I-STEC@UKZN Iholele Abafundi base-Eden College Emkhakheni I-STEM

I-STEC@UKZN Iholele Abafundi base-Eden College Emkhakheni I-STEM
Abafundi base-Eden College eThekwini bezitika ngeminye yemibukiso yase-STEC@UKZN.Click here for English version

I-Science and Technology Educational Centre e-UKZN i-(STEC@UKZN) ibivakashelwe ngabafundi bebanga le-8 ne-9 base-Eden College emhlanganweni wokucobelelana ngolwazi kulomkhakha.

Inhloko yoMnyango ye-Physical Science e-Eden College uNkk Chantal Sunpath ubekade eye ku-Wonder Women in Science Breakfast nabafundi bebanga le-11, bathakasela umbukiso wesayensi kaDkt Tanja Reinhard wase-UKZN. Ngemva kokuchazwa isethulo esakhayo, uSunpath wathinta i-STEC@UKZN ukuthi ihlele isithangami sokufundisa ngemisebenzi esemkhakheni i-STEM.

Inhloso yalesi sithangami bekungukugqugquzela abafundi ukuthi bafunde ezesayensi ngokubakhombisa ubumnandi obukhona kuyona. ‘Sifisa ukugqugquzela nokukhuthaza ukuhluma kwezingqondo ezisencane zesayensi,’ kusho uSunpath.

Kulolu hlelo bekukhona umhlangano wokucobelana ngolwazi kwezobuchwepheshe, ukuvakashela isikhungo sezesayensi nombukiso wezesayensi. Ngesikhathi somhlangano, abafundi bafunde ngezinto ezehlukene nokuthi yini ezenza zihluke, babheka ukuthi amazinga okushisa alezi zinto ashintsha kanjani, amanzi nemisebe yelanga kuzenzani lezi zinto.

Loku kuxukuze ugebhezi lwabafundi, kwabalungiselela ukuthi bakwazi ukuxazulula izinkinga ngeso lezesayensi. ‘Abafundi benze izinto eziningi bukhoma. Babemagange ukubamba iqhaza, babone ukuthi izinto ezehlukene ziba njani ezimweni ezehlukene,’ kusho uNks Nokwethaba Biyela, osaqeqeshelwa umsebenzi e-STEC nongomunye wabadidiyeli besithangami.

USunpath uthe lolu hlelo luqaqa ingqondo yabafundi, babone izinto ezintsha, okuvula imiqondo yabo.

Umfundi uNks Ravindra Singh, othanda isayensi, ezobuchwepheshe nolimi, uthe nakanjani isikhungo sezesayensi yindawo yokuvakashelwa. Ebuzwa ukuthi ukuvakashela kumkhuthaze ukuthi azofunda e-UKZN, uphendule wathi: ‘I-UKZN ingezinye yezikhungo engizithandayo.’

Uzwakwabo uNks Jenna Fourie, ofisa ukuba wudokotela wengqondo, uthe belumandi uhambo, ikakhulu ukuvakashela isikhungo sezesayensi.

Njengoba i-Eden College ingesinye sezikole eziphakela i-UKZN, iKolishi lezoLimo, ezobuNjiniyela nezeSayensi lisebenza ngokuzikhandla ukuheha abantu abashe kule misebenzi enqabile.

Amagama: u-Samantha Ngcongo

Isithombe: uNokwethaba Biyela


author : .
author email : .

UKZN and SAS Champion Young Women in Analytics

UKZN and SAS Champion Young Women in Analytics
Top Mathematics pupils, teachers and staff at the Women in Analytics function hosted by UKZN’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science.

In an effort to attract top performers to the field of data analytics and ensure that women are well represented in and exposed to this exciting career, UKZN’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science teamed up with the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) to offer an information session and recruitment drive with a difference.

The brainchild of Dean and Head of the School, Professor Delia North a high tea was held at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga for a select group of Durban’s top performing Grade 11 schoolgirls, along with their Mathematics teachers.

Schools targeted in the pilot project included Durban Girls’ High School, Westville Girls’ High School, Eden College, Star College, Thomas More College, Crawford La Lucia and Danville Park Girls’ High School.

In welcoming the girls to the event, North explained: ‘Our aim is to attract a critical mass of high performing students to UKZN to take up the challenge of data analytics and statistics – a field that offers exciting career opportunities and which needs female representation.

‘At UKZN we have top lecturers in Statistics and are passionate about equipping girls in this field.’

North thanked Mr Jeremy Beukes, who on behalf of “Quantify your Future”, sponsored eight Takealot vouchers for the lucky draw, whilst UKZN sponsored a Huawei P20 Pro mobile phone.

Keynote speaker at the event was a professor of Applied Statistics and Data Science at Kennesaw State University in Georgia in the United States, Professor Jennifer Priestley, who is also the Director of the Centre for Statistics and Analytical Services at the university. Prior positions Priestly has held include Vice-President of Business Development for VISA EU and Vice-President for Business Development for MasterCard International.

Priestley outlined the role women can play in the field of data analytics and encouraged the young performers to consider the possibilities it offered. 

‘2.5 quintillian bites of data are generated every day,’ said Priestley. ‘We have generated more data in the last two years than in the whole of human history. Somewhere hidden in that data are the solutions to the problems we are facing in society and in our communities. The current lack of demographic representation amongst data analysts is contributing to bad algorithms.

‘The computational sciences need women. They need your voices in the algorithms that shape our lives.’

UKZN alumnus Dr Nonhlanhla Yende-Zuma provided an overview of her life story, from humble beginnings to PhD statistics graduate and Head of Biostatistics at the world-renowned Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA). 

Yende-Zuma, who was the first Black South African to acquire a PhD in Statistics, was awarded the qualification for investigations she did into the best time to start treatment for HIV patients co-infected with TB.

‘I come from Ntamhlophe, a deep rural area near Escourt,’ said Yende-Zuma. ‘I was the first person in the whole area to go to university. The school I attended had no science lab and all learning was theoretical. I had never used a computer before I came to UKZN. Yet I succeeded.’

‘It was self-motivation and mental strength that kept me going. I knew I had to focus and work hard. Maths was my safe place.’

Yende-Zuma offered the following gems of advice: ‘Go the extra mile. Think out the box. Be trustworthy and reliable. If you want something, go and get it. Be humble, but don’t be apologetic. Be open-minded. Don’t take things personally. Don’t underestimate the task. Forgive yourself. Compete with yourself.’

Current UKZN PhD students and lecturers Ms Danielle Roberts, Ms Nombuso Zondo and Ms Arusha Desai ended the presentations by sharing their thoughts on what they wished they had known about study and career opportunities when they were at school. The trio then led round table discussions with the girls and their teachers, while enjoying a well-deserved high tea.

‘We are very excited with this initiative to attract high performers to UKZN and to the field of data analytics,’ said North.

‘With the support of SAS and the success of this pilot, our next event will target boys. 

Watch the space. Data for Dudes is in the pipeline!

Words: Sally Frost

Photograph: Albert Hirasen


author : .
author email : .

Dancer Completes Artist-in-Residency Stint at School of Arts

Dancer Completes Artist-in-Residency Stint at School of Arts
UKZN Artist-in-Residency Fana Tshabalala.

Renowned dancer Mr Fana Tshabalala, was in UKZN’s Drama and Performance Studies Programme for a three-month residency offering specialised classes and master classes.

Tshabalala’s residency stemmed from a partnership UKZN has with the Andrew Mellon Foundation in which the University plays host to various prominent South African and African artists in an interface between arts academia and the desire to grow and support practice led disciplines.

Tshabalala was also involved with the Centre for Creative Arts JOMBA! festival showcasing his own work and a unique premiere of a collaboration with Durban’s FLATFOOT DANCE COMPANY.

‘I had never previously worked in Durban so it has been very interesting for me to interact and collaborate with artists here,’ said Tshabalala. ‘It has allowed me to expand my creative ability and to research my new solo titled Zann.’

On the artist-in-residency programme, he said: ‘In South Africa, there are only a few residencies where creators have an opportunity to explore ideas without expecting any big outcomes. This programme gives artists a platform to interrogate their artistic approach and also provides employment.’

During his three months at UKZN he shared his choreographic approach with students of the UKZN Drama programme. His working methodology of improvisation as a working tool towards choreography was on show during a final performance by third-year Dance students at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

Tshabalala, based in Gauteng, was the 2013 Standard Bank Young Artist recipient for Dance and in 2018 received the Black Excellence Award in Chicago Illinois (USA). He choreographs and performs his work locally and internationally, and one of his presentations, Between, was part of Dance Dialogue Africa which toured Germany and then Africa playing in12 countries and 14 cities.

In early 2015, he worked with a writer from Cape Town, Nanziwe Mzuzu, on an ETV documentary inspired by his latest solo titled Man.

He also has worked with children from the Kliptown Youth Programme on two dance movies, which were runners-up for a short film competition in Paris.

Tshabalala is currently a co-founder and one of the directors for the Broken Borders Art Project.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Val Adamson


author : .
author email : .

Unity in Africa – Focus of Luthuli Lecture

Unity in Africa – Focus of Luthuli Lecture
Panellists and special guests at the 15th Annual Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture, one of UKZN’s most prestigious public lectures.

It is time Africans stop seeing each other as foreigners, says Ms Samia Nkrumah, daughter of Ghana’s first president, the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Delivering the 15th Annual Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture in Durban, Nkrumah, the Chairperson of Ghana’s Convention People’s Party, emphasised: ‘Have we forgotten so soon that we stood together as one to defeat colonialism and apartheid colonialism? We are one people with a common heritage and a common destiny.’

The first woman to deliver the Luthuli lecture, Nkrumah said: ‘We see African men rising up against fellow African women. What do we gain from gender-based violence (GBV), from femicide, but broken hearts and broken homes?’

She pledged allegiance with women the world over to fight against GBV. ‘I am proud to take a stand with all women here. All women in this country… all women all over the world against violence against women.’

Nkrumah said both Luthuli and her father believed that ‘education and collective agency empower us to change our destiny.

‘Africa must unite … long live the African nation that must be,’ she said to thunderous applause.

Minister of the National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Mr Nathi Mthethwa paid tribute to the ‘two imposing figures’ - Kwame Nkrumah, the ‘first liberator on the continent’ and the founding father of a democratic, independent Ghana, and Chief Albert Luthuli, the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate in Africa, stressing that both leaders stood for Pan-Africanism and peace.

Also speaking at the event, UKZN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize said the purpose of the lecture was ‘not essentially to memorialise the life or preserve the legacy of Inkosi Luthuli, but once again to draw inspiration from his service to others’. Mkhize said that dialogue was integral to the Luthuli legacy. ‘In troubled times, we look to the moral authority of great leaders to consider how best we may respond to contemporary challenges.’

Chairperson of the Luthuli Museum Council Mr Important Mkhize paid tribute to Kwame Nkrumah, president of Ghana when in 1957 it became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve independence. Mkhize said Luthuli and  Nkrumah made incisive and deep pronouncements about the need for unity on the African continent. ‘Both were engaged in the struggles for liberation of their countries against the shackles of colonialism and apartheid,’ said Mkhize.

‘In their quest for freedom and emancipation of their countries, they did not confine nor restrict themselves to their respective countries but spread their wings to wage the struggle for the liberation of Africa and oppressed and exploited masses the world over,’ he said.

Dr Albertina Luthuli (Chief Albert Luthuli’s eldest daughter), Important Mkhize, Mthethwa, Nkrumah and Professor Mkhize fielded questions from the audience during a panel discussion.

The Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture is hosted annually by UKZN, the National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, the Chief Albert Luthuli Foundation and the Luthuli Museum.

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bITtuLur9Tc to view the lecture.

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Photograph: Itumeleng Masa


author : .
author email : .

Isethulo seVidiyo Esuselwa eSifundweni

Isethulo seVidiyo Esuselwa eSifundweni
USolwazi Kriben Pillay noDkt Kriyanka Moodley bexoxa kwividiyo.Click here for English version

I-University Technology Enhanced Learning yase-UKZN (i-UTEL) ibambisene noSolwazi Kriben Pillay ofundisa ngezokuhola eSikoleni esifundisa ngamaBhizinisi nezokuPhatha bahlanganise ividiyo besebenzisa inkulumo ayethule kwesinye isifundo.

Lesifundo, The Illusion of Solid and Separate Things: Troublesome Knowledge and the Curriculum, besihlelwe Ihhovisi Lezokufunda Nokufundisa Enyuvesi (i-UTLO) ngoNcwaba ngowezi-2018 kanti lesi sihloko saphinde sethulwa njengenkulumo yosuku esiGcawini sokuCobelelana ngolwazi lokufundisa ngezobuHlengikazi e-New York University ngoLwezi wezi-2018.

UPillay uthe: ‘Lesifundo sasisuselwa esihlokweni engasibhala encwadini yangowezi-2016 esihloko sithi, Disrupting Higher Education Curriculum: Undoing Cognitive Damage eyahlelwa nguDkt Rubby Dhunpath, uSolwazi Michael Samuel noSolwazi Nyna Amin lapho ngangibheka khona indlela imali osekuyiyona ehamba phambili ngayo kwezemfundo emhlabeni-jikelele nokufakazela okwashiwo ngu-Einstein akubiza nge“optical delusion of consciousness” nokuwumsuka wokwehlukana kwethu.’

‘Kwangicacela ukuthi nakuba nginaso isethulo esiku-Powerpoint nevidiyo eyiphelezelayo kodwa ukuguqula yonke into ibe yividiyokungenza ibukeke kahle kakhulu futhi izwakale kahle. Ukwengeza ividiyo ngengxoxo eyayingahleliwe phakathi kwami nowayengomunye wabafundi bami beziqu zobudokotela, uDkt Kriyanka Moodley, kwenza lokhu esasikwenzile ekuqaleni kube kuhle kakhulu,’ kwengeza uPillay.

UMhleli wevidiyo e-UTEL, uMnu Njabulo Dladla, nokunguyena owayeqondisa ukuguqulwa kwesethulo esiku-Powerpoint kube yividiyo uthe: ‘Siqala kwakuyinto elikhuni ukuyenza ividiyo ibe yile ndlela uSolwazi Pillay ayechaza ngayo ukuthi ufisa ibe yiyona. Kodwa emva kokuzwa ukuthi ukuthi kunesethulo esiku-Powerpoint esesenziwe kuphela nje okumele kwenziwe ividiyosashintsha izinto kancane sengeza ngosofa, amalambu amabili nezinye izinto ezenza obukelayo angaboni umehluko phakathi kwevidiyo ne-Powerpoint.”

Umphathi wase-UTEL, uMnu Jasper Cecile, uthe nakuba sebeqophe izifundo nezingxoxo eziningi e-studio sabo kodwa bebeqala ukuguqula isethulo esiku-powerpoint sibe yividiyo.

UDhunpath we-UTLO uthe lokhu kumele kugqugquzele abanye abafundisayo ukuthi benze okufanayo ngokwabelana nomphakathi ngomsebenzi wabo.

‘Ngiyajabula kakhulu ukuthi uSolwazi Pillay usezinikele ekutheni uzolekelela abanye abafisa ukwenza amavidiyo anjena ikakhulukazi ekubhaleni nasekwethuleni umsebenzi wabo,’ kusho uDhunpath.

UNksz Devi Nanen wase-New York University owayengomunye abebesingethe uPillay ngenkathi evakashile nyakenye uthe ubone ividiyo ‘iyinhle, ilandeleka kalula futhi ibhalwe kahle’. Wengeze ngokuthi ‘kumele sithole indlela yokufundisa sisebenzisa ividiyo’.

IVidiyo ungayibuka ku: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnzddHwk8Lk

Amagama: u-Kriben Pillay

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Technician Delivers Presentation at Conference in the USA

UKZN Technician Delivers Presentation at Conference in the USA
UKZN’s Mr Naren Bhimsan at the SimGHOSTS Conference.

UKZN’s Principal Technician in the Discipline of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care in the College of Health Sciences, Mr Naren Bhimsan presented a paper at the SimGHOSTS Conference in Miami titled: New Trend in Training: Taking Hi-Fidelity Simulation Cross-Country to Under-Resourced Anesthetists.

Bhimsan’s presentation demonstrated the impact of cross-country collaboration and the sharing of expensive training resources, while also exploring the role of high fidelity in emergency training.

Bhimsan said various African countries were under resourced and financially deprived especially in the healthcare sector where there was less than adequate training available.

The high costs of travel to centres of high-fidelity simulation made visits by representatives from many African countries prohibitive. With this in mind, Bhimsan and his team of four consultant anaesthesiologists, started providing training in some of the countries and successfully transported paediatric hi-fidelity simulators to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2017 and Lusaka, Zambia, in 2018. Around 45 anaesthetists were trained in each country in an internationally accredited programme known as Managing Emergencies in Paediatric Anaesthesia (MEPA).

Bhimsan is also the Manager at UKZN’s Simulated Modules in Anaesthesia and Resuscitation Training Centre based at Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban. This Centre has four hi-fidelity human patient simulators – manufactured by CAE Healthcare – at its their state-of-the-art simulation centre, which is used to train Medical students, physicians, nurses, and other allied health professionals.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

UKZN College Donates over 100 Toys to ECR’s Toy Story Campaign

UKZN College Donates over 100 Toys to ECR’s Toy Story Campaign
The College of AES dropped off over 100 toys at East Coast Radio House for the Toy Story campaign.

The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) has donated over 100 toys to the East Coast Radio (ECR) Toy Story campaign that gives gifts to underprivileged children in government hospitals, orphanages and children’s homes across KwaZulu-Natal.

Collection boxes were set up in CAES offices on the Westville, Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses and everyone was encouraged to work hard to generate donations towards the worthy cause.

Staff really came together as the spirit of giving spread across the College and over 100 toys were collected and delivered to East Coast Radio House in Umhlanga.

Said Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College, Professor Albert Modi: ‘The College is proud to donate to a worthy cause like Toy Story. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to get together and give back to these underprivileged children that may be our students one day. I commend College staff for their efforts.’

The College is grateful to every person who made a donation. By donating toys to this campaign, the College not only experienced the joy of giving but built team spirit as well.

Words: Sashlin Girraj

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Researchers Rewarded for Achievements

UKZN Researchers Rewarded for Achievements
Highlights from UKZN’s Research Awards evening.

Seasoned and young researchers were honoured for their achievements and contributions during the University’s annual Research Awards ceremony in Durban.

Welcoming everyone to the event, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Professor Deresh Ramjugernath said UKZN continued to be among the top performing Higher Education Institutions in South Africa with rankings recently listing it number two in the country for research outputs. 

Director General of the Department of Science and Innovation Dr Phil Mjwara, who presented the keynote address, applauded the University’s research achievements and programmes, saying they epitomised UKZN’s commitment to research. He urged award recipients to commit to maintaining the high standard of research.

Ramjugernath paid tribute to the research achievers while launching UKZN’s 2018 Research Report. He also acknowledged and thanked all staff and students for their contributions to ensuring that UKZN remained the most transformed research intensive university in South Africa.

Professor Mahmoud Soliman was named UKZN’s Top Researcher for the second consecutive year, with Professor Colleen Downs, being the Top Published female researcher for the fifth consecutive year.

Associate Professor at UKZN’s Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit (ACRU) Professor Yin-Zhe Ma received the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Award which recognises outstanding research achievements among researchers under 40 years old.

Occupational therapist Professor Pragashnie Govender was recognised for being the first runner-up for the Department of Science and Technology’s SA Women in Science Awards.

The Top 30 researchers, Top 10 young published researchers and Top 10 published students were also named during the event. The top five most cited researchers included Professor Benn Sartorius, Dr Cynthia Chiang, Professor Kovin Naidoo, Professor Frank Tanser and Professor Genene Mola.

Other awards announced included those for the highest grant awards achieved for a College. The recipients were Professor Thumbi Ndung’u of the College of Health Sciences; Professor Christopher Buckley of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science; Professor Paulus Zulu of the College of Humanities, and the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Nana Poku for the College of Law and Management Studies.

In her vote of thanks, programme director and UKZN’s Dean of Research Professor Urmilla Bob thanked researchers for their contributions, and staff at the Research Office for their dedication.

For further information on the research awards and other research achievements at UKZN, follow this link https://www.ukzn.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/UKZN-Research-2018.pdf for the 2018 Research Report.

Words: Sithembile Shabangu

Photographs: Albert Hirasen


author : .
author email : .

College of Humanities Hosts Inaugural Mazisi Kunene Lecture

College of Humanities Hosts Inaugural Mazisi Kunene Lecture
Dr Maulana Karenga (centre) with his wife Tiamoyo (sixth right) and UKZN and Mazisi Kunene Foundation representatives.

The College of Humanities hosted the inaugural Mazisi Kunene lecture in partnership with the Mazisi Kunene Foundation.

Said Executive Managing Trustee of the Foundation Mrs Mathabo Kunene: ‘We are deeply honoured to be part of this auspicious occasion paying tribute to one of the University’s internationally recognised alumni. Honouring South Africa’s first Poet Laureate, Mazisi Kunene – a rounded human being, literary icon, and activist – is a necessary and affirming task for our confident march into a tomorrow that is safe and fit for our children and generations to come.’

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize said: ‘We are proud to host the Mazisi Kunene inaugural lecture and to reflect on his vital contribution to the world in terms of language, salience and political importance. The African aesthetic is an essential dimension of Kunene’s work and language is integral to the way of life. As the College, we will continue to teach his works and build on them through research.’

Internationally acclaimed activist-scholar, Dr Maulana Karenga delivered the inaugural lecture titled: The Memories and Mountains of Mazisi Kunene: Remembrance, Resistance and Remaking the World.

Karenga is best known as the creator of the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa.

For his lecture, he drew on Kunene’s legacy delving into the lessons of life, work and the struggle that could be gleaned from him. Karenga shared fond memories of Kunene who, he said, had taught him that recapturing and using African culture in emancipatory ways were indispensable to the liberation struggle.

Karenga argues that ‘to truly free ourselves we must be ourselves, and to truly be ourselves we must free ourselves of the dignity-denying, deculturalising and dehumanising thoughts and practices of our oppressor. For the oppressor cannot be our teacher, if we are to be free and flourish in our Africanness and humanity.’

Karenga insisted that African views and values should also be used in constructing a path forward for African people as well as for future generations. He urged Africans, especially the youth, to learn and honour their identity similar to what Kunene did.

Referencing Kunene’s work Emperor Shaka the Great, he said: ‘Let us take our history seriously, searching in it, for in it are the secrets of greatness, the struggle, the ethical life and the path to a liberated future. This leads us to Kunene’s emphasis on respect for and learning from the ancestors. And again, he places this cultural and ethical advice at the very beginning of his signature epic uNodumehlezi kaMenzi.’

Karenga puts forth the fundamental position that a new liberated consciousness of Africanness and responsibility to the people and the world must be developed and cultivated. He acknowledged Kunene for his mastery of language and literature as a weapon in the liberation struggle and as an instrument for the reassertion of African values.

‘To make such a commitment to Kunene means that we must be clear about our duty in the context of our time. My reading of the ancestors tell us this is our duty: to know our past and honour it; to engage our present and improve it; and to imagine a whole new future and forge it in the most ethical, effective and expansive ways,’ said Karenga.

Dean and Head of UKZN’s School of Arts Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa said plans were underway at UKZN to revitalise and intellectualise isiZulu as an African language. One of the ways was linked to the preservation of the legacy of Kunene through an annual public lecture, scholarships to support research, and a research Chair bearing Kunene’s name.

‘Professor Mazisi Kunene is an artist who understands the significance of expressing a person’s world view in the language of their memory and experience,’ said Hlongwa. ‘He understands that Africa has unique pieces of indigenous knowledge within the village that is rapidly globalising and homogenising. Kunene is the first continental poet Africa has ever produced.

‘It is fitting that Dr Maulana Karenga, a scholar of note and an activist, delivered the inaugural lecture.’

Karenga spent a week with UKZN and the Mazisi Kunene Foundation where he embarked on a trip to KwaHluzingqondo High School located at AmaHlongwa, South of Durban. Karenga paid tribute to Kunene by visiting his gravesite leading to the school.

The school prides itself with putting the human being at the epicenter of its curriculum development. Teaching African learners to observe their surroundings and equip themselves to give back to the broader community. It advocates for the integrative teaching of ethics, science and Ubuntu through using language as a weapon against oppression.

The delegation voiced strong views about the struggle against ideas that imprison the mind. Demolishing these “walls” they said will enable self-transformation and transformation to the community.

To view a copy of the lecture, visit https://coh.ukzn.ac.za/?mdocs-file=7022

Words: Melissa Mungroo and Ziphezinhle Silindile Sibisi

Photograph: Tyson Ndzabe


author : .
author email : .

High-Powered Panel Commemorates World AIDS Day with Candid Discussions

High-Powered Panel Commemorates World AIDS Day with Candid Discussions
From left: Professor Thumbi Ndung’u, Professor Francois Venter, Ms Gethwana Mahlase, Professor Mosa Moshabela and Professor Salim Abdool Karim.

Great strides have been made in the fight against AIDS and although society is not yet out of the woods regarding the spread of the virus, there is every reason to celebrate World AIDS Day, which is observed annually on 1 December.

That was the consensus of a panel comprising representatives from UKZN and prominent organisations involved in the fight against the disease.

The discussions took place at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine where delegates were welcomed on behalf of UKZN’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Nana Poku by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Busisiwe Ncama and the Director of Human Resources Development, Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu.

Themed: Back on Track to 2020, the roundtable debate involved a variety of panel members including Wits University’s RHI Executive Director Professor Francois Venter; the Director of CAPRISA, Professor Salim Abdool Karim; the African Health Research Institute’s Deputy Director, UKZN’s Professor Thumbi Ndung’u, and PhD candidate and Community Liaison Chair Ms Gethwana Mahlase.

The Dean of the School of Nursing and Public Health, Professor Mosa Moshabela, facilitated discussions.

‘We have come a long way,’ said Ndung’u. ‘Look at how resilient we have been. We have made remarkable advances. Indeed, there have been mistakes in the past – we need to talk about them so that we do not repeat them.’

Abdool Karim said although the stigma still existed, scientifically, great strides had been made from the time after HIV and AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s. ‘HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence - those infected and those on treatment now live longer, healthy lives, probably even longer than those who are not infected. Although there is still no effective vaccine, 40 years later, many lives are now being spared,’ he said.

These were some of the reasons worth celebrating every World AIDS Day which ‘is when we can reflect on what we’ve achieved and rededicate ourselves,’ said Abdool Karim. He added that the UNAIDS target of 90-90-90 should not ‘lull us into sleep. The ideal means that at least 90% of the population should have tested, 90% of those infected should be on treatment and 90% of those who are taking ARVs should have reached viral suppression stage.’

Ndung’u believes that the world is not far from finding a cure for AIDS. ‘I am optimistic that very soon, probably in the next five to 10 years, we will have a cure.’

Venter said although there was still a need to be angry about lives lost because of political reasons which caused sufferers to be denied life-saving treatment, we now lived in an era of hope.

As a clinician, he says he believes that the same approach should be applied in the fight against other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and mental illness.

Mahlase, a nurse and community worker in Vulindlela near Pietermaritzburg, said for her, AIDS Day meant honouring her sister-in-law who passed away three months after getting married and her twin sister who passed away, leaving her (Mahlase) to look after the children.

‘She knew that I knew it was HIV, but she refused to test.

‘Also, I want to honour women who sacrificed a lot to look after their sick children; women who had had 11 children but were left with two and women who had had three children but were left with none. There were days when we had funerals all over the township. Now, the funerals have decreased and those infected are living healthy lives,’ said Mahlase.

Panellists bemoaned social behaviour, which remained a challenge in preventing new infections. The example of a 27-year-old man having sexual liaisons with a 16-year-old girl and people still believing the virus could not infect them were cited as challenges in the fight against the epidemic.

Said Mahlase: ‘I live to see the day when my grand-daughter will be able to go to a clinic and have a variety of options available to her – she could get a pill, have an injection or a patch to prevent HIV infection.’

In a symbolic gesture by UKZN’s Student Services Division, a candle was lit in remembrance of those who have died from AIDS.

The Division concluded by giving an HIV update.

Words: Langa Khanyile and Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Albert Hirasen


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Vice-Chancellor Participates in International Conference on Population and Development Summit

UKZN Vice-Chancellor Participates in International Conference on Population and Development Summit
The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 was hosted by UNFPA and the governments of Kenya and Denmark in Nairobi, Kenya, November 12–14, 2019.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Vice-Chancellor and Principal and Executive Director of the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD), Professor Nana Poku participated in the 25th International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Summit, which took place in Nairobi from 12 to 14 November 2019.

To view an article on the international conference published by NewSecurityBeat, click here: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2019/12/icpd25-quality-care-universal-health-coverage-basic-human-rights

Words: Sarah Barnes: New Security Beat

Photograph: Shutterstock


author : .
author email : .

Staff and Students Urged to Take Strong Stand against GBV

Staff and Students Urged to Take Strong Stand against GBV
UKZN’s zero tolerance on Gender-Based Violence.

While awareness is being raised throughout South Africa around gender-based violence (GBV) during the 16 Days of Activism against Women and Children campaign, UKZN encourages staff and students to take a stand and speak out against any form of violence and abuse.

Chair of the Gender-Based Violence Committee at the University, Ms Janine Hicks urged staff and students to report known cases of abuse.

‘As students, staff and citizens we can all take steps to report known cases of abuse, support and care for those courageous enough to speak about their abuse, and challenge those around us who perpetuate gender inequality and GBV through their discriminatory attitudes, language and abusive behaviour,’ said Hicks.

Executive Director for Corporate Relations, Mr Ashton Bodrick said according to recent South African Police Service data, a woman is killed every three hours in South Africa, ranking the incidence of femicide in this country the fourth highest in the world.

‘The recent well publicised tragic deaths of young women from the Higher Education sector have highlighted the dire situation in our country. These acts of extreme violence were against defenceless young women,’ said Bodrick.

Addressing the problem of violence against women was complex, he said, and required commitment from all stakeholders including government, civil society and other bodies and associations. ‘I urge all stakeholders at the University to put this matter on the agenda and create mechanisms to not only deal with the issue but to also look at creating awareness and finding preventative solutions. Fortunately, there is growing awareness and with the right interventions from all sectors we may win this battle,’ said Bodrick.

Hicks said the 16 Days of Activism Campaign ‘provides us with an opportunity to raise awareness around GBV, speak out against inequality and hopefully transform attitudes and behaviours of men. It also provides us with the opportunity to challenge our leadership, our institutions of higher learning and justice system to provide better care and response to survivors of GBV, and to be more vigilant in arresting, investigating, prosecuting and convicting offenders, so that we can end this scourge.’ 

When asked if patriarchy and sexism in our society were causes of gender-based violence in the country, Hicks said research indicated that gender inequality stemming from patriarchy was one of the key causes of GBV. ‘Gender inequality results in unequal power relations between the sexes, gender discrimination against women and LGBTIQ people, and the low social status accorded to women. This has become normalised in our society, in family, intimate partner and work relationships, and is perpetuated by the impunity of offenders – men getting away with raping, sexually harassing and abusing women.

‘UKZN is no exception, which explains the unacceptable levels of sexual harassment, rape and abuse of our female and LGBTIQ students,’ said Hicks.

For more information on GBV, please click here. Below are the contact details to report abuse:

•    Contact RMS – 031 260 3777

•    After-hours emergencies:

- RMS (Westville) 031 260 7133

- RMS (PMB) 033 260 5211

- RMS (Howard) 031 260 2540/2

•    Report the assault and lay a charge at SAPS (RMS will assist you with this)

•    Go to a hospital/District Surgeon within 72 hours of the rape (RMS will accompany you to a Thuthuzela Care Centre)

•    Make an appointment with a UKZN Student Counsellor in the respective Colleges’ Student Support Services

Additional off-campus support:

•    Lifeline Durban – 031 312 23 23

•    Lifeline PMB – 033 394 44 44/0861 322 322

•    Thuthuzela Care Centres – 031 401 0394: Umlazi TCC, Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital; Phoenix TCC Mahatma Ghandi Memorial Hospital; RK Khan TCC, RK Khan Hospital

•    SAPS Umbilo – 031 203 2409

•    Advice Desk for the Abused – 031 262 5231

•    Open Door Crisis Centre – 084 409 2679

•    Jess Foord Foundation – 0861 333 449

•    Isipingo Support Centre – 031 902 2158

•    Cleremont Women’s Project – 031 707 2221

Words: Sithembile Shabangu

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

Department of Science and Innovation visits UKZN

Department of Science and Innovation visits UKZN
From left: Professor Deresh Ramjugernath, Dr Phil Mjwara, Ms Rose Msiza, Ms Bessie Mchunu, Mr Itumeleng Makoloi, Ms Sindi Kayi, Mr Nkosinathi Zondi, Mr Charles Mokonoto and Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize.

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), previously known as the Department of Science and Technology (DST), visited UKZN to share its policies and proposals on Science, Technology and Innovation.

UKZN’s Deputy-Vice Chancellor for Research: Professor Deresh Ramjugernath, welcomed the delegation and thanked them for their visit, he further went on to discuss the University’s strategy of research and innovation and its aim to collaborate with the Department. ‘We want to work closely with DSI in achieving not only our vision and mission but also the country’s,’ said Ramjugernath.

In his address, DSI Director General Dr Phil Mjwara mentioned three reasons for his visit - to share the thinking around some of the work currently being done by his Department; to understand what it means to be the newly formed Department of Science and Innovation, and to re-establish its relationship and policies with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

Mjwara addressed some of the global trends the DSI was looking at adopting, including creating support systems to harness commercialising intellectual property from public institutions, and using innovation policy to deal with the transition to social justice, inclusive and responsible economic growth, and environmental sustainability.

Focusing on the innovation and technology used by various companies and government departments to compete globally, Mjwara urged organisations to start thinking about how they could survive in the new global competitive environment through solving problems and enhancing service delivery in order for the Department to support them.

He identified the following dimensions of knowledge exploitation that remain relevant through research and development: facilitating the development of new industries; supporting existing sectors (eg mining, agriculture and manufacturing); and supporting localisation, education, rural development and health outcomes.

Mjwara listed what the Department had achieved in partnership with communities, research institutions and universities with examples ranging from natural products such as honey bush and noodles with moringa; drone and precision farming of wheat; and hydrogen refueled scooters and forklifts.

He discussed the objectives of the 2019 Science, Technology and Innovation White Paper adopted in March this year. ‘We want to make an impact on the economy and think differently around issues of education and social development, increasing this to impact and scale. We would like government and society as a whole to have an approach to innovation and instil a culture of valuating Science, Technology and Innovation. We want to create an enabling and inclusive government environment, and increase and transform human capabilities as well as research systems. We want to expand and transform institutional landscapes,’ added Mjwara.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Itumeleng Masa


author : .
author email : .

Public Lecture on the Changing Landscape of Higher Education

Public Lecture on the Changing Landscape of Higher Education
Professor Sid Nair (right) receives a token of appreciation from Professor Stephen Mutula from the School of Management, IT and Governance.

The Changing Landscape of Higher Education Throughout the World was the topic of a public lecture at UKZN and hosted by the School of Management, IT and Governance.

The invited speaker was Professor Sid Nair, the Executive Director of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) in Mauritius.

Examining the direction of global Higher Education over the last 20 years, Nair discussed the employable attributes that were needed by graduates of the 21st Century and beyond, and whether universities were delivering on them. ‘If any university is to survive, or be competent enough, they need to do away with physical classroom teaching and move into the digital world because that is where the demand lies.’

As he called for the transformation of teaching and learning in order for universities to remain relevant.

Referring to statistics that indicate that six out of 10 graduates are employed while four out of 10 need to create their own employment, Nair urged universities to train students in entrepreneurial skills. He further encouraged senior management to revisit their mission to ensure that knowledge creation cuts across disciplines.

Nair listed didactic teaching as an educational module of the past and advocated for critical and creative thinking skills to be built into the curriculum. ‘We need to come up with the skillsets that we want our students to achieve by mapping out the curriculum accordingly,’ he said.

Using the T-Shaped model for professionals, Nair highlighted what employers were looking for in potential employees - a deep understanding of the discipline they qualified in, and the ability to apply the skills they have learned across any discipline.

Nair revealed the inability of universities to keep up with the skillsets needed by the labour market and said universities needed to upskill their lecturers to remain effective with online platforms. He advised universities to utilise their digital manual systems and to incorporate the soft skills into the curriculum in order to gain traction of employers from across the sectors of the economy. 

He further underlined the stacking up of skills sets known as “micro-credentialing” as the future, and urged universities to consider subscribing to certification programmes.

Nair concluded by noting: ‘We need to change and we need to change fast. We need to adapt, and your research is what will help that change by assisting the university to change in the direction they are supposed to be going in.’

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Albert Hirasen


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Lecturer Part of the International Low Vision Capacity Building Programme

UKZN Lecturer Part of the International Low Vision Capacity Building Programme
Faculty from sub-Saharan countries with Gullapalli N Rao the founder and chair of the LVPEI.

UKZN’s Discipline of Optometry lecturer, Ms Nishanee Rampersad recently participated in the International Low Vision Capacity Building Programme, a collaboration between the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in India, Standard Chartered Bank and the Brien Holden Vision Institute which aims to develop human resources at global level to meet the needs of the population that require low vision care and rehabilitation.

The LVPEI is a not-for-profit, comprehensive eye care institution committed to delivering high-quality treatment and care for patients, embracing all socio-economic backgrounds.

The low vision capacity building programme involved staff from African universities that attended a three-month clinical rotation at the LVPEI.

Rampersad was selected as one of the focal persons that were nominated from each of the four sub-Saharan countries.

She said, ‘the low Vision Capacity Building programme for sub-Saharan Africa has been a great initiative and currently involves four faculty members from Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.’

The trainees shared their thoughts and personal perspectives about Low vision with regards to their respective countries.

‘We thank the Brien Holden Vision Institute for this programme in collaboration with Seeing Is Believing (SiB) of Standard Chartered Bank,’ she said.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

Decolonising International Environmental Law

Decolonising International Environmental Law
Professor Sundhya Pahuja gives an address on decolonising international environmental law.

The Director of the Institute for International Law and Humanities at the Melbourne Law School in Australia Professor Sundhya Pahuja gave an address at UKZN at the invitation of the Law School on decolonising international environmental law.

Pahuja examined attempts by scholars and practitioners to decolonise international law and its relation to the environment, arguing that broadly speaking these attempts have played out in three phases, and that with each one the environment had figured differently.

Pahuja suggested that attending to those phases and differences could help gain an understanding of how to decolonise international environmental law today and draw out strategies for the future.

‘While textbooks seldom mentioned colonialism and imperialism in the past, it has now become impossible for international lawyers to claim to be unaware of the relationship between imperialism and international law,’ said Pahuja.

She spoke further on historical international legal doctrines that justified imperialism and facilitated land appropriation and resources extraction through using international law as a means to ‘civilise’ the non-European world and downgrade other forms of law as “custom” or “traditions”.

Investigating the three phases of decolonising international law, Pahuja labelled the first phase a battle in the middle of the 20th Century between those who wanted to end the practices of imperialism (ie the Third World) and those who sought its continuation (ie the First World). Environmentally, she looked at how the so-called First World had taken up industrialism and how, through environmental orientalism which was deeply racialised, had presented Third World environmental living as being backwards and non-modern.

‘At the end of the Cold War, the Third World project to institute a new international economic order was defeated, and it’s through this combination of defeat and the durability of imperial patterns of relation that decolonising international law phase two was born,’ said Pahuja.

She highlighted how international law had facilitated imperial extracts and had mechanisms in place to prevent reparations for it afterwards, underlining how ‘sovereignty had been forged in the colonial encounter and governed by an idea of the dynamic difference that created a hierarchy between sameness and difference, where people who were “different” were needed to be “transformed”.’

Pahuja said phase three of decolonising international law interrogated:

•    environmental orientalism that racialises and discredits light touch environmental living

•    prevailing development’ models that are dependent on growth

•    the articulation of the Third World within a global economy structured around global value chains

•    the inherited state form, built on both property and resource extraction

•    circumstances of increasing environmental differences, where the risk is shared globally, but the vulnerability is unevenly distributed

‘When we make a decision about what strategy to adopt, we must be attentive to the price of the strategy we select by paying close attention to history,’ she added.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Yola Ndzabe


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Lecturer Receives Fellowship in Medical Education

UKZN Lecturer Receives Fellowship in Medical Education
Dr Thirusha Naidu.

‘It is great honour to be a recipient of the Karolinska Fellowship as I find myself in the company of the most innovative, up-and-coming global scholars in medical education,’ said senior clinical psychology lecturer at UKZN, Dr Thirusha Naidu after receiving the new award from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

The fellowship was awarded to a total of 12 international scholars in Medical Education by the Institute - one of the world’s leading medical education centres which is also responsible for selecting the Nobel Prize winners in Medicine.

‘This KIPRIME Fellowship is an indicator of the attention medical education is gaining as a discipline in itself and one that warrants special investment in research and the development of medical education scholars,’ Naidu said.

She said the award arises out of the Karolinksa Prize in Medical Education which, has since 2004, been awarded to established scholars in medical education making major contributions to the field on a global scale.

The award involves support for scholars to develop their current research in medical education. The group of 12 Fellows attended a week-long workshop at the end of last month in which they took part in mentorship meetings and events to stimulate innovative thought. 

‘The award represents affirmation for me that the area of research I have chosen to explore and my work in that area have gained recognition,’ said Naidu. ‘Fellows must be recommended by a previous winner of the main KIPRIME prize. I was recommended by Professor Brian Hodges of the University of Toronto in Canada.’

Through this fellowship Naidu will have the opportunity to focus her research on how concepts such as time and space can be re-envisaged and applied in medical education to create more and better opportunities for effective learning. 

‘I am excited about developing current work on Global North-South issues in medical education. I have been a regular contributor to the School of Health Sciences Teaching and Learning repository of papers in medical and health sciences education,’ she added. 

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

SWITCH: Kugqugquzelwa Ukusebenzisana

SWITCH: Kugqugquzelwa Ukusebenzisana
Abafundi bame noDkt Myat Razak (owesithathu kwesokudla), uDkt Nisha Nadesan-Reddy (owesibili kwesokudla) kanye noDkt Silingene Ngcobo (osekugcineni kwesokudla).Click here for English version

IKolishi Lezifundo Zezempilo e-UKZN, njengabahlomuli bangaphambilini be-Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), lihlomule ngesabelo sezinyanga eziyisishiyagalolunye (kusukela mhla ka-1 kuNcwaba ngowezi-2019 kuya mhla ka-31 kuNdasa ngowezi-2020) osabelwe yi-Human Resources and Services (HRSA) ngaphansi kweNyuvesi yaseCalifornia eSan Francisco (UCSF), ukuqinisa ukuqeqeshwa ngegciwane lesandulela-ngculazi ngokubambisana kwemikhakha enhlobonhlobo (STRIPE).

Loku kuhambisana nokweseka isibophezelo se-PEPFAR sokuqinisa izinga lokuqeqeshwa kwabafundi bemikhakha yezempilo ngegciwane lesandulela-ngculazi ngenhloso yokuphucula izinga lokunakekelwa kwabanalesi sifo ngodokotela, abahlengikazi nosokhemisi abathola iziqu.

IDini eyiNhloko yesikole kwezobuHlengikazi nezeMpilo yoMphakathi uSolwazi Mosa Moshabela nguyena umcwaningi omkhulu kulolu hlelo kuthi abanye abambisene nabo kube nguSolwazi Fatima Suleman, uSolwazi Fikile Mtshali noDkt Serela Ramklass.

Lolu hlelo lwase-UKZN olubizwa ngokuthi Strenghtening the Workforce to Improve and Care for HIV (i-SWITCH) luzoqeqesha abafundi abenza unyaka wokugcina ezifundweni zobuDokotela, ezobuHlengikazi nezosoKhemisi ngokuthi bahlanganiswe babe yiqeqebana labantu abaqeqeshelwa umsebenzi nebasebenzi bomphakathi wezempilo ezindaweni ezehlukene. Inhloso wukulungiselela abaqeqeshwayo ukuthi bakwazi ukuphucula indlela okunakekelwa ngayo ngokusebenza beyiqembu futhi kusetshenziswa indlela yokufundisa exuba imikhakha enhlobonhlobo futhi kugxilwe ekuphuculeni amakhono ngaso sonke isikhathi.

Izikhungo okusetshenziswana nazo iPrince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital Nursing College, KwaZulu-Natal Nursing College neSefako Makgato Health Sciences University (i-SMU). I-UKZN nayo izosiza iMpumalanga Nursing College (i-MNC).

Lolu hlelo lwe-SWITCH lwethulwe e-UKZN ngoMandulo kulo nyaka kusetshenziswa izigcawu zokucobelelana ngolwazi lapho bekuqeqeshwa khona abazobe beqeqesha abafundi okubalwa kubo abafundisa e-UKZN nabaphathi balolu hlelo eMnyangweni wezeMpilo esifundazweni saKwaZulu-Natal, nokuyibona abethule kubafundi izindlela zokufundisa ngokubambisana kwemikhakha enhlobonhlobo nangokuphucula izinga lokufundiswa ngegciwane lesandulela-ngculazi nangokunakekela iziguli.

Kube nenqwaba yezigcawu zokucobelelana ngolwazi ezenzelwe abafundi abenza unyaka wokugcina abaqeqeshelwa ubudokotela, ubuhlengikazi nokuba ngosokhemisi nokuyilapho abafundi bethulwe khona ekufundeni ngokubambisana kwemikhakha enhlobonhlobo nangokuphucula izinga lo msebenzi. Lezi zigcawu bezenzelwe abafundi base-UKZN abafundela ubudokotela, ubuhlengikazi nokuba ngosokhemisi abazinze e-RK Khan nase-Addington. Ngemva kwaloko abafundi abebefisa ukuqhubeka babhalisele esinye isigcawu sezinsuku ezimbili lapho bechazelwe khona ngezifundo ze-STRIPE nebezikhuluma ngezimo ezenzeka ngempela abafundi abazobhekana nazo kulo nyaka abazobe beqeqeshwa ngawo. Inhloso ye-SWITCH wukuqeqesha abasebenzi bezempilo bangomuso ukuthi bakwazi ukusebenza ngokubambisana njengeqembu nokuhlinzeka usizo olubeka impilo yesiguli phambili.

Ngesikhathi sesigcawu sokucobelelana, abasebenzi bezempilo bebehlukaniswe babangamaqeqebana axube yonke imikhakha. Ingqikithi ye-SWITCH wukufundisa abasebenzi bezempilo bangomuso ukuthi lonke ilungu noma wonke umkhakha wezempilo ubalulekile ekunakekeleni iziguli ngendlela esezingeni eliphezulu nokuqeda umqondo wokuthi kukhona ongcono kunomunye endleleni okunakekelwa ngayo.

UMnu Nhlakanipho Mkhize owenza unyaka wokugcina ezifundzweni zobudokotela uphawule kanje ngalolu hlelo: ‘Kube kuhle kakhulu kithina abafundela ubudokotela ngoba isikole sethu sisodwa nokwenza ukuthi singajwayeli ukuxoxisana nabafundi beminye imikhakha. Lokhu kuqhela kwethu kwabanye kusenza sicabange ukuthi yithina kuphela esaziyo, nokwenza siphakame futhi sigcine singazanga ukuthi abanye bafundani, yingakho nje lokhu kusisize kakhulu.

‘Kube kuhle ukuzwa ukuthi abahlengikazi bazichazela kanjani iziguli ukuthi ziyiphuze kanjani imithi, ngibonile ukuthi thina odokotela sihluleka kangakanani ukuchaza into ngendlela ezwakalayo ngoba sivame ukusebenzisa amagama omsebenzi wethu. Abafundi bezemithi banolwazi olunzulu ngokusebenza kwemithi, ukuthi eminye ihlupha ngani futhi nabo bayakwazi ukusichazela kahle isiguli. Kungakuhle uma kungafakwa nosonhlalakahle, ongoti abehlukene bezengqondo nongoti abalula amathambo abantu kulolu hlelo ngoba usuke ungazi ukuthi isiguli uzogcina usiyise kubani phakathi kwabo. Isibonelo nje, phakathi kukasonhlalakahle nomeluleki wezengqondo kumele siye kubani isiguli?’

Ukuxutshwa kwabasebenzi bezempilo bemikhakha enhlobonhlobo kuvule imiqondo yabo ekutheni babambisane futhi kubakhombisile ukuthi wonke umsebenzi wezempilo uneqhaza elibalulekile onalo ekunakekeleni iziguli nasekuqinisekiseni ukuthi isiguli sibekwa phambili.

Abafundi abaningi bathe bafisa sengathi i-SWITCH ingaba yingxenye yezifundo zabo njengoba bethe izigcawu zibafundise okumqoka abanye abebengakaze bakuzwe kuyo yonke le minyaka beqeqeshwa. Abakuthande kakhulu wukukhonjiswa ngezinkinga abangase bahlangabezane nazo uma sebesebenza. Labo abebekulezi zigcawu bathe sebeyazethemba ngesigaba esilandelayo abazobhekana naso emisebenzini yabo.

Amagama nezithombe: Lungelo Khanyile


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Medical School Class of ’69 Holds 50-Year Reunion

UKZN Medical School Class of ’69 Holds 50-Year Reunion
UKZN’s Medical School Class of ‘69 at their 50-year Reunion held in Durban recently.

Many of UKZN’s Medical School Class of ’69 who attended their 50th reunion function in Durban recently are still in active practice.

They include Dr Farouk Haffejee, Dr Ahmed Salejee, Dr Percy Naidoo, Dr Rajend Maharaj, Dr Titus Moghoro, Dr Bala Naidoo, Dr Les Ananth, Dr Steve Ramasuvha, Dr Thomas Rambau, Dr Simon Khoza, Dr Chandracant Manga, Dr Pilisa Shweni and Dr Krish Thangavelu.

The doctors were shown how the Medical School – now known as the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine – has changed over the years but also how many things remain the same! 

They were studying at Medical School during the time of well-known struggle individuals such as Steve Biko, Dr Ben Ngubane and Dr Ronney Green-Thompson. It was a very difficult era in the history of South Africa – the Nationalist Party was in power and enforcing repressive laws that limited the movement of African, Indian and Coloured students at the school and also after graduation as they were only permitted to work in certain areas.

Many young doctors had their dreams of specialising shattered because of the limitation of movement and access to posts which were often in Whites-only hospitals. African, Indian and Coloured doctors were not allowed to work in Whites-only hospitals, as they were not allowed to treat White people or give orders to White nurses and junior doctors.

The reunion was a very emotional event as many of those in attendance had not seen each other for 50 years. They exchanged stories and shared experiences and watched a video message from the Dean of Clinical Studies at the Medical School, Professor Ncoza Dlova.

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

School of Clinical Medicine Holds Healthy Lifestyle Event for Staff

School of Clinical Medicine Holds Healthy Lifestyle Event for Staff
Speakers and School of Clinical Medicine staff at the healthy lifestyle event.

UKZN’s School of Clinical Medicine (SCM) closed its awareness campaign for the year with a healthy living event which was well attended by SCM staff.

A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that lowers the risk of being seriously ill or dying at an early age. Good health is not only about avoiding disease it also involves physical, mental and social wellbeing.

‘Not all diseases are preventable but a large proportion of deaths, particularly those from coronary heart disease and lung cancer, can be avoided,’ said Operations Manager at the School of Clinical Medicine, Mrs Antoinette Botha. ‘As a School we encourage staff to work towards leading healthy lives, which include healthy eating, physical activities, and weight and stress management,’

Chiropractor, Dr Lauren Bezuidenhout spoke on ways to reduce pain and improve the functionality of patients as well as educating them on how they can manage their own health through exercise, ergonomics and other therapies for back pain.

Dietician, Ms Phumelele Mthembu stressed the importance of a person being aware about what they are eating by doing research on the nutritional value of food. ‘It is important to know how much sugar, fat or salt are in food we eat in order to minimise risks of diabetes, obesity and other issues. To see people benefit from changes they make to their eating habits and know I contributed to those changes gives me great joy and pleasure,’ said Mthembu.

Dr Monique Olivier stressed the importance of taking good quality multi-vitamins regularly to supplement one’s immune system.

Words and Photograph: Lihle Sosibo


author : .
author email : .

College of Humanities Celebrates Staff Excellence

College of Humanities Celebrates Staff Excellence
Recipients of the College of Humanities 2019 Staff Excellence Awards.

Professional and academic staff were recognised for their hard work, dedication and positive impact when the College of Humanities hosted its annual staff excellence awards event at Tala Game Reserve.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize congratulated staff on their outstanding contribution and innovative output during the year. ‘We recognise the hard work you have put in and applaud your work ethic and commitment to the College,’ he said.

Acting College Director for Professional Services, Mrs Shantha Maharaj, added: ‘Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work as it confirms their work is valued by others and as a result they are motivated to do better. Congratulations to all our staff in the College for their exemplary performance and dedication over the last year. Although we were not able to give everyone an award, we really appreciate and thank you all for your commitment and hard work.’

Staff members who had long service and others who were retiring were also recognised at the function.

Academic Leader for Research in the School of Social Sciences Professor Maheshvari Naidu, who received an award for research excellence said, ‘The Awards ceremonies are always great opportunities to meet colleagues across the College and applaud each other. This year, all present deserved a special medal for turning up in such incredible heat to support fellow staff. It was no mean feat to sit through 40 degrees. The various recipients across the many awards categories were clearly appreciative of the recognition from College and all of us tucked away our vouchers while conjuring up gleeful ways of spending them!’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Sethu Dlamini


author : .
author email : .

Methodology Enhancement Workshop

Methodology Enhancement Workshop
Participants at the Methodology Enhancement Workshop.

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (SMSCS), hosted a Methodology Enhancement Workshop aimed at postgraduate students and researchers who need to use statistical, mathematical and computational methods in answering their research problems for thesis writing and publications.

Professor Andreas Ziegler, who facilitated the workshop, has been an honorary professor in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at UKZN since 2016 and is currently a member of the executive board of the International Biometric Society.

Ziegler has published eight books and authored or co-authored more than 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as N Engl J Med, JAMA, Nature, Nat Genet and The Lancet. He was presented with the leadership award by the International Genetic Epidemiology Society and also won the award for special merits in biometry from the German Region of the International Biometric Society. His main focus is on machine learning, clinical trials with medical devices and high-throughput genetic studies. Ziegler, who has special training in article writing, is currently working as an independent consultant.

The workshop was divided into three segments. The first day dealt with machine learning, which was an intuitive introduction to some of the modern approaches used in artificial intelligence and big data analysis. Clinical trials were the focus of the second day, with Ziegler sharing his long standing experience in the planning and conduct of clinical trials for medical devices. On the third day, he explained the basic theory of mind mapping as well as its usefulness in planning and organising thesis and scientific articles.

Professor Henry Mwambi of the School of MSCS, who was also part of the organising team, said next year they hoped to hold a more focused workshop on a topic becoming increasingly important with researchers in the African region – Statistical Methods for Genomic Data, both from microarray and next generation sequencing technologies in health research and biological sciences in general.

A final announcement will be made once the final title of the workshops and dates are agreed upon.

Mwambi added that it was clear that researchers were increasingly being faced with complex data and data patterns that were high dimensional in nature and required state-of-the-art analysis and modelling methods. Therefore, the purpose of hosting such workshops regularly in the School of MSCS was to equip postgraduate students and researchers with current statistical, mathematical and computer science skills and methodologies to best deal with research problems and data emanating from such research and studies.

The workshop was sponsored from research funds generated from publication subsidies from Ziegler and Mwambi; participant’s fees; the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science’s Public Relations office which provided stationary and related material; and the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science for providing the Computer LAN and a venue for teas and lunches.

Words and Photograph: Ntokozo Dladla


author : .
author email : .

Social Sciences Staff Honoured at Culture Cluster Awards Event

Social Sciences Staff Honoured at Culture Cluster Awards Event
Prize winners at the School of Social Sciences Culture Cluster Awards ceremony.

The Culture Cluster within the School of Social Sciences held an awards function to honour staff, tutors and lecturers on the Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses.

Said Cluster Leader: Culture (Anthropology and Tourism) Dr Maserole Kgari-Masondo, who pioneered the event: ‘The function is in line with the University’s strategic plan of empowerment and community involvement. It also serves as recognition to all staff of this Discipline and School for the hard work they do and their commitment to the University.’

One of the award winners Mrs Hazel Rampaul said: ‘This was such an inspiration for those who attended. I truly felt so rejuvenated and refreshed in my personal capacity. We certainly need more “feel good” events at UKZN, especially on the Pietermaritzburg campus, as they really boost staff morale. Dr Masondo has been a true ambassador for Ubuntu.’

Professor Maheshvari Naidu, regarded as an ambassador for the Discipline, said: ‘It is always heartening to be appreciated for the work we do, which we perform as natural extensions of both ourselves and our portfolios. Credit is given to Dr Kgari-Masondo for her vision in putting this together. It is a reflection of the type of leader she is, and I am humbled to be among the staff she recognised. Very few would remember to include the wonderful women who take care of cleaning our workspaces – and she has. Now that is the mark of a good leader.’

Student volunteer in the Discipline Ms Dintle Masondo added: ‘Getting an award is a huge achievement for me. I encourage students to volunteer in their disciplines by assisting in any way they can so we can build our University and get work experience through volunteerism.’

Dr Mabuyi Gumede, who received the award for Best Lecturer, has a teaching style which accommodates students from different social and cultural backgrounds. ‘I am grateful for this award because it acknowledges the hard work I put into my teaching. It has motivated me to do even better in the future,’ said Gumede.

Mrs Indrani Naidoo received a certificate of appreciation and also won the Administrator of the Year award. ‘My sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude to the academics, especially Dr Kgari-Masondo, for nominating and choosing me for both the awards.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

Computer Literacy Project for Cleaning Staff

Computer Literacy Project for Cleaning Staff
The second class of CompLit4U students show-off their certificates supported by their facilitators at the back.

The Science and Technology Education Centre (STEC@UKZN) piloted the second phase of its CompLit4U outreach project, which aims to provide UKZN cleaning staff with basic computer literacy skills.

The project was initiated by the Co-ordinator of STEC@UKZN, Dr Tanja Reinhardt and colleague Mr Sashlin Girraj, who developed the curriculum, secured participants, obtained resources and taught the content.

The first phase of the pilot project was run in July with 10 cleaning staff members involved while the second phase took place in October and had a mix of cleaning and facilities employees. The course covered several topics, including: computer basics, Microsoft Word, how to use the internet, how to send an email and computer/online security.

On the final day of training, participants were given topics to teach back to the class and were issued with a certificate of participation.

Participant Mr Brian Mhlongo, who has worked for Campus Management Services (CMS) for the last four years, said he found the training to be very beneficial. ‘Thanks to this training, I know how to apply for leave and send an email.’ Colleague Ms Sithembile Mngambi commended the University for the initiative. ‘I’m very proud of the University for giving us the chance to learn how to use a computer,’ said Mngambi.

Reinhardt recently attended the Southern African Association of Science and Technology (SAASTEC) conference in George, which is an annual meeting of professional science centres in the country. She presented on CompLit4U, as an outreach project of STEC@UKZN. ‘CompLit4U should be considered inreach rather than outreach, because the project is about reaching into the university and up-skilling our own people,’ said Reinhardt.

To date, the project has received support from Information and Communication Services (ICS) and the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science. With two pilot phases completed and considerable demand from staff, Reinhardt and Girraj would like to roll out the project on all campuses for all CMS staff at the lower peromnes levels, which involves about 900 people. This would require significant resources such as time, LANs/ computers, printed notes, facilitators and volunteers. Next year, Reinhardt and Girraj will meet with a variety of representatives to get the necessary support for a project of this size.

The project embodies the spirit of the University’s tagline of Inspiring Greatness as well as its REACHT values: Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Client-Orientation, Honesty and Trust.

Words: Ndabaonline

Photograph: Sally Frost


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Staff Members Recognised for Long Service

UKZN Staff Members Recognised for Long Service
Long service award recipients in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science on the Pietermaritzburg campus (left) and on the Westville campus.

Long serving staff members in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science were recognised for their contribution to the University at functions held on the Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses.

A total of 42 staff were honoured - 17 for 15 years’ service, 14 for reaching their quarter century at the University, and a further three for a remarkable 35 years at the Institution. In addition, eight people were bid farewell on their retirement.

The collective contribution to UKZN of those assembled was 924 years!

Colleagues and friends at the events enjoyed hearing about the personal and professional achievements of the award winners over the course of their careers at UKZN. Several of those retiring shared their personal reminiscences.

Professor Derek Stretch said it was the students and the staff who made working at the University worthwhile; whilst Professor Bala Pillay shared his personal experiences of occupying the full spectrum of University posts over the course of his remarkable 42-year career ranging from technician to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC).

DVC for the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, Professor Albert Modi said the awards and events were a way of paying tribute to the depth of service provided by UKZN’s long serving employees. Staff and family members present were unanimous in their appreciation of the effort made by the College to acknowledge their role in making the University what it was, in both the academic and professional sphere.

Award winners received a certificate and gift from the College.

Words: Sally Frost

Photographs: Ntokozo Dladla and Bheki Mthembu


author : .
author email : .

Activists Undergo Training through Centre for Civil Society

Activists Undergo Training through Centre for Civil Society
Participants at the Centre for Civil Society Training Day.

The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS) held a workshop for activists facilitated by CCS Community Scholar, Ms Mzamo Zondi and Director at Sensys Training Ms Nina Sen.

The workshop examined social media organisations and post-1994 South African social movements, among other issues and subjects.

The CCS annual activist training is designed to equip activists with tools to improve their campaigns and elevate citizen/community voices. The training sessions are held in response to activist needs and include sessions on the rules and regulations around protest action, using social media to amplify campaigns, using Apps to organise an around activism and citizen voices such as Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

According to CCS Director Dr Shauna Mottiar, the workshop also brings together activists in the Durban area to network and strategise around their campaigns and to build solidarity.

‘The CCS Community Scholars represent national civil society campaigns in South Africa such as the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the Right2Know and the CCS space allows them to consider their methodology and their daily challenges. The training is useful as it either builds on their work or provides the opportunity to consider or reconsider their approaches, methods and tactics,’ said Mottiar.

Activist and CCS Community Scholar, Ms Philisiwe Mazibuko added: ‘I feel this workshop is necessary for community scholars because we interact with and represent various communities and knowing how to use language would assist in the work. The training is open to all activists interested and we hope, in the future, to bring in our members to hear and see first-hand the information available to make their struggles worthwhile.’

The next activist training takes place in 2020 and sessions will respond to the training and session formats identified by the 2019 participants and CCS Community Scholars.

Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo


author : .
author email : .

Enactus UKZN Celebrates Anniversary

Enactus UKZN Celebrates Anniversary
From left: Mr Nhlakanipho Mnqayi, Mr Lungisani Ngcobo, Ms Ntandokazi Buthelezi, Ms Nombulelo Ngobese, Mr Thulani Mthembu, Mr Jabulani Nyembe, Ms Nonhlakanipho Ntuli and Mr Muhle Ndwalane.

Enactus UKZN celebrated its 16th anniversary during the organisation’s annual gala dinner held to honour achievements during 2018/19.

The dinner also presented an opportunity to formally thank the outgoing 2018/19 executive committee and present the 2019/20 Exco.

UKZN Co-Faculty Advisor, Mr Muzomuhle Mhlongo welcomed guests, thanked the University for its support, and acknowledged Business Advisory Board members, Enactus UKZN sponsors and partners, and alumni who were present.

The new 2019/20 Enactus UKZN Executive Committee members are:

•    Executive President: Mr Muhle Ndwalane

•    General Secretary: Mr Lungisani Ngcobo

•    Vice-President (Edgewood campus): Ms Nombulelo Ngobese

•    Vice-President (Howard campus): Ms Nonhlakanipho Ntuli

•    Vice-President (Pietermaritzburg campus): Mr Thulani Mthembu

•    Vice-President (Westville campus): Ms Ntandokazi Buthelezi

•    Head of Publicity and Marketing: Mr Nhlakanipho Mnqayi

•    Head of Finance: Mr Jabulani Nyembe

•    Head of Research and Development: Ms Luyanda Sokhela

Ndwalane presented a “State of the Team Address” in which he focused on the history of the organisation by recognising all its previous presidents, mentioning the name change in 2013 when SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) became UKZN Enactus (Entrepreneurial Action by Us).

He spoke about the role of Enactus UKZN over the years and how it has made a difference and an impact through empowering the lives of students and serving communities. ‘Our focus is on collaborations so that we can maximise the impact of our organisation while grooming future leaders and captains of industries,’ he said.

Ndwalane also spoke on the different social entrepreneurship initiatives the organisation is involved in, such as agricultural skills development for smallholder farmers, ushering services, virtual reality technology in education, and the Sack Space Project that uses a vertical sack farming method which has been adopted nationally and has a footprint in Zimbabwe.

Corporate Relations Division Executive Director, Mr Ashton Bodrick underlined the importance of entrepreneurship for the University and called on students to build a relationship with the Division so that in turn the University could support them by marketing their initiatives. ‘We want to tell your stories and the stories of other societies and sporting clubs, so please encourage other students to take up this challenge,’ Bodrick said.

Enactus UKZN 2013 President, Mr Sesethu Sidzamba thanked other former presidents for paving the way and urged students to understand the context of the organisation and why they were Enactus members. ‘What’s your narrative? What battles are you facing? The battles we faced in 2008 are completely different to those you are currently facing,’ said Sidzamba.

In closing, Executive Director of Student Services, Dr Rose Laka-Mathebula said it was a pleasure to be in a room full of “game changers”. She stressed the difference Enactus makes to the lives of communities saying: ‘With you being willing to step up, you are going to make our country a better place for all.’

Laka-Mathebula also thanked everyone involved in co-ordinating the event and the faculty members who are always willing to guide the Enactus students.

Certificates of appreciation were awarded to members of staff, partners, sponsors, alumni and Enactus UKZN team members for their inputs over the year.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Itumeleng Masa


author : .
author email : .

Student Financial Aid Expert Awarded Gold Long Service Award

Student Financial Aid Expert Awarded Gold Long Service Award
Ms Constance Dube.

The Financial Aid Practitioners of South Africa (FAPSA) presented Senior Financial Aid Advisor in the College of Humanities, Ms Constance Dube with the prestigious Gold Award for 25 years of excellence in student funding.

Dube, who has been at UKZN since 1994, says she learned a great deal from her mentors which helped ensure the success of the Student Financial Aid department.

She considers her FAPSA Award as a source of inspiration that will help her to continue making a difference and bring positive change to many lives.

‘Working with staff and students from across the spectrum motivates me and keeps me humble,’ said Dube. ‘Over the years, I have learned to work with people at all levels. Thousands of students have passed through my office doors and are successful adults today – they thank me for all the help I have given them,’ said Dube.

Some of the highlights of her career at UKZN took place during the time of the University merger and in the aftermath when she was given the opportunity to manage teams and to be the Payment Officer for the Medical School, Edgewood, Howard College and Westville campuses. She believes her previous mentors rewarded her with the opportunity to function at a senior managerial level. 

In December 2011, Student Funding Advisors were devolved into the Colleges where Dube was then employed as the Senior Advisor for the College of Humanities. ‘For Student Funding Advisors this was a big change as we did not know what the future held for us and there were challenges in the early stages. Being the Senior Advisor in the College of Humanities, it is not an easy task as our College has the most Schools and students.’

Since the merger, the staff complement in the Division has grown due to the number of students increasing annually. ‘This would not have been achieved if College Senior Management had not taken time during peak periods to visit Student Funding where they noticed that there was dire need to increase personnel. The Director of Professional Services and the College Manager visit the office during times of change and development,’ said Dube.

Dube believes they are fortunate at the College because senior management are not only concerned about academic matters and graduate output but also work hard for the betterment of the entire operation. ‘During peak periods senior management visits all operations and checks with Administrators to establish whether we are coping. They also help solve problems and assist in removing barriers that hinder the registration process,’ she added.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize has also visited the Student Funding Team. ‘The visit was an honour and it boosted the morale of staff,’ said Dube.

Dube manages teams on three campuses, providing support in terms of Student Funding Operations, ensuring resources are available, ie staffing and office equipment.

‘My 25 years at the University and in Student Funding have been fulfilling and have enabled me to grow on a personal and professional level,’ she added.

Dube thanked her colleagues who have played a major role in helping her achieve all that she has for the College.

Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo


author : .
author email : .

Academic Recognised for Teaching and Learning Excellence

Academic Recognised for Teaching and Learning Excellence
UKZN academic Dr Msizi Mkhize.

School of Accounting, Economics and Finance lecturer, Dr Msizi Mkhize received the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award at the 2019 Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) conference held at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

The awards are presented for excellence in teaching and learning in Higher Education and to generate a cadre of academics who are able to provide inspiration and leadership in teaching in their disciplines, institutions and regions.

Mkhize is a recipient of the 2018 UKZN Distinguished Teacher’s Award, teaching and learning specialist and maths activist. Some of his former positions include: Accounting Education lecturer at the UKZN School of Education; Head of Commerce at Zwelibanzi High School; and Accounting and Mathematics teacher at Menzi High School, where he developed a turnaround strategy for the school.

He has conducted research on the effects of attitudes towards mathematics on learning accounting and investigated the transdisciplinary relationship between mathematics and accounting in a Bachelor of Education curriculum at Higher Education Institutions. His research has provided an excellent platform to improve his accounting teaching.

Commenting on this honour Mkhize said, ‘I am honoured to receive this national recognition. My dream of being recognised and rewarded for my creative and innovative work in Mathematics and Accounting is fulfilled,’ said Mkhize

‘I dedicate the award to my superiors, colleagues and friends whom I hold in the highest regard. I sincerely thank Professor Sadhasivan Perumal, Professor Anesh Singh, Professor Betty Mubangizi, Professor Mabutho Sibanda and Professor Ian Nzimakwe for the support, inspiration, mentorship and motivation. To all my students, thank you for acknowledging and affirming my teaching methods,’ he said.

Dean and Head of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance Professor Mabutho Sibanda said, ‘The School is proud of Dr Mkhize’s achievement that is a testimony of his continuous endeavour to improve teaching and learning in the field of Accountancy.’

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

Construction Studies Students Deliver… Again!

Construction Studies Students Deliver… Again!
UKZN Construction Studies students at the Malvern Child and Youth Care Centre.

Third-year students in the Construction Studies Discipline at UKZN have been part of a great initiative to give back to and support the Malvern Child and Youth Care Centre in Durban.

The Centre, home to 120 children between the ages of two and 18, strives to create a safe, loving and cherished environment for orphaned, abandoned, neglected and abused children.

As part of a final-year assignment, senior lecturer in the Construction Studies Discipline, Dr Nishani Harinarain tasked students with helping the Centre. Prior to their visit, Harinarain divided the volunteers into teams and requested them to engage with the local community and Howard College staff and students to procure funds, toys, supplies, clothes and other necessities.

The students were not limited in any aspect but were told to be as creative as possible in achieving their objectives. The students ran different fundraising activities including requesting sponsorship, Food-A-Thon collections, Fit 4 Charity events, a hamper basket raffle draw and cake sales.

This resulted in a bus full of essential items such as toys, food and clothing being delivered to the Centre. 

Harinarain believes that ‘giving to charity strengthens personal values’ and hoped to impart this to the students.

Harinarain and the students received a warm welcome from the Malvern staff and were given a tour of the facility. Students then enjoyed themselves playing fun games with the children such as netball, soccer, cards, cricket, and dominos while the younger ones could not stop playing with fun toys.

‘Having the power to improve the lives of others is, to many people, a privilege and one that comes with its own sense of obligation,’ said student, Mr Kenneth Njibana. ‘Acting on these powerful feelings of responsibility is a great way to reinforce our own personal values and feel like we’re living in a way that is true to our own ethical beliefs.’

Said colleague Mr Ropafadzo Kwaramba: ‘The assignment was very empowering - it allowed us to discover things about ourselves and our capabilities and to see the results of our efforts.’ 

Ms Lindelwe Cele said: ‘It gave us an opportunity to take a step back and see others in need and that there are far greater problems than what we perceive in our own space and through working together as a team we achieved our objectives.’

Harinarain said the aim had been to inspire students and help elicit a better sense and understanding of personal and professional skills that would assist them create a valuable connection with the people within the community, not just as professionals but as passionate, empathetic leaders of tomorrow.

Words: Ndabaonline

Photograph: Nishani Harinarain


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Postdoctoral Student Speaks at SheLeadsTech Event

UKZN Postdoctoral Student Speaks at SheLeadsTech Event
Dr Brett van Niekerk and Dr Trishana Ramluckan at the ISACA South Africa SheLeadsTech event.

UKZN’s Dr Trishana Ramluckan delivered a keynote presentation on: Cyber-Law and Governance in an Age of Cyber-Attacks and Cyber-Crime, at the ISACA South Africa SheLeadsTech event hosted by Deloitte in Umhlanga.

The presentation explored cyber-crime and cyber-attacks experienced in South Africa within an international backdrop.

Ramluckan said challenges existed in applying existing legal frameworks to the rapidly advancing cyber domain with new privacy laws having international impact. ‘There are also examples of how terms related to cyber-security are used casually and carelessly, however this has potentially negative consequences for businesses when a legal interpretation is used.’

ISACA – formerly known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association – is an international not-for-profit professional organisation with a focus on IT Audit, IT governance risk and compliance, information security and cyber-security. The organisation, which has over 140 000 members in 180 countries, provides guidance and manages some of the sought-after professional certifications.

The SheLeadsTech programme aims to increase awareness of IT and technology industries as career paths for women in order to close the gender gap and increase the representation of women in the technology sector.

Previous versions of the talk were co-presented with Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at UKZN Dr Brett van Niekerk at the ISACA international AfricaCACS conference in August and the ITWeb Security Summit in May.

It is the first time the ISACA AfricaCACS conference has been held in South Africa, and the event coincided with the association’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. The ITWeb Security Summit is the premier information security practitioner conference in South Africa.

•    Ramluckan is a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Law at UKZN and a part-time research assistant in the School of Management, IT and Governance. She joined the College of Law and Management Studies in 2017 as the postgraduate research facilitator, providing training and support to postgraduate students and aided in curriculum development. Her postdoctoral research interests include IT governance and legislation in education and international relations.

Words: Ndabaonline

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Contributes to Second International Symposium on Moringa

UKZN Contributes to Second International Symposium on Moringa
Mr Bonga Ngcobo received an ISHS Young Minds Award for the best poster presentation from Professor Manuel Palada.

UKZN was well represented at the Second International Symposium on Moringa (ISM) held at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria.

Senior lecturer in the Horticultural Science Discipline, Dr Samson Tesfay served on the organising committee, while PhD candidate, Mr Bonga Ngcobo won the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) Young Minds Award for the best poster presentation.

A total of 150 delegates from 24 countries attended the ISM, which is supported by the ISHS and was hosted by the South African Moringa Development Association and the Agricultural Research Council in collaboration with various universities.

The event brought together moringa experts from all over the world and was aimed at expanding knowledge of the plant and creating networking opportunities.

Discussions at the Symposium themed: The Power of Moringa in Solving Global Challenges, followed a number of sub-themes including the role and use of moringa in nutrition, health, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, the environment, food security, agro-processing, fuel and energy, bio-extracts, animal feed, and product development, enterprise development and job creation.

‘Moringa, also known as the “miracle tree”, has the potential to address human challenges found in developing countries,’ said Ngcobo, who explained the importance of moringa in the context of undernourishment and food insecurity.

Moringa leaves, seed, and roots have a wide range of applications, including medicinal, horticultural and industrial, and also contain important nutrients, natural anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Ngcobo’s research focuses on improving the quality and yield of solanaceous (nightshade) crops using innovative horticultural practices such as light, moringa and heat treatment.

He delivered oral and poster presentations on the influence of foliar Moringa oleifera leaf extract (MLE) application on growth, fruit yield and nutritional quality of cherry tomatoes, and on the combined effect of heat treatment and MLE on colour development, quality and the postharvest life of tomatoes.

‘The first study demonstrated that foliar application of 20% and 50% MLE can improve growth and yield and has the potential to increase the nutritional quality and colour of cherry tomatoes,’ said Ngcobo. ‘The second study indicates the potential of 5% and 15% MLE combined with hot water treatment as a suitable postharvest means to improve quality and extend shelf-life of newly developed Snow White cherry tomatoes.’

Ngcobo hopes his PhD research will help determine which MLE concentration is most suitable for improving the commercial production of cherry tomatoes.

Ngcobo was invited to publish a full paper in the European Journal of Horticultural Science and to prepare a summary of his research project to be considered for publication in Chronica Horticulturae. He received a one-year complimentary membership of the ISHS, and his oral paper will be published in the Acta Horticulturae journal.

Ngcobo began his undergraduate studies at UKZN in 2013, and went on to postgraduate studies after excelling in the final-year of his BScAgric degree, earning a certificate of merit for his project. He showed initiative and dedication during his MScAgric studies, setting up a glasshouse trial independently, learning how to use agrometeorological equipment and acquiring laboratory and writing skills. He completed his master’s degree within a year graduating cum laude - a remarkable achievement in Horticultural Science.

Ngcobo paid tribute to the vital support he received from his supervisors, Professor Isa Bertling and Dr Alistair Clulow.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

Ingqophamlando Kofundisa Ezokulumbanisa Izithombo e-UKZN Enhlanganweni Yabatshalayo

Ingqophamlando Kofundisa Ezokulumbanisa Izithombo e-UKZN Enhlanganweni Yabatshalayo
Dkt Julia Sibiya.
    Click here for English version

UDkt Julia Sibiya waseSikoleni sezeSayensi yezoLimo, ezoMhlaba neMvelo (i-SAEES) uqokwe njengePhini likaMongameli lokuqala we-African Plant Breeders’ Association (i-APBA) engqungqutheleni yayo yokuqala e-University of Ghana e-Accra eyayingomhlazingama-23 kuya kumhlazingama-25 kuMfumfu.

Kule ngqungquthela bekukhona ongoti, abacwaningi nabafundi abangama-421 bevela emikhakheni kahulumeni nezimele ethinta ukulumbanisa imbewu nesayensi yezembewu, bevela emazweni angama-30. Abangamaphesenti angama-40 bekungososayensi besifazane.

Isihloko sengqungquthela besingamagalelo ezindleleni ezindala zokulumbanisa imbewu nokusetshenziswa kwezindlela ezintsha zokulimela ukuthi kungasweleki ukudla e-Afrika. Izithunywa zidingide imiphumela yocwaningo ngokulumbanisa imbewu namathuba akhona kule ndima. Lo mcimbi ube yinkundla yokuhlangana kwabantu abakulo mkhakha, baqinise nokusebenzisana emkhakheni yezinhlelo zokuphathwa kwembewu.

I-PBA yesekelwe nge-African Centre for Crop Improvement (i-ACCI) e-UKZN ne-West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (i-WACCI) e-University of Ghana nge-Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (i-AGRA) ne-University of California Davis African Plant Breeding Academy (i-AfPBA), eseziqeqeshe amakhulu abalimi e-Afrika yonke. Ngokwanda kwesibalo sabantu abalumbanisa imbewu e-Afrika ngenxa yalezi zikhungo, ososayensi base-Afrika basezikhungweni zemfundo ephakeme, izinhlangano zocwaningo nezinkampani ezizimele babona isidingo sengosi enjenge-APBA.

Le nhlangano yenza umsebenzi wokuqeqesha abantu, ukuxazulula izinkinga, ukutshala abantu nezimpahla zokusebenza nokuthuthukisa indima yezolimo yase-Afrika ngezinhlelo zokulumbanisa imbewu ezisebenzayo nokusiza ohulumeni, izinkampani zembewu, ezingenzi nzuzo nabalimi abazimele. Umsebenzi wayo kuzoba wukuhlanganisa amalungu nabalingani bawo nokubanika ulwazi oludingekayo ikakhulukazi mayelana neNjongo yesi-2 ku-Sustainable Development Goals lokuqeda indlala.

‘Sifisa i-APBA ibe yinhlangano ehlonishwayo ezoba yingosi yokudingida umsebenzi esiwenzayo e-Afrika,’ kusho uSibiya.

USibiya ukhulume ngobumqoka bokuhlanganisa abalimi bayeke ukusebenza ngabodwana, bahlanganise amakhanda ukugwema ukuphinda izinto, ukusebenzisana nokukhuthazana.

‘Ngiyazi kunjani ukuhlanganisa abalimi,’ kusho uSibiya, ekhuluma ngevuso lakhe lokusungula le nhlangano. ‘E-Afrika yonke, sinombono ofanayo wokuqinisekisa ukuthi kunokudla okwanele nokuthi siphucula isimo sezitshalo ezweni lethu ngakho kumqoka ukuthi abalimi bahlangane.’

USibiya, ofundisa eMkhakheni wokuLumbanisa iMbewu e-UKZN, ungomunye wabokuqala abafunda e-ACCI, lapho enza khona iziqu zobudokotela kwezokulumbanisa imbewu ngonyaka wezi-2005. Wenza i-BSc Honours kwezeSayensi yeziThombo e-University of Zimbabwe wenza iMastazi ku-Plant Pathology e-Ohio State University eMelika.

Wafundisa i-Plant Pathology e-University of Zimbabwe ngaphambi kokwenza iziqu zobudokotela e-ACCI wase efundisa kusukela ngowezi-2011. Manje ubheke umsebenzi ohlelweni oluxhaswe yi-AGRA i-Improved Masters in Cultivar Development for Africa e-UKZN, nomxhumanisi we-EU-Intra Africa Academic Mobility (i-Mobreed) egxile ekukhuliseni izitshalo ezisetshenziswa kancane.

Amagama: u-Christine Cuénod

Isithombe: Sithunyelwe


author : .
author email : .

Best Poster Award for Graduate Explores Improved Rice Productivity in Nigeria

Best Poster Award for Graduate Explores Improved Rice Productivity in Nigeria
Mr Lateef Bello with his poster at the Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium.

Agricultural Economics scholar, Mr Lateef Bello received an award for the best poster in the Master’s category at UKZN’s annual Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium (PRIS).

The poster was on the productivity impact of improved rice varieties’ (IRV) adoption, using the example of smallholder rice farmers in south-west Nigeria.

Bello graduated cum laude with a Master of Science in Agriculture in Agricultural Economics degree at UKZN’s September ceremonies. His research, supervised by Professor Lloyd Baiyegunhi, was on IRV adoption and the technical efficiency of smallholder rice farmers in Ogun State, Nigeria.

According to Bello, the research assists efforts to increase the productivity of rice in Nigeria – the largest consumer of the crop in Africa. The importation of rice into Nigeria was recently banned, making it vital to improve productivity of the varieties grown there to bolster the livelihoods of farmers, particularly smallholders who produce 90% of locally grown rice in Nigeria.

Bello, who is from Nigeria, chose this topic because of the shift into rice production by many farmers following a push from the government to increase agricultural production for the sake of the country’s economy, which is diversifying so that it is not dependent solely on its crude oil. He explained that agriculture was a major contributor to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) until the discovery of crude oil, after which it has contributed only up to 30%, with the balance of crops such as rice and wheat being imported.

He said that since Nigeria’s agro-ecological environments did not support local rice varieties, IRVs that are suitable for all agro-ecological zones, boasting drought resistant and high yielding traits, were developed. Despite this, yield has remained low due to low adoption of these IRVs.

Bello investigated the low adoption of agricultural technology and IRVs amongst smallholder farmers, looking at the determinants of adoption in this group. He found that extension services were not strong enough to promote the use of these IRVs, recommending that government improve these services, and cited the need for private organisations to supplement government extension services. He added that involvement from farmer-based organisations was key, and that synergy and collaboration between farmer-based organisations, seed companies, government, and other stakeholders would contribute to facilitating the adoption of IRVs.

Bello noted that farmer access to credit is key in expanding farmland and access to IRVs, which would enable higher yield and productivity.

Before joining UKZN, Bello attended Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Nigeria. After hearing about UKZN from people he knew who had studied there and because of its high ranking, he chose to pursue his master’s degree at the Institution. He plans to continue to PhD studies at UKZN, doing research into youth participation in agriculture.

Words and Photograph: Christine Cuénod


author : .
author email : .

Education Works!

Education Works!
Dr Anissa McNeil discusses how issues of leadership, organisational change and development can help improve education systems.

UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division invited the Chief Executive Officer of the Education Works consulting firm based in Los Angeles in the United States, Dr Anissa McNeil, to discuss how issues of leadership, organisational change and development can help improve education systems.

In her address, McNeil detailed how she had 12 years’ experience of working with numerous organisations helping them realise their vision and mission and listed three key points to assist making that work: leadership, organisational change and development.

With her firm currently based in six countries – the United States, Haiti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, McNeil highlighted the importance of hiring the best qualified candidates, being research-based, knowing the country you are working in, investing the right amount of time and resources, and being grounded in your mission.

She encouraged leaders to like people in order to be able to manage them; to be purpose driven; to be able to take action and be productive; to create sustainability within their organisations, and not to become stagnant through adapting to change easily. Looking at collective leadership, McNeil said: ‘The African proverb: “You are who you are because of others”, applies to leadership because together we can do anything.’

Using examples of learners with disabilities and teenage pregnancy, McNeil assessed how organisational change and development within the education system required adapting to the changing social times and matters as well as developing to meet the needs of learners.

In closing, she called for individuals to work together within the policies and procedures of the country to bring about change.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Albert Hirasen


author : .
author email : .

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Dr Hangwelani Magidimisha was the first Black South African woman to earn a PhD in Regional Planning from UKZN and one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans in 2018.

Here she writes about the continuing struggle for equality and recognition of Black women in South Africa today:

From humble beginnings in the rural village of Ngudza in Thohoyondou in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, I have always enjoyed pursuing education to the highest level and being an academic in the full sense of the profession. I had never pondered how my race and gender would influence the way I was perceived by others – culturally, politically, sexually and socially.

As an academic, I never considered myself different from the norm and believed my academic credentials were a determining factor in my future endeavours. However, this utopian belief has proved to be an illusion in reality. While I celebrated being the first Black South African-born woman to achieve a PhD in Town Planning from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, I was not prepared for the bumpy ride ahead. To me the doctorate I earned was supposed to be an automatic passport to progress in the area of leadership – a qualification to empower people, inspire people, lead change and pursue a shared vision from organisational, national and international perspectives.

I didn’t see this coming!

After I had been ushered into leadership systems, I came to realise that institutions could be very daunting environments for Black women and also that there was a serious issue with the lack of adequate Black female representation, especially in senior and managerial positions. On platforms where I represented Black women, I had to work harder to prove to people that I was as qualified and as competent as my male counterparts to occupy leadership positions. At some stage, I was told by male colleagues – for reasons known only to them – that I could not be in a leadership position!

Although there were instances when I felt like I was occupying positions of power without possessing the actual authority to make and influence decisions grateful of those selected few men and women who held my hand to cross daunting moment.

I came to realise that the arrival of a Black female academic into White and/or male dominated environments triggered spasms of racism, sexism and discrimination. The surface images of colourful, happy faces symbolising an all embracing environment are often smoke screens hiding the contradictions behind those scenes.

The institutional environment is an organism with its own traditions and cultures whose members survive through conformity while women as new entrants into the space are at times received with contempt. Those keen to move to leadership roles to quench their appetite for growth are labelled as novices who are ambitious, young and at times incompetent,despite their state of readiness in all respects. 

Decision making platforms can be areas manipulated by interest groups and those with different agendas. There are times when viewpoints are taken with a pinch of salt, while criticisms are loaded with malicious intent to undermine authority. While we acknowledge that there are men and women who support Black women they are very few and not enough to make the impact required . They also do so at the risk of being excluded by their peers.

Thus academic credentials and competency for black females in leadership positions are reduced to symbols of benevolence, guilt on the part of the institution and as expressions of political correctness. Indeed Shakespeare’s words that there are daggers in men’s smiles’, summarise the struggle of women in leadership.

How do I maintain my sanity?

I strongly believe that the courage to continue forging ahead counts as success and for that reason:

•    I focus on my dreams and not my gender orientation and fear:Fear is often the biggest dream killer. Before even starting we end up in a spiral of self-doubt and worry. A life lived constantly in fear is like sitting in a traffic jam – you never move forward and become more frustrated as time goes by, wondering if things would have been different if you had taken an entirely different route. I believe I am good enough for the role I occupy. I believe I am great despite my gender and race. Above everything, I belong to the human race and whatever any person with equal credentials as mine can do, I am perfectly capable of doing the same. I have never reduced my potential because of race or gender

•    I focus on my strengths: My strength has always been based on merit. When I am measured, let it be on the basis of my work. My academic achievements speak for themselves and include publications, lecturing, supervising research students and undertaking research work

•    I focus on my character not reputation: Your character is who you are and your reputation is what people think of you. I refuse to be defined by other people’s perception of me. I define myself for myself and that’s freedom of expression. I realised that one thing I am certainly the best at, is not being anyone but me. No-one can be a better version of you than yourself. Hence, I focus on my character and strive to improve that

•    I have learned to speak up even when no-one is listening:I, like many Black women, was raised to not speak up (especially for ourselves) since it was deemed disrespectful, inappropriate and taboo in our culture. Most of us were also taught to be silent or to stay out of the conversation in the interests of self-preservation. However, self-preservation takes on a different sense of urgency and meaning as the national and global political landscape continues to shift with regards to discrimination of any kind

•    I do not do things to please people:The focus is to do the right thing even if you have no support. People who do not support you but rather discourage you may actually not be bad people who intentionally want to destroy your dreams. Sometimes, they just do not understand why you do what you do, so they voice their concerns, which may make them seem dissenting. I personally try not to take it to heart when people discourage me rather I see it as them needing a little education and clarification. Or sometimes, I just ignore them. Often when people do not support what you are doing, it may be because of their egotistic sentiments. It could be plain ignorance or even jealousy, but some people tend to attack things that are new to them

•    I embrace organisation: Every day I constantly strive to understand the rules of organisation and to not break them. In most cases, I seek the help of a mentor and ask for guidance where necessary. This saves time and reduces stress and frustration caused by failure to execute responsibilities due to lack of knowledge or information

•    I always keep records of my actions: Although it may seem that record keeping takes a lot of time, it does in fact, help to save time and money. Records provide written evidence of what transpired as well as being a system for you and colleagues to agree on recollections. With good records, you make sure everyone knows what was decided and what needs to be achieved by what date.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal - it is the courage to continue that counts.

Dr Hangwelani Magidimisha is the Academic Leader for Planning and Housing in the College of Humanities.


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Dean on the Winning Trail Again

UKZN Dean on the Winning Trail Again
Professor Ncoza Dlova (centre) at the Health Excellence Awards in Johannesburg.

Internationally respected Dermatologist and Dean of UKZN’s School of Clinical Medicine Professor Ncoza Dlova has won two national awards – first prize in the Leadership Excellence section at the South African Health Excellence Awards and runner-up for the Global Excellence Award.

The awards are hosted by the Clinix Health Group in partnership with the South African Clinician Scientists’ Society.

Earlier this year, Dlova and a team of scientists discovered the root cause of Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA), one of the most common causes of scarring alopecia among African women. CCCA is defined as hair loss or spot balding that starts from the central (crown) part of the scalp and progresses outward in a circular pattern. CCCA causes the destruction of the hair follicles leading to scarring and permanent hair loss.

Dlova’s world first discovery received international acclaim.

The Global Excellence award is in recognition of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to medicine at an international level, through research, training or innovation. The Leadership Excellence award is for an individual who has demonstrated great leadership in any area of medicine, within a university, corporate sector or hospital environment, or in healthcare management, with a proven track record and an undisputed contribution to strengthening the South African healthcare system.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Busisiwe Ncama congratulated Dlova. ‘Ncoza has made remarkable headway in the School of Clinical Medicine. Not only has she brought international acclaim to UKZN through her novel study but she has also managed to transform the School in a very short space of time. I am so proud of her. She is a true leader,’ said Ncama.

Words: MaryAnn Francis

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

PhD Graduate Inspires with Post in #ImStaying Group

PhD Graduate Inspires with Post in #ImStaying Group
Dr Ntemsie Dube.

Dr Nontembeko (Ntemsie) Dube, who graduated with a doctorate in Entomology at UKZN’s September Graduation ceremonies, recently posted a story in the #ImStaying Facebook group that highlighted the importance of supportive supervisors and mentors - an example of whom she found in Dr Costas Zachariades.

Garnering 15 000 likes to date, the post from 25 October drew more than 1 000 comments of congratulations from Facebook users who applauded Dube and Zachariades, both based at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in Cedara.

Originally from Ezingonyameni in the Eastern Cape, Dube, who did her undergraduate and honours studies at the University of Fort Hare (UFH), grew up without aspirations to study further, instead planning to work to support her family, including four younger siblings.

The high achiever, however, was encouraged by her principal at Sidinane Secondary School to consider university and was accepted to study pre-med at UFH.

In her first-year, Dube struggled without the documentation to access the financial assistance she needed as well as facing a challenging language barrier. She braided hair to pay her way and passed well. Still unable to apply for bursaries and therefore unable to proceed to study Medicine, she continued to second year in a BSc programme with the help of donations from her high school teachers and, eventually, funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

Having chosen entomology as an elective, she found herself fascinated by medical and veterinary entomology. She majored in entomology and biochemistry and was selected as one of only four recipients of bursaries from the Department of Environmental Affairs to pursue her Honours in Entomology at UFH.

Dube was exposed to the concept of biological control in her honours year with the Working for Water team involved in the biocontrol of Acacia cyclops.

Despite the death of her mother, she graduated cum laude and was one of the top two honours graduates from her class selected for placement at a university to pursue masters study. Dube was assigned to work on the use of Pareuchaetes insulata for the biocontrol of the invasive Chromolaena odorata through UKZN, hosted at the ARC.

Zachariades, who mentored Dube during her masters’ work, went the extra mile to assist in her career progression and helped her settle in to Pietermaritzburg, motivating for her to be appointed as a researcher at the ARC, a position she has held for 10 years. Dube describes the support he gave to her, a young mother of two children and breadwinner for her younger siblings, as being like that of a parent.

Zachariades encouraged Dube to gain experience before pursuing her PhD, which enabled her to complete her research on understanding the fitness, preference and performance of specialist herbivores of southern African biotype of Chromolaena odorata and the impacts of this on the phytochemistry and growth rate of the plant in just two years and nine months. During her doctoral studies, Dube also worked with Professor Fanie van Heerden and was able to identify pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the southern African Chromolaena biotype, a first in her field and major milestone for Dube, who was the first Black female at the ARC Plant Health and Protection unit to achieve this.

Dube said she decided to post on Facebook about her experience with her supervisor because she believes in adopting an outlook focused on what is going right and on cultivating a positive attitude.

‘The more you show appreciation, the happier you are,’ she said. ‘I am not the first to break barriers, but there is always room for more good stories.’

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

Public Governance Academic Earns National Teaching and Learning Excellence Award

Public Governance Academic Earns National Teaching and Learning Excellence Award
Professor Fayth Ruffin.

Professor Fayth Ruffin earned a 2019 Council on Higher Education (CHE) Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award.

The Adjudicatory Panel was comprised of academics from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Mangosuthu University of Technology, North West University, UKZN, University of Venda, University of Western Cape, Walter Sisulu University and a CHE senior manager (acting). Nominees were required to submit teaching portfolios. In the Awards Booklet the panel explains that ‘strong portfolios demonstrate (1) teaching/learning that explicitly engages with context – social, economic and historical contexts, locally, regionally and globally; (2) how students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills and (3) what students are able to do/achieve as a result of the teaching offered.’

According to Olivia Mokgatle, Director of National Standards and Reviews and Acting Director of Institutional Audits at the CHE, ‘Having been subjected to a rigorous selection process, the winners have shown how well they are able to situate the teaching and learning in their disciplines in locally relevant contexts that are meaningful and beneficial for students.’

Professor Ruffin contextualises her varied teaching strategies to advance critical thinking, in-depth analysis and to identify and discern solutions for local/global problems based on real-life simulations and scenarios. She is an advocate of participatory learning oriented assessments that enable students’ ongoing and steady improvement throughout a module or postgraduate qualification.

‘Prof Ruffin has transformed teaching. She introduced new teaching methodologies. Initially students were not happy with it, but over time they gravitated toward new teaching methodologies,’ said Professor Yogi Penceliah, retired Public Governance Academic Leader and Senior Research Associate. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Acting) for the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor Brian McArthur said, ‘Fayth has always been an innovator in her teaching. Her strength is passion – passion for teaching, for her students and a deep care for quality. Her teaching is research-informed.’

Ruffin is a strong proponent of using research study results on African epistemologies, indigenous knowledge systems, community-based justice systems and entrepreneurialism to transform curriculum. Such research has been presented at African Union, United Nations, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, World Justice Forum and other events. She features experientialism in programme, module and overall curricula development and delivery. Her work extends University-wide by working with the DSI-NRF Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems and leading the development of a PGDip in African Indigenous Knowledge Systems for the College of Humanities, which will be offered in 2020. 

‘I believe in “Being the change we wish to see” and “Realising epistemic freedom” as shown at these links,’ said Ruffin. ‘It is certainly an honour to be recognised for my commitment and work ethic toward innovative teaching and learning intertwined with research and community engagement. But none of this could happen without dedicated students and graduates who refuse to settle for mediocrity and like-minded colleagues who embrace continuous upgrading of teaching and learning modalities,’ she concluded.

Words: Ndabaonline

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

Troubling Violence: a Praxis for Transformative Learning – Focus of Inaugural Lecture

Troubling Violence: a Praxis for Transformative Learning – Focus of Inaugural Lecture
Professor Vaughn John delivers his inaugural lecture on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

Professor Vaughn John of the School of Education delivered his inaugural lecture on the Pietermaritzburg campus under the title: Troubling Violence: a Praxis for Transformative Learning.

Offering insights from a career of developing peace education and scholarship in a context of endemic violence, John engaged with dual notions of troubling violence.

He examined the multiple ways in which violence has come to characterise life and learning in South Africa. ‘Violence has come to dominate the South African consciousness. Long histories of violence are troubling because of the dehumanisation and desensitisation violence promotes and the new cycles of violence thus engendered,’ he said.

John explained there was now engineering of new structural violence in South Africa characterised by deaths caused by lack of food and health care as a result of poverty. ‘The casualties are our learners who fall into pit latrines and the Life Esidemeni patients. Poverty and inequality are our most troubling forms of structural violence,’ he said.

John also noted that children who had been abused or exposed to violence at an early age were more likely to engage in risky sexual activity and substance abuse, and to develop a range of health problems. These, in turn, had negative consequences for school, work and later relationships. He identified bullying as another challenge in places of learning.

Switching focus from analysis to action, John then discussed interventions, ‘which allow educators to trouble the normalisation and inevitability of violence through creative and transformative practices and partnerships.’

He also emphasised how the development of a powerful praxis through productive relationships across community engagement, teaching and research could generate transformative learning, humanising pedagogy and critical scholarship.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Albert Hirasen


author : .
author email : .

Waste to Art: the Neptune Project to Help Tackle Pollution

Waste to Art: the Neptune Project to Help Tackle Pollution
Fashion made from “trash” was on display at the Waste to Art: the Neptune Project extravaganza.

UKZN hosted a unique fashion show on the Howard College campus as part of a cocktail evening themed: Waste to Art: the Neptune Project, in aid of tackling pollution, especially plastic that is infesting South Africa’s oceans.

Engineers are not usually associated with high fashion but such was the event and the cause that sassy young UKZN Engineering students joined their Durban University of Technology (DUT) fashion design colleagues to sashay down the catwalk! They were dressed in the most stylish and eco-friendly designs created out of recycled materials by final-year DUT fashion design students.

To the rustle and swish of recycled textiles, the enthusiastic young models demonstrated just how stylish “waste” can be.

Waste to Art: the Neptune Projectis the creative brainchild of Professor Cristina Trois, South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Waste and Climate Change at UKZN. The project has united artists, engineers and experts in waste management and in the creative arts to explore innovative and exciting ways to tackle waste and pollution, particularly the plastic pollution in the country’s oceans, through recycling and re-use. Through these efforts, the project team also hopes to sensitise the public to the impact of climate change on the environment.

Trois is passionate about the need for innovative waste management to mitigate against climate change and ensure a sustainable future for the planet. ‘The event provided the opportunity to showcase local design talent and creative ideas to turn waste into a means of income generation,’ said Trois, ‘as well as providing a networking platform for the many role players in waste and climate change, and local and foreign government sectors.

‘The Neptune Project aims to put the focus on plastic waste in our oceans, and help find innovative ways to mitigate against this scourge through recycling plastic into art,’ said Trois. ‘It conveys ideas for solutions emerging from high-quality scientific research conducted under the SARChI Chair.’

The project was run in conjunction with the international postgraduate training seminar and summer school on: Innovations in Waste to Resource Management and Climate Change Mitigation, held from 25-27 November at UKZN under the aegis of the UKZN SARChI Chair in Waste and Climate Change, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the International Waste Working Group (IWWG).

The summer school explored new trends and innovations from around the world in research development and innovation on the management and valorisation of the three main priority waste streams – plastics, organics and textiles.

The course offered a unique opportunity to engage with key national and international experts in waste management and the circular/green economy, and was designed as an introduction to the new coursework Master of Science in Engineering in Waste and Resources Management (WaRM) available from 2020 at UKZN.

Words: Sally Frost

Photographs: Andile Ndlovu


author : .
author email : .

Conversations for Change Forum Discusses Issues of Social Justice and Global Citizenry

Conversations for Change Forum Discusses Issues of Social Justice and Global Citizenry
From left: Ms Normah Zondo, Professor Thabo Msibi, Ms Kerry Frizelle, Mr Sello Maake-kaNcube, Ms Cookie Edwards and Mr Suntosh Pillay.

UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division co-hosted the 8th annual Conversations for Change event in partnership with the Mandela Rhodes Community.

The event was themed: Re-Imaging Social Justice and Global Citizenry for Africa and the World.

Mandela Rhodes Scholar, UKZN alumnus, and Clinical Psychologist, Mr Suntosh Pillay facilitated the conversation among the panel which included Dean and Head of the School of Education, Professor Thabo Msibi; UKZN lecturer and counselling psychologist, Ms Kerry Frizelle; renowned actor, performing artist and social activist, Mr Sello Maake-kaNcube; and the Executive Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Network on Violence against Women, Ms Cookie Edwards.

Pillay opened the debate by discussing the importance of conversations in initiating change and invited the panel to tackle issues of global citizenry while reinvigorating the term social justice linked to xenophobia and gender-based violence (GBV).

Msibi, investigated social justice from an education context by examining notions of Archie Lembede’s Pedagogies of Presence that recognises individuals, the spaces they occupy and affirms who they are. He advocated for notions of fairness and diversity when looking at social justice stating: ‘Because we are different and we recognise that difference, it is that difference that makes us part of a society. If we go with that approach, notions of exclusion within organisations become effectively nullified and addressed in a much broader manner.’

Frizelle examined social justice from a psychologist’s perspective and reflected on the hope South Africans carried for the country’s new democracy and constitution, compared it to its present day reality. She argued: ‘We cannot bring about wellness in contexts or systems that are unwell,’ and called for an end to a passive sense of hope and a start of a critical hope. ‘We need hope that recognises that unless we act and come together as a collective nothing will materialise,’ said Frizelle.

Partnering with Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training (ADAPT) in the fight against domestic abuse, Maake-kaNcube was part of a play called Komeng (a Sotho word for going to initiation in the mountains) which dealt with psychological pain. Maake-kaNcube reflected on the last line of the play: “Today we discovered that we are human beings first and men after”, and urged individuals not to lose sight of their humanity but rather recognise that Ubuntu had no gender.

A community worker for more than 30 years, Edwards examined social justice from the grassroots level and called for the improvement of services (police stations and magistrate’s courts) in South Africa in order for victims of abuse to receive the assistance they need. She highlighted the high levels of unjust funding by government saying: ‘Women receive R63 a night and learn sewing and cooking skills in a shelter but criminal perpetrators get R350 a night and the privilege of studying. Where is the balance in our society?’

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Itumeleng Masa


author : .
author email : .

Champions Pledge to Forge Partnership with UKZN

Champions Pledge to Forge Partnership with UKZN
Prize-giving, 2019 Champions.

The 2019 “Champions Cohort” of businessmen and women has promised to “grow seeds planted” during a year-long development programme and to partner with UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) in upscaling the initiative.

They made the commitment as they received certificates in celebration of their success in the Champions Programme and the impact their entrepreneurial ventures have had in growing their communities.

 The Champions Programme is a community development initiative of the RLEDi and part of a partnership between the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) and UKZN.

The 12 Champions are: Wonderful Dlamini (Izandla Zothando Foundation), Welile Gumede (Azowel Projects), Lindelo Magubane (Container Food Group), Themba Mgwaba (Asikhule Co-operatives Development Corporation NPC), Zandile Makhoba (Zandi the Chef International), Bethuel Mazibuko (B’thebele Enterprises), Ntombikayise Mbuyisa (Greater Edendale Business Forum), Noluthando Evidence Mnguni (Bright Future Leaders), Lungani Mntambo (Fundamental Consulting), Nhlakanipho Nzimande (Ikhuze Farmer PTY (Ltd)), Sibusiso Phakathi (CSP Poultry PTY (Ltd)) and Phumlani Xulu GospArch (Project Solutions).

GSB&L academic and facilitator of the programme Professor Shahida Cassim said this was a social entrepreneurship development intervention for change makers across KwaZulu-Natal.

‘I have over the past years worked with amazing social entrepreneurs who do excellent work and this group is no exception. It is my privilege to work with and provide pragmatic solutions to transform their communities and beyond,’ said Cassim.

‘The model has evolved since inception and we think it is ready to grow through partnerships,’ she added issuing a call for partnerships with private and public sectors.

EDTEA representative, Mr Patrick Mbokazi said the skills the social entrepreneurs had gained from the programme were crucial for the transformation of South Africa’s economy.

‘We are presently in a depressed economy that requires joint interventions and efforts to foster economic growth, so partnering with institutions to host programmes like this will make a difference and push economic development.’

The social entrepreneurs also heard from social entrepreneur, author and speaker Mr Karabo Mokoape, ‘I am encouraged to be in a room of people who have chosen to pledge themselves to improve the country’s growth,’ said Mokoape.

‘There will be challenges in the kind of journey you have chosen but today I assure you that in the fullness of time the world will bend to you and your cause because you are on the right side of history.’

Mr Lindo Duma, a Champions alumnus of 2015, and co-founder of Iziko Stoves which employs rehabilitated substance abusers to create stoves out of recycled gas cylinders, geysers and oil drums, also addressed the gathering.

After much deliberation, the top three social enterprises were identified. Third was nutritious meals enthusiast and international chef Zandi Makhoba, second was Phakathi’s hatchery and breeding farm’s social investment in eggshell beneficiation through a community cooperative, with the top spot going to Gumede’s youth empowerment enterprise that uses barren and unused agriculture tunnels to farm produce to create revenue and youth employment.

Standard Bank sponsored the 1st prize of R10 000; Al Baraka Bank awarded the 2nd prize of R8 000, and the Ismail Bana Charitable Trust gave R5 000 to the 3rd prize winner.

The winners undertook to spend their prize money on advancing the causes that they were committed to.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Association for Tertiary Zion Students Nominated for Gospel Music Award

UKZN Association for Tertiary Zion Students Nominated for Gospel Music Award
ATEZS UKZN with their album titled uJesu Osindisayo.

The UKZN Association for Tertiary Zion Students (ATEZS) was nominated for the 12th annual Crown Gospel awards that were announced recently.

Nominated under the category of Best Gospel AmaZion, the group is made up of about 70 students from each of UKZNs five campuses. Founded in 2001, with the aim of uniting all Zion Christian students at tertiary level, the organisation has now expanded to other institutions all over KwaZulu-Natal, Pretoria, the Free State and the Eastern Cape.

With this being their first nomination as ATEZS UKZN and competing against other Zion congregations such as Burning Fire of God, The Unity and Faith in Christ, the group said that they were proud to represent student church organisations on a national platform.

ATEZS UKZN, who describe their genre as choral music fused with the sounds of Acapella or Maskandi (traditional African music), has their fourth studio album out. It is titled uJesu Osindisayo and is available for hardcopy purchase order on cell: 071 821 6868 or download on iTunes, Deezer and Spotify.

‘As a pillar for students during their time at university, it was important for us to get nominated as an organisation that represents students,’ said a spokesperson for the group. ‘Even though we didn’t win the experience of attending this event and being amongst greats within the Gospel music industry was amazing! We would like to thank the organisers of the Crown Gospel awards as well as the students who supported us throughout this whole journey.’

With dreams of representing UKZN and the Zion church internationally, the group can be followed on : Facebook - ATEZS UKZN 2019 Album, Instagram - ATEZS_UKZN, and YouTube - ATEZS UKZN.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Supplied


author : .
author email : .

UKZN Welcomes New Employees on Board

UKZN Welcomes New Employees on Board
UKZN Employees at the on-boarding session.

The Human Resource Division hosted a two-day On-Boarding session for new UKZN employees to acquaint them with the policies and procedures of the University.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning: Professor Sandile Songca, welcomed employees and encouraged them to find their space in UKZN’s transformation and to make a contribution towards excellence at the Institution. ‘You’ve joined a university that is changing and moving forward. So those that are coming in need to find that change and see how they can make a contribution towards the University’s transformation,’ Songca said.

He highlighted the Institution’s focus on students, “as the core of the business”, and its aim to produce students who contribute towards society and enhance the culture, economics and viability of the nation, while creating a sustainable livelihood for themselves.

Songca further urged employees to live the REACH? values of Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Client Orientation, Honesty, and Trust.

Director: Human Resource Development, Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu called on employees to understand HR by understanding the College model used at the University. Ramabodu explained how the model had four College HR teams and one Professional Services team, including three central directorates - Rewards Services, Human Resource Development and Employee Relations.

Ramabodu also urged employees to familiarise themselves with College HR teams. ‘Because with any issues that you have related to performance management, leave or medical aid, your College HR teams will be your first point of call.’

Director: Teaching and Learning, Dr Tilly Moodley outlined the University’s teaching policies and portfolio which are in line with the Quality Promotion and Assurance (QPA) unit.

Research Office Manager, Mr Wilondja Job Muzumbukilwa emphasised the management of research funds, research ethics and productivity, while Director: Legal Services, Advocate Paul Finden went over the University’s organisational structures and asked employees to make use of the Innerweb to access details on the Institution’s policies.

Ms Nyikiwa Mavunda of Human Resource Development assessed UKZN’s gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual harassment policies and the procedures for speaking out and reporting GBV that can be accessed on the HR website. She emphasised the University’s commitment to providing safe environments for all, free from any form of discrimination or harassment.

In line with UKZN’s Strategic Plan 2017-202, Ms Dirontsho Kokong, also of Human Resource Development, listed the core functions of her Department as: Integrated Talent Management Processes, Organisational Development, and Transformation and Employment Equity.

Other workshop topics included Corporate Relations, HR Rewards Services, Legal Services and the UKZN Medical Aid Scheme.

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photograph: Andile Ndlovu


author : .
author email : .