College of Humanities Honours Student’s Achievement
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