schemes for improved error performance of space-time block-coded wireless communication channels. The aim is to achieve better wireless communication systems in terms of improved data rate, detection complexity and diversity,’ he explained.

It is envisaged that this research will advance technology and revolutionise next-generation consumer electronics.

‘MIMO techniques have become the choice of future wireless systems due to the presence of multiple antennas both at the transmitter and at the receiver. These features open the way for significant enhancement towards meeting the higher demands in data rate (bandwidth efficiency) and link reliability (for multipath fading). Hence, my research contributions are very important in driving current 5G technologies as well as meeting the technical needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa in particular and the world in general,’ said Ayanda.

He added that he feels both humbled and honoured to have received the best paper award and thanked his supervisor, Electronic Engineering lecturer, Professor Hongjun Xu as well as the School of Engineering, for financial support to attend the conference.

Words: Zolile Duma

Photograph: Supplied


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Mandela Washington Fellowship Hones Leadership Skills for Ecology Master’s Candidate

Mandela Washington Fellowship Hones Leadership Skills for Ecology Master’s Candidate
Ms Thandolwethu Jele in the United States.

Master’s candidate in the School of Life Sciences, Ms Thandolwethu Jele was part of the 2019 cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (MWF). She spent just over a month at the JW Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia in the United States.

The fellowship, which comprises business, civic engagement or public management streams at US colleges or universities, hosts up to 700 fellows a year from sub-Saharan Africa, and concludes with the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit in Washington DC where all 700 fellows engage with US leaders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors. This sets the stage for long-term engagement between the United States and Africa.

Jele participated in the civic engagement track. Her master’s research focuses on variation in growth and defensive characteristics of Vachellia nilotica and Vachellia tortilis seedlings from geographically isolated populations in KwaZulu-Natal’s major river valleys. It is supervised by UKZN’s Drs Zivanai Tsvuura and Nthuthuko Mkhize at the Agricultural Research Council.

In addition to her research, Jele has dedicated her time to community leadership. Since 2014, she has volunteered with the Community Development Association, founded by Professor Thabo Msibi at UKZN in 2002. This student-run voluntary community outreach organisation aims to address issues of inequality, HIV/AIDS and illiteracy in South Africa, and promotes a culture of excellence and continuous development in all spheres of life. While volunteering, Jele happened upon an article about the launch of the MWF and was motivated to improve her leadership skills and join the network of MWF leaders. When 2018 Fellow Ms Mbali Dlamini, an aquatic scientist and co-founder of Imphumelelo Educational Ecosystem, shared her experience, Jele was inspired to apply.

During the fellowship, Jele was exposed to the people, institutions, issues, and civic leadership strategies that have shaped and in turn have been shaped by US civic organisations. The institute where she spent time focuses on training in organisational development and diversity, strategic planning and youth participation, advocacy and marginalised populations, and the intersection of civil society, government and business.

‘The fellowship has strengthened my skills in mobilising volunteers and funding to carry out community development activities,’ said Jele. ‘The various networking opportunities have helped me to build my confidence in establishing and maintaining professional and personal relationships with other African leaders and American organisations.’

An aspect of the fellowship that Jele believes is exemplary is the representation it promotes in science and leadership.

‘Seeing scientists and leaders that look like me is inspiring,’ she said. ‘The fellowship provides a diverse platform of leaders from various fields we can relate to, and offers a platform to learn and to be challenged.’

Jele encouraged other young students who would benefit from this fellowship, either by receiving leadership development to grow their businesses or strengthen their community development initiatives, to apply to be part of the 2020 cohort.

*Applications for the 2020 MWF opened on Thursday, 12 September; eligibility requirements and application details can be accessed here.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Supplied


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Law Professor Helps Organise Legal Aid Conference for South Pacific Islands and Build Capacity for Paralegals in Fiji

Law Professor Helps Organise Legal Aid Conference for South Pacific Islands and Build Capacity for Paralegals in Fiji
Participants at the Pacific Regional Legal Aid Conference.

Acting Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at UKZN, Professor David McQuoid-Mason assisted the Fiji Legal Aid Commission to organise the first Pacific Regional Legal Aid Conference for the island states of Fiji, the Federation of Micronesia, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. The conference was held in Fiji from 21 to 23 August.

He also conducted a three-day workshop on the first hour procedure (whereby the police have to contact the Legal Aid Commission to send a paralegal and/or a legal aid lawyer to assist the arrested person within an hour of their arrest if they need legal aid), and public legal awareness for paralegals employed by the Fiji Legal Aid Commission from 25 to 27 August.

McQuoid-Mason gave the key note address at the conference on Leaving Nobody Behind: The UN Principles and Guidelines on Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems and the provision of legal aid in remote rural areas where there are no lawyers. He also presented papers on Street Law and The Role of paralegals in legal aid services. McQuoid-Mason chaired the final session when the participants were divided into commissions to discuss quality control in legal aid services; the use of paralegals in legal aid services; establishing regional and local legal aid offices and introducing the first hour procedure. He also drafted the final conference declaration for adoption by the delegates.

The paralegal training involved McQuoid-Mason educating participants about the use of Street Law-type interactive teaching methods which included the first hour procedure and educating the public about the law and legal aid. Different interactive teaching methods were demonstrated on topics as the need for laws, domestic violence and the powers of the police to arrest versus the rights of persons arrested. The participants learnt how to prepare an interactive lesson, and then presented their lessons on a variety of relevant topics, which were critiqued by McQuoid-Mason and the other participants.

McQuoid-Mason said that he originally suggested that Fiji host a Pacific Regional Legal Aid Conference when he drafted the strategic plan for the Fiji Legal Aid Commission in order to introduce participants to the United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Legal Aid in Criminal Proceedings and best practice in the region:

‘The Conference was designed so that the 11 islands could share their experiences and learn from one another regarding how poor and marginalised people can access free legal assistance. Particular emphasis was placed on the first hour procedure piloted in Fiji and how the islands could support one another to promote access to justice and the rule of law in the region.’

Words: Ndabaonline

Photograph: Supplied


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WWIS makes Television Debut on Afternoon Express

WWIS makes Television Debut on Afternoon Express
Ms Mbali Gwacela on the Afternoon Express set, being interviewed by Jeanie D.

Wonder Woman In Science (WWIS), Ms Mabli Gwacela made her small screen debut in an interview with TV personality Jeannie D, on SABC 3’s Afternoon Express. Gwacela is a Developmental lecturer and PhD candidate in the Discipline of Food Security and was named a WWIS by the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science during Women’s Month.

Gwacela was in Mpophomeni outside Pietermaritzburg hosting a workshop she helped organise with Slow Food Community and Emphare Organics, when she heard she would be on the show. ‘I was shocked and excited,’ she recalled.

Her research team at the Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) sponsored her travel and accommodation arrangements. ‘I am very lucky to have their support,’ said Gwacela.

On arrival at the studios in Cape Town, she was welcomed by the producers and then ushered into the dressing room to get her make-up done. ‘I felt like a super star and the vibe backstage was buzzing,’ said Gwacela.

She admits to being star struck when meeting Jeannie D, and had an enjoyable conversation with her and the make-up artists backstage: ‘We got to have some girl chat and talk about issues we face as women.’

Gwacela was overwhelmed by the positive response from friends, family and social media. ‘I got so many calls, WhatsApp messages, Instagram DMs, and Facebook likes and received very pleasant words of encouragement,’ she said. She hopes to use this exposure to create awareness around food security. ‘I’d like everyone to try planting a seedling in an old two-litre yoghurt container, to experience the joy of reaping what you’ve sown.’ 

Gwacela has also formed an organisation called Difficult Discussions to tackle issues confronting communities. She aims to facilitate conversations around sensitive issues in order to de-stigmatise societal ills. ‘I would like to meet people and have them share their stories, so that we can find solutions together,’ she said. 

As a female scientist, Gwacela encourages students to use the resources available to them to advance their learning. ‘When you don’t understand something, research and ask about it – even if it’s a simple question. Bit by bit, you will find the answer,’ she said.

Watch Gwacela’s interview at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYRUoX1ifSU&t=48s

Words: Sashlin Girraj

Photograph: Supplied


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Business Forum Explores Ethical and Transformative Leadership for South Africa

Business Forum Explores Ethical and Transformative Leadership for South Africa
From left: GSB&L academic Dr Emmanuel Mutambara, Mr Lukhona Mnguni, Mr Mncane Mthunzi, Ms Lusanda Ncoliwe and GSB&L academic Dr Bhasela Yalezo.

The latest business forum organised by the Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) in partnership with the Durban branch of the Black Management Forum (BMF) critically discussed the development of impeccable ethical leadership for South Africa.

The panelists, Edcon Group’s Chief Operations Officer and GSB&L graduate, Mr Mncane Mthunzi, Hulamin Limited’s Head of Internal Audit and Chairperson of the BMF KZN, Ms Lusanda Ncoliwe and independent social and political analyst, Mr Lukhona Mnguni addressed the issues of transformative leadership, the difficulty of remaining ethical in an unethical environment and the corrosive effect of unethical leaders on society.

Mncane who shared insights on being in charge of turning around ailing retail group, Edcon, highlighted that transformation in leadership calls for confident and competent leaders with character.

‘South Africa needs courageous leaders who will not shy away or sweep big issues under the carpet but discuss and deal with them head on. Turning around a company such as Edcon requires honesty about how people in leadership were allowed to bring the organisation to its knees and how we now need to clean up this mess. Our job as leaders is to ensure that we add value to the jobs and challenges we find ourselves in and business schools must also take leadership in driving transformation,’ he said.

Speaking on ethical leadership of professional bodies, Ncoliwe questioned why entities have codes of conduct that commit employees to ethical conduct but do not adhere to them.

‘Theoretically, professional bodies are developing ethical leaders but practically, they are not. When you are in the public sector, you will always be under the spotlight because it’s other people’s money. However, in the private sector you are not under the spotlight because it’s not the public’s money. The great thing about staying ethical is that when the Zondo Commission sets their sights on your company, you will be the only one sleeping peacefully whilst everyone else is panicking trying to recall what they did three years ago. More needs to be done to develop ethical leaders in South Africa; leaders who do the right thing even when no one is watching,’ she said.

Rihanna’s Disturbia lyrics, leadership philosophies and South African artist Sho Madjozi’s tweets addressing xenophobia were among the sources Mnguni drew on to stress that visionless and corrupt leadership leads to nihilism.

‘Ethical leadership has become a buzz word. Buzz words are fleeting and are often replaced by the latest trends and substituted without being realised. The problem in this country is that there is cohesion between corruption and politics, and society is divided. If we want people to behave ethically and build society then we need to start watching one another and not only be concerned about what is happening behind our walls. Otherwise, we will forever be complaining about unethical and corrupt leaders,’ he said.

Participants, who included GSB&L students and business practitioners also shared their views on the topic. Issues raised included whether business schools are doing enough to produce the type of leaders that the country needs; whether or not professional bodies are doing enough to groom managerial leaders; and the challenges female leaders face versus those confronting their male counterparts.

GSB&L academic, Professor Cecile Gerwel Proches thanked the panel and the audience for their valuable contribution to the discussion and said that the School is committed to contributing to developing and nurturing ethical leaders.

Words: Thandiwe Jumo

Photograph: Itumeleng Masa


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Kugujwe INyanga YabeSifazane

Kugujwe INyanga YabeSifazane
Kusukela kwesobunxele uSolwazi Nobuhle Hlongwa, uNkk Ipeleng Nonkululeko Mkhari noNks Pamela Adams.Click here for English version

UPhiko Lezobudlelwano Besikhungo (i-CRD) yaseNyuvesi yakwaZulu-Natal ibihlele umcimbi wokugubha iNyanga yabeSifazane nokubabonga ngeqhaza labo.

IDini EyiNhloko Yesikole sezobuCiko Eyibamba, uSolwazi Nobuhle Hlongwa, uthe: ‘Namhlanje sibungaza abantu besifazane abangosomabhizinisi, abaphokophelayo, abangabasunguli nabangabaphathi, abangodadewethu nabangomama bethu.’

Umsunguli nesikhulu esiphezulu saseMotseng Investment Holdings (e-MIH), uNkk Ipeleng Nonkululeko Mkhari, ubeyisikhulumi esiqavile. Uneziqu i-Bachelor of Social Science zase-UKZN kanti waba wumuntu wesifazane wokuqala omnyama ukuba nenkampani ye-CCTV. Ngemva kwalokhu uNkk Mkhari wasungula i-MIH, eyinkampani ethenga izabelo kwezinye izinkampani ngowezi-1998. NgoLwezi wangowezi-2012, i-MIH yafaka emakethe yezabelo i-Delta Property Fund, isikhwama sabantu abamnyama esinezakhiwo zenani lika-R7 billion.

UNkk Mkhari ubonge iNyuvesi ngokumumema, wathi ujabule ngokubuyela ekhaya. Inkulumo yakhe ibigxile “ekweneleni” nokuhlonyiswa kwabantu besifazane. Ubalule ukuthi ubunzima buhlale bumenza aqhubekele phambili. ‘Asiboni ukuthi kuba nezikhathi lapho kudingeka singaphumeleli khona ukuze sifunde. Sengehluleke kaningi ngaphezu kokuphumelela kodwa ngigcina ngiphumelele’. UNkk Mkhari ukhuthaze abantu besifazane ukuthi bathenge izakhiwo ukwakha umcebo. Ulandise ngohambo lwakhe lokuba wusozigidi esuka ekwenzeni imisebenzi yamakhasimende wagcina esengene kwezezakhiwo. Ukhumbuze abantu besifazane ukuthi banele, wabakhuthaza ukuthi bazithande bona, bakubonakalise nangothando ezinganeni zabo. ‘Into engalungile esizenza yona wukungazithandi. Kudingeka uzithande, ungazenyezi, okuyinto ongayifundisa abantwana bakho ngoba yinto oyizwayo, uba yiyona,’ kusho yena.

UNkk Mkhari ukhulume ngezinto ezithinta abantu besifazane eNingizimu Afrika, okubalwa kuzo ukumeleleka nokuhlukunyezwa kwabantu besifazane, wathi ikhambi yimfundo. ‘Kufanele sigxishe abafana bethu namantombazane izinto ezizoveza ukuthi ayikho into yokungalingani. Kufanele siqashe abantu besifazane, sihwebe nabo, sibafukule ngemfundo,’ kusho yena.

Lo mcimbi uvalwe ngemibuzo nezimpendulo, lapho uNkk Mkhari kade ephendula khona imibuzo ngezamabhizinisi, ubudlelwano, ukutshala imali nokuzithanda. ‘Ibhizinisi yindlela ocabanga ngayo kodwa kufanele kube khona lapho uqala khona, uqale kancane. Singabantu besifazane kudingeka sifunde ukuvama ukuthi “cha”, sibeke isikhathi sokwenza izinto esizithandayo kakhulu ngoba ngeke abantu ubanike into ongenayo,’ kusho yena.

Izihambeli zizitike ngomculo kaNks Nosihe Zulu ofundela umculo neqembu lababili le-hip-hop u-Lio X Tiger.

Amagama: uHlengiwe Precious Khwela

Isithombe: u-Albert Hirasen


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Kubhelwe Isihlava Sezithombo Ukuphucula Ukukhiqizwa Kwamabele eTopiya

Kubhelwe Isihlava Sezithombo Ukuphucula Ukukhiqizwa Kwamabele eTopiya
UDkt Girma Mengistu Digafe.Click here for English version

UDkt Girma Mengistu Digafe uthweswe iziqu zobudokotela kwezoLimo emcimbini wasentwasahlobo wokuthwesa iziqu. Ucwaningo lwakhe belugxile ukwendlalela ukutshala amabele nokukwazi kwawo ukumelana nesihlava entshonalanga Topiya.

Amabele alele isithathu ezitshalweni ezintathu ezimqoka zaseTopiya okukhona i-tef nombila kuzona kanti ayisitshalo sesihlanu ngokubaluleka kwesidlo sasekuseni emhlabeni. Sisengozini ngenxa yezizathu ezihlukene okubalwa kuzo isihlava, izinambuzane nokhula. Isihlava esidla amabele siyimbangela yokulahleka komkhiqizo ngamaphesenti angama-70 ezinhlotsheni zamabele.

Ngenxa yokuthi uhlobo lwe-anthracnose luthathwa njengolushibhile nolungacekeli phansi imvelo, uDkt Digaef ulumbanise izinhlobo ezehlukene ezine-anthracnose nesivuno esingcono.

‘Kulesi sifunda, akubanga namkhankaso wokulumbanisa izinhlobo zamabele,’ kusho uDigafe. ‘Kwakhiqizwa ezinye izinhlobo ngokohlelo lwamabele eminyakeni eyishumi edlule, kodwa abalimi abazange bazisebenzise ngenxa yobufishane bazo, isivuno esincane, ukukhula ngamandla nokudliwa yizinyoni nokhula.’

Waqale wahlola ukucabanga kwabalimi naloko abakuthandayo nezingqinamba ezikhona ekulinyweni kwamabele entshonalanga Topiya, wase edlulela ekubhekeni izinhlobo ezikhona emabeleni. Zammakwa ngepeni elingacishi kwatholakala ukuthi zihlukile kwezinye futhi azifani kanti zandisa umkhiqizo ngokulumbaniswa nezinye izinhlobo ezehlukile.

UDigafe uqhamuke nezinhlobo ezintsha zamabele ezizosetshenziswa ekutshaleni nokuphucula umkhiqizo wamabele.

Uthe amakhono awathole ngokwenza lezi ziqu zobudokotela azomsiza ukuthi akwazi ukuphucula izitshalo, egxile emabeleni kuthi ekugcineni esivunweni esingcono sabalimi abancane eTopiya.

Ucwaningo lwami lungenze ngafunda ngezindlela ezithuthukile zokulumbanisa izithombo nokuphucula izinhlobo zezithombo ezithandwa ngabalimi, ngale kwaloko abalimi ngeke bathande ukusebenzisa izinhlobo ezingcono,’ kusho uDigafe.

Ngemva kokufundela amajazi okuqala eHaroyama University eTopiya, uDigafe wenze izifundo zobudokotela emkhakheni wakhe e-UKZN ngenxa yokuba mandla kwayo ekulumbaniseni izithombo ngendlela eyimpumelelo ngokocwaningo olugxile ezidingweni zabalimi. 

UDigafe ushicilele amaphepha ocwaningo amathathu emabhukwini ahlonishwayo kanti kumanje kubuyekezwa amanye amaphepha akhe ocwaningo. UDigafe uxhaswe yi-National Research Foundation (i-NRF) ne-Agricultural Growth Programme of the Oromia Agricultural Research Institute (e-OARI) eTopiya, lapho ewumcwaningi khona oPhikweni lweziThombo.

UDigafe ubonge akade bengabaluleki bakhe ngenkathi enza ucwaningo oSolwazi Hussein Shimelis, uSolwazi Mark Laing noDkt Dagnachew Lule ngokumeseka, izeluleko nokumkhuthaza. Ubonge usizo lokuxhaswa yi-NRF ne-Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa Integrated Genotyping Service and Support ngokumsiza ngokulumbanisa izinhlobo zamabele. Ubonge ne-OARI ngokumenza akwazi ukwenza iziqu zobudokotela ne-UKZN ngokuba yindawo enhle yokucwaninga.

Amagama: wu-Christine Cuénod

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


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Isikole SezeMfundo Sifinyelele Kubafundi BaseNquthu

Isikole SezeMfundo Sifinyelele Kubafundi BaseNquthu
Amazwibela e-Local Science Exhibition Day ebiseNquthu.Click here for English version

Emsebenzini waso wokufinyelela emphakathini iSikole SezeMfundo eKolishi LezesiNtu libambe iqhaza kwi-Local Science Exhibition Day yokuqala, eNquthu, eNyakatho yaKwaZulu-Natali ebihlelwe uMasipala Wasekhaya waseNquthu.

Imenenja yezeNtsha kumasipala uMnu Sikhumbuzo Shabalala uthe inhloso yombukiso ‘bekuwumema intsha noma abafundi bezikole zamabanga aphezulu bendawo ukuthi baveze amangwevu abo ezintweni zesayensi nokwabelana ngolwazi ngokuthi isayensi, izibalo noma ezobuchwepheshe kungasiza kanjani ukuphucula umsebenzi wabo wesikole’.

Abafundi bathole ithuba lokuhlangana nezikhungo zikahulumeni ezinjenge-Dube Trade Port ne-National Development Agency (i-NDA), bezwa nangamathuba omsebenzi nawemifundaze.

Enye yezingqalabutho nabahleli bombukiso bekungomunye wabafundi bakudala nowuthisha wasendaweni uMnu Luthando Molefe. ‘Lona umkhankaso waminyaka yonke wokuhlomisa abafundi bezikole zamabanga aphezulu nabaholi bangomuso ngolwazi namakhono endimeni yezesayensi. Sihlose ukuhlela eminye imibukiso yendima yamabhizinisi nezikhungo zemfundo ephakeme ukuze izikole eziningi zamabanga aphezulu zizobamba iqhaza,’ kusho yena

Uqweqwe olufundisa ezeSayensi ne-Academic Leader for Community Engagement eSikoleni sezeMfundo, uDr Angela James uthe: ‘Siyi-UKZN, sibonga kakhulu ukuba yingxenye yalo mkhankaso. Yithuba elihle leli kubafundi besayensi ukuthi bathekele ulwazi lwangomuso. ISikole sezeMfundo silekelele ngokugcwalisa izicelo zokufunda zabafundi nezothisha zokuqhuba izifundo.’

Amagama: ngu-Melissa Mungroo noLuthando Molefe

Isithombe: wuLuthando Molefe


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Word Skills Contest a Roaring Success

Word Skills Contest a Roaring Success
Scenes from the Edgewood campus Word Skills Contest 2019.

The Word Skills Contest 2019 on the Edgewood campus on 23 August was a resounding success. Organised by UKZN’s Department of Student Residence Affairs (DSRA), it is part of the Residence Life programme, which aims to develop residence students culturally, intellectually, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Contestants were given two chances to spell words in both isiZulu and English.

IsiZulu specialist and one of the judges, Mr Sanele Nsele, said: ‘We cannot have isiZulu words being spelled in English; that would be a sign of disrespect to isiZulu as a language.’ The other judges were Mr Eugene Marias, Mr Mhlungisi Nzama, and Ms Nqobile Mazibuko. Prizes up for grabs included a Samsung reading pad, a colour printer and a laptop bag.

All residences were represented by the two best contestants in the finals after internal rehearsals/auditions. There were 52 finalists.

Contestants were placed in groups named after African countries (Ghana, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Lesotho, Egypt, and Namibia) for easy identification of those eliminated and those passing to the next stage.

After four rounds, the top 10 contestants were identified. Competition was fierce until the best three emerged. The final places were determined by asking the contestants to write the spelling of the word “Sadomasochism”. First prize went to Ms Buyi Speri, while Mr Mlamuli Ndlovu came second and Ms Nosipho Gumede third.

Residence Life Officers, Ms Thobeka Mkhize, Mr Kudzai Mamvura and Mr Teboho Hlao said that the event was educative and fun. They noted that the winner, Speri is not a native isiZulu speaker, but that she was able spell the words from the isiZulu bucket she picked. They added that the contest went a long way in ensuring that UKZN’s residences are a “home away from home”.

Mr Karabo Motau, the Residence Life Co-ordinator on Edgewood campus thanked staff members for their dedication in ensuring that the event was successful. He also thanked the students who participated and the judges, and congratulated the winners.

Words: Teboho Hlao

Photographs: Itumeleng Masa 


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Genetics of Africa’s Important Tepary Bean Crop Explored for MSc Research

Genetics of Africa’s Important Tepary Bean Crop Explored for MSc Research
Ms Zinhle Mhlaba received a Master’s in Crop Science at the UKZN Spring Graduation.

Ms Zinhle Mhlaba has graduated with her Master’s in Crop Science for her study that analysed the genetic diversity of tepary bean, an important legume that has shown considerable tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress, and which is useful for human food, animal feed and in intercropping systems.

Tepary bean is widely cultivated in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by smallholder farmers under low-input agricultural systems. Despite its potential economic significance, limited research and development efforts have been directed towards tepary bean improvement and production in SSA, leaving only poorly adapted and low-yielding landrace varieties available for cultivation.

Mhlaba indicated that once promising genotypes for further breeding or selection are identified, the development of high-yielding, genetically-improved tepary bean genotypes with biotic and abiotic stress tolerance could boost productivity of the crop in SSA. The desirable traits Mhlaba was looking for include drought tolerance, an important attribute in the water-scarce region that could minimise loss in production during drought seasons.

Mhlaba also completed her undergraduate and honours degrees at UKZN, and called the Institution her academic home, saying that she appreciated its culture of learning and the exposure she received to interesting research opportunities in the sciences.

During her master’s studies, Mhlaba became a wife and a mother while also working. She said that she found strength in God to balance these responsibilities and conclude her degree. Having pursued her studies in an academically-demanding field, Mhlaba hopes that the knowledge and skills she has gained will open up more opportunities in the agricultural and scientific sectors. She hopes to be able to work and conduct research in agriculture, ideally progressing to PhD studies in the future.

Mhlaba thanked her friends and family for their support during her studies, and extended special thanks to her supervisor, Professor Hussein Shimelis, her mother Mrs TC Mhlaba and her husband, Mr EX Mtshali.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Supplied


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Malaysian Students Participate in Cultural Exchange Programme at UKZN

Malaysian Students Participate in Cultural Exchange Programme at UKZN
Malaysian and UKZN students show off their Indian inspired dance moves.

A group of 27 university students from Malaysia interacted with staff and students from UKZN’s Westville campus as part of a cultural exchange programme hosted by the Malaysia-Durban Tamil Socio-Cultural Organisation.

The students visited different places in Durban and interacted with diverse groups of people as part of the interdisciplinary programme.

Mr Sbusiso Hlongwa, School Liaisons Officer, provided an overview of UKZN’s academic programmes and its status as a research-led Institution.

Dr Mayashree Chinsamy, Research Manager at the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) – National Research Foundation (NRF) Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (CIKS), commented on the importance of developing IKS to address current global challenges, including the increasing burden on public healthcare and food insecurity.

Chinsamy said, ‘IKS as community-based knowledge systems, are the long-standing traditions and practices of specific local communities which encompass the skills, innovations, beliefs, experiences and insights of the people in their specific cultural and ecosystems, accumulated over years and applied in different social practices. They are traditionally transmitted orally, from one generation to the other, using local or indigenous languages. Indigenous knowledge systems, including worldviews, ways of knowing and value systems, represent the social capital of local communities.’ 

She highlighted that the CIKS was established in 2014 as one of the strategic instruments of implementing the National IKS Policy (2004) in knowledge generation, human capital development and community engagement in the field of IKS.

Professor Suria Govender, former lecturer and alumnus of UKZN, thanked the Corporate Relations Division for inviting the Surialanga Dance Company to take part in the programme.

The company focuses on tri-culturalism and cultural transformation. Govender taught the students her Asimbonanga uMandela thina, lapho ekhona, lapho ehleli khona Hindu-inspired dance routine that was performed at former South African President Nelson Mandela’s inauguration and sung by Johnny Clegg. ‘You came at an auspicious time with the recent passing of Johnny Clegg who played a major role in the country’s liberation,’ she said. Govender demonstrated the routine with dance partner Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, while translating the lyrics of the song. ‘When we first performed this Indian dance with Ndebele, as a Black man, critics were upset at the fusion of traditional Indian and African dance moves. But my dance company is about cultural transformation and that is what South Africa stands for,’ she said.

The students were taken on a tour of the campus and shown the University’s library, lecture theatres and the Hindu temple.

Malaysian student, Mr Sundaresan Nadaraji was amazed by the dance routine. ‘This song gave me goosebumps because of its lyrics and I was shocked at how the African guy was able to dance this Indian routine so well! I am thankful for this experience and I hope to implement a culture back home where we are proud of our own heritage.’

UKZN students, Mr Siphiwe Dlomo and Mr Nande Baleki also enjoyed the experience. They noted that the event enabled them to visit places within the University that they did not know existed, like the IKS centre and the Hindu Temple.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Itumeleng Masa


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Humanities Academics Present Research at Association of Professional Italianists Conference

Humanities Academics Present Research at Association of Professional Italianists Conference
Highlights from the Association of Professional Italianists conference in Sicily.

Six academics from the College of Humanities were part of the Association of Professional Italianists (API) conference in Sicily, Italy. The conference organiser was the president of the API, UKZN’s Mrs Federica Bellusci, while Professors Jaco Alant and Rosemary Wildsmith, and Drs Bridget Campbell, Loraine Prinsloo and Samiksha Laltha presented papers. The theme was History and Literature: An Uneasy Kinship.

Alant’s paper was titled, From Clerk to Superhero, History to Myth: Dan Sleigh, Umberto Eco and the Authorial Double. It explored the “double position” of the author Dan Sleigh, not as the paradoxical White writer of post-colonial “resistance”, but in terms of Sleigh’s relationship to the character who most likely represents him, the “clerk”.

‘This representation is obvious. Prior to writing Eilande, Sleigh was, at least until his retirement in 1996, primarily a historian at the Cape Archives. The “clerk”, similarly, works as secretary for the VOC (Dutch East-India Company), a position that provides him, just like a historian, with a great deal of documentary information. But what if Sleigh’s clerk is really Clark (Kent), lowly double to the epoch-making author - Superman of South African literature - that Sleigh was to become?’ said Alant.

Wildsmith’s contribution examined the etiology of naming practices and explored the various functions which naming has in the context of rock climbing as a sport. Her findings indicate that naming practices in rock climbing have a number of functions besides the identification of climbs, including literary and musical allusions, word play and communication of experiences of the climbs themselves. ‘Rock climbers continuously strive for self-mastery and, in doing so, unleash a depth of creativity that expresses itself through the names they give to climbs. This is very different to the kind of “mastery” gained over something through (re)naming of places or institutions in a political context,’ she said.

Prinsloo and Campbell’s paper was titled, Negotiating language transitioning in Higher Education: I know English - what is this Academic Literacy? It was based on a pilot study of a longitudinal six-semester arts based narrative inquiry that explored UKZN students’ literate life histories and then examined how they manage the linguistic demands of academic literacy at university. The field texts are students’ literate life histories and focus groups along with metaphors and images, which serve as depictions of their challenges. They reveal what was discovered about the students’ literacy journeys, their literacy challenges at university and their learning, while also reporting on their own reflective practices during the pilot study.

Laltha’s presentation explored the relationship between film, history and literature; through a textual analysis of the popular Hollywood film Equilibrium. This film makes intertextual reference to the historical event of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket. She noted that it also makes a powerful socio-political statement against totalitarianism and totalitarian regimes.

‘Memory and history share an intrinsic relationship as revealed by the dialogue created between Wimmer’s text and Eliot’s representation of the events surrounding Becket’s death. Eliot commemorated Becket’s memory through dramatising Becket’s martyrdom, which is enacted and re-enacted on stage,’ said Laltha. ‘By referring to Becket’s death, Wimmer’s text also commemorates his memory and historical significance, which is disseminated through a popular Hollywood film. The site of popular, contemporary film functions as a powerful reference and embodiment of historical literature, revealing its relevance for contemporary visual culture today.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Supplied 


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UKZN Equips Student Leaders with Ethical Leadership Skills

UKZN Equips Student Leaders with Ethical Leadership Skills
UKZN’s Golden Key International Society hosted a leadership development seminar for student leaders of all clubs and societies.

UKZN’s Golden Key International Honour Society chapter in collaboration with Student Governance and Leadership Development hosted a leadership development seminar for student leaders of all University clubs and societies at the Senate Chamber on the Westville campus.

Golden Key recognises and encourages academic excellence amongst the top 15% of university students. Membership is by invitation only to students in all fields of study based solely on objective evaluation of their academic achievements.

In her welcome address Golden Key chapter President and UKZN student, Ms Thembelihle Mayaba spoke on the history and the aim of the society in shaping and moulding young leaders.

She said: ‘The aim of the seminar is to develop student leaders to be exceptional individuals by inspiring them to accept leadership responsibilities as part of their contribution to society; to create a forum that will be conducive for exchanging ideas and increasing awareness of current and emerging leadership challenges; and to establish a network among student leaders to support continuous future collaboration among clubs and societies.

‘In essence we are here to mould good leaders.’

In her talk titled: Ethical Leadership for Student Leaders, Executive Director: Student Services, Dr Rose Laka-Mathebula said that ethical leadership is one of the main characteristics that define leaders. She added that it is marked by consistency and comes with responsibility because it shows the values that drive the behaviour and conduct of that leader.

During an exercise where students worked in pairs to determine what makes an ethical leader different from others, the responses included that an ethical leader is honest, is able to learn from others, has a vision in the space they are leading and practices bottom-up leadership.

Laka-Mathebula endorsed these responses and added that leaders must be able to trust and be trusted by others and tell the truth at all times. They should share information and lead through collaboration to enable others to know where the Institution is going.

She also spoke on the personal and professional traits of good leaders. During the second exercise, she encouraged the students to become familiar with UKZN’s rules on accepting gifts. She noted that, while gifts can be innocent, they can also land one in hot water. She advised the participants to be good role models through ethical leadership.

Senior lecturer in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy, Dr Khumbulani Myende who spoke on innovative leadership said that he is an example of a former SRC member that had achieved his doctorate. He said that innovative leaders do not only think of the present, but also of the future.

Myende highlighted that innovation is a team sport; therefore, leaders must learn to tap the assets of each individual in their team. He added that leaders also have the responsibility to create an environment or space that enables people to use their talent to do the right thing. He encouraged students to move away from conventional modes of leadership.

SRC Executive President, Mr Sanele Hlongwa reminded students that if one is a leader, one is a leader everywhere. He advised them to respect others, listen to the people they are leading, shield and protect those following them and to be a team player.

Hlongwa said working successfully with a team means being able to work with different characters and allocate work according to each person’s strengths.

Words: Sithembile Shabangu

Photographs: Supplied


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Education Students Attend Student Volunteerism Workshop

Education Students Attend Student Volunteerism Workshop
MUT’s Professor Busisiwe Nkonki-Mandleni (extreme right) and Dr Angela James (front row, third left) with UKZN students and MUT staff.

School of Education students shared their views on volunteering at a workshop hosted by Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) in uMlazi on, Community Engagement – what does student volunteerism in Higher Education entail?

Five students, Mr Lungisani Ngcobo, Mr Sandile Mnyandu, Mr Philani Lloyd Shezi, Ms Phakamile Mazibuko and Mr Samkelo Mhlophe together with Community Engagement Academic Leader Dr Angela James were invited by Professor Busisiwe Nkonki-Mandleni, Director of the Institute for Rural Development and Community Engagement at MUT to present their work. Each shared their views on volunteering on and off campus, including what motivated them to become volunteers and their challenges and successes.

Third-year student, Shezi said, ‘Nothing makes me as happy as seeing other people happy because of the work that I have done for the community. People might take volunteerism lightly but the exposure and growth that comes with it, is priceless.’ Mazibuko highlighted the challenges, including the fact that, ‘few students participate in community engagement projects’. She noted that students who volunteer can still achieve excellent academic results. 

Nkonki-Mandleni expressed interest in future collaboration between MUT and UKZN, noting that, ‘We can work on finding strategies to encourage students to engage in community projects.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo and Philani Shezi

Photograph: Supplied


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Greening the Pietermaritzburg Campus Through Anti-Litter Drives

Greening the Pietermaritzburg Campus Through Anti-Litter Drives
Staff and students at one of the recent anti-litter drives on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

The Pietermaritzburg Campus Management Forum (PCMF) hosted anti-litter drives in August and September on the Main, Golf Road, and Agriculture campuses.

At each event, between 40 and 50 UKZN staff and students spent an hour removing litter from the campus environment. Each team collected more than 30 bags of litter. The enthusiastic response led to the scheduling of another clean up on Pietermaritzburg’s main campus on 2 October.

‘This is one of the kinds of campaigns that we need to encourage staff and students to work together for a campus that they will be proud of, because a clean campus is a healthy as well as beautiful one,’ said PCMF Director and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Professor Albert Modi.

‘I really appreciate that staff and students took time out of their day to pick up litter. We plan to do much more in this regard, including sensitising people to the issue and inviting small businesses and the local municipality to join in, because more than just a clean campus, we want a clean Scottsville, and a clean Pietermaritzburg.’

In a drive to encourage students and staff to take responsibility for the spaces they occupy, to beautify the campus and to recycle, the PCMF is also hosting a competition to develop a logo, slogan or mascot for the Green Campus Campaign.

The anti-litter campaigns join the line-up of campus recycling initiatives, an education programme and an awareness competition that form part of the Forum’s Green Campus Campaign, which will be officially launched on the Library Lawns on Pietermaritzburg’s main campus on 9 October at 12h15, where competition winners will be announced.

Plans include setting up recycling depots on campus that are visible and accessible to staff and students, and establishing an education programme to create awareness of the effects of litter among the broader student population using tools like documentaries.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Kusthuri Chetty


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