Learning about Online, Open Access Journal Management

Learning about Online, Open Access Journal Management
Workshop facilitators from ASSAf, Ms Susan Veldsman and Ms Ina Smith with the organisers, Ms Faith Bhengu and Professor Carol Bertram. Also pictured are academics, journal managers librarians and academic computing staff who attended the workshop.

An informative two-day workshop was recently held to provide journal editors and managers with information about the Open Journal System (OJS). This comes as more and more scholarly journals are making the transition from traditional print to online open access publishing.

Ms Susan Veldsman and Ms Ina Smith from the Scholarly Publications Unit at the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) facilitated the workshop at which editors of journals, based at UKZN, received training on how to use the OJS to manage their journals online.

The workshop also provided information on the implications of hosting a journal on this platform and also provided hands-on training to editors to set up their journal online with OJS. 

The University of KwaZulu-Natal has installed the Open Journal Systems (non-profit open source software) which can be used to manage and publish journals in a professional way. This is an alternative to commercial, for-profit online software.

Some journal editors started to set up their online journals which are hosted on http://journals.ukzn.ac.za/

The workshop was organised by Professor Carol Bertram, an academic from the School of Education and Ms Faith Bhengu, the Principal Librarian from the College of Humanities. It was funded by the University’s Teaching and Learning Office.

UKZN Academic Computing is committed to supporting the OJS software. Staff members Mr Richman Dlamini and Mr Vasu Chetty also attended the workshop.

Editors at the workshop committed to forming an Online Editor’s Forum in order to provide a community of support and to lobby the university to support journals which are using OJS as their platform to go online.

Words by: Carol Bertram

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UKZN Student gets Banyana Banyana Training Camp Call-Up

UKZN Student gets Banyana Banyana Training Camp Call-Up
UKZN’s Ms Kholosa Biyana (in the green kit) excelled at the recent Banyana Banyana training camp.

First year Sports Science student Ms Kholosa Biyana, who started playing soccer on the dusty streets of Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape, was recently selected for the South African Senior Women’s National team, Banyana Banyana’s training camp.

Kholosa, who, in 2015, represented South Africa at the world student games in South Korea, started playing soccer from a young age in Clarkebury in Ngcobo.

She used to play mini tournaments with the boys before joining the Eastern Cape based Thunderbirds Football club in 2009.

‘Being at the Banyana Banyana camp was great. It’s something I’ve always wanted. The next goal is to keep working hard and hopefully I will stay in the team,’ she said.

Kholosa, a midfielder, says she enjoys football as it is a team sport and through it she gets to meet people and see the world. ‘On the football field I get to know different people and understand their different behaviours. I also get to travel the world and learn different languages.

‘I enjoy chasing the ball, passing it around, taking on people and taking shots at goal,’ she said.

Kholosa balances being on the football field and hitting the books by managing her time. ‘Every day after training I make sure I go to the library to study and make sure I do assignments as early as possible.’

UKZN’s Mark Bashe and Khulekani Mabuza congratulated Kholosa on her sporting achievements and wished her well on her future endeavours.

Words by: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

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Commonness of High Risk Human Papillomavirus among Sexually Active Women: Study Reveals

Commonness of High Risk Human Papillomavirus among Sexually Active Women: Study Reveals
Dr Themba Ginindza.

Dr Themba Ginindza from the Department of Public Health, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has led the first study to assess prevalence of and risk factors for high risk-HPV infection in Swaziland, a country severely affected by the HIV epidemic. The study results showed a high prevalence of high risk-HPV infection of about 46.2%, corresponding to 174 046 women (aged between 15 and 49 years old) with high risk-HPV in Swaziland.

‘High risk human papillomavirus infection and the dual burden of HIV remains a huge challenge in some low-income countries such as Swaziland with limited or no data. In this study we estimated the prevalence and investigated determinants of high risk-HPV, including HIV infection among sexually active women in Swaziland,’ revealed Dr Ginindza.

The study titled “Prevalence of and Associated Risk Factors for High Risk Human Papillomavirus among Sexually Active Women, Swaziland’ was conducted on a total of 655 women aged between 15 and 49 years, attending healthcare facilities for routine healthcare-related services in June-July 2015. All women with a history of previous or current sexual activity who provided written informed consent were included. The women were recruited from five healthcare facilities (Mbabane Government, Realign Fitkin Memorial (RFM), Hlatsikhulu, Sithobela and Siteki Public health unit) within the four political regions of Swaziland that had fully functioning CC screening services such as VIA and cryotherapy. Participants were randomly enrolled using a cross-sectional study design and cervical cells were tested for hr-HPV types using GeneXpert HPV Assays.

Standardised questionnaire was administered by a trained nurse, prior to clinical examination and specimen collection, to obtain detailed data on socio-demographic characteristics, sexual, reproductive and gynecological histories. Prior to clinical examination and specimen collection, the nurse midwife inspected perineal, vulvar, vaginal and cervical regions of each woman for evidence of warts, ulcers, discharge, inflammation or tenderness, and recorded all abnormalities according to the study protocol.

Results revealed that among the same population, high prevalence of HIV of 42.7% was found. The age specific prevalence of high risk-HPV significantly decreased with age, yet HIV prevalence increased with age and slightly declined in the 45-49 year age group. The hr-HPV/HIV co-infection was 24.4%, with a high peak in the 30s and decline in older groups. The prevalence of multiple hrHPV infections was statistically significantly higher among HIV-positive women (27.7%) when compared with HIV-negative women.

During sensitivity analysis of the study, HPV16 and HPV31/33/ 35/52/58 types were significantly higher among HIV-positive women when compared to HIV negative women. Multivariate analysis also showed that HIV status was the strongest risk for hrHPV infection. Also the risk of being infected with hr-HPV infection decreased with increasing age and being married.

The key strength of this study was that primary data and new specimens were used to ascertain the study outcomes. Being the first high risk -HPV study done in the country, researchers were able to extrapolate population totals of the 15-49 age group from the 2007–2030 population.

Published on PLOS One journal, this study was led by Ginindza in partnership with collaborating researchers:   Maribel Almonte and Rolando Herrero from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); Prevention and Implementation Group, France;  Pauline E Jolly from the Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States of America;  Tsoka-Gwegweni from the  Department of Public Health, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Elisabete Weiderpas affiliated with the Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences; Department of Research, Cancer Registry of Norway; Institute of Population-Based Cancer Research, Oslo, Norway; Genetic Epidemiology Group, Finland.

In low-income countries, the burden of cervical cancer is a serious health problem, and one which predominantly affects women of reproductive age. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer. Out of the 40 Human Papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes that infect the genital tract, 13 are considered to be “high-risk” and approximately 80% of women worldwide become infected with at least one type before reaching the age of 50 years. High risk HPV is the major and necessary cause of cervical cancer.

The prevalence of HPV infection in women varies greatly in the African continent where some of the highest prevalences are found. Both high risk-HPV and HIV are sexually transmitted infectious agents, and infection by one of the viruses may accelerate transmission of the other. The impact of co-infection of HPV with HIV in the sub-Saharan African countries has created a huge burden of cervical abnormalities since HIV infected women have higher prevalence of high risk HPV. The latter is more likely to be persistent in HIV-infected women, and results in a higher incidence of high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL).

Words by: Lihle Sosibo

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UKZN Honorary Professor Awarded University Fellowships

UKZN Honorary Professor Awarded University Fellowships
Judge Malcolm Wallis.

Judge Malcolm Wallis of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and Honorary Professor at the School of Law at UKZN, has been awarded two visiting fellowships at Oxford University. Wallis will travel to the UK during the Michaelmas term (1 October – 31 December) while on long-leave from the SCA.

Wallis will be one of the inaugural visitors to the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, headed by Justice Catherine (Kate) O’Regan, a former justice of the South African Constitutional Court. He will join leading human rights lawyers at this research institute which aims to become a pre-eminent global centre for human rights law research and scholarship.

In addition, Wallis has been elected as a Robert S Campbell Jr visiting fellow at Magdalen College, one of the oldest at Oxford, and accepted as a visiting fellow at Mansfield College, where the Bonavero Institute is situated.

Wallis is a lifelong Durbanite, educated at Durban High School and proceeding from there to the former University of Natal, where he obtained his B Com (1970) and LLB cum laude (1972). In his final year he was the top Law student winning the Abel Torf prize and was also the inaugural winner of the Ellie Newman Moot Competition.

He practised at the Durban bar from 1973 to 2009, when he was appointed as a judge to the Natal Bench. He received his PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, in 2010, and took up a position as an Honorary Professor in Law after his appointment to the SCA in 2011. He is heavily involved in the LLM programme at the Maritime Law and Maritime Studies Unit at Howard College where he lectures and supervises postgraduate students. He was appointed Professor Extraordinary of Mercantile Law at the University of the Free State in 2014.

Wallis previously spent three months at Cambridge University in 2013 as a visiting scholar to the Faculty of Law, based at Jesus College.

Of the appointments Wallis said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity to engage with international scholars on some of the most crucial issues facing South African lawyers and the rule of law.’

Words by: Ndabaonline

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HPP Celebrates World AIDS Vaccine Day in Umlazi

HPP Celebrates World AIDS Vaccine Day in Umlazi
HPP staff celebrating World AIDS Vaccine Day with schools from Umlazi.

The HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP) within the College of Health Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal recently hosted a World AIDS Vaccine Day event at the Prince Mshiyeni Hospital’s Nurses Residence Hall in Umlazi.

The World AIDS Vaccine Day also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is observed annually on 18 May to advocate and promote an urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV and AIDS. AIDS continues to claim lives on a daily basis with the sub-Saharan Africa region being worst hit by the pandemic.

The most recent Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS report) estimated that there were 36.7 million people living with HIV. The report also estimated that there were 2.1 million new infections and 1.1 million AIDS-related deaths in 2016.

The World AIDS Vaccine Day is also aimed at educating communities that antiretroviral treatment is not a cure. 

Addressing attendees of the event, HPP researcher and UKZN lecturer, Dr Paradise Madlala said the World AIDS Vaccine Day is observed to inform the world about the efforts being made on research for a vaccine. It brings us hope to know that there are consented efforts towards finding an efficacious vaccine.’

Madlala’s presentation focused on the duration between the discovery of the microbiological cause of an infectious disease and the development of a vaccine.  This is a long process because it involves multiple steps, he explained. Stage 1 involves generating ideas and experimentation in basic laboratory settings. Stage 2 involves animals where experimental vaccines are produced in small amounts and tested and improved on animals. The vaccines that seem safe and most effective in animals are then considered for testing in people.  Stage 3 involves testing vaccines on people in a series of studies and this process takes years and; stage 4 is the final stage which involves the licensing of the vaccine that is found to be safe and effective. The vaccine is then delivered around the world to people who need it. HIV prevention vaccines that have undergone clinical trials include RV144, HVTN097, HVTN100 and HVTN702, however, the first two trials were non-efficacious vaccine while the latter two are ongoing. The HIV therapeutic vaccines that are currently in clinical trial are VRC01, 3BNC117 and TAT vaccine. 

The highlight of the event was the donation of 10 microscopes and 50 test tubes to Vukuzakhe, kwaMgaga, Zwelethu, Umlazi and Naleni high schools. Each of the five schools received two microscopes and 10 test tubes.

This equipment, while still in good working condition was no longer being utilised by the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences. The School was therefore more than happy to donate the equipment to the needy schools in Umlazi township.

The donation of this equipment will allow thousands of existing and future learners at these schools to learn how to conduct their own practical experiments. Learners were also afforded the opportunity to give their own presentations on various topics, including what a vaccine is, the meaning and importance of research, and other health-related issues.

The HIV Pathogenesis Programme is an HIV research institute based in the Doris Duke Medical Research Institute at UKZN’s Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine led by Director, Professor Thumbi Ndung’u. The HPP operates a research study site based on the grounds of Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi and most of its research participants therefore come from Umlazi Township. In an effort to give back to the community who essentially make its research endeavours possible, the HPP hosts the majority of its community engagement events in Umlazi. Researchers’ efforts at the HPP are primarily geared towards the development of an efficacious HIV vaccine and the HPP therefore recognises the significance of World AIDS Vaccine Day, the purpose of which is to continue to promote the burning need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infections and AIDS.

Words by: Lihle Sosibo

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Professor Ursula Scharler Appointed Chairperson of NMO of the International Institute of Applied Systems

Professor  Ursula Scharler Appointed Chairperson of NMO of the International Institute of Applied Systems
Professor Ursula Scharler.

Professor Ursula Scharler of the School of Life Sciences has been appointed Chairperson of South Africa’s new National Member Organisation (NMO) of the Austria-based International Institute of Applied Systems (IIASA). She will hold the position for three years.  The NMO committee comprises representatives of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), senior academics and other stakeholders. Another UKZN representative serving on the committee is Professor Graham Jewitt of the Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR).

The NRF established the NMO to steer and promote research and training opportunities in applied systems analysis in South Africa and also to develop capacity in the field and establish it as a research approach. The country has a strategic engagement with IIASA through the NRF, supported by the DST. According to the NRF, the relationship positions South Africa at the forefront of Systems Analysis in Africa by having access to programmes affiliated with IIASA at national and international levels, and is supported by the Minister of Science and Technology.

Scharler has been involved with systems analysis and the training opportunities provided by DST/NRF and IIASA for several years, notably through the reformulation of the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP) into the Southern African Centre for Systems Analysis (SASAC) in 2016. SASAC is a long-term programme whose aim is to train South African PhD students in the field of systems analysis in partnership with IIASA whose extensive alumni network includes several Nobel laureates.

She supervises postgraduate students in systems analysis at UKZN, finding the approach relevant to many different disciplines including natural sciences, social sciences, medical sciences and more. Many people, she says, contribute to systems analysis simply by the nature of their particular research fields, or through the management of bigger systems such as governing bodies.

Scharler’s background is in marine ecology, and she has not only applied the tools of systems analysis in her own field but has also been involved in projects analysing systems of water usage by various socio-economic sectors, or carbon exchanges within urban systems.

‘I am excited by the wider view systems analysis provides, linking different aspects and sectors to provide the bigger picture,’ said Scharler. ‘If we can combine some of these efforts and popularise systems analysis, this will be a big step in tackling problems that did not arise in isolation, and therefore cannot be solved in isolation.’

Looking forward to the prospect of chairing the committee, which she calls a great team, Scharler said she hopes to achieve an expansion of the knowledge of systems analysis in the country.

Words by: Christine Cuénod

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Public Health Medicine Celebrates Excellence

Public Health Medicine Celebrates Excellence
From left to right: Dr Khumbulani Hlongwana, Dr Chauntelle Bagwandeen, Dr Boikhutso Tlou, Dr Andrew Ross, Dr Prishah Narsai and Dr Nelisiwe Khuzwayo.

UKZN College of Health Sciences’ Department of Public Health Medicine celebrated its new PhD graduates by holding a Research Day Symposium.

The graduates; Dr Boikhutso Tlou, Dr Chauntelle Bagwandeen, Dr Khumbulani Hlongwana, Dr Prishah Narsai, Dr Andrew Ross and Dr Nelisiwe Khuzwayo presented their theses, focusing on a variety of topics, at the symposium.

Public Health Medicine’s HoD Dr Saloshni Naidoo congratulated the group for their respective achievements and commended them for striving for excellence.

Tlou presented his thesis titled: “Spatial-temporal dynamics and structural determinants of child and maternal mortality in a rural, high HIV burdened South African population, 2000-2014”. He used advanced spatiotemporal techniques to identify hotspots (high-risk areas) for child and maternal mortality, and their associated risk factors. His work will guide health planners and policymakers in the effective use of scarce resources to target intervention programmes. The study was supervised by Professor Benn Sartorius and Professor Frank Tanser.

Bagwandeen’s study was titled:Sowing the seeds: The use of feedback in postgraduate medical education: A key factor in developing and enhancing clinical competence”.  This mixed methods study examined the process of feedback across six disciplines at a teaching hospital. Registrars reported that consultants lacked training on how to give feedback and that important elements were missing. Consultants reported heavy workloads, fear of negative reactions, apathy, lack of institutional support and that a guiding framework hampered the process. This study developed policy guidelines and strategies to enhance the culture of feedback in the training of medical specialists at UKZN.  She was supervised by Dr S Singaram.

The thesis titled: “Factors influencing the implementation of the malaria elimination policy in South Africa”, earned Hlongwana a PhD in Public Health Medicine. Studies on barriers and facilitators to effective implementation of malaria elimination policies are lacking. Using mixed methods, this study revealed multiple factors affecting the implementation in SA, from implementers, researchers and policy makers’ perspectives. The overarching challenge was the perception that the whole malaria elimination agenda was externally sculpted, with local actors’ participation being superficial. The study culminated in the development of a Conceptual Framework illustrating the features affecting the implementation of malaria elimination in South Africa. 

He was supervised by Professor Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni.

Narsai’s thesis was titled: “An investigation of the housing conditions and the quality of life of clients in the built environment in the eThekwini municipality during the HIV/ AIDS epidemic”.  The South African Constitution protects the right to housing and to have access to health care and the implementation of these rights was investigated in the study undertaken in eThekwini. It focused on four housing typologies; namely informal settlements, reconstruction and development housing, traditional rural housing and inner-city apartments. The study highlighted the shortfalls in achieving adequate housing and access to healthcare during the HIV and AIDS epidemic, and offers recommendations to improve residents’ quality of life. She was supervised by Professor M Taylor.

Khuzwayo closed the session with her presentation titled: “Development implementation and evaluation of a behavioural youth risk reduction intervention in the context of operation Sukuma Sakhe in Umgungundlovu district municipality, Kwazulu-Natal South Africa.” This thesis showed that micro-system, exo-system and macro-system contribute to fostering riskier sexual behaviours. Re-engineering of interventions addressing the risk behaviour of the young people in uMgungundlovu Municipality is required targeting these levels, since the existing interventions directed at the individuals have not resulted in the desired health outcomes. She was supervised by Professor M Taylor.

Words and photograph by: Nombuso Dlamini

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Academic Publishes Book on Networks of Communication in South Africa

Academic Publishes Book on Networks of Communication in South Africa
Professor Radhamany Sooryamoorthy recently published a new book titled Networks of Communication in South Africa.

Acting Dean and Head of the School of Social Sciences within the College of Humanities, Professor Radhamany Sooryamoorthy, has authored a new book which examines the development of communication patterns, social contacts and networks in South Africa.

In the book, published by  Cambridge University Press and  titled: Networks of Communication in South Africa: New Media, New Technologies, Sooryamoorthy notes that within a short period of time, South Africa has made remarkable progress in the adoption of mobile and Internet technologies. 

Based on pioneering quantitative and qualitative data, he analyses trends in changing media use in Africa, showing the development of the use of new media for communication in South Africans of all ages, races and genders in relation to the development of media infrastructure, cost and government policy.

‘The book shows how people use media for communication purposes that affirm or break their social contracts and networks, and how they apply media to establish, re-establish or maintain social relationships. This book will be of interest to those researching the growth of communication technology in Africa, as well as those involved in the wider fields of development studies and economics,’ said Sooryamoorthy.

Talking about the relevancy of the book, Vice-President for Research at the International Sociological Association, Markus S Schulz said, ‘Empirically grounded in the latest survey data and sharp ethnographic observations, R Sooryamoorthy presents us with a fascinating overview of the new media uses in a rapidly changing society. Broad in scope, yet rich in detail, this is essential reading for anyone interested in how South Africans connect and communicate via internet and mobile phones.’

While Professor Marc Caldwell of the University of Fort Hare added, ‘This book should be mandatory reading for anyone researching new and social media usage in Southern Africa. This empirical study makes a much needed contribution to a research field whose literature remains strongly northern hemispheric in its contexts and perspectives.’

‘Apart from the spate of studies on the “Arab Spring” events, there remains too little research on social media penetration on the rest of the African continent. This book makes good that gap. It will also benefit researchers interested in using mixed methods in social media research.’

The book can be purchased directly from Cambridge University Press or at all major book retailers.

Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo

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Emeriti Professors Co-edit Book on Social Cohesion in South Africa

Emeriti Professors Co-edit Book on Social Cohesion in South Africa
Seen are some of the highlights from the launch of Living together, Living Apart? Social cohesion in a Future of South Africa, published by UKZN Press.

Professors Emeriti Christopher Ballantine, Michael Chapman and Gerhard Maré from the College of Humanities together with UKZN alumnus Dr Kira Erwin recently co-edited a collection of essays titled: “Living together, Living Apart? Social cohesion in a Future of South Africa”.

The book, published by UKZN Press, brings together chapters written by leading academics and public figures in South Africa today, namely: Christopher Ballantine, Ahmed Bawa, Michael Chapman, Jacob Dlamini, Jackie Dugard, Kira Erwin, Nicole Fritz, Michael Gardiner, Gerhard Maré, Monique Marks, Rajend Mesthrie, Bonita Meyersfeld, Leigh-Ann Naidoo, Njabulo S. Ndebele, Kathryn Pillay, Faye Reagon, Brenda Schmahmann, Himla Soodyall, David Spurrett and Thuto Thipe.

The editors point out that ‘the book’s interventions are spurred by what in South Africa today is a buzz-phrase: social cohesion. Leaders or spokespeople in politics, business, labour, education, sport, entertainment and the media bandy about the term, or concept, with little reflection, the editors argue.

‘Yet,’ they ask, ‘who would not wish to live in a socially cohesive society? How, then, do we apply the ideal in the daily round when diversity of language, religion, culture, race and the economy too often supersedes our commitment to a common citizenry? How do we live together rather than live apart? Such questions provoke the purpose of these interventions.’

The edited collection of essays, which are short, incisive and at times provocative, tackle issues that are pertinent to both living together and living apart. Issues that are tackled include equality/inequality, public pronouncement, xenophobia, safety, chieftaincy in modernity, gender-based abuse, healing, the law, education, identity, sport, new ‘national’ projects, the role of the arts and South Africa in the world.

In focusing on such issues, the essays point towards the making of a future in which a critical citizenry is key to a healthy society. The contributors have all published prominently in areas of the humanities and social sciences in South Africa.

Words by: Nomcebo Mncube Mncuben@ukzn.ac.za

Photograph: Adele Branch

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MA Student Presents Pecha Kucha at ASSITEJ Cradle of Creativity International Conference

MA Student Presents Pecha Kucha at ASSITEJ Cradle of Creativity International Conference
Ms Lungile Mncube.

Masters student in Drama and Performance Studies Ms Lungile Mncube recently delivered a Pecha Kucha presentation at the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) World Congress in Cape Town.

Her presentation examined the influence of social networks in a society once dominated by oral tradition storytelling. It also scrutinised some of the impacts of both oral tradition storytelling and social network ‘storytelling’, on the audience. It further questioned the relevance of the latter in the 21st century.

Mncube was also part of the two week long Next Generation Residency within the Congress, which  saw her engaging with 30 emerging artists from around the world.

‘That was an amazing experience. We learned from one another, growing together while also discovering new knowledge in the process. This residency was important because it made us realise what happens in other countries, and how other artists do things. I learned a lot from them, we networked and hopefully we will have collaborations soon.’

She believes that conferences create space for networks. ‘One gets to grow as an artist and individual, it influences the way we think and see things making you more critical and observant. I advise other Arts students to apply for conferences like this.  Now and then, try to look up on what is happening, things to be involved in, in the arts industry. It is worth it!’

As an emerging artist and performer, Mncube added, ‘No matter how different we may seem to be, whether by race, ethnicity, culture or religion, one thing remains the same. We are humans! Art has the power to bring us together! We need to focus more on our similarities, than our differences.’

Words by: Melissa Mungroo

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Isikole SeZiqu ZamaBhizinisi NobuHoli Sibe Nomcimbi Wokuxhumana

Isikole SeZiqu ZamaBhizinisi NobuHoli Sibe Nomcimbi Wokuxhumana
Abafundi abahlose ukubhalisa bexoxisana nabasebenzi beSikole sezaBhizinisi.

Click here for the English version

Abaholi emabhizinisini, abaphathi, osomabhizinisi, nosozimboni bafike besuka KwaZulu,  KwaDukuza, naseMgungundlovu ukuzothamela lo mcimbi WeSikole Kwezeziqu SezamaBhizinisi NobuHoli. Kulo mcimbi banikezwe ulwazi nemininingwane mayelana nezifundo zabaneziqu abangazibhalisela eSikoleni.

Lo mcimbi uholele ekuxhumaneni kothisha nabaphathi beSikole nomuntu ngamunye nabazimisele ukuba abafundi abevile ekhulwini mayelana nezinhlelo zezifundo ezikhona ezihlanganisa iziqu zeMastazi KwezokuPhathwa KwamaBhizinisi nezeMastazi KwezoMnotho, iziqu KwezeNtuthuko Yezifunda NaseKhaya, amadiploma kwezobuholi kanye nokuphathwa kwamabhizinisi kanye neziqu zobudokotela.  

Enkulumweni yakhe yokwamukela, oyiDini eyiNhloko YeSikole, uSolwazi Theuns Pelser, ugcizelele ukuthi kungani kubalulekile ukubhalisa kulesi sikole kuyisinyathelo sokuqala sabaholi abavelele abaphokophelele ekuthuthukiseni izinga labo emsebenzini.    

‘Sinezinhlelo eziholwa osolwazi nabasebenzela ezimbonini abaphezulu. Ngikholwa wukuthi siyinyuvesi ebiza imali yokufunda ekahle, futhi sikholelwa ezingeni okuyilo elisiholayo futhi. Imali yethu yokufunda yiyo eyenza isikhungo sethu sibe ngesihamba phambili kwabakhetha ukuthatha lezi zifundo okuyingakho nginethemba lokuthi sizobonana lapha ngonyaka ozayo,’ usho kanje.

Ephawula ngokuthi ukuqoqwa nokwabiwa kolwazi kubaluleke kangakanani, omunye wabebehambele lo mcimbi uMnu Lindani Dludla noNkz Noluthando Sithole bathe abakuthole eSikoleni bekungagcini nje ngokubanika ulwazi kodwa kubanike nokuqonda okukhulu mayelana nemikhakha abafuna ukuyilandela ekuthuthukeni kwabo njengabantu nasemsebenzini.

‘Lo mcimbi uvula amehlo ngoba njengoba singabafundi, asiwazi amathuba akhona esingawathola. Ngikholelwa ekuqhubekeni nemfundo uma sengineziqu kodwa inkinga kuba ukuthi sithanda ukuqhathanisa namanye amanyuvesi sikhohlwe ukubheka izinga nokulethwa kwezidingo emanyuvesi ethu lapha e-KZN’ kusho uDludla.

USithole ugcizelele ngokuthi lo mcimbi wakhe nendawo yokuxhumana nabanye kanye nokwabelana ngemibono.

‘Umcimbi ubuyindawo enhle yokuthi abantu bazofunda mayelana nokuthuthukisa amabhizinisi, ukuphatha namakhono obuholi adingeka ezindaweni zokusebenza,’ usho kanje.

Ibhalwe ngu-: Thandiwe Jumo benoSibonelo Shinga

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Almost a Third of SA Adults are Obese – Study Finding

Almost a Third of SA Adults are Obese – Study Finding
Associate Professor, Benn Sartorius.

Three out of every 10 adult people in South Africa are obese with the number of overweight folk – especially Black women - continuing to rise.

This is according to a global research report co-authored by Associate Professor Benn Sartorius of Public Health Medicine at UKZN and published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

The study – titled: “Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity in 195 Countries over 25 years” -  also found that 30% of the world’s population is affected by weight problems, while more than two billion children and adults around the globe suffer from health problems related to being overweight. An increasing percentage of people die from these problems.

Of the 3.9 million deaths globally attributed to an overweight condition in 2015, nearly 40 percent – about 1.6 million - occurred among people whose body mass index (BMI) fell below the threshold considered ‘obese’.

The findings represent a growing and disturbing global public health crisis, according to the authors of the paper.

‘People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk – the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,’ said Dr Christopher Murray, an author of the report and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in the United States. ‘Those half-serious New Year’s resolutions to lose weight should become year-round commitments to lose weight and prevent future weight gain, said Murray.

The study, held in 195 countries and territories from 1980 to 2015, was released at the annual EAT Stockholm Food Forum, which strives to create a healthier, more sustainable food system. The work is based on data from the most recent Global Burden of Disease study (GBD) - a systematic, scientific effort to quantify the magnitude of health loss from all major diseases, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex, and population. Involving more than 2 300 collaborators in 133 countries, the GBD examines 300-plus diseases and injuries.

The paper presents the burden of high BMI on non-communicable disease, especially cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancers of the esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, gall bladder and biliary tract, pancreas, breast, uterus, ovaries, kidneys, thyroid, and leukemia.

‘IHME is committed to producing more in-depth studies on the implications of obesity and overweight, including through a new partnership with the United Nations,’ said Murray.

According to the research, the United States has the highest percentage of obese children and Egypt leads in adult obesity. 

Said Sartorius: ‘South Africa’s current increase in BMI and overweight/obesity prevalence is of major concern and is much higher than most other global settings. The current and downstream health implications of this will be more than the already overburdened health care system can deal with if we do not act more vigorously and decisively. This is not to mention the societal and economic impacts of this epidemic.

‘It is hoped that the South African National Department of Health’s strategic plan to help prevent and control obesity and related non-communicable disease will yield positive results. The recent sugar taxation legislation is aimed at reducing body mass at a population level and thus contribute to the reduction of both the burden of overweight/obesity as well as the non-communicable disease consequences. Stricter food labelling and advertising regulations and further regulations for trans fats are other elements of this proposed strategic plan.’

The UKZN community congratulated Sartorius on his involvement in the study. UKZN Vice-Chancellor Dr Albert van Jaarsveld commended Sartorius for representing UKZN in the global research project as did UKZN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Deresh Ramjugernath.

Said the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA’s) Professor Salim Abdool Karim: ’The NEJM is the highest impact factor journal in the world (IF=56) and is the most difficult to publish in. This study by the IHME based at the University of Washington and funded by the Gates Foundation, is a major contribution as it sets the global benchmarks for future programmes. The South African team involved - Andre Kenge, Aleta Schutte and Benn - are making important contributions to the global burden of disease assessments related to cancer and chronic diseases. It is great to see them flying the South African flag high in this consortium. My heartiest congratulations to Benn.’

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Rob Slotow, also congratulated Sartorius.

Words by: Nombuso Dlamini

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College of Humanities Honours Student’s Achievement

College of Humanities Honours Student’s Achievement
From humble beginnings to academic success, Ms Slindile Damoyi celebrates her summa cum laude pass.

The College of Humanities recently celebrated the success of Honours student in Linguistics Ms Slindile Damoyi who graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude. Buoyed by her achievement she is ready to take the academic world by storm as she hopes to further contribute to the field of Linguistics and education.

Coming from humble beginnings, Damoyi was born in a small town of Bomvini in Umzimkhulu where she lived until the age of five. Thereafter her family moved from place to place. This, she says, has broadened her mind and “scope of experiences”.

In all this, Damoyi has embraced life lessons, one of them being: ‘work hard to lay down the foundation for your future whenever you can because life is very unpredictable.’

She is passionate about teaching which she says is her first love. It is her innate desire to contribute towards improving South Africa’s education system. She also harbours a passion for issues that affect young people specifically young Black women in the country.

Being a postgraduate student, she is currently undertaking two research projects titled: “An analysis of locative applicatives in isiZulu” and “Using narrative text structure to assess subtractive bilingualism”. The former aims to investigate the structure and behavior of applicatives to introduce locative arguments in isiZulu while the latter uses storytelling to assess whether bilingual children are experiencing subtractive bilingualism concerning their first language (L1).

The first study aims to provide a comprehensive and wider pool of knowledge in the subject of syntactic nuances in the isiZulu language. The second study looks to raise awareness through emphasising the importance of preserving indigenous languages.

Through probing this rhetoric, Damoyi hopes to shed light on the different ways that young African children construct narratives, hence challenging the status quo through playing her part in changing the practice of education in the state.

Her plans include becoming an established teacher and linguist, with a Master’s Degree. She wants to be successful in her career and become great at what she does.

Damoyi is content with where her life is. She continues to have a voracious appetite for knowledge and self-improvement while still being at peace with all aspects and persons in her life.

Her motto in life is influenced by divergent principles and ideologies and is not restricted to a certain line or sentence. However, quite succinctly the rhythm in her heart is summarised in a poem titled, “Desiderata”.

‘Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit…’ - Max Ehrmann.

Words by: Ziphezinhle Silindile Biyela

Photograph: Slindile Damoyi

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South African Voices HIV Museum Launched at UKZN

South African Voices HIV Museum Launched at UKZN
Guests, staff and students attended the launch of the South African Voices HIV Museum located at the Howard College campus library.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) HIV and AIDS Programme has launched a satellite of the popular SA Voices HIV Museum. 

Located in the EG Malherbe Library Foyer at Howard College campus, the HIV-friendly, free, educational hub for UKZN students and staff was launched on the eve of this year’s South African AIDS Conference on 12 June.

SA Voices conveys to students and staff, the message that health and diseases like HIV and TB, are manageable and that relevant help is available at UKZN.

This edition of SA Voices is a partnership between the UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme and Info4africa, a Centre of the School of Applied Human Sciences at UKZN. 

The project seeks to achieve the objective of the institutional response to the HIV pandemic in alignment with the South African National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, TB and STIs (2017-2022) and the UNAIDS 90 90 90 strategy. It also aims to contribute towards curriculum integration and makes an effort to debunking the stigmatisation of HIV.

HIV and AIDS Programme Co-ordinator, Ms Nomonde Magantolo said the launch is part of one of the strategies towards achieving an AIDS-free generation by 2031. She thanked peer educators whom she said were instrumental in reducing HIV prevalence.

Project Director, Ms Debbie Heustice from Info4Africa thanked the library staff for opening their arms to the Centre and added that she is keen on sharing the exhibition with other campuses.

The exhibition consists of a number of zones covering HIV basics and science; stories of HIV Champions at UKZN and the wider South African society; reflections on lives lost to HIV; a timeline of HIV in South Africa; and innovative models for treatment, care and support. 

The collection includes HIV-related artefacts on loan from the internationally acclaimed Phansi Museum in KwaZulu-Natal. It also includes a large mural by well-known local mural artist Wesley van Eeden, titled “What’s Driving HIV?”; memorial quilts; Hero Books and ME boxes created by children to mitigate the impact of HIV on their lives. 

Curator Bren Brophy explains, ‘The visual arts have played a significant role over the decades in messaging the challenges and triumphs of the, often complex, cultural and social responses to the HIV pandemic.  The juxtaposition of science, art, society and culture within this collection make SA Voices a truly holistic visitor experience.’

The team has worked closely with staff and students from the UKZN Disability Support Unit, Tape Aids for the Blind and KZN Deaf Association so as to ensure that the museum accommodates people with disabilities.  Care has been taken to ensure that panels include easy-to-read text and braille translations have been created for every museum panel.  Tape Aids for the Blind donated its services  to create voice files for each of the stories of HIV Champions featured in the collection, ensuring that these inspiring stories are accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

Among the audience were UKZN’s Student Services Executive Director, Dr Rose Laka-Mathebula; Dean for Teaching and Learning at the College of Humanities, Professor Sinegugu Duma; Director of UKZN Library, Ms Joyce Myeza.

Students and staff have been very encouraged to see and read about the stories of people they know on campus such as PhD Student, Ms Delarise Mulqueeny and Health Promoter at Westville campus, Ms Phume Ngcobo whose stories are part of the museum. 


South African Voices documents a critical and defining chapter in our collective journey to overcome HIV in South Africa.  The SA Voices HIV Museum exhibition was created and launched as a legacy project in July 2016 on the occasion of the 21st International AIDS Conference held in Durban.  Located at eThekwini’s KwaMuhle Museum, this SA Voices flagship was a first for South Africa and continues to be a popular destination for both tourists and the South African public.  To date over 18 000 people have visited South African Voices, 60% of whom are South African youth.

Heustice explains, ‘Our journey with HIV is far from over in South Africa.  As a result, SA Voices is a platform for an ever-evolving collection of stories, histories, community and public sector responses that explore the lived human experience of the South African HIV pandemic.’

‘Bringing to fruition the SA Voices HIV Museum Project has been a mammoth task and would not have been possible without the incredible support of our partners and funders and the many content providers who invested their expertise and energy in this project.  This is a truly South African HIV community effort,’ said Heustice.

The museum is a culmination of more than 70 stakeholder consultations, collaboration with about 85 diverse content providers and 9 000 hours of research and design.   Significant content providers include HIV Champions such as Gail and the late Nkosi Johnson; Justice Edwin Cameron; Oziel Mdletshe; Musa Njoko; Mandisa Dlamini and the Gugu Dlamini Foundation; David Patient & Neil Orr; Treatment Action Campaign; Section27; AIDS Law Project; CAPRISA; SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC); MatCH; HSRC; CHIVA South Africa; TB/HIV Care and THINK TB Trials Network; Professor Hoosen (Jerry) Coovadia and Professor Anna Coutsoudis; Dr Mike Bennish of Mpilonhle; Dr Irwin Friedman of SEED Trust; info4africa; Higher Education South Africa AIDS Programme (HEAIDS); the Office of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier, the National Department of Health and the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Secretariat and Sectors.

South African Voices HIV Museum and Words by: Sithembile Shabangu

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Union Declares Wednesdays as UKSU Days

Union Declares Wednesdays as UKSU Days
UKSU members who attended the Westville campus roadshow.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal Staff Union (UKSU) declared Wednesdays as days on which its members will honour the union – a decision taken at its past AGMs and was revived again on 3 May 2017, in its recent AGM held at Edgewood campus.

UKSU Chairperson Mr Raymond Parkies said, as part of the campaign to affirm and grow the union, campus roadshows are being held on Wednesdays at all UKZN campuses.

The campaign started on 14 June and will run until 26 July. Members will show their support for the union by wearing their red UKSU golf shirts. The first roadshow took place at Westville campus on Wednesday last week.

Parkies said the campaign was prompted by a number of recent achievements by the unions. These include an agreement reached by the unions and University management in respect of promoting equity in remuneration at UKZN.

Parkies said the recent decision taken by the new management to implement Performance Bonuses for all staff brought hope that things are turning around, for the best interest of staff and students.  He said this has partly boosted the very low morale, as staff now feel the new management is prepared to listen to labour concerns.

‘The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld came in and listened to the staff unions, something we are grateful of, and hence we are proud of him. We understand what he wants to achieve in the Institution and we will support him going forward,’ said Parkies.

Commanding the support of 1421 members, UKSU is the largest union at the University.

Sports Science Lecturer, Ms Jeanne Grace said declaring Wednesdays as UKSU days is a good initiative to make people aware of the union. ‘I have not needed their services but it is always good to know you have someone to go to if you have problems.’

Grace added that UKSU kept its members abreast of any developments.

Ms Thembi Gumbi from the School of Life Sciences said the Union has assisted her when she needed its help and would therefore not choose any other union.

However, Mr Herbet Sibiya, also from the School of Life Sciences said he would like to see more social events involving all UKZN unions.

‘We love our members. We thank them for being loyal to UKSU, we are coming from far with them,’ said Parkies.

‘Defending and Advancing the interests of UKZN staff. Viva UKSU Viva!’

The dates, times and venues for the rest of the roadshow are as follows:

Campus: Howard College

Venue: in front of Howard College Building

Date: 21 June 2017

Campus: Medical School

Venue: outside KRITH Building

Date: 28 June 2017

Campus: Edgewood

Venue: outside Admin Building

Date: 5 July 2017

Campus: Pietermaritzburg

Venue: Main Library lawn

Date: 26 July 2017

Words by: Sithembile Shabangu

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