Arts Student Publishes French-isiZulu Manual of Conversations

Arts Student Publishes <em>French-isiZulu Manual of Conversations</em>
Mr Mongezi Bolofo with his French-isiZulu Manual of Conversations.Click here for isiZulu version

Master of Arts student in isiZulu Studies, Mr Mongezi Bolofo recently published a French-IsiZulu Manual of Conversations - a first of its kind in which French meets isiZulu!

Bolofo collaborated with Dr Michel Lafon, a retired scholar of African languages, in producing the manual.

‘The book also has an introduction to isiZulu grammar that will assist Francophones to gain access to the language. It is a resource that will assist isiZulu to extend its reach,’ said Bolofo.

The book contains a socio-historical introduction to isiZulu; a brief grammatical description of isiZulu which itself is divided into a grammatical introduction to central aspects of the isiZulu system highlighting some specific contrasts between French and isiZulu; and a compilation of short possible conversations detailed under topics and situations a visitor may encounter.

When working with Lafon as a research assistant, Bolofo proposed a small phrase book to assist French speakers to learn isiZulu and this led to the publication. ‘I engaged myself with this project because we wanted to assist the many French-speaking immigrants – the majority from countries in Africa – who have made South Africa their home and want to learn isiZulu for full social integration. We believe it is much easier to learn a new language from one’s own language or at least from a language one knows best,’ said Bolofo.

As a prospective language scholar and an activist, Bolofo believes ‘African languages should use a proactive approach in forming relationships with other languages. It is not fair to open access to indigenous languages through English only – we need to welcome people from all walks of life to learn our languages and get an opportunity to share and exchange culture and wisdom.’

The book is accessible via:

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Supplied

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UKZN Impi Win Big at 2021 Varsity Shield Rugby Tournament!

UKZN Impi Win Big at 2021 Varsity Shield Rugby Tournament!
The UKZN Impi began their Varsity Shield 2021 campaign with a resounding 62-15 victory against Rhodes.

The UKZN Impi enjoyed a runaway 62-15 victory against Rhodes University in their opening game of the Varsity Shield rugby tournament at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria this week.

UKZN honours student, Azakhiwe Afrika won the FNB Player That Rocks award in the game which saw our Impi team score 10 tries, 2 penalties and 2 conversions.

The excitement was evident in these @varsityshield tweets: ‘The @UKZN_Rugby Impi start their FNB Varsity Shield campaign in emphatic fashion. Llawdden Roux collects a great offload and storms his way over for the opener.

'Skills for Afrika! Beautiful work from the @UKZN_Rugby backline as they string together the passes and Azakhiwe Afrika puts on the finishing touch.’

UKZN won the FNB Varsity Shield Championship in 2015 after beating WITS 29-24 at the Wits Rugby Stadium in Johannesburg.

Visit the Varsity Cup website to meet this year’s Impi team.

Manager: Student Health and Sport at UKZN, Mr Mark Bashe congratulated the team on their win: ‘They played extremely well and gave it their all for the entire match. Our sincere thanks goes to the Campus Return Task Team (CRTT) for allowing our students to return to campus and prepare for the tournament. Our UKZN team will do us proud this year and I have no doubt they will be top contenders for the championship trophy,’ said Bashe.

This year’s Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield tournaments, sponsored by FNB and Steers, are taking place in a secure bio-bubble at the FNB Varsity Cup Village hosted by the University of Pretoria to ensure the safety of teams and their coaching staff.

 For more information on the stringent COVID-19 precautions in place, visit the Varsity Cup website.

To back our boys, follow the Impi on Twitter: @UKZN_Rugby and tune into the games live on SuperSport (DSTV channel 211).

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

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Centre for Creative Arts Director Receives Merit Award from French President

Centre for Creative Arts Director Receives Merit Award from French President
Director of the Centre for Creative Arts, Dr Ismail Mahomed.Click here for isiZulu version

Director of the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities, Dr Ismail Mahomed has been presented with the National Order of Merit award on behalf of the President of the French Republic.

The award, which highlights great services rendered to France, is bestowed upon those who have contributed to furthering the influence of France through their personality, the expansion of French culture through their activities, and who contribute to the life of French communities abroad.

‘I receive the award with humility,’ said Mahomed. ‘I thank both South African and French artists who I have worked with over several years in the interest of engaging the arts to create a world where social justice prevails.’

The Ambassador of France to South Africa, Mr Aurélien Lechevallier, who presented the award, said: ‘We celebrate Dr Ismail Mahomed as a passionate advocate for the arts, who throughout his outstanding career has been tirelessly committed to defending the interests of artists and cultural players in this country that we all cherish.

‘We are also celebrating a friend, whose support for France and cultural exchanges with France have been invaluable, and whose advice we have sought year after year in order to build a relationship with the South African cultural scene that is strong and, most of all, meaningful,’ said Lechevallier.

In 2016, Mahomed was awarded the Chevalier des l ‘Ordre des Artes et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of the Arts and Literature) from France.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Supplied

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UKZN Releases Corporate Identity Manual

UKZN Releases Corporate Identity Manual
UKZN’s recently launched Corporate Identity Manual.Click here for isiZulu version

Launched by the Corporate Relations Division, UKZN’s Corporate Identity (CI) Manual is a basic publication usage guide to help ensure the University brand is represented visually in a consistent and impactful way.

Speaking at the launch of the manual, a custodian of UKZN’s communication and marketing strategy, Acting Executive Director: Corporate Relations, Ms Normah Zondo, said her Division’s role was to lead and develop the University brand.

Zondo described the manual ‘as a collection of design elements that work together to create a meaningful guide that allows all parties within the Institution to communicate with one consistent voice’.

Principal Graphic Designer, the late Mr Neville Moodaliar pinpointed three critical concepts in the CI Manual: a brand, branding, and a logo.

Exploring variations in the use of the UKZN logo, Moodaliar said landscape style was preferred with portrait usage requiring authorisation from the Corporate Relations Division before publication. He identified the colour logo as the desired setting, saying the white logo should be used on dark backgrounds and the black logo should be reserved for backgrounds without colour reproduction.

Outlining “do’s and don’ts” when using the logo, Moodaliar urged colleagues to leave a ‘decent amount of clear white space around the brand image’. 

He also focused on UKZN’s tagline of Inspiring Greatness and showed examples of how it ‘should be featured in the footer of any artwork within a red strip’. Encouraging colleagues to be ‘more aware of fonts in order to keep the same look and feel required for corporate branding’, Moodaliar said the preferred fonts were Century Gothic Bold for the tagline; Myriad Pro as the official design font and Arial as the general font.

He discussed logo use for subsidiaries, Colleges and Centres and reviewed the importance of a line separator (30% black) in co-branding. Moodaliar noted that College logos should not be used in co-branding.

He examined the difference between College and campus colours (which are represented on the University logo), discouraging individuals from creating their own logos.

In closing, Moodaliar said: ‘We need to work together to manage our image and the way we are perceived within and outside of UKZN, to create a common brand narrative that Inspires Greatness.’

Commenting on the illegal use of the UKZN logo on social media, Zondo said, ‘staff and students are not allowed to use the University logo on their personal social media accounts’, adding that University branding could not be used on external platforms or events without permission.

Acting Director: University Relations, Ms Xoliswa Zulu, thanked everyone for attending the launch and encouraged colleagues to stick to the guidelines provided by the CI Manual and to contact the Corporate Relations team on for any clarification or queries.

Mr Neville Moodaliar was an amazing individual with a passion for perfection in his work. He will be remembered for his firm conviction on the incorrect use of the University brand.

Words: Hlengiwe Khwela

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UKZN Academic Elected Chairperson of National Entrepreneurship Learning and Teaching Body

UKZN Academic Elected Chairperson of National Entrepreneurship Learning and Teaching Body
Dr Thea van der Westhuizen.

Academic leader, Dr Thea van der Westhuizen has been elected Chairperson of the national Entrepreneurship in Higher Education (EDHE) Community of Practice (CoP) in Learning and Teaching.

The election of van der Westhuizen - Academic Leader: Management and Entrepreneurship Discipline in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance at UKZN - was announced at the culmination of the third annual EDHE Kick-off event, held virtually from 24-26 March.

EDHE was established at the end of 2016 from within the University Education Branch of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

The EDHE Programme has since been included in DHET’s University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP), focusing on developing student entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial universities and entrepreneurship development in academia.

Addressing the opening of the EDHE Kick-off 2021 event, Director of Entrepreneurship at Universities South Africa (USAf) Dr Norah Clarke focused on the theme of the event – #against-all-odds – highlighting that it presented a challenge to the university community to grow entrepreneurially in this time of pandemic and unemployment. The purpose of the event, said Clarke, was to engage with the champions for entrepreneurship development in universities, following the successful conclusion of EDHE Phase 1 and the launch of the second three-year UCDP-funded cycle from April 2021.

Following two days of strategic input and workshops, the five Communities of Practice (CoPs) met in committee to debate and decide on priorities aligned with the EDHE Phase 2 structures and strategies. Delegates from the 26 public universities had the option to participate as members of any one of the five national EDHE CoPs, depending on their area of interest.

CoP members then elected a new chairperson and deputy chairperson for their respective CoPs for the duration of EDHE Phase 2.

A key change in the EDHE Phase 2 strategy is the restructuring of the previous CoP for Entrepreneurship in Academia into two more focused CoPs, ie the CoP for Entrepreneurship Research and the CoP for Entrepreneurship Learning and Teaching.

Van der Westhuizen, who had been head of the CoP for Academia for the last three years, will work closely with Professor Tshidi Mohapeloa of Rhodes University who was elected as Deputy-Chairperson of the CoP.

The sharper focus on Entrepreneurship Learning and Teaching is in no small part a consequence of the extraordinary challenges thrust upon universities by the demands of virtual and hybrid teaching and learning methods, as a result of COVID-19. In addition, there has been a recognition of the special teaching and learning needs in the field of entrepreneurship development, not least of which is the requirement to address the needs of surrounding communities as part of the wider national agenda for job creation.

As Convener of the CoP for Entrepreneurship in Academia since 2017, the EDHE team has worked with van der Westhuizen for several years and is confident she will advance both the national and UKZN agendas within the field of entrepreneurship development.

Clarke thanked UKZN for its continued interest in entrepreneurship development, saying she looked forward to making a bigger impact in advancing the economic participation of students and graduates, while supporting the research, innovation and entrepreneurship pipeline.

Words: NdabaOnline

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Turning the Tide of Unemployment Among Graduates

Turning the Tide of Unemployment Among Graduates

Globally the level of unemployment among graduates is growing with the problem being particularly severe in Africa.

Many attribute the issue partly to a mismatch between the skills graduates leave universities with and those actually in demand in the labour market.

Reality is that many graduates are poorly prepared to enter the labour market and therefore struggle to find employment, reinforcing a public perception that Institutions of Higher Learning are becoming factories of unemployment! 

While the long established role of universities has been to transfer knowledge and prepare graduates for the labour market, I argue that now is time to expand and extend this traditional approach to seek a viable solution to the problem of unemployment. This means universities have to take cognisance of the demands of employers and concentrate on producing the type of graduates who are in demand and able to use the knowledge gained in their studies to perform efficiently in the world of work and capable of reshaping the labour market through innovative ideas.

In considering the goals and teaching methods of education for sustainable development, we need to ask ourselves whether the aim of education is to transmit information that is relevant today or whether education should aspire to develop attitudes, willingness and skills for the building of a sustainable future society?

My argument is that universities should play the role of producing job creators rather than job seekers by ensuring that transferred knowledge is monitored and transformed into socio-economic opportunities. It is important that graduates are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills that go beyond producing academic work.

I believe graduates should have first-hand experience in advancing and experimenting with the knowledge they have acquired rather than leaving the findings of their research in the hands of others to decide whether the new knowledge is relevant and thus promote the culture of entrepreneurship among graduates generally.

In order to achieve this, our traditional teaching and learning approach has to change to a situation where it is learner-centred. The learner-centred teaching and learning approach entails empowering learners to become self-driven and reflexive in their approach towards life in general and sustainable development in particular (Osterwalder,2009).

My belief is that for education to be functional, it has to be relevant and practical in the daily reality situations faced by students and the communities they come from.

It is important that the acquisition of appropriate skills and the development of competencies put the student at the centre of teaching and learning. The quality of instruction at all levels must be oriented towards emphasising the value of the acquisition of competencies necessary for self-reliance and reducing poverty, empowering the student to become more creative and innovative in converting acquired theoretical knowledge into practical skills for their betterment and that of their communities in general. This means assisting the student to convert what has been learned in the classroom into community and commercial projects.

It is worth noting that universities are generally viewed as promoters of sustainability within our societies so it stands to reason that individuals with university degrees should be seen as messengers of hope for themselves and their societies.

My belief is that when working on the curriculum, it should be established how the information being transferred in different disciplines is taken into consideration in education, what the traditions of the field of science are and what the relevant professional practices are. Likewise, one should ascertain whether the teaching related to sustainable development is based on pedagogical content knowledge, or on the traditions of the educational establishment in question, or on the relevant field of science.

Based on my teaching philosophy and rationale in my approach to education, I have developed a theoretical and practical model through which students can convert their research into a community or commercial project. This model redefines the traditional role of the transmission of the theoretical and practical knowledge in different fields of study, with the emphasis placed on the dimensions of applicability and action, and the possibility of transferability to various situations and contexts. It also incorporates the skills, attitudes and aptitudes that provide for competent professional practice derived from research and experimentation. 

I have promoted the model in a series of seminars and workshops on the subject and believe it is now time that we as the UKZN community challenge ourselves and reflect on possible solutions that will bring improvements in the lives of our graduates and their communities.

Dr Joseph Rudigi Rukema is a Senior Lecturer at the Sociology Discipline in UKZN’s School of Social Sciences.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Humanities Academic New Chair of Society of Practical Theology

Humanities Academic New Chair of Society of Practical Theology
UKZN academic, Professor Simangaliso Kumalo.

The Society of Practical Theology in South Africa (SPTSA) has elected UKZN academic Professor Simangaliso Kumalo to be its chairperson for the next three years.

The election of Kumalo, who is the Academic Leader for Theology and Ethics in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, was announced at the society’s recent annual conference hosted by the School.

SPTSA, one of the oldest academic organisations in South Africa, focuses on the development of scholarship in the field of practical theology, drawing its membership from universities in South Africa and has support from other countries in the region.

Its conferences attract scholars from all over the world whose interests are in the fields of Practical Theology, Applied Theology, Missiology, Christian Education, Theology and Development, and Pastoral Counselling, among others. 

Its main aim is to promote the study of Practical Theology. ‘No doubt this appointment brings prestige to UKZN in the sphere of Theology, offering endless opportunities for masters and PhD students as well as colleagues wanting to do research and publish in the journal of Practical Theology,’ said Kumalo.

‘My election is recognition of my scholarship by my peers both locally and internationally, and also endorses UKZN as a centre of excellence in the study of Theology,’ he said.

Kumalo will organise annual conferences and aim to grow the organisation’s membership and support its accredited journal.

Kumalo, who has been teaching and doing research in the area of Practical Theology for more than two decades, was recently also appointed as chairperson of the theological task team investigating the COVID-19 vaccine issue for the SA Council of Churches (SACC). Aimed at guiding the response of the Church, the team successfully produced a statement on support for the vaccine by SACC affiliated churches to assist government in the roll out of the campaign. He also serves as Theological Advisor to the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council.

Kumalo, the author of five books and over 60 academic articles, is the founder of the John Langalibalele Dube Memorial Lectures and is well respected in both theological and ecumenical circles as a theologian and leader.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

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Respecting the Value of Good Health

Respecting the Value of Good Health
World Health Day - making the planet a healthier place for all.Click here for isiZulu version

The focus of World Health Day celebrated on 7 April was on ‘building a fairer, healthier world for everyone’.

The day is celebrated annually to raise awareness about various critical health and wellness topics, emphasising the World Health Organization’s constitutional principle that ‘the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being regardless of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition’ ( 

The focus this year was on ‘building a fairer, healthier world for everyone’ which was inspired by the ramifications of COVID-19.

Looking for positives out of the negative, the pandemic has presented opportunities in a variety of spheres and fields including remote learning techniques and methods, working from home options, and webinar facilities.

However, in the main it has devastated the world and apart from the huge death toll, has caused enormous hardships. For example, the unemployment rate has soared, resulting in poverty and food insecurity which impact on social and health inequities.

Millions of people have been negatively affected by the pandemic with those worst impacted being folk with limited or no access to resources, such as quality personal protective equipment and healthcare facilities.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of healthy collaboration, with the World Health Organization calling on healthcare leaders and government officials to include ‘the people’ in their decision-making processes.

The following are ideas on how you can support World Health Day principles this year:

•    Start maintaining a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet

•    Try to get the minimum recommended amount of sleep

•    Practise self-care and de-stressing as much as possible

•    Give your mental health the required attention

•    Try to stay active

•    Be informed about your potential genetic disease predispositions

•    Be conscious about the state of your current health

‘Health is your responsibility. Creating health is about revitalising your body, mind, emotions, and life energies to a higher level of functioning.’ – Sadhguru

Words: Nkosingiphile Ntshangase

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