Ososayenzi base-UKZN Bagixabezwe nge-L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Grants

Ososayenzi base-UKZN Bagixabezwe nge-<em>L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Grants</em>
Kusukela kwesobunxele: Abaklonyeliswa ngowezi-2019 benomHlonishwa uMnu Aurélien Lechevallier, u-Solwazi Martiale Zabaze-Kana (we-UNESCO), u-Chelsea Tucker, u-Emma Platts, u-Yogandree Ramsamy, uBusiswa Ndaba, uMelissa Nel, uSinenhlanhla Sikhosana, uGilles Antoine (wase-L’Oréal South Africa), uShantelle Claassen noDkt Phil Mjwara (womNyango wezeSayensi nokuSungula).Click here for English version

UDkt Yogandree Ramsamy wase-College of Health Sciences noNks Sinenhlanhla Sikhosana wase-College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science bangabanye besifazane abayisikhombisa abathole ukuxhaswa ukuyokwenza ucwaningo lwe-L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science South African National Programme ngenxa yezinga lomsebenzi wabo wocwaningo.

I-South African programme for the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science South African Young Talents ingolunye uhlelo lwezimbili ezavela ohlelweni olwaluyi-L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science sub-Saharan Africa Regional programme, olunye kuwuhlelo lwezifunda zamazwe angama-48 ase-sub-Saharan Afrika.

Lolu hlelo luqhakambisa, lukhuthaze abantu besifazane abasebancane abasendimeni yezesayensi ngokubabona nokubaklomelisa ngomsebenzi wabo omuhle emikhakheni ehlukene yezesayensi njengeyezeseyansi yempilo, eyemvelo, eyobunjiniyela neyobuchwepheshe.

URamsamy noNks Sikhosana ngamunye bathole imifundaze yokwenza iziqu zobudokotela zenani lika-R80 000 etholwa yizitshudeni ezenza izifundo zobudokotela ezikhungweni zemfundo ephakeme zaseNingizimu Afrika.

URamsamy, ongudokotela noneziqu ze-Master's kwi-Medical Microbiology zase-UKZN, uwudokotela ohlola izidumbu ogxile kwi-clinical microbiology e-National Health Laboratory Services. Usebenza e-Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital kanjalo engxenye wenza iziqu zakhe zobudokotela kulo mkhakha. 

Lo mama wabantwana ababili uthe ukuthola umfundaze kuye kube into engakholakali, wathi kumjabulisile kakhulu.

‘Ngizibona ngiyinxusa elimele abantu besifazane abancane kwezocwaningo e-Afrika kanti ngikhuthazekile ngokusabalalisa umsebenzi wabantu besifazane endimeni yocwaningo,’ kusho yena.

URamsamy wengeze ngokuthi unesifiso sokukhombisa abanye abantu besifazane ukuthi ungaba wumama onomndeni nomsebenzi. 

‘Ngikholwa wukuthi zonke lezi zinto zingenzeka ngempumelelo kanti umphakathi kufanele ujwayele ukwemukela abantu besifazane abancane abasebenzayo nabanemindeni,’ kusho yena. ‘Ukufukula abantu besifazane kuwukufukula umphakathi.’

Ucwaningo lukaDkt Ramsamy ngokuvikeleka emagciwaneni kwezilwane, abantu nemvelo kwamenza waklonyeliswa ngendondo ngonyaka wezi-2018 i-Institute Mérieux-ICAN Young Investigator Award. Igama lakhe likhona kwi-2014 WHO’s WHO in the World listing, kanti ucwaningo lwakhe lwashicilelwa kwi-Lancet Infectious Diseases. Manje ucwaninga ukuthi bukhona yini ubudlelwano phakathi kwezinhlobo ezintathu zezolibofuzo. 

‘I-Antimicrobial resistance inobungozi obukhulu ekuphepheni emhlabeni wonke, kubaluleke kakhulu ukuthi kuqhwashiswe ngayo ikakhulukazi emphakathini,’ kusho uRamsamy.

‘Lo mfundaze uzongisiza ngiqede ucwaningo lwami lwezobudokotela kulo mkhakha nokufundisa ngawo kuleli nasemhlabeni.’

URamsamy ubonge abaluleki bocwaningo lwakhe lwe-master’s uSolwazi David Muckart noDkt Khine Swe Swe Han ngokumkhuthaza ukuthi edlulele eziqwini zobudokotela. Ubonge abameluleka ngeziqu zakhe zobudokotela oSolwazi Koleka Mlisana no-Sabiha Essack, athi bayizingwazi kwezokucwaninga, wabonga uNkulunkulu ongabonwayo ngempumelelo yakhe nomyeni wakhe u-Prenolin ngokuhlale emeseka, wabonga unina ngesibindi, wabonga umfowabo, abasemzini, abangani nezihlobo namadodakazi akhe o-Saskya Sarvani ngokumkhuthaza ukuthi aphokophelele ukuphumelela njalo. 

USikhosana, owenza iziqu zobudokotela kwi-Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit (i-ACRU) e-UKZN, uyazifela nge-astrophysics kanti wenza ucwaningo nge-diffuse radio emission emaqoqweni e-ACTPol. Uke elekelele kwi-MeerKAT telescope. USikhosana wethemba ukuthi lo msebenzi uzokwelekelela ekuqondeni ukuthi le misebe ishintsha kanjani nomumo wayo eqoqweni lezinkanyezi.

Lolu cwaningo luzolekelela ngokuphucula ukuthi zenzeka kanjani izinto kwi-formation theories of diffuse radio emission, luveze naloko okungaziwa ngamaqoqo ezinkanyezi,’ kusho yena.

USikhosana uthe uthakasile ngokuhlabana kwakhe, wathi kuzomsiza akwazi ukuqeda izifundo zakhe zobudokotela nokuthi asebenzisane nabanye abantu kule ndima ezweni lonke nasemhlabeni.

‘Kumnandi ukwazi ukuthi ngenxa yomsebenzi wami wokucwaninga, ithimba labehluleli libone kufanele ukuthi ngithole lo mklomelo,’ kusho yena.

USikhosana, okusegazini kuye ukuxazulula izinkinga nokuhlale efisa ukwazi kwabanzi ngezinto, wayithanda esemncane isayensi wase ekhetha ukwenza izifundo ze-astrophysics ngemva kwesonto lokufunda ngemisebenzi le-ACRU ngenkathi efunda umatikuletsheni, egqugquzelwa ukuba nentshisekelo yokuxazulula izinkinga zomhlaba. Useke waklonyeliswa ngokuba ngowesifazane ovelele kwisayensi ‘i-Wonder Woman in Science’ e-KZN, wathola umfundaze i-TATA Doctoral scholarship yabantu besifazane abansundu emikhakheni enqabile, waqokwa ukuthi abambe iqhaza kwi-69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting ngonyaka wezi-2019.

Njengowesifazane omnyama e-Afrika emkhakheni ogcwele abelungu namadoda, uNks Sikhosana ubhekane nezinselelo eziningi, wasebenza ngokuzikhandla ukuze naye akholwe wukuthi uhlakaniphe njengabo bonke bantu futhi kumfanele ukuba kulo mkhakha.

‘Into enhle wukuthi manje ngicabela ososayensi abancane besifazane indlela ukuze kungabi wumqansa omkhulu njengoba kwenzeka kimina,’ kusho yena.

Amagama: wu-Christine Cuénod

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


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Paediatrics Specialist Climbs Mount Kilimanjaro at Age 65

Paediatrics Specialist Climbs Mount Kilimanjaro at Age 65
Professor Raziya Bobat reaches the summit at Mount Kilimanjaro.

Raziya Bobat, Associate Professor in Paediatrics and Head of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, climbed Africa’s highest mountain this year at the age of 65.

She was accompanied by her husband, Professor Umesh Lalloo, their daughter, Natasha, and four friends.

Bobat, who is set to retire from UKZN at the end of this year after 40 years of service, was inspired last year by a close family friend with a respiratory condition, to take up this daunting challenge. ‘Apart from my daughter, the entire team consisted of adults that are over the age of 57.’ Mt Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, East Africa, stands 5 895 metres tall, and is the highest peak in Africa, and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world.

Prior to this amazing accomplishment, Bobat had not set foot in a gym. After training for a year with a personal trainer, and much encouragement from their daughter, Seema, who did the climb last year, the group was ready to embark on the seven-day journey along the Machame route. ‘There are risks along the way, but the biggest risk of this kind of climb is altitude sickness (anything above 5,500 metres is considered “extremely high altitude”), and as a medical specialist I know that you cannot predict altitude sickness,’ said Bobat. 

‘On the fifth day, we started hiking at around 11:30pm and we reached the summit, Uhuru Peak, at 8:30am. I cannot express the emotions we went through. The joy, the elation, the sense of achievement. It was difficult, a really hard climb, but you get to understand and appreciate your human strength and capabilities,’ remarked Bobat. ‘Along the way, you need to watch the route carefully as it can be narrow, steep, rocky and sometimes icy.’

Bobat thanked the amazing guides that accompanied them. ‘The guides and staff were phenomenal. We would never have been successful without their assistance.’ She is now inspired to attempt to reach the Everest Base camp next year and possibly at some stage attempt Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains in Peru.

As a fitting end to her amazing journey this year, she edited a book on HIV Infection in Children and Adolescents which will be launched in February 2020. The book is her contribution to medical education and to the care of HIV infected children in sub-Saharan Africa. All the contributors are her South African colleagues. 

Bobat’s advice to all, especially women over the age of 50, is, ‘Keep fit and active, as age doesn’t matter. It is the enduring determination of the human spirit that is always underestimated.’

Words: MaryAnn Francis

Photograph: Supplied


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Idili Lethimba lase-UKZN kanye Nabafundi BaseBotswana Bakudala

Idili Lethimba lase-UKZN kanye Nabafundi BaseBotswana Bakudala
Ithimba lase-UKZN nabafundi bakudala baseBotswana.Click here for English version

Ihhovisi lezabafundi bakudala i-Alumni Relations Office belihlele idili lokuqala elethemba ukuthi kuzoba ngelinye lamaningi eGaborone, eBotswana, mhla wesi-2 kuLwezi.

Lo mcimbi ubugcwele phama, lapho abantu bebethutheleke bevela kuzo zonke izinkalo zezwe, kube yisidlo lapho isikhulumi esiqavile bekunguMengameli noSihlalo we-Convocation e-UKZN, uMnu Fanle Sibisi.

Lo mcimbi obuseGaborone International Convention Centre, ubuyithuba lokuthi abafundi bakudala, abaxhasi nabangani be-UKZN bavuselele ubudlelwane njengabafundi bakudala, bezwe nokuthi kwenzekani esikoleni sabo sakudala.

USibisi uchaze kabanzi ngezinto ezenzeka eNyuvesi, wathinta isibalo sabafundi, ukukleliswa kweNyuvesi emhlabeni nezocwaningo. Kulandele imibuzo, eminingi yayo ibigxile enqubweni yokubhalisa nokuxhaswa kwalabo abafisa ukuqhuba izifundo zabo kanye nesivumelwano sokusebenzisana phakathi kwe-UKZN ne-University of Botswana.

UmQondisi omKhulu kwezokuXhumana e-UKZN, uMnu Ashton Bodrick, wamukele izihambeli, kanti uNks Normah Zondo, onguMqondisi wezobuDlelwano eNyuvesi, ubephethe uhlelo.

Izihambeli zigoduke nezishuqulwana zolwazi ebezinamabhuku ekhethelo ase-UKZN nezipho.

Amagama: wu-Finn Christensen

Izithombe: wu-Nomcebo Msweli


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Osolwazi base-CLMS Ohlwini Lwabacwaningi Abavelele

Osolwazi base-CLMS Ohlwini Lwabacwaningi Abavelele
USolwazi Stephen Mutula (kwesobunxele) no-Paul-Francois Muzindutsi.Click here for English version

OSolwazi Stephen Mutula no-Paul-Francois Muzindutsi abafundisa e-College of Law and Management Studies (e-CLMS) basohlwini lwabacwaningi abavelele abangama-30 eNyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natali.

I-Top 30 inabacwaningi ababhale kakhulu amaphepha ocwaningo emabhukwini ocwaningo avunywe wumNyango wezeMfundo ePhakeme nabalingani babo abacwaningi.

UMutula, oyiBamba njengeDini neNhloko yeSikole seManagement, IT and Governance uwumcwaningi ohlonishwa yi-National Research Foundation kanti wake waklonyeliswa yi-Emerald Publishing House (yase-UK) ngemiklomelo eyisikhombisa, waphinde waklonyeliswa yi-Fiek Foundation (yaseJalimane) ngokuhola ucwaningo ngobuqotho bezifundo ngolwazi ezifundweni zezikhungo eziphezulu e-Afrika, waklonyeliswa ngokuba wumncwaningi wonyaka esasebenza e-University of Botswana (ngonyaka wezi-2005 nowezi-2007), waklonyeliswa nge-International Federation of Library Associations (i-IFLA) ngokuqhamuka nendlela entsha yokufundisa abafundi abenza unyaka wokuqala enyuvesi ukufundisa ngamakhono ngolwazi (ngowezi-2007). Unezincwadi ezinhlanu ezishicilelwe.

Ephawula uthe, ‘Ngibonga abalingani bami nezitshudeni zami engisebenza nazo ngalo mklomelo. Bahlale bengikhuthaza.’

UMutula ushicilele amaphepha ocwaningo emabhukwini ocwaningo ahlonishwayo emhlabeni okubalwa kuwona i-African Journal of Information Systems, i-International Journal of Information Management, i-Online Information Review, i-International Journal of Innovation in the Digital Economy, i-International Journal of e-Adoption, i-Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems, i-The Electronic Library, i-South African Journal of Information Management, i-International Journal of Education Development in Africa, i-Journal of African Elections ne-Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Sciences.

UMuzindutsi oklonyeliswe okwesithathu iminyaka ilandelana uyi-Associate Professor ye-Finance eSikoleni se-Accounting, Economics and Finance. Ungowesithathu ohlwini lwe-Top 10 Young Published Researchers. Useke wathola imiklomelo i-Emerging Researchers Award ngowezi-2013 ne-Research Excellence Award ngowezi-2015 (e-North West University).

‘Ngithukile kodwa futhi ngakhuthazeka ukuklonyeliswa njengomunye wabacwaningi abangama-30 abavelele e-UKZN. Kusho ukuthi uyabonakala umsebenzi wami wokuzikhandla kanti ngizimisele ukuqhubeka ngidlondlobale,’ kusho uMuzindutsi.

Ngonyaka wezi-2018, uMuzindutsi ubhale amaphepha ocwaningo emabhukwini ocwaningo ahlonishwayo emhlabeni nakuleli okubalwa kuwona i-International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies (i-IJEPEE), i-International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance, i-Frontiers in Finance and Economics ne-International Journal of Economics and Finance Studies.

Kumanje wenza ucwaningo ngokuxhumana kwezimakethe zezimali nezingozi ezehlukene zezimakethe ezisathuthuka ngenhloso yokubala ngendlela efanele ubungozi bezwe okungekho endleleni okuvame ukubalwa ngayo.

Amagama: wu-Lungile Ngubelanga

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


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Decolonising Deliciousness

Decolonising Deliciousness
Community Care Givers workshop by UKZN and UNIZULU students.

Speech-Language Therapy students from UKZN and University of Zululand (UNIZULU) Consumer Sciences students’ second annual workshop linked to a broader project called “Tackling Hunger with Research and Innovation in Vulnerable Environments” (THRIVE) for Community Health Workers (CHWs) at UNIZULU.

UKZN’s Professor Mershen Pillay said that the project is about “decolonising deliciousness” and emphasises that being poor, disabled and living in vulnerable economic contexts does not mean that one can’t enjoy food. Driven by the adage that “food is everyone’s business”, the programme aims to contribute to reducing hunger in KwaZulu-Natal and the country as a whole by offering community-based training on food security and persons with disabilities, especially those who have difficulty swallowing.

Fourth-year Speech-Language Therapy student, Ms Sarah Mingay, said the project targets CHWs and community caregivers as they are able to connect health care professionals to community members. Over the past two years 120 community workers have been trained, impacting 1 800 homes. This is a far more sustainable approach than the “helicopter” one of flying in and out of communities.

The 2019 training content was based on a community needs analysis conducted by consumer and health science students earlier in the year, and was developed with the help of academics from both institutions. The project promotes food sovereignty though the “one home one garden” initiative, indigenous pharmacy farms, food preparation and food modification for people with disabilities. The training demonstrated inter-professional education (IPE) and inter-professional practice in action, as students from the two institutions worked together to develop and present the workshop as part of their practical/clinical education. This IPE framework is a novel one which could serve as a useful model in the College of Health Sciences and UKZN’s other Colleges.

UKZN Lecturer Dr Penelope Flack said, ‘Food security and hunger was a logical thing for both student groups to start working on, particularly among the most vulnerable of vulnerable groups, people living with disability in a resource constrained environment. The project aimed to explore how the two professions could work together to make food both safe and accessible to people with challenges.’

UNIZULU Consumer Science students shared a self-developed menu of easily accessible, nutritious foods that the CHWs can use. This was supported by research on food texture by Ms Marilize de Villiers, supervised by Pillay, Dr Legini Moodley (Speech-Language Therapy) and Mechanical Engineer Professor Ben Hanson of the University College London. Drs Calvin A Omolo and Ayman A Waddad of UKZN’s Discipline of Pharmaceutics assisted by testing methods to prepare a low cost, specialised nutritious food called ePap (www.epap.co.za) to match diet textures (see www.iddsi.org) for people with varied swallowing difficulties. Pillay commented that this was a sterling example of ‘taking science from the laboratory to the community.’

Guest speakers at the workshop included Occupational Therapist Ms Taylor Van Reese and Dietitian Ms Emily Weideman, both of whom are completing their year of community service at Ngwelezana Hospital, fourth-year UKZN Physiotherapy students Mr Ruen Jewnarain and Mr Nate Way and Mr Themba Bogosie, a Medical student who trained in Cuba and has a special interest in community-based healthcare.

Speech-Language Therapy students Ms A Russel, Ms S Mingay and Ms D Mhlanga, and UNIZULU Consumer Science students Ms N Mkhwanazi, Mr C Gwala, Ms S Nsele, Ms S Khanyi, and Ms S Zungu offered innovative demonstrations and a poem/rap reflecting a family case study.

Flack commended the students for their work: ‘They were very committed in preparing for the workshop, and dealt with challenges in a professional manner.’ The students work independently, and begin preparing for the workshop at the beginning of the year, with each new rotation continuing the work done by the previous group. The workshop is presented by the third rotation. 

Mingay said they were grateful to UKZN’s Pillay and Flack and UNIZULU lectures, Dr Cornelia Du Preez and Professor Unathi Kolanisi, who were all instrumental in making the collaboration possible.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photographs: Supplied


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UKZN Students Champion Mental Health Awareness amongst High Schools in Umlazi

UKZN Students Champion Mental Health Awareness amongst High Schools in Umlazi
UKZN students and an alumnus spearheaded a mental health awareness drive for some selected high schools in the Umlazi township.

Two College of Health Sciences students and an alumnus of the UKZN Medical School spearheaded a mental health awareness drive for selected high schools in Umlazi township recently in commemoration of Mental Health Month. The students, Mr Clement Agoni and Mr Yanga Mdleleni and alumnus, Dr Thandeka Maphumulo-Ngcobo are members of the Global Shapers Community Durban Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

Collaborating with local partners, notably, Durban and Coastal Mental Health, Match, Kguspa and the Umlazi U21 Clinic, the event brought together around 200 teenagers from four high schools, Zwelihle High, Igagasi High, Okumhlophe Secondary and Sishosonke Secondary. Various health professionals, including mental health practitioners and counsellors addressed topical issues such as substance abuse amongst teenagers and its relationship to mental health.

The leader of the Durban Global Shapers health team, Agoni noted that, ‘teenagers in high schools are under immense pressure from various external factors that could negatively affect their mental health and their academic performance in the long run. As a Durban hub, we believe this outreach could be a way to inform them of the interventions available to address their mental health concerns.’

The Mental Health Awareness Drive is one of the numerous projects undertaken by the Global Shapers Durban Hub to drive change in communities within eThekwini Municipality. They are committed to building and growing a community of change agents that have a positive impact on society.

Agoni is a doctoral student under the supervision of Professor Mahmoud Soliman in the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, while Mdleleni is a PhD candidate under the supervision of Drs Lenine Liebenberg and Wendy Mphatswe in the School of Laboratory Medicine.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photographs: Supplied


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A Letter to Bandi: In Memory of Nobandile Biko

A Letter to Bandi: In Memory of Nobandile Biko
The late Nobandile Biko, standing at the grave of her brother, Steve Biko, in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape.

In commemorating the recent passing of political activist Ms Nobandile Biko, the sister of struggle icon, Steve Biko, Professor Kriben Pillay said that his own beginnings as an aspirant poet began with his association with Biko 41 years ago in his hometown of East London.

‘I was just out of university, having done my BA degree in English and Drama at the former University of Durban-Westville and Nobandile and I were working for the South African Institute of Race Relations in East London, when she and other members of her family were detained on the eve of the first anniversary of Steve Biko’s death in September 1978. To voice our protest during a highly repressive time in our political history, I wrote one of my first poems, which appeared in the East London Daily DispatchA Letter to Bandi later appeared in four other publications, two of which are South African poetry anthologies,’ said Pillay. ‘I am always amazed and humbled at how things take shape in our lives; how totally interconnected we all are.’

Pillay said that he remembers Biko as a warm, bubbly personality, who carried no chip on her shoulder about being the sister of such a famous man.

‘But at the time of our first meeting, it was evident that the deep personal pain of losing Steve was made more intolerable by constant harassment by the then security branch,’ he said. ‘Today we have a whole generation of youth who have no sense of this important era of our country’s history. Nobandile Biko is one of the corner stones of this history in her own way.’

Pillay added that his family, especially his sister Dr Anu Pillay, continued their friendship with Biko, who resided in Cape Town where she worked in projects dealing with housing for the poor. Biko was 70 at the time of her death.

A Letter to Bandi*

This letter comes to you
empty of the things
I wanted to say
empty of the shock, the horror,
the pain of the day
framing only black marks
on a white page
framing only hopes
in a fearful age
this letter comes to you
with all my love
but empty of the things
I wanted to say
framing only black marks
on a white page

*This poem was written on the occasion of the detention of Bandi Mvovo (née Biko), who was detained on 11 September 1978, the eve of the anniversary of her brother Steve Biko’s death. It appears in:

‘A Letter to Bandi’. Voices From Within (anthology). Chapman, Michael; Dangor, Achmat (eds.), Craighall: Ad. Donker, 1982, p. 187.

‘A Letter to Bandi’. Ten Years of Staffrider: 1978-1988. Oliphant, Andries Walter; Vladislavic, Ivan (eds.). Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1989, p. 211.

Photograph: Supplied


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Lecturer Awarded Researcher Mobility Grant

Lecturer Awarded Researcher Mobility Grant
Dr Mzamo Shozi, who was awarded a prestigious Researcher Mobility Grant.

Dr Mzamo Shozi, a lecturer in the School of Chemistry and Physics has been awarded a prestigious Researcher Mobility Grant (RMG) from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

The grant targets PhD students and early career researchers working in academia or industry. Its primary function is to support these candidates in undertaking short to mid-term scientific visits to organisations in the United Kingdom (UK).

Shozi’s research focuses on catalysis, particularly in biomass conversion. This involves creating valuable chemicals from sugar alcohols via catalytic processes. He has published articles in high impact journals, including those of the American Chemical Society and the RSC.

Shozi is currently supervising eight MSc and five PhD students and has graduated seven BSc Honours and five MSc students.

He currently collaborates with researchers at Nelson Mandela and Northwest Universities as well as Sasol and the University of California Davis. He is working towards future collaborations with the University of Cape Town and Rhodes University, and plans to expand his network with international collaborations, which will be aided by the RMG.

The RMG will also give Shozi access to state-of-the-art equipment at the host institutions. He explained that he will now be able to complete research work he began as a Fulbright Scholar with full access to synchrotron facilities as he will be able to use a similar facility, Diamond Light Source, in the UK.

Through this grant, Shozi will be able to begin collaboration with an internationally reputed synchrotron researcher, Professor Andrea Russell at the University of Southampton in the UK, who he will visit in July 2020.

‘The work I will be doing with her will be of an international standard and I will be able to publish in high impact factor journals,’ said Shozi.

Shozi is also using this grant to empower his students. He encouraged aspiring academics to achieve their PhDs, and highlighted the importance of attending conferences, especially international ones.

‘Get the contact details of leading researchers in your field and keep in touch,’ he advised.

Words: Samantha Ngcongo

Photograph: Bheki Mthembu


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KFC Celebrates 10 Years of Adding Hope

KFC Celebrates 10 Years of Adding Hope
Mr Xolani Poto and on the right is Ms Lindiwe Zulu and Mr Tarun Lal.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) celebrated the 10th anniversary of its corporate social responsibility initiative, Add Hope, at UKZN’s Westville campus.

Held on 16 October on World Food Day and with October observed as World Hunger Month, the event highlighted how Add Hope contributes to ending childhood hunger in South Africa. With customers asked to donate R2 for each meal purchased, and KFC and other organisations adding their donations, Add Hope has been able to feed more than 150 000 children across the country every day.

Mrs Zinhle Modiselle, KFC Public Affairs Director, welcomed the children present who were the guests of honour. She noted that they are the future of South Africa and reflected on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision, presented in his second State of the Nation address, to eradicate hunger within the next decade. She committed KFC to working towards this goal.

In his State of Hope Address, Mr Xolani Poto, a young South African child, challenged the county as a whole to protect and look after its children by taking action. ‘As children, we’re challenging the big companies that some of our parents work for, NGOs, stakeholders, schools and communities to work together with the government to add hope by putting a stop to child hunger,’ said Poto.

General Manager of KFC Africa, Mr Tarun Lal noted that, ‘KFC is a big company in South Africa because of the support of the people in this country. So it is important to give back to this community and, we pledge to do a lot more than what we are currently doing.’

MEC for Social Development in KwaZulu-Natal, Mrs Nonhlanhla Khoza, expressed her excitement over the partnership between the DSD and KFC, in the fight against childhood hunger. She encouraged KFC to continue its good work and promised to support their efforts.

Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu urged the nation to take care of its future resource - its children. She added that, ‘We need to hold hands together and work together, ‘as she called on the government and the private sector to work together and break down silos.

Learners from the 1000 Hills Community Helpers programme and the Thuthukani Special School choir who are beneficiaries of Add Hope performed at the event.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photographs: Itumeleng Masa


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FirstRand Foundation International Postgraduate Scholarships Roadshow

FirstRand Foundation International Postgraduate Scholarships Roadshow
The FirstRand Foundation Scholarships Roadshow for Postgraduate studies abroad.

The FirstRand Foundation, a social investment vehicle for FirstRand Limited, ran a series of information sessions at universities across the country on how to apply for international postgraduate scholarships in 2020.

At the final roadshow on UKZN’s Westville campus, students were informed about funding in any area of study for a master’s or doctoral degree.

The FirstRand Foundation and the FirstRand Empowerment Foundation are managed by Tshikululu Social Investments and make funds available for education from early childhood education to the world of work.

Ms Xolile Zondi, Client Relationship Manager for Tshikululu Social Investments, explained that the ‘Foundation’s strategic intent is to contribute towards a strengthened economy and a better South Africa, by making catalytic investments in education and skills development.’

With a total of eight scholarships on offer, she summarised the five different categories that students could apply in:

1. The FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar Scholarship that funds two students was established with the aim of leaving a legacy and making a difference in South Africa.

2. The FirstRand Foundation Scholarship offers three students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds a chance to study at an international university of their choice.

3. The FirstRand Oxford African Studies Scholarship is a collaboration between the FirstRand Foundation and Wadham College at Oxford University. One student is able to study towards a Master’s degree in African Studies at Oxford University.

4. The FirstRand FNB Fund Oxford Education Scholarship enables one student to study for a Master’s degree at Oxford University in education or any field of study that makes an impact in education.

5. The FirstRand FNB Fund Scholarship allows one student to study education at any international university.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

•    Be a South African citizen

•    Display excellence as a key criterion

•    Have excelled academically in their field of study

•    Demonstrated leadership qualities

•    Strength of character

•    Show community orientated initiatives

•    Potential to be a destiny changer

•    Candidates currently studying, or who have studied overseas will not be considered

•    Successful candidates have to return to South Africa for at least five years after completing their studies

Zondi stressed the importance of a good personal motivation that showcases who the candidate is and what they want to accomplish for the world, their country and in their field of study. She highlighted the need to obtain letters of reference from people that know the type of difference the student hopes to make in their field. Zondi added that students who receive scholarships became part of a network of past recipients.

Applications for the 2020 FirstRand International Postgraduate Scholarships open on 16 December 2019 on the FirstRand Limited website and close on 20 February 2020.

Students are urged to apply independently to their selected universities abroad, as an acceptance letter is required by April 2020. The names of those selected will be announced at the end of May 2020.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Image: Supplied


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Postgraduate Student Publishes a Book

Postgraduate Student Publishes a Book
Professor Purshottama S Reddy (left) and author, Ms Halima Khunoethe.

Postgraduate student in Governance and Chief Director in the Provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Ms Halima Khunoethe has published a book.

The Smarter Municipality: Against The Ills of Local Government presents case studies of the challenges experienced by many municipalities and reflects on the errors that have been made in responding to them. The case studies were developed from assessments by the provincial department of dysfunctional and politically and administratively challenged municipalities.

The book offers executive municipal functionaries in all provinces an opportunity to learn valuable lessons and encourages them to consider ways to avert or deal with challenges that could arise in their respective municipalities. It also contributes to debates among government officials, academics/researchers and students on how to resolve potential crises.

Commenting on the book at its launch on the Howard College campus, Promoter Professor Purshottama S Reddy said, ‘the book highlights some of the “ills of local government”, namely tensions and disputes; political interference; weak governance; fraud and corruption; and stakeholder relationships using local case studies. It is very relevant and will certainly make a positive contribution to capacity building and changing the mind set of municipal functionaries in South Africa. Hopefully, this book will have a marked impact on local governance and more specifically service delivery.

‘Given her technical expertise in the field, backed by her academic qualifications, Khunoethe can be regarded as an expert on local government. We wish her well in her studies and future career prospects,’ added Reddy.

The prefaces to the book were written by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the former Minister of COGTA, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Khunoete is the Head of COGTA’s Capacity Building Unit in the province. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and is currently conducting research for her doctorate.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied


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CHS Research Symposium

CHS Research Symposium
Dean of Research Professor Anil Chuturgoon with CHS Research Symposium winners.

‘It is imperative that all of us, as healthcare professionals and medical scientists, produce research that is novel and impactful.’

These were the words of newly-appointed Dean of Research in the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Professor Anil Chuturgoon when he welcomed delegates to the College’s research symposium at the Medical School.

The symposium provides a platform for young researchers to showcase their novel studies to the University community. Having reviewed several of the studies presented, Chuturgoon said he was pleased with the standard and the quality of the work.

‘At UKZN, one of our research goals is excellent and high impact research. Health research has high value to society and we should never forget this.’

The organisers were also impressed by the large number of abstracts received. A total of 88 abstracts were submitted for the one-day programme.

College Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Busi Ncama congratulated Chuturgoon and his team for showcasing that UKZN is a research-led institution. ‘Researchers go the extra mile to enhance the status of UKZN, while producing impactful research.’

She added that she was happy that the majority of presenters were postgraduate students and young academics: ‘I want CHS to become a top-ranking people-centred College underpinned by the principles of universal health coverage, social justice, impact and relevance locally while internationally competitive.’

She said that human capital development is at the core of what she aims to achieve, including knowledge generation, knowledge transfer, and responsible and sustainable community engagement.

Ncama also shared her research plans for the College. These include, ‘A new research institute, a UKZN health consortium, three research hubs across the College, a health promoting university project and research professors and high impact researchers to consolidate research flagships projects.’

The research hubs will be based at the Medical School, Westville campus and at Howard College and aim to assist students to grow their research.

Guest speaker Dr Veron Ramsuran shared his work titled, “Differential HLA-A Expression Levels and the Effect on HIV” at the symposium. He is the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform (KRISP) group leader at UKZN and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences.

The day ended with an awards ceremony where presenters of the best research projects received certificates and vouchers. First prize winners received R30 000 travel vouchers to an international conference, while second and third prize winners received R15 000 travel vouchers to a national conference.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied


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Yoga Classes Launched for Staff and Students

Yoga Classes Launched for Staff and Students
The launch of the UKZN Yoga Project.

The UKZN Yogi Yoga Project was launched in partnership with the Township Yogi Project at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine in October.

The project targets staff and students and was launched by Dr Suvira Ramlall, Academic Leader for the Registrar Training Programme. Ramlall states that the project was a response to the frequent requests for assistance with stress management by both staff and students. ‘There was a need to capacitate people with simple skills and techniques to not just reduce stress but to adopt a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle. (Hatha) Yoga and mindfulness meditation are two simple practices that do not require expensive resources and also have a body of scientific evidence attesting to their effectiveness in reducing stress, maintaining health and improving outcomes for a variety of medical and psychiatric illnesses.’

The launch commenced with a Mindfulness Meditation session by UKZN specialist psychiatrist, Dr Kalpesh Narsi. Narsi is based at the eThekwini District Health Office as a community psychiatrist and supports primary care doctors in integrating mental health in the district health system. He is currently on the University of Massachusetts teacher training pathway as a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor.

Narsi described Mindfulness as the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

The first yoga class was attended by academics and students. Instructor, Mr Zweli Vilakazi introduced this practice as an ancient discipline from India. It is both spiritual and physical. Yoga uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation to improve health and happiness.

Vilakazi said that he began attending yoga classes as a way of increasing his suppleness in relation to dance, but within a few months of discovering the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of yoga, he adopted it as a way of life. In 2014, he was offered the opportunity of training to become a Hatha yoga teacher through the Township Yogi Project’s teacher training programme. His training took him all over South Africa, and to India for his 500-hour yoga teaching qualification. In 2017 Vilakazi travelled to the northern regions of Namibia to launch the Township Yogi Project in communities there. He runs yoga classes at schools in KwaMashu and is committed to bringing about change within his own township community, especially in the lives of children and the youth through the power of yoga.

Classes will be held on Wednesday afternoons from 15h00-16h00 in the Medical School Examinations Hall and will resume in the new academic year.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied


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CHS Arms Employees with EQ skills

CHS Arms Employees with EQ skills
Staff at the EQ workshop at Ngwelezana Hospital.

The College of Health Sciences (CHS) held a successful Emotional Intelligence (EQ) workshop for healthcare staff at Ngwelezana Hospital in Empangeni as part of UKZN’s “Grow Our People” strategy.

The introspective workshop, which was attended by health care practitioners from different hospitals in the province, aimed to capacitate staff to manage their emotions, especially in challenging situations.

‘Imagine standing in the eye of a hurricane, wild winds and debris flying at high speed a metre from your face. You are holding a candle and the flame does not flicker. That is how calm, serene and in control you are. Imagine standing in the middle of an earthquake. Every step you take brings a new danger. Your heart is racing. There is danger in every move. No one seems to be there for you. You are exhausted.’ This is how facilitator, Mrs Mariane Vorster introduced the session to participants.

Dr Olumunyiwa Olowe, Medical Manager at Mbongolwane Hospital said, ‘This is an excellent workshop that should be attended by every employee and employer.’

‘This session was an eye opener. We are now equipped to deal with difficult situations and stressors,’ said Betty Netshandoma who an anaesthetics consultant at Ngwelezana Hospital.

Miss Nompumelelo Mbatha, Employee Assistance Practitioner at Manguzi Hospital remarked that the workshop will assist employees to reflect on their weaknesses that can hinder service delivery.

The CHS will host a similar session for Pietermaritzburg-based employees at Greys Hospital on 29 November 2019 and on 13 December 2019 at Edendale hospital (09:00 to 12:00)

Staff are urged to RSVP in time for planning purposes.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photographs: Supplied


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Team Building Promotes Open Communication to Improve Service Delivery

Team Building Promotes Open Communication to Improve Service Delivery
School of Management, IT and Governance staff members at the event.

Academics and professional support staff in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance participated in an interactive outdoor team building event at the Durban Watersport Club aimed at improving staff efficiency and communication.

Attended by just over 60 staff members, the event aimed to promote UKZN’s REACHT values and to encouraged staff to integrate them in their operational milieu.

The day involved two main events, the first being a potjie challenge, where teams competed in a Masterchef challenge to see who could produce the best meal. Unrealised and unknown skills emerged as amazing dishes were prepared.

After sampling the delicious food at lunch time, the second session involved copying a small painting onto a large canvas. This tested mathematical skills, patience and attention to detail.

The exercise enabled staff to share, explore, clarify and re-define their relationships as they sought to improve some of the skills required to execute their duties.

Dean and Head of School, Professor Stephen Mutula said, ‘The team building workshop brought staff together to work on carefully designed team based tasks. The barriers and hierarchies that exist in our normal work environment and which alienate us from one another were broken down by sharing responsibilities using team-based approaches.’

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied


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Ucwaningo Oluhlanganyelwe Lwakuleli Lunqobe Indondo Yomhlaba

Ucwaningo Oluhlanganyelwe Lwakuleli Lunqobe Indondo Yomhlaba
USolwazi Alain Assounga nomlingani wakhe ocwaningweni owayefunda e-UKZN, uSolwazi Saraladevi Naicker, bekwi-AFRAN Congress eMombasa, eKenya.Click here for English version

Ithimba labacwaningi abawongoti kwezempilo nonjiniyela base-UKZN nososayensi bezempilo baseSefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (e-SMU) nase-University of Witwatersrand bahlanganyele ocwaningweni lokuphucula ukusebenza kwezinso kubantu base-sub-Saharan Afrika.

Lolu cwaningo, okungolokuqala emhlabeni, ludle umhlanganiso we-Best Abstract kulo mkhakha, laphuma isibili kwi-Best Abstract kwi-African Association of Nephrology (i-AFRAN) Congress eMombasa, eKenya.

I-Chronic Kidney Disease (i-CKD) yandile e-Afrika kanti iyimbangela yakho konke ukufa kwabantu okungamaphesenti angama-13.4. Ucwaningo olusha lulinganisa ukuthi ngonyaka wezi-2030, zingaphezu kwamaphesenti angama-70 iziguli ezixinwe yisifo sezinso eziyobe zisemazweni antulayo njengamazwe ase-sub-Saharan Afrika. Okuyobhebhezela ingozi kulabantu ukudlanga kwezifo ezithathelanayo njengesandulelangculazi, i-glomerulonephritis, i-schistosomiasis ne-leishmaniasisd.

Amahlalakhona ezinso avamile kubantu abanenhliziyo eshaya ngamandla, isifo sikashukela nezinye izifo ezithathelanayo. Yingakho kumqoka ukugwema ukuba nalezi zifo, ukuze zisheshe zibonakale nokuthi zilawuleke kubantu abadala base-Afrika lapho kunesimo sokuntula izinto eziningi.

Enye yezindlela zokubona i-CKD wukukala izinga le-glomerular filtration (i-eGFR) ukuhlola ukuthi zisebenza kanjani izinso. Ikala ukuthi kudlula igazi elingakanani ngomzuzu kuma-glomeruli. Ama-glomeruli yizisefo ezincane ezisezinsweni ezihlunga udoti egazini.

Ukukala ukuhluzeka kukadoti egazini kuvame ukushaya eceleni kubantu base-sub-Saharan Afrika. Izibalo ezisetshenziswayo zithathelwe kwezabantu abansundu baseMelika kanti zivame ukuba ngaphezu kwesikali sabantu base-sub-Saharan Afrika. Inhloso yocwaningo oluhlanganyelwe bekuwukuqhamuka nendlela entsha yokukala ehambisana nabantu base-Afrika ukuphucula indlela yokukala ngenhloso yokukwazi ukubona isifo sezinso.

Kulolu cwaningo kwahlolwa abantu abadala abansundu abangama-76 abayiziguli zaseNkosi Albert Luthuli Central nase-King Edward VIII. Kwasetshenziswa indlela entsha yokukala ehlaziya izinto eziningi. Umphumela kwaba wukuqhamuka nendlela entsha yokukala izinto.

Lo msebenzi ubuyingxenye yocwaningo lwezifundo zobudokotela zomuntu osebenza e-UKZN nowumfundi wakhona wakudala, uDkt Nomandla Madala, oyiNhloko yezokweLapha zangaPhakathi e-SMU. USolwazi Alain Assounga, iNhloko ye-Nephrology uphawulile ngemiphumela yalolu cwaningo. Uthe: ‘Sithole indlela yokukala izinga le-glomerular filtration ebhekiswe kubantu base-Afrika, esiyibize nge-African GFR. Le ndlela ingcono kakhulu ekulinganiseni ngamaphesenti angama-75 kusukela kwangama-64 kubantu base-Afrika. Sijabule kakhulu ngemiphumela yocwaningo njengoba izophucula indlela yokuhlola isifo sezinso e-sub-Saharan Afrika.

‘Ngibonga ithimba longoti elibe negalelo kulolu cwaningo olusha, olumqoka. Kulona kukhona oDkt Nomandla Madala, no-Monica Oluwakorede Oluyede, oSolwazi Saraladevi Naicker, Jules-Raymond Tapamo no-Guy Honoré.’

Amagama: wu-MaryAnn Francis

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


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