CCA Launches New Festival in Partnership with Netherlands Embassy

CCA Launches New Festival in Partnership with Netherlands Embassy
The CCA will host the Artfluence Festival with Dr Pieter-Dirk Uys as the keynote speaker.

The inaugural Artfluence Human Rights Arts Festival with a focus on the arts, the constitution and democracy is currently being presented by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities in partnership with the Embassy of The Netherlands.

Voices of Hope, Courage and Resilience is the theme for the inaugural festival that will run for four days, from Wednesday, 5 May to Saturday, 8 May 2021. South African playwright, satirist, and social justice activist, Dr Pieter-Dirk Uys, delivered the keynote address at the opening.

The Artfluence Festival, supported by the Embassy of The Netherlands, will highlight the solidarity between South African and Dutch artists - past and present - whose contributions have been vital to advancing South African democracy.

With Artfluence the CCA, which has built a formidable reputation for its successful festivals - Time of the Writer, JOMBA!, Poetry Africa and the Durban International Film Festival, will add a fifth festival to its annual bouquet.

CCA Director Dr Ismail Mahomed said, ‘We want to strengthen the link with the arts and civil society, active citizenship and politics through a series of arts events and arts-based webinars, featuring South African and international artists by creating a dedicated virtual space to share, celebrate, remember, explore, provoke and promote how the arts contribute to a culture of human rights.’

Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of The Netherlands Mr Jan Huesken added, ‘As The Netherlands we are extremely thankful for the opportunity provided to us for by the CCA, to support and promote a festival that uses arts and culture as the medium to question, discuss and explore issues of human rights. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a reset on our global society in all its facets. Apart from enormous challenges, it also provided us with the opportunity to correct shortcomings in our society; and to actually start to live and breathe the values as enshrined in our respective constitutions.’

Huesken highlighted that ‘online presentation offers the possibility for extended participation in our two countries and beyond. This festival will hopefully embed itself in the challenging bouquet of annual festivals already provided by the CCA and have a permanent impact on our societies.’

Mahomed will co-curate the inaugural festival with cultural and gender activist Ms Yusrah Bardien. ‘Each day of the festival will be catalysed by an arts event and will be supported by a moderated discussion with informed activists for human rights comprised of a South African, a Dutch speaker and participants from other states on the African continent. We will invite artists and organisations whose artistic reputations are anchored on advocating for human rights to participate in the inaugural Artfluence Festival,’ explained Bardien.

As an online event, each of the events and panel discussions will be live-streamed on the festival’s social media pages and the CCA YouTube page (www.youtube.com/centreforcreativearts). You can find Artfluence on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as @Artfluencefest, which is also where the festival will be streaming live from.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Supplied


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UKZN Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day

UKZN Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day
UKZN InQubate in collaboration with Spoor and Fisher Attorneys will host a webinar on copyright protection on 7 May 2021 in celebration of World IP Day.

World Intellectual Property (IP) Day is observed annually on 26 April. This year, it highlights the importance of IP rights in creating more competitive businesses, and building and growing stronger SMEs under the theme: Intellectual Property (IP) & Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): Taking your ideas to market.

Established in 2000 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member states, this day seeks to increase the general understanding of IP knowledge.

To celebrate World IP Day, UKZN InQubate, the University’s technology transfer office, in collaboration with Spoor and Fisher Attorneys will be hosting a webinar focusing on copyright protection on 7 May 2021.

Through understanding the benefits of IP, SMEs can use: patents to protect their innovative products or processes and give their business a competitive edge; trade secrets to preserve their competitive space; trademarks to guarantee their quality and help differentiate their products or services from those of their competitors; and industrial design rights to safeguard the aesthetic aspect of their product (www.wipo.int/sme/en/).

In line with managing their IP assets, SMEs are advised to perform an audit to determine the potential IP that exists within their company. They are encouraged to recognise the economic value of IP assets by conducting an IP valuation as such information is useful when dealing with various transactions including licensing, sale, donation of IP rights, joint ventures and other collaborative deals (www.wipo.int/sme/en/).

Speaking to this year’s theme Mr Daren Tang, Director General for the WIPO, noted that SMEs make up 90% of all companies worldwide and are responsible for 70% of global employment: ‘SMEs are the engines, the unsung heroes of our economy. Yet many still lack knowledge about how IP can help them translate their ideas into products, and how it can be a powerful tool not just to survive, but to also compete and grow.’

Join UKZN InQubate, in collaboration with Spoor and Fisher Attorneys on 7 May 2021 to learn more about IP rights and how they impact your invention and business.

Register for the workshop on the following link:

https://ukzn.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_u0D3vBw5RUaGakKBa-1WGA

Words: Hlengiwe Khwela

Image: Supplied


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UKZN Hosts Health and Wellness Campaign

UKZN Hosts Health and Wellness Campaign
Panellists from the webinar clockwise from left: Mr Buhle Dludla, Professor Thumbi Ndung’u, Dr Vincent Zishiri, Mr Vijesh Samjhawan and Ms Jabu Hlophe.

UKZN’s HIV and AIDS Programme recently hosted a webinar, titled: The Greatest Wealth is Health.

Professor Thumbi Ndung’u, Scientific Director for the HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP) at the University and the facilitator of the event, highlighted the programme’s focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle among students.

He said: ‘The programme has been active in providing services for students and staff as well as advocating for mental health issues, gender based-violence (GBV), and HIV and AIDS. It has also been in the front line providing screening services and contact tracing for COVID-19.’

Dr Vincent Zishiri, Technical Executive Manager at Higher Health and the keynote speaker, commented on the challenges of youth epidemics and listed the eight priority areas for Higher Health as: HIV and TB, sexual reproductive health and contraception, GBV, mental health, LGBTQI+, alcohol and drug abuse, disability and COVID-19.

He examined the Post School Education and Training (PSET) sector’s response to COVID-19 which included setting up scientific task teams; developing guidelines and protocols; deploying screening volunteers; training Higher Education management, student affairs and frontline staff to manage the response; rapidly developing the HealthCheck screening tool and strengthening psychosocial support services through a 24-hour toll-free helpline.

Listing some of the guidelines and protocols to manage COVID-19, Zishiri said that around 50 000 staff and students within the PSET sector have been trained and capacitated. He noted that more than 10 million screening episodes have been conducted on HealthCheck and focused on the importance of a national psychosocial support programme due to heightened anxiety and stigma caused by the pandemic.

Reviewing the national vaccination programme and its three-phrase approach which aims to vaccinate 67% of the population. Zishiri explained that the second phase of vaccinations covers a larger chunk of the PSET sector which plans to focus on essential workers such as lecturers, student support services staff, campus security, residence wardens, cleaners, people living in congregant settings like residences and people 18 years or over living with comorbidities.

In closing Zishiri noted the important role Higher Health plays in bringing together the Departments of Health and Higher Education and Training. He encouraged people to wear a mask, wash their hands and keep their distance and to practice care, compassion and community during the pandemic.

Ms Jabu Hlophe an Occupational Health Nurse on the Westville campus listed the health clinics available on each of the University’s five campuses and urged staff and students to contact them on their toll-free number 0800 80 0018.

Hlophe noted that UKZN’s Self-screening App that is used before entrance to the University is granted records low risk (green) where one gains entrance to the campus with a mask, medium risk (amber) where one is referred to the campus health clinic, and high risk (red) where access is denied.

She highlighted the steps taken for individuals who screen as a high risk which include having an occupational nurse contact one, conducting a repeat screening and if confirmed at high risk, testing for COVID-19 at UKZN’s on-site laboratory, being referred to a General Practitioner or the KZN Department of Health Flu Clinic, and self-quarantining until one’s test results are made available.

Hlophe also listed the self-isolating measures required of those who test positive or are asymptomatic but may be infected with COVID-19 as staying in one’s room and away from others; knowing which emergency number to call if symptoms worsen; avoiding communal spaces and sharing household items; frequently washing one’s hands with soap; using 70% alcohol sanitisers; wearing a mask and following social distancing protocols; observing cough and hand etiquette; and frequently sanitising all touched surfaces.

Other speakers of the event included Mr Buhle Dludla, Clinical Nurse Practitioner at Health Systems Trust and Mr Vijesh SamjhawanUKZN alumnus who focused on ways to provide support to people faced with issues related to positive living.

Words: Hlengiwe Khwela

Image: Supplied


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UKZN Makes Centre for World University Rankings Global 2000 List

UKZN Makes  Centre for World University Rankings Global 2000 List
A collage of the UKZN campuses.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has been announced as one of the top 2.5% universities out of 19,788 worldwide as the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) released its 2021-22 Global 2000 List.

Nationally and regionally (South Africa and Africa respectively), this puts UKZN in fourth place.

The Center for World University Rankings - which publishes the largest academic rankings of global universities - is a leading consulting organisation providing policy advice, strategic insights, and consulting services to governments and universities to improve educational and research outcomes. CWUR publishes authoritative global university rankings, known for objectivity, transparency, and consistency, which are trusted by students, academics, university administrators, and governments from around the world.

The rankings are unique in that:
* Objective indicators are used for all four key pillars underlying the methodology of the ranking (quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, and research performance) with no reliance on surveys and university data submissions;
* Equal emphasis is put on the learning environment and research; and
* 19,788 universities are ranked according to their academic performance.

Professor Mosa Moshabela, DVC: Research (Acting) welcomed the latest CWUR which he said ‘as usual’ confirm the University’s continued position as a leading research-intensive University in Africa and the world. ‘Whilst there are many other attributes that characterise UKZN as a top University in Africa, and yet not considered by the CWUR, it is always a pleasure to see how we perform as an institution relative to our peers nationally and globally. It is in this light that we view the latest CWUR, and appreciate that we remain among the top Universities in South Africa, Africa and the world. We shall endeavour to keep striving for excellence, increased growth and greater impact of this University as we journey together in the 21st Century,’ he said, adding that UKZN could not have achieved this latest feat without the immense and tireless contribution from its academics and students who drive the institution’s research outputs, as well as the resulting scientific and societal impact. ‘The alumni community of UKZN plays a major role in influencing the standing of the University nationally and internationally, and we are very grateful for their continued support long after they have left the institution. May all who support and remain part of UKZN continue to do as such so as that we can ensure the success and sustainability of this University,’ he said.

Dr Nadim Mahassen, Center for World University Rankings President congratulated the University, saying: ‘This is an outstanding achievement. Congratulations.’

For detailed information on the rankings, visit www.cwur.org.

Words: Sinegugu Ndlovu

Photograph: Nomonde Mbhele


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BAQONDE – Learn in Your Language

BAQONDE – Learn in Your Language
The BAQONDE project team members.

UKZN is collaborating with universities in South Africa and Europe to develop the Boosting the use of African Languages in Higher Education: A Qualified Organised Nationwide Development Strategy for South Africa (BAQONDE) Project which was established to provide an effective response to one of South Africa’s national priorities: the development of African Languages in Higher Education.

UKZN is involved in the project through the University Language Planning and Development Office (ULPDO) under the stewardship of Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Professor Sandile Songca.

Songca said the project is important because it ‘enables students to reach their potential through access to learning (in) African languages. The majority of learners do not receive education in their home language(s). Research has underlined the extremely negative impact that this can have on students’ performance throughout the education system.’

BAQONDE seeks to establish an inter-institutional network of African Language Development Units (ALDUs) to optimise training strategies, co-ordinate the production of materials, and harmonise teaching standards for multilingual teaching in Higher Education, among other goals.

Songca is confident that BAQONDE, which commences next semester, will enhance the use of isiZulu as part of the implementation of the University’s Language Policy. ‘Lecturers will be trained to use isiZulu for teaching and learning, followed by the development of teaching and learning material in an African language for the benefit of the country,’ he said.

Acting Director of the ULPDO, Dr Lolie Makhubu-Badenhorst, is part of UKZN’s BAQONDE team, along with Dean and Head of the School of Arts Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa and senior lecturer Dr Gugu Mazibuko.

Makhubu-Badenhorst is pleased at the inroads the project is making to facilitate and promote the use of indigenous African languages as a medium of instruction in tertiary education. ‘The collaborative network of ALDUs plays a fundamental role in training lecturers in innovative and multilingual methodologies and co-ordinating the development of materials both for teachers and students to be able to teach and learn multilingually. The various participants will foster the implementation of top-down nationwide strategies to guarantee more inclusive and legitimate access to Higher Education in South Africa,’ she said.

Songca thanked all involved in the genesis and realisation of the project and noted that BAQONDE will solve challenges experienced in the past. ‘The commendable vision of the national education authorities, at Basic and Higher Education levels, to address this problem by encouraging the development and use of African languages as a medium of education has intermittently been set back by concerns of staffing, training, infrastructure, among others.’

The institutions involved include UKZN, North-West University, the University of the Western Cape, Rhodes University and three European universities, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Groningen and the University of Salamanca.

The BAQONDE project team members are Pedro Álvarez Mosquera (University of Salamanca); Lolie Makhubu-Badenhorst (UKZN); Johan Blaauw (North-West University); Dion Nkomo (Rhodes University); Aurelie Joubert (University of Groningen), Lorna Carson (Trinity College Dublin) and Bassey Antia (University of the Western Cape). At UKZN, Makhubu-Badenhorst works with Hlongwa and Mazibuko.

Visit the website for more information on the project, or visit UKZN’s ULPDO website.

Words: Raylene Captain Hasthibeer

Photographs: Supplied


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Remembering Where We Come From

Remembering Where We Come From
Celebrating 27 years of democracy on 27 April 2021.Click here for isiZulu version

On 27 April 2021, South Africans celebrated the 27th anniversary of the first non-racial democratic election that ushered in a new era for a country with a history of discrimination and oppression.

On Freedom Day, we celebrate and commemorate the struggle for democracy and the leaders that brought about this change. While many inequalities still need to be addressed, it is important to pay homage to our liberation from the prejudiced political power pre-1994.

During the apartheid regime, most South Africans did not have the right to participate in fair and just elections. When the country transformed into a democratic society in 1994, promoting equality restored the dignity of many whose fundamental human rights were denied by the oppressive government. The countless sacrifices made by liberation movement leaders enabled us to overcome the ruthless system.

South Africa’s history of colonisation stretches back hundreds of years, so acknowledging the liberation movement is important. The apartheid regime that came to power in 1948 promoted political prejudice, discrimination, segregation and White minority domination. Most South Africans did not have the right to vote and were excluded from the political sphere. After many protests and rising political tension all race groups participated in the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. Around 19.7 million votes were cast and the African National Congress won the election with 62.65% of the vote (www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/freedom-day-celebrated-south-africa). This led to Nelson Mandela becoming the first Black president in South Africa.

Addressing the nation on 27 April this year, current president Mr Cyril Ramaphosa stated that this year’s theme is ‘The year of Charlotte Maxeke: The meaning of freedom under COVID-19’ (www.gov.za/FreedomMonth2021). Maxeke was always prepared to work for others and was a pioneer of the struggle against oppression at a time when such defiance resulted in unrelenting force and serious repercussions. We should remember Maxeke’s spirit by working together as a country in the battle against COVID-19 while striving for solidarity.

Ms Nkosingiphile Ntshangase is the Marketing Assistant at UKZN Extended Learning, focusing on social media management, marketing, communications and blogging.


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Learning and Emerging Wiser from Lockdown

Learning and Emerging Wiser from Lockdown
UKZN Extended Learning (UEL) is offering its loyal clients a mid-year sales promotion for any course commencing in May or June 2021.Click here for isiZulu version

UKZN Extended Learning (UEL) is offering its loyal clients a mid-year sales promotion for any course commencing in May or June 2021.

The exciting line-up of programmes (see full list below) includes Project Management, Health and Safety, Finance, Supply Chain, Emerging Managers and bridging programmes.

Feedback from delegates and clients has revealed that the on-going national lockdown and consequent slow economic recovery and financial constraints remain a challenge, with continued uncertainty.

UEL is offering this incentive to support its clients to ensure that financial constraints do not impede their upskilling and development plans. Open programmes will be offered at half price during May and June to individuals on a first-come, first-served basis. Corporate clients will also benefit from the offer of two places on the open programmes for the price of one. This is a small but tangible way in which UEL can contribute to supporting South Africa’s economy.

Customers, staff and stakeholders’ health and safety remain a priority for UEL that is continuing to innovate and develop blended and online learning channels and initiatives. Clients are also invited to engage with UEL with regard to the kind of support they require to achieve their organisation’s development needs and priorities.

The programmes include:

Leadership Development Programme (Higher Education) – staring 10 May 2021
Effective Board Leadership Programme – starting 11 May 2021
Emerging Managers Programme – starting 12 May 2021
Managing for Impact – starting 12 May 2021
Finance for Non-Financial Managers – starting 12 May 2021
Advanced Project Management – starting 12 May 2021
Business Communication – starting 17 May 2021
Trade Investment Promotion and Economic Development Programme – starting 20 May 2021
Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Skills Programme – starting 24 May 2021
Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Management – starting 24 May 2021
Global Supply Chain Management (Focus on Business Risk) – starting 26 May 2021
Board Leadership Programme – starting 27 May 2021
MS Excel Basic – starting 7 June 2021
Foundation Physics – starting 14 June 2021
Foundation Mathematics – starting 17 June 2021
Certificate in Advanced Labour Law – starting 21 June 2021
Advanced Leadership Development Programme (Higher Education) – starting 23 June 2021

Terms and Conditions include:

1. Spaces are limited, first-come, first-served
2. Full payment must be made prior to commencement of the programme
3. Only one discount promotion can be applied per programme
4. Delegates can register for more than one programme during this period
5. The promotion is only applicable to programmes starting in May and June 2021

Words: Sarah Haffenden

Image: Supplied


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PhD Student Publishes Autobiography About Living with a Disability

PhD Student Publishes Autobiography About Living with a Disability
Ms Gugu Mjilo and her book.Click here for isiZulu version

PhD student in Political Sciences Ms Gugu Mjilo has penned an autobiography about living with a disability called Akulahlwa Mbeleko Ngakufelwa that is derived from a Zulu proverb about hope and second chances.

Mjilo, who is wheelchair-bound, details how she lives with a disability, the challenges she deals with and overcoming them. The book also depicts how her mother managed to raise her as a disabled child, often with difficulty but with immense love. It ultimately paints a picture of the lives of people with disabilities, especially in rural areas.

She considers her book as a teaching tool about disability while also giving hope to others with disabilities. ‘Despite having a disability, I have been able to attain most of the things that people thought are only meant for able-bodied people. Everything is possible if you put your mind to it and if you challenge yourself to do more than what is expected of you, especially for someone with a disability,’ she said.

Mjilo’s PhD focuses on the challenges faced by children with disabilities, particularly how they access education from basic to tertiary level.

The book is available at R150 from all major book retailers. Mjilo also couriers copies and orders can be placed directly with her via email gugumjilo293@gmail.com.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photographs: Supplied


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Anthropology Student Publishes English Study Guide

Anthropology Student Publishes English Study Guide
Ms Gugulethu Zondi and her study guide.

PhD student in Anthropology, Ms Gugulethu Zondi has published an English study guide titled: Dried Ink 101 English Study Guide.

The guide uses simple terminology to explain the building blocks of English and consists of sections relevant to each educational phase, namely, language and grammar for the foundation phase; poetry for the senior phase, and poetry and stories for Further Education and Training (FET).

‘Writing has long been a part of my life. The first speech that I wrote was in high school. It made me fall in love with writing. This led to exciting opportunities to participate in writing competitions where I received recognition,’ said Zondi.

The guide uses simple terminology and examples that are easy to comprehend and enables parents to assist their children with English homework. ‘Knowledge is about how you present it. Some people are visually stimulated while others are audio stimulated,’ added Zondi.

She encourages people who want to write to get started and recommends getting a mentor for guidance and using the Internet for research: ‘Writing is about re-writing. Be willing to learn through the lenses of others.’

She plans to grow in the literary industry and to publish a novel.

Words: Sinoyolo Mahlasela

Photograph: Supplied


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Social Work Lecturer Visits Ma’at Institute for Children’s Book Handover

Social Work Lecturer Visits Ma’at Institute for Children’s Book Handover
Children’s book Uhambo Lwami ngesikhathi seKhovidi is handed over to UKZN’s Ma’at Institute.Click here for isiZulu version

Social work lecturer, Dr Maud Mthembu visited the Ma’at Institute (formerly the Afrocology Unit) to hand over copies of her recent children’s book Uhambo Lwami ngesikhathi seKhovidi.

The books will be used as a tool to initiate COVID-19 related conversations between children and social workers.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, accepted the books and extended his gratitude to Mthembu for supporting the work that they are doing with the community.

‘The purpose of using this book is to hear directly from children about their experiences, emotions and feelings. The book is language appropriate to effectively and fully understand children’s perspectives of COVID-19,’ said Mthembu.

She recommends that it be used as a tool by social workers as well as IsiZulu teachers to initiate COVID-19 related conversations with children from different socio-economic backgrounds. ‘This book was written in a manner that was children-led, being based on a true story; the children were the centre of the focus,’ added Mthembu. ‘It will help children to express their different experiences, and validate their emotions and feelings around the issue of COVID-19.’

The Ma’at Institute was established within the School of Applied Human Sciences within the College of Humanities to respond specifically on providing multidisciplinary human and social interventions that are embedded in the African world view, philosophy, values and belief systems.

The renaming of the Afrocology Unit to become the Ma’at Institute was prompted by strategic factors such as the COVID-19 Psychosocial Internship Project (CPIP). The project emerged as a support mechanism in response to the pandemic and provided psychosocial support and service to people affected by COVID-19, including hundreds of individuals, institutions and communities presenting with diverse challenges.

Words: Sinoyolo Mahlasela

Photograph: Supplied


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