The UKZN Griot. Of China and Web of Science

The UKZN Griot.  Of China and Web of Science

China is the new academic (and selfie) frontier.  I know this because I spent eight weeks in the last two years in many parts of China as a lecturer, a keynote speaker, and presenting publication seminars. I tried to avoid the selfie craze, mainly because it damages the skin and I resist being a celebrity. The experience of being mobbed by enthusiastic delegates with selfie sticks and smartphone cameras after completing a presentation is quite bewildering.

Like with selfies (been there, done that!), China’s fast trains (400km/h) are a metaphor for its desire for high speed inclusion in global academic discussions (getting there). Intercultural communication, business linguistics and English-language competence are top of the national agenda as China ‘goes abroad’ following its rapid rise to global prominence economically, militarily and diplomatically.  Its scholars are making sense of the West by mining and rigorously reading, critiquing, deconstructing and reconstituting the seminal Western philosophers and theorists, from Hegel to (Stuart) Hall.  They are finding new ways of reading them, historicising them, synergising between them and linking them to current geopolitical concerns.

But like us in South Africa, Chinese academia is also entrapped in the limited horizons imposed by mindless publication-o-phobia led by managers who themselves rarely publish.

Where we have our own flawed God, SAPSE/DoHET, China has selected SSCI and A&HCI (Web of Science [WoS]) as its benchmark for quality publishing.   SSCI is an indicator of specific sets of extrinsic inter-journal quality, and not necessarily the intrinsic relevance of particular journals. In offering seminars on publication across the country under the auspices of Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies which I edit, I was constantly drawing correspondences between China and South Africa.   Both systems are populated with bewildered emergent academics being told to publish, where to publish, but rarely how or what to publish, or whether their work even merits publication.

As China tries to understand the West - marketisation, cultural logics, language in context, international regulatory regimes - authors need exposure to, and in, the English-speaking world. So they are pushed to read and publish in what they call ‘SSCI Journals’.  Back home, the University of Johannesburg, for example, ring fences high impact WoS titles for higher rewards than those listed only on IBSS and DoHET. This internal ranking monetises research output and distracts from ‘doing’  and ‘impacting’ into ‘earning’ and is linked to international ranking, which brings its own benefits and negative externalities.

In China, there is no SAPSE-type reward system, but the above indexes are the Gods of its research regulation.  So much so that young authors think that SSCI is the owner and publisher of tens of thousands of journals.  SSCI is for most Chinese scholars a mysterious and reified entity that can be the open sesame to their future careers.

Difficult as it was for me to convince my vast audiences that SSCI is but an index, that’s all that SSCI publishes.  It is not a journals publisher; it does not recruit or edit content, or engage in peer review of submissions nor determine journals’ policies or administration. Not all journals are indexed by WoS.  Not all journals want WoS listings; and WoS does not want to index all journals.  WoS is just one overarching system of different indexes, if the most prominent one.  One Canadian scholar in Shanghai said he’d never heard of SSCI until he arrived there.  I suggested that WoS (i.e. Thompson Reuters) be invited to address publication workshops in the future to explain what it does do, does not do, and how it aids in the international circulation of academic work.

WoS is English-speaking, while the Chinese have their own listing for articles written in Chinese.  Chinese journals are published by university presses. If authors get no response after three months, they consider the article rejected.  Western journals are more professional in actually communicating a decision.

Personally, I don’t write so that bureaucrats can tick boxes, for indexes or for research payouts.  I write for readerships, communities of scholars whom I want to reach, impact and engage.   Indexes simply offer exposure for work published.  And besides, there are many other indexes but their metrics don’t all garner the same attention as do Scopus and WoS.

Metrics are the neoliberal equivalent of measuring imagined value that discriminates on the basis of immediacy, sometimes based on non-value.  For example, in maths, one of the highest cited articles was because later scholars redid the calculations and found the findings to be wrong, not right.  Such articles are pilloried in the scientific literature but get ‘high impact’ value.  Now, such hapless authors are retracting flawed articles - but the electronic trace remains.

Metrics, while indicating immediacy, rarely recognise the latent longevity of intrinsic value such as in the Humanities.  Such articles might languish for years un-valorised before their value is recognized by subsequent generations of scholars who find value in older work.  Similarly, for historians in any discipline, intrinsic value never decays, but increases over time.  Metrics, which are simply marketing and currency devices, are causing academics to engage in short-term thinking, doing fast-‘n-dirty publishing,  rather than longer-term blue-sky research, from which really applicable scientific and social benefit might eventually occur – e.g., DNA sequencing, electric cars, vaccination,  the atomic bomb (regrettably).  It took over 100 years for semiotics to became a standard cross-disciplinary method, with undergraduate media studies, language, literature and biology, as just some examples.

As I whizzed along the Chinese air, taxi and rail transport systems, I learned about the safety, organisational efficiencies and economies of scale that some political systems can deliver.  Eskom and SABC were once such entities.  The selfie and absorbed screen culture indicates digital connectivity, a growing (tele-) individuality, of an increasingly consumer-oriented society, certainly in the huge cities.    But it also promises immediate claims to fame, publishing and career success.  Some thinking - like research and publishing - take time, sometimes a lifetime.  Selfies are instant and dermatologically harmful.  Universities need to eschew instant gratification.  After three days of instruction on how to write an article, some lecturers still asked, but how do I get published?  That is, which buttons on the screen do we press for instant returns?

·      Keyan Tomaselli is Distinguished Professor at the University of Johannesburg. He learned that there are many such professors in China.   


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the author’s own.

author : Keyan G Tomaselli
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Decolonising the Curriculum by ‘Centring the Black Intellectual’

Decolonising the Curriculum by ‘Centring the Black Intellectual’
From left: Dr Federico Settler, Professor Gerald West, Professor Paulus Zulu, Professor Pholoho Morojele, Ms Leigh-Ann Naidoo, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, Ms Thobile Mzolo and Mr Lukhona Mnguni.

The College of Humanities and the Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit hosted scholar and activist Ms Leigh-Ann Naidoo who presented a public lecture titled: “Decolonising the Curriculum by Centring the Black Intellectual”, as part of the College’s Transformation Lecture Series.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Cheryl Potgieter said the series allowed for the engagement of transformation issues in society. ‘This particular lecture opens up a space of engagement for many to have an open conversation around issues of Higher Education,’ she said.

In her lecture, Naidoo discussed the role of an academic and intellectual through the problematic ways Black intellectuals and their work have been portrayed, the being and function of intellectuals as well as their neutrality and representation.

Naidoo argues that the category of intellectual needs to be expanded as well as the understanding and appreciation for the pre-colonial African context that passed down knowledge and thinking orally rather than through written texts.

She noted that the pleasure and fulfilment of intellectual labour for Blacks is connected to the promise of freedom from oppression. ‘The two are intimately linked for the Black intellectual, and are expressed through a range of creative endeavours, not only through writing. So even elite Black intellectuals working in universities have in the origins of their intellectual life a concern with the social and political potentiality of knowledge and learning, not only in their own lives but also as a means of making the world right.’

Naidoo says Black intellectuals hold a particular relationship to the dilemma of non-neutrality by understanding the conditions and contexts in which they operate, but should engage in both critique and resistance.

Acknowledging the #RhodesMustFall student movement and its impetus for demanding that the university and its curricula be made Black, Naidoo says ‘it cannot be read as an extension of the logic of affirmative action. Rather, it is to insist that “blackening the curriculum and the classroom” is a project of decolonisation: the restructuring of the relationship between the university and society, between knowledge and being.

‘The depth of this demand is extraordinary. And the answer that the history of Black intellectual life gives to this demand is a powerful insistence on that context, and one’s entailment in it, matters.’

In her concluding remarks, Naidoo said the challenge was for everyone to be ‘able to think in the spirit of this tradition: to constantly think about the relationship between our knowledge work and our context’.

Two UKZN academics Professor Paulus Zulu and Professor Gerald West with student, Ms Thobile Mzolo, reflected on the importance and meaning of Naidoo’s lecture.

Mzolo called for a moment of silence for students who lost their lives during the #FeesMustFall protests and those who were arrested. The public lecture coincided with the release of 10 students who were arrested on the Pietermaritzburg campus a few weeks ago.

The lecture also reflected on the importance of solidarity – in particular Black solidarity as being an important ingredient towards the achievement of decolonisation.

author : Melissa Mungroo
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Humanities Student Starts Fashion Line

Humanities Student Starts Fashion Line
Mr Msizi Nkosi and King Sneakers, Feel the Throne clothing.

Third-year Bachelor of Social Science in Law and Criminology student, Mr Msizi Nkosi, has started his own fashion line called King Sneakers, Feel the Throne. The name is derived from his surname Nkosi, which means king in English.

The label is growing in KwaZulu-Natal, especially in areas such as such as Newcastle, Nkandla and Mpumalanga.

Nkosi’s fashion line includes caps, vests, hoodies, jackets and sweaters. The brand also appeared in Hip Hop artist Tweezy’s latest music video. 

Nkosi, who grew up near Newcastle in a small township called Osizweni, faced challenges after his father’s death. ‘I started off by selling sneakers for my father’s friend in order to get money and support my family because my mother was unemployed back then,’ he said.

The support he received and the love of doing business made Nkosi start his own line.

‘After realising students were supportive, I decided to come up with my own brand. I used to be a big fan of Nike and Adidas but the problem is those are not African brands. That is the other reason I started King Sneakers, so that people will wear a local brand.’

He is currently working towards a foot wear line, which he hopes will be as successful as his current products. ‘I don’t have sneakers in my brand but I’m currently working on that. I also want to give back to the communities of Newcastle,’ he said.

Marketing manager, Mr Lungelo Nzuza, has urged the public to support young Black business entrepreneurs. ‘It is important to support and empower young entrepreneurs without requesting any discounts or credit. Therefore, I encourage the public to support local brands. King Sneakers is an authentic brand with good quality products,’ said Nzuza.

‘I thank everyone who supports my brand, especially my team - photographers Wellington Samatanda and Sphamandla Mafuleka, and the marketing team, Naledi Donovel and Lungelo Nzuza.’

King Sneakers clothing is now available at City Fashion, next to City Life in the Durban CBD or can be bought via email

For more information and new arrivals follow kingsneakers9201 on Instagram and King Sneakers on Facebook.

author : Nomcebo Mncube
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SA Land Reform Unpacked by UKZN Academic at London Conference

SA Land Reform Unpacked by UKZN Academic at London Conference
Dr Adeoye Akinola (right) with Conference co-ordinator, Professor Joseph Bonnici.

School of Management, Information Technology and Governance academic Dr Adeoye Akinola presented an assessment of South African land reform at the recent IJAS International Conference for Social Sciences and Humanities held at the University of London.

The presentation was co-authored by UKZN’s Professor Henry Wissink.

Their research was supported by the College Research Office and the NRF Travel Grants under the category of Knowledge Interchange and Collaboration.

The presentation, titled: “The Travails of Land Redistribution Policy in South Africa”, explored the convergence between the ‘demand’ and ‘want’ of land, evaluating the utility of land re-allocated to new owners in the country.

The paper acknowledged the fact that land related issues and the need for land reform have consistently occupied a unique position in policymaking and public discourse in the country since 1994,’ said Akinola.

He added that the paper achieved this by recognising the popular advocacy in support of accelerated ‘return’ of land to the original Black owners; however, the paper found some compelling reasons to question the unproductive utility of transferred land.

‘Some of the policy gaps in the land reform remain the inadequate institutional and financial support for Black beneficiaries, the absence of effective skills transfer from the ‘White’ farmers to new farmers, among others.

‘The paper concludes by advocating a decisive policy framework to enhance the productive utilisation and resettlement of the land, which is pertinent for food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development,’ said Akinola.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Early Recognition of Acute Coagulopathy May Reduce Mortalities

Early Recognition of Acute Coagulopathy May Reduce Mortalities
Dr Aslam Noorbhai.

Early recognition of acute coagulopathy may help reduce morbidity and mortality, a UKZN study has revealed.

The research was conducted by the Specialist General Surgeon at the Department of General Surgery and Lecturer, Dr Aslam Noorbhai.

Titled, “Elevated International Normalised Ratios Correlate with Severity of Injury and Outcome Objectives”, the study aimed to assess the prevalence of ACoTS at the level 1 trauma unit at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban and correlate it with injury severity and in-hospital mortality.

ACoTS is often present in trauma patients, particularly those severely injured.

According to Noorbhai, haemorrhagic shock is the leading cause of preventable early deaths from trauma.

‘Acute coagulopathy on admission to a trauma unit is associated with worse outcomes. The relationship of haemorrhage to early mortality remains consistent regardless of the mechanism of injury. Haemorrhage and haemorrhagic shock are increasingly amenable to interventions that result in reductions in morbidity and mortality,’ said Noorbhai. 

Noorbhai conducted a retrospective analysis of the first 1 000 patients admitted to the trauma unit at IALCH between 2007 and 2011. Of the 1 000 patients, 752 were male. There were 261 admissions directly from the scene and 739 inter-hospital transfers (non-scene).

He correlated the admission international normalised ratios (INRs) with Injury Severity Scores (ISSs) and in-hospital mortality.

He used a multivariable Poisson model with robust standard errors to assess the relationship between coagulopathy and mortality after adjustment for the confounding influence of age and gender. He used the R statistics programme to analyse data.

The study found a high prevalence of coagulopathy. ‘Raised admission INRs were associated with worse outcomes,’ Noorbhai said.

‘There is a direct correlation between the INR and the ISS. INRs may offer predictive capabilities in resource-depleted environments where the ISS is not routinely calculated.’

The study found that the overall prevalence of coagulopathy was comparable to previous studies and was high in both direct admissions and inter-hospital transfers. ‘Raised admission INRs were associated with worse outcomes. There was a direct correlation between INRs and ISSs. The INR may help identify patients at risk in resource-depleted environments,’ said Noorbhai.

He believes further studies will assist in identifying optimal overall cut-off values for INR, ISS and ISS subgroups that would help identify patients at risk. ‘Earlier recognition of ACoTS may help reduce mortality,’ he added.

author : Nombuso Dlamini
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Student Excellence Awards

Student Excellence Awards
It was all smiles as Professors Cheryl Potgieter and Thabo Msibi congratulated recipients of the student excellence awards.

The School of Education hosted a Student Excellence Awards Ceremony on UKZN’s Edgewood campus to recognise the hard work and effort put in by both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Acting Dean and Head of the School of Education Professor Thabo Msibi welcomed everyone saying how proud he was of all the students.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, said everyone needed to live an honest life and contribute to society.

Potgieter pin-pointed what was necessary for success earmarking hard work, maintaining a balanced life, and making the most of opportunities when they presented themselves.

Awards were made in the areas of Education Studies, Mathematics and Computer Science, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Language and Arts, Adult Education, Development, Leadership and Management. With presentations of Advanced Certificates in Education and National Professional Diplomas in Education (ACE/NPDE), Postgrad Certificates in Education, and honors, masters and Dean’s special awards.

More than 250 students were awarded Dean’s Commendations or Merits Certificates or both. The Dean’s special awards went to the top three students of each undergrad level with the top undergrad student award going to Mr John Gooder.

The event was a great success and the Dean took time to thank his team for making the event possible and the students for all their hard work and dedication.


author : Slindile Mkhize
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UKZN Surgeon Performs Rare Surgery

UKZN Surgeon Performs Rare Surgery
Dr Aslam Noorbhai.

UKZN Lecturer and Specialist General Surgeon in the Department of General Surgery, Dr Aslam Noorbhai, recently co-authored a case report on transvaginal small bowel evisceration.

The report, co-authored with UKZN’s Department of General Surgery Emeritus Professor Thandinkosi Madiba, was published in The South African Journal of Surgery (SAJS).

According to Noorbhai, this was the first report of transvaginal small bowel evisceration in Africa and concerned a rare entity of transvaginal small bowel herniation following a transvaginal hysterectomy.

‘Transvaginal small bowel evisceration is a rare, but life-threatening condition, which tends to occur in postmenopausal women,’ explained Noorbhai.

A 71-year-old woman underwent a transvaginal hysterectomy for utero-vaginal prolapse. Despite the operation, she experienced discomfort from anterior vaginal prolapse and had incomplete bladder emptying.

He said further surgery was not considered because of multiple comorbidities, most importantly congestive cardiac myopathy, dyslipidaemia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nine months later, she presented with a 24-hour history of a painful mass protruding from her vagina. She was haemodynamically stable, with diffuse abdominal tenderness and distension with guarding. The protruding mass was a segment of ischaemic small bowel, which eviscerated via a tight vaginal vault defect.

In view of her co-morbidities, an extra-abdominal resection of the protruding small bowel was attempted. However, the healthy small bowel could not be delivered through the small defect in the vaginal vault, and she was then submitted to laparotomy. The bowel was reduced intra-abdominally via a bimanual manoeuvre.

A stapled functional end-to-end anastomosis was then performed about 10cm from the ileocaecal junction. The vaginal vault defect was closed, and a vaginopexy to the sacrospinous ligament was performed using polydioxanone.

Noorbhai said the patient made an uneventful recovery and was discharged five days later. She was seen at six months for follow-up and was well.

Following this presentation, another patient presented in early 2016 with the same condition. The same guidelines were applied by Noorbhai and the patient recovered remarkably well.

He said an awareness of the condition and knowledge of the methods used to address both the ischaemic bowel and ruptured vaginal vault could result in minimal operative time and improved patient outcomes.

‘This case report illustrates that in patients with a previous vaginal hysterectomy who present with the previously described symptoms, a transvaginal evisceration should be high on the differential diagnosis.

‘When it does occur, it is a surgical emergency which warrants prompt intervention. Early diagnosis and management is important as this condition is associated with high morbidity and mortality,’ Noorbhai added.


author : Nombuso Dlamini
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African Music and Dance Students Perform Final Examination Recitals

African Music and Dance Students Perform Final Examination Recitals
African Music and Dance students perform final public exit examination recitals at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.

Third-year African Music and Dance students recently performed their final public exit examination recitals at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.

As part of the examination process, each student had to play different African instruments: the umakhweyana bow, timbila xylophones, percussion, Maskandi guitar, mbira DzaVadzimu and Mbira Nyunganyunga.  

Apart from playing various African instruments, the recital programmes also featured traditional dances including the popular Zulu Umzansi and isishemeni styles, and choral/vocal items including isicathamiya and umshado, wedding songs. Modern dance items were also performed.

The 30-45 minute recitals were original compositions and choreographies and arrangements were done by each of the 10 students. Each student composed their own recital theme that tied together the items they performed.

Highlights of the two-day event were Sithwele Kanzima, a composition by Mr Philani Thabethe, and a percussion composition Badlala abafana by Ayanda Dlamini.

Dr Patricia Opondo, the module co-ordinator for the African Music and Dance Programme, said: ‘The third year exit exam recitals are an exciting culmination of three years’ creative growth of our students under the guidance of a dedicated teaching team. I'm grateful and proud of the professional quality of the recitals over the years, and wish our graduating team success in their careers.’

Student Ms Thobile Mbanjwa said: ‘We performed different African tunes, some of which are reminders of the old days while others are more modern and speak to how the new generation views African history while taking into account our perspectives. Through our exam recitals, we managed to remind people who they are and where they come from, showcasing African spirit and history in a whole new way.’

The students thanked their peers and especially Opondo for the support and guidance.

author : Melissa Mungroo
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Society of Political Science Students Hosts SRC Election Debate

Society of Political Science Students Hosts SRC Election Debate
SRC candidates debate pertinent issues affecting students.

Students of the School of Social Sciences, who form part of the Society of Political Science Students (SOPPS), hosted their second successful debate on the Howard College campus in the run up to Student Representative Council (SRC) elections.

With SRC elections being important for student leadership and governance, the debate offered students the opportunity to listen and deliberate with others.

SRC candidates who presented their manifestos to the crowd of students were Ms Kuhlekonke Ntuli, Mr Mayibongwe Mngomezulu, Mr Sizwe Msweli, Mr Warris Asmal, Mr Thobani Zikalala and Mr James Ndlovu.

The bulk of the debate was on student issues, leadership and the #FeesMustFall student movement.

Asmal of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Student Command called for collective leadership to champion the interests of students and to fast-track the progress of the #FeesMustFall student movement.

Mr Sizwe Msweli of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Student Organisation pointed out the importance of free and secure education; equal opportunity; transparency, and accountability within the SRC. ‘Most importantly, we want free education for all throughout South Africa,’ said Msweli.

The candidates outlined their understanding of leadership, and expressed their concerns about the misuse of assets and resources for personal gain.

An example of the SRC budget was used while South African Student Congress (SASCO) candidate Ntuli provided evidence on the success of SASCO, such as bringing back more than 3 000 students who were financially excluded.

Regarding transparency and outreach, the candidates called for the use of a UKZN platform for communication purposes.

The event drew a large student audience providing opportunities for them to pose structured questions to the candidates before casting their votes.

SOPSS plans to host another SRC election debate next year.

author : Melissa Mungroo and Reatlehile Karabo Moeti
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Residence Life Office holds Leadership Awards Ceremony

Residence Life Office holds Leadership Awards Ceremony
House Committee and Residence Life Assistants with their certificates at the Leadership Awards Ceremony.

The Department of Student Residence Affairs in collaboration with the Student Representative Council on UKZN’s Edgewood campus held a Leadership Awards Ceremony aimed at highlighting the importance of leadership within student residences.

Award certificates were presented to various Residence Life Assistants and House Committee Members for their outstanding contribution towards the student governance system through active engagement in the life and management of the student residences.

The ceremony attracted 160 guests, including Residence Life Assistants, members of the House Committee, and other staff members, who were entertained by a variety of poetry, dance and music artists throughout the evening.

Keynote speaker, Residence Life Co-ordinator, Mr Julian King, said: ‘True leaders have integrity which is the very core of their influence. Living the values they believe in is what gives them credibility and allows others to place their trust in them. True leaders are able to say “Do as I do” rather than “Do as I say” because they lead by example.’

author : Jennifer Sheokarah
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UKZN Staff Play Soccer to Improve Fitness and to Have Fun!

UKZN Staff Play Soccer to Improve Fitness and to Have Fun!
UKZN staff soccer players at the Westville campus Sports Centre.

Staff members play indoor soccer at the Sports Centre on the Westville campus at lunchtime Monday to Friday every week in an effort to rev up their heartbeats and amp their fitness levels!

According to Financial Advisor - Funding in the College of Health Sciences, Mr Jay Maharajh,  the soccer games are ‘good team building initiatives’ which show team spirit and camaraderie among staff from the various campuses as well as instilling REACH principles.

Maharajh said he was pleased the soccer initiative was helping to keep people fit. He hoped to get women involved in the initiative next year.

UKZN Sports Department’s Ashraf Ganie says players’ fitness levels have improved in the weeks they have been training.

Anyone interested in playing soccer, increasing fitness levels, and reconnecting with colleagues, please contact any of the following playing members:


Ashraf Ganie -
Jay Maharajh  -
Viren Singh -


Allen Naidoo -
Dane Arumugam -
Kishore Gobardan -

author : Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer
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Athletics on the Rise at UKZN

Athletics on the Rise at UKZN
Miss Hapiness Mkhize, Postgraduate Diploma in HR student, UKZN Prestigious Scholarship recipient, 2016 Mandela Marathon Trail Run winner, 2016 KZN Cross Country Team, Howard College Athletics Rookie of the year, Howard College Cross country athlete of the year and recently selected to be part of Endurocad (SA distance running & endurance sports academy).

The year 2016 has been a breakthrough year for the UKZN Athletics Club, especially on the Howard College campus.

Over the years, athletics at UKZN had gradually fallen into a situation where it was not a high priority sport, with the club struggling to attract athletes.

A decision was taken by existing members last year that the club needed to be rejuvenated so this year there was a concerted drive to recruit members, leading to a spike in membership from about 40 to more than 100!

The biggest growth was seen in the road running section where the club was able to recruit past and present students who were not members of clubs or who decided to change clubs. The club also revived cross country which had been practically dormant.

With the dedication of the coaches and the discipline of the athletes, UKZN has been able to compete well in track and field and some of its athletes were selected for provincial and national teams. UKZN runners were also very visible in popular road races such as the Mandela Marathon, Soweto Marathon and the Comrades Marathon.

To round off a successful year and celebrate collective achievements, the Howard College branch of the UKZN Athletics Club held its inaugural club awards event to recognise and reward top achieving athletes for 2016.

Comrades marathon veteran and staff member, Mr Tony Singarum, said Sports Officer Mr Ayanda Ndlovu deserved to be commended for his dedication and hard work towards ensuring athletics at UKZN was being taken to another level and said we plan to launch a weekly Time Trial in 2017 at our Westville campus and would like to see more staff and students involved in athletics.

The following awards were made:

The most prestigious award, UKZN Athlete of the Year, went to: Cassidy Williamson.

Road running

Runner of the year: Nhlanhla Nzama
Most improved male athlete: Sanele Mbambo
Most improved female athlete: Elizabeth Gallias
Rookie of the year: Bruce Maanda

Comrades Marathon

Tony Singarum
Nhlanhla Nzama
Kenneth Methula
Gcino Ngcobo

Cross Country

Athlete of the year: Happiness Mkhize
Most improved male athlete: Bruce Maanda
Most improved female athlete: Aphelele Jileka
Rookie of the year: Happiness Mkhize

Track and Field

Athlete of the year: Brittany Uys
Most improved male athlete: Itumeleng Lesuthu
Most improved female athlete: Nonhlanhla Gcina
Rookie of the year: Andile Ndabezitha

National and provincial athletes were awarded certificates:

Cassidy Williamson - World Junior Championships: Poland
Brittany Uys - African Senior Championships: South Africa

tumeleng Lesuthu
Joash Beru
Andile Ndabezitha
Happiness Mkhize
Nonhlanhla Gcina
Aphelele Jileka
Shanice Marnce
Nomcebo Mtshali
Lwandile Malawu

Certificates of appreciation were awarded to coaches Victor Ntshangase and Wade Fraser.

Senior Sport officer, Mr Ayanda Ndlovu, handled logistics for the awards event.

author : Ayanda Ndlovu
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UKZN Demonstrates New Smart Transport Innovations on Durban’s Beachfront

UKZN Demonstrates New Smart Transport Innovations on Durban’s Beachfront
UKZN students and staff riding the Smart Technology Pedal Bus and the Human Operated Recumbent – Electric Trike (THOR-ET) on Durban’s North Beach.

Students and academics at UKZN’s Discipline of Mechanical Engineering demonstrated two of their latest innovations in smart transport technology along the North Beach promenade. The two innovations - the Smart Technology Pedal Bus and the Human Operated Recumbent Electric Trike (THOR-ET) - reflect new age technologies that are environmentally friendly and aimed at transforming the way commuters travel in and around the city. Both vehicles travelled from close to Joe Cool’s restaurant to Blue Lagoon and back. Early morning beachgoers caught a glimpse of the vehicles and also got the opportunity to hop-on and hop-off the pedal bus. The aim of the demonstration was to promote the use of the vehicles as alternative modes of transport for the "city of the future".

Academic Leader for the Discipline of Mechanical Engineering Professor Glen Bright said: ‘Both innovations provide an integrated transport system that could change lives, if adopted, especially in the inner-city of Durban. The vehicles can reduce traffic congestion and promote healthy living.

The Smart Technology Pedal bus has recently been modified with the addition of solar panels to generate renewable energy, and advanced speed and braking control systems. The team of developers are working to further automate the vehicle so that it becomes a driverless bus with the ability to travel pre-programmed routes around a city centre, picking up and dropping off passengers at bus stops.

More about the vehicles:

Smart Technology Pedal Bus

The bus is propelled by several people – the driver sits at the front of the vehicle, controlling the steering, braking and power assistance, while rows of people sit on bike seats and provide the pedal power to help move it forward. An electric motor, which uses solar technology, helps to partly power the bus.  If the pedallers need to rest, the motor can be switched to take over at full power. Unique provision has also been made to incorporate the serving of refreshments on a tabletop in the centre of the bus.

The Human Operated Recumbent – Electric Trike (THOR-ET)

A three-wheeled vehicle propelled by a single electric hub motor, with the addition of human pedal power for assistance up steep hills.

author : Sejal Desai
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Annual Ellie Newman Moot Court Final a Roaring Success!

Annual Ellie Newman Moot Court Final a Roaring Success!
Ellie Newman Moot court finalists (from left): Mr Connor Alexander, Mr Andile Mabaso, Mr Elisha Kunene (winner) and Ms Jolene Thompson.

Winning the annual Ellie Newman Moot Court competition, beating 320 participants by showcasing outstanding legal skills, is a sure sign that fourth-year Law student Mr Elisha Kunene is equipped for success in the legal profession.

Kunene competed in the Moot final - hosted by the School of Law in Durban - alongside finalists Ms Jolene Thompson, Mr Andile Mabaso and Mr Connor Alexander.

The finalists displayed their legal prowess in front of judges, Law School academics Professor Karthy Govender, Ms Lindiwe Maqutu, Professor Tanya Woker and Mr Vishal Surbun as well as family and friends.

A highlight at the final was third-year Law student Mr Andile Mcineka being awarded the Yunus Mohammed Public Interest Law Award by Madam Justice Dhaya Pillay for his article: “Winnie Getting the Short End of the Stick”, which was published in The Sunday Tribune.

The award recognises Mcineka’s valuable contribution to knowledge in the field of public law.

‘There was depth in his argument; he drew on judgments in a coherent manner; it was a pleasure interacting with him…’ these were some of the comments made by the judges on Kunene’s performance before his announcement as the winner which was greeted with resounding applause and a standing ovation from the audience.

‘Winning the Ellie Newman award means the world to me. It’s literally a dream come true. My time in ‘varsity has been quite difficult in a number of ways but I was determined to finish strongly and I sort of viewed this year as a rebuilding period,’ says Kunene.

‘Earlier in the year a good friend of mine and I won the Southern African National Debating Championships and I ranked first in the country. So I really feel like God is with me on this winning streak.’

The great debater who used his skills to coach school debating teams to generate funds for his university tuition got academic merit scholarships from UKZN for his first and second year. However, monetary challenges nearly saw Kunene being financially excluded in his second year.

‘In a remarkable turn of events I was able to stay and complete my studies thanks to a generous intervention by Norton Rose Fulbright. The firm and I parted ways this year but I will always be grateful to them and to everyone else who have contributed to keeping me going,’ he said.

Looking to the future, Kunene said: ‘I have been granted the great privilege of being accepted to clerk for Justice Raymond Zondo at the Constitutional Court next year.’  His long-term plans include becoming an advocate.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Abafundi Bezifundo Ngempilo Yasolwandle Bahlomule Ngezindondo Emcimbini Wezokongiwa KweMvelo

Abafundi Bezifundo Ngempilo Yasolwandle Bahlomule Ngezindondo Emcimbini Wezokongiwa KweMvelo
Bendawonye engqungqutheleni (ngenhla kusukela kwesobunxele)uNkz Gemma Gerber, Mnu Gan Moodley, Dkt Deborah Robertson-Andersson noMnu Matthew Coote; (ngezansi) uNkz Bianca Tree (phakathi nendawo) enoMnu Gan Moodley benoDkt Deborah Robertson-Andersson.

Click here for English version

Abafundi baselebhu yezeSayensi Yempilo Yasolwandle, Indlelampilo Yasolwandle , Izifundo Ngokongiwa Kwemvelo neSayensi Yenhlaliswanobudlelwane (MACE)  eSikoleni Sezifundo NgokuPhilayo bahlonishelwe ikhwalithi yocwaningo lwabo kanye nendlela abalwethule ngayo kuSimpoziyamu Yezokongiwa KweMvelo.

Owenza iziqu ze-Mastazi uNkz Gemma Gerber uwine i-KZN Premier’s Award, kwathi owenza iziqu ze-BSc uMnu Mathew Coote walala isibili esigabeni esifanayo, kanti umfundi owenza iziqu ze-Onazi uNkz Bianca Tree uwine umklomelo ngephosta yakhe.

La ebibanjelwe e-Fern Hill Hotel e-Howick, ihehe abebemele i-MACE, okubalwa nabafundi abayisishiyagalombili abaneziqu, oqeqeshelwa umsebenzi oyendwa kanye nabaluleki babo oDkt Deborah Robertson-Anderson noMnu Gan Moodley. Iqembu lethule izinkulumo eziyi-11, bebethinta izihloko ezifana nokuziphatha kwabatshuzi nokuziphatha koshaka ngenxa yemithetho elawula ezokudoba.

Iqembu laselebhu ye-MACE selihambe ibanga ocwaningweni lopulastiki ( opulastiki abangaphansi kwamamilimitha amahlanu ubugqinsi)nomthelela wabo ezilwaneni zasolwandle lapho bathola ukuba yingxenye yohlelo lukamabonakude i- Carte Blanche kamuva nje.

Opulastiki bebesematheni kusimpoziyamu futhi ilebhu ye-MACE ithole ukunconywa ngendlela abadingide ngayo lenkinga ebeka impilo yasolwandle engozini.

Izinkulumo ezethulwe abasebenzi nabafundi belebhu ye-MACE bezithinta izihloko ezisukela kumazinga amabhakthiriya kuya emiphumeleni yoplastiki ezilwaneni zasolwandle. Iqembu lase-MACE liqhamuke nezisombululo zokubhekana nalezi zimo kanti futhi kwakunomhlangano mayelana nokubhekana nalolu daba kusetshenziswa izinkundla zokuxhumana.

Izinkulumo eziphumelele zihlanganisa eka-Gerber nesihloko esithi-Microplastics in Mussels: What Should the Consumer Know? Ubephenya futhi nangokuthi uyini umthelela wamapulastiki uma egwinywe izimbaza, lokhu bekugqugquzelqa ukubaluleka kwalezi zilwane empilweni yasolwandle futhi njengokudla kwabadobi KwaZulu-Natali.

‘Lolu cwaningo lugcizelela izinga lomthelela wopulastiki ezilwaneni ezisinika ukudla njengabantu futhi lugcizelela isidingo sokucwaningwa kokudluliselwa kobuthi busuka kumapulastiki buya ezimbazeni,’ kusho uGerber.

Inkulumo ka-Coote ibenesihloko esithi: Microplastics Make Fish Anally Retentive! Iphosta ka-Tree ibimayelana nokugwinywa kwamapulastiki yizingungumbane zasolwandle ezingonjiniyela bempilandawonye yasolwandle.

Bonke abafundi bancome abaluleki babo oMnu Moodley no Robertson-Andersson ngokuzinikela kwabo kanye nemibono yabo ocwaningweni nohambo lwabafundi ezifundweni zabo.

‘Ukunqoba lendondo kukhombisa ukuthi ukusebenza kanzima kuyakhokhela,’ kusho u-Tree.

U-Gerber, obuye wabonga u-Coote ngokumelekelela kulo mkhakha, uthe ubemangele futhi ethokozile ngokunikwa le ndondo. Ukuhambela lesimpoziyamu kumnikeze ugqozi ikakhulukazi ukuxhumana nokwabelana ngolwazi nabantu abahlukene. ‘Lokhu kugqugquzele ukuxhumana nokwabelana ngemibono kwabantu abangaphandle kwezocwaningo okukhombise ukubaluleka kokusebenzisana phakathi kwabacwaningi, abashayimthetho nabezemvelo ukuze kuqinisekiswe ukuthi kuyaphilwa futhi nemvelo ivikelelwe izizukulwane ezizayo.

author : Christine Cuénod
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First Year Humanities’ Student on SA’s Got Talent

First Year Humanities’ Student on SA’s Got Talent
First-year student Jesse Govender was a finalist on the SA’s Got Talent TV show.

The stage lit up coloured gold. The audience cheered with excitement, while the drummer twirled her drumsticks in the air - the perfect cue for SA’s Got Talent finalist, UKZN’s Jesse Govender to belt out Avicci’s 2013 hit song, Wake Me Up.

Govender, a first-year student studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree, says his love for music began at an early age when he used to sing in church. ‘I also come from a musical family.’

Govender’s friend, Keshiv Barath, was the one who encouraged him to enter the talent show.

‘There wasn’t any other show at the time and SA’s Got Talent was a really good platform for me to do something so I considered it because Keshiv really wanted me to,’ he said.

Govender said being on the show was fun, adding that he learned a lot from the judge’s attitudes. ‘If a person made a mistake, they didn’t focus on it as long as the contestants were having fun doing what they love.

‘I would like to thank everyone who supported me, especially Keshiv, my family and my friends. Even though I didn’t win, my Facebook page was still flooded with well wishes and I wasn’t so disappointed,’ he said.

*The final of the SA’s Got Talent show was aired on TV recently.  Dance group Kryptonite Dance Academy took the top honours.

author : Reatlehile Karabo Moeti
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How Distance and Time Escalate the Risk of Acquiring HIV - Study Reveals

How Distance and Time Escalate the Risk of Acquiring HIV - Study Reveals
Professor Adrian Dobra, Professor Till Barninghausen, Professor Frank Tanser and Dr Alain Vandormael.

Findings on human mobility, specifically, on how time (period) and space (distance) can pose added risks in acquiring HIV/AIDS, have been released following a study involving UKZN’s Professor Frank Tanser, a Professor in Epidemiology in the College of Health Sciences and a senior faculty researcher at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI).

‘This study is the very first mobility study to use complete geo-residential histories to quantify the space-time measurement of human mobility in relationship to the risk of HIV acquisition. These findings supported our key assumption that people who periodically change their residences over larger distances or spend larger periods of time outside their usual community are at a significantly higher risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS ’ said Tanser.

This population-based cohort study, conducted and sampled in a rural demographic surveillance setting in the north of KwaZulu-Natal, revealed that for migrating  men, a risk of acquiring HIV increased by 50% for a  migration distance of 40km whereas the risk of acquiring HIV in women migrating a distance of 109km increased by 50%.

These results indicate a clear but non–linear relationship between distance migrated and HIV acquisition. One of the surprising finding in this study is that even relatively short distance movements confer considerable addition of HIV risk in men.

The study is titled: “Space-Time Migration Patterns and Risk of HIV Acquisition in Rural South Africa”.

The research team comprised Tanser and three other internationally acclaimed epidemiologists and health systems researchers at the AHRI.

The study team analysed the space-time characteristics for more than 8 000 migration events over a 10-year period - representing a total of 1 028 782km travelled - for nearly 18 000 individuals who were HIV-negative at baseline.  The population-based cohort study heavily relied on detailed longitudinal socio demographic data and individual HIV surveillance data available at AHRI. This enabled researchers to look closely at sexual behaviours, socio demographics, and geo- and residential histories to ascertain causal relationships between differing mobility patterns and the subsequent risk of HIV acquisition.

This study has been published in the AIDS Journal by internationally acclaimed HIV researchers and authors respectively: (1.) Professor Adrian Dobra, an Associate Professor at the University of Washington; (2.) Professor Till Barninghausen, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Senior faculty researcher and Programme Director in Health Systems and Impact at AHRI; (3.) Professor Frank Tanser, a Professor in Epidemiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences in UKZN and a senior faculty researcher at AHRI and (4.) Dr Alain Vandormael, an epidemiologist and statistician at AHRI.

author : Lihle Sosibo
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Weather Station Installed at KZN High School

Weather Station Installed at KZN High School
Climate change co-ordinator Dr Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi of UKZN with the state-of-the-art automatic weather station which has been installed at Swayimane High School.

Dr Alistair Clulow and Dr Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi of UKZN have been the driving force behind the recent installation of a state-of-the-art automatic weather station (AWS) at Swayimane High School in Wartburg in KwaZulu-Natal.

This is one of only two off-campus installations of UKZN’s lauded Agrometeorological Instrumentation Mast (AIM) system.

The AWS forms part of an agrometeorological early warning system that is being developed by UKZN as part of Component 1.3 of the uMngeni Resilience Project - a climate change adaptation project funded by the Adaption Fund and implemented by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) in partnership with the uMgungundlovu District Municipality and UKZN.

In a statement, uMgungundlovu Municipal Spokesperson Ms Mbali Ndlovu said the district municipality was located in an area of high climate change risk and one of three climate change hotspots in the country.

She said climate change studies were carried out and the decision was taken to create the uMngeni Resilience Project.  The project would help reduce the vulnerability of communities and small-scale farmers within the district.

The purpose of installing the automatic weather station was to link the collection of weather data to learning and e-learning at Swayimane High School through UKZN’s School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

The station is capable of collecting meteorological information using maximum and minimum temperature; maximum and minimum relative humidity; wind speed and direction; solar radiation, rainfall and reference evapotranspiration (the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces and by transpiration from plants).

The system is also connected to leaf wetness sensors and soil water content sensors that can be used to predict disease incidence and flooding.

The system would also spread weather bulletins to farmers through SMS and email on a weekly basis, and give heat discomfort warnings for farmers so they knew when to avoid being out in the field, when it was too wet to plant, or when the possibility of disease was high.

A webpage for the system will be run and developed by Swayimane pupils.

author : Sally Frost
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40-Year-Reunion of the Medical Class of 1976

40-Year-Reunion of the Medical Class of 1976
Jubilant classmates at their 40-year-Reunion.

UKZN’s  Medical Class of 1976 held their 40-year reunion at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast with former classmates - all prominent health professionals living all over the world - making the effort to attend the memorable occasion.

Said class representative, Dr Tygie S Nadesan: ‘Thinking of Alan Taylor Residence brings flashbacks of security branch raids, always late at night and especially on weekends. They herded us from our rooms onto the rugby field looking for student leaders and banned books.’

Nadesan, a prominent family physician in Durban, still maintains a strong link with Medical students at UKZN by assisting them in their journey to find a meaningful purpose through the Christian faith.

Emeritus Professor of Surgery at UKZN, Professor Thandinkosi Madiba, said: ‘Although the Medical School was in Umbilo, a White area, we, as Black students, were not allowed to stay in the University residences because they were in a White area. Thus we had to stay at the Alan Taylor Residence situated in Wentworth. Curfew did not allow Black students to be in town after a certain hour in the evening. This meant that we had to be in Wentworth by nightfall. Also we could not interact with other students who happened to be White and stayed in the University residences.’

Madiba, a recognised authority on diseases of the colon, rectum and anus by peers both nationally and internationally, is also eThekwini’s Living Legend. Madiba was also awarded twice the Distinguished Teachers’ award by UKZN and the ‘Best Lecturer’ prize for 10 consecutive years by UKZN Medical students. This year, he was awarded the South African Medical Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr Reena Ramsaroop, currently based in New Zealand, said: ‘Of course one cannot escape or ignore the political environment we were in.  This was intimately entwined in our everyday learning.  For me it was a revelation, a realisation that there were so many intelligent and brilliant people who were forced to support themselves financially through Medical School.  My respect for fellow class mates increased tremendously. Our medical training scheme - irrespective of the great number of disadvantages including racial discrimination, lack of training facilities, equipment that continuously broke down and wards with total lack of privacy -  produced a quality of doctors that are well respected and sought after overseas.

‘The Class of 76 were fortunate as well in many respects. They had the honour of attending meetings led by the late Stephen Bantu Biko. Memorable were those meetings watching and listening to Steve Biko, who was briefly in our class – second year – he was an amazing speaker and listening to him convinced me that we had to fight for change. It is these moments that strengthen personalities and I changed from being a “quiet shy Indian girl that concentrated on studying” to a person with a deeper understanding of the socio-political environment.’

‘We were certainly abused by our lecturers.  My thoughts were that they either did not want to teach “Black” students but had to, or that it was a sadistic pleasure to be in a position of power.  Coming from secondary schools where our teachers recognised our potential, were encouraging and extremely supportive, to an environment of insults, put downs and shouting, was an educational shock,’ said Ramsaroop.

Ramsaroop is an Anatomical Pathologist in Auckland, New Zealand. She was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) instituted under a Royal Warrant signed by Queen Elizabeth II as the Queen of New Zealand, in recognition for her work in breast cancer. She also belongs to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation where she is the Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee. Ramsaroop set up the Breast Cancer Tissue Bank at Waitemata DHB so that advanced research into Breast Cancer can be done.

Dr Naseem Isaacs, currently based in Australia recalled the unity and shared experiences, ‘We were the last of the small classes so our teaching was superb. Met people from all walks of life. Many were poor (including myself) but we did not let that get in our way. The only life we knew was Medicine. We could not afford to spend another year behind so we worked very hard. We enjoyed it, hated it at times but the outcome was fantastic. Today we take our place influencing people’s lives. So many of us have been struck down with afflictions but this has never stopped us.’

Other prominent members of the class include Emeritus Professor Malegapuru William Makgoba who is a leading South African immunologist, physician, public health advocate, academic and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. In 2013 he was recognised as ‘a pioneer in Higher Education transformation’, by being awarded the Order of Mapungubwe in Silver. This year, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced that Makgoba would be South Africa’s first health ombudsman, who will process patient complaints against health practitioners, hospitals and clinics, across both the private and public sectors.

Another well-known classmate is Professor Maila John Matjila who served as a former Deputy Dean of the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine and is now Head of Public Health Medicine at the University of Pretoria. Robert E. Stowell Endowed Chair in Experimental Pathology, Director of the Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research, and Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Clinical Nutrition and Vascular Medicine, at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center; Professor Ishwarlal Jialal also attended the reunion. Jialal is an award-winning researcher who has published more than 380 original papers in the areas of diabetes, atherosclerosis, lipid metabolism, nutrition and vascular biology.

Keynote speaker at the reunion was UKZN’s former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Humanities and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zululand, Professor Fikile Mazibuko.

author : MaryAnn Francis
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UKZN hosts Memorial for Renowned Theologian

UKZN hosts Memorial for Renowned Theologian
Inset left: Professor Bonganjalo Goba. Inset right: Family, former colleagues, students and friends at the memorial event.

The School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics (SRPC) within the College of Humanities recently hosted a memorial event in honour of a Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the former University of Durban-Westville, Professor Bonganjalo Goba.

The event was attended by friends, family, students and colleagues who shared memories of Goba.

Synod Secretary of the SASynod of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, the Rev Thulani Ndlazi, reflected on Goba’s religious commitments, his significance as an ordained minister of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), his theological legacy and significance for the Christian Church as well as his contributions to the development of good citizenship in South Africa.

‘Goba’s allegiance to the sovereignty of God influenced deeply how he strived throughout his life to be a servant leader who exhibited competence, commitment, compassion and consistency in work with no fear or favour in order for society to progress and advance in the post-apartheid dispensation,’ said Ndlazi.

UKZN’s Professor Johannes Smit described Goba as one of the foremost scholars who propagated and developed ‘Black Theology’ as South Africa’s ‘Liberation Theology’ during the 1970s and 1980s. He further reflected on Goba’s expansive academic career that included more than 40 scholarly chapters in edited books and accredited journals.

‘His scholarly legacy is seminal to theologising in the 1970s and through to the 2000s in South Africa. Both academia and the ecumenical church will continue to draw on this inclusive academic legacy, critical of racial and class oppression and exploitation, and propagating inclusivity, freedom, equality and social justice,’ said Smit.

Professor Roderick Hewitt of UKZN further highlighted the deep congregational spirituality that influenced Goba’s Black Theology of liberation, arguing that it was inclusive of all oppressed people.

‘For him, “blackness” was not an issue of skin colour,’ said Hewitt. ‘Rather, it denoted all those who were excluded, oppressed and exploited by White nationalistic ideologies. His theology embraced all different ethnicities. Goba’s call for academia to participate in the struggle with the church, meant that the issues and structures that impact locally, need to be analysed and confronted critically and constructively by the church – as well as all other ecumenical religious traditions.’

He said Goba’s scholarship and legacy were important in the light of the current rise of the apparent world-wide movement of communities and countries towards an ever-growing intolerance, prejudice and xenophobia.

‘Dating back to the times of colonial slavery and the history of injustice perpetrated by the colonising regimes, and their various forms of oppression, this is not new. It is a legacy that has been opposed and we need to continue to critically analyse and oppose it.

‘In this regard, Goba’s theology resonates with those theologies from former colonised countries, especially in the West-Indies and Cuba, as well as the abolition movement. Goba thus forms an important part of the global ecumenical movement,’ said Hewitt.

author : Melissa Mungroo
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UKZN hosts Symposium on Contemporary Struggles in Southern African Literature

UKZN hosts Symposium on Contemporary Struggles in Southern African Literature
Participants at the international symposium on Struggles for Liberation in Contemporary Southern African Literatures and Cultural Spaces.

A two-day international symposium titled: “Struggles for Liberation in Contemporary Southern African Literatures and Cultural Spaces”, was held on the Howard College campus.

It was hosted by Professor Lindy Stiebel of English Studies at UKZN together with her post-doctoral student Dr Danyela Demir and Professor Annika McPherson of the University of Augsburg in Germany.

Acting Dean and Head of the School of Arts Professor Donal McCracken described the symposium as ‘a intellectual powerhouse of topics and discussions’ while noting that Arts are at the core of any university which he identifies as the soul of the University.

The keynote address was delivered by Professor Arthur Hughes of the University of Ohio who spoke on: “Writing Trauma: Gender and Resistance in the Lusophone African Novel”.

Spotlighting African women and resistance in Angola and Mozambique, Hughes compared two novels: Paulina Chiziane’s Niketche: Uma História de Poligamia, and Lília Momplé’s Neighbours: The Story of a Murder in terms of over-verbalisation and under-verbalisation respectively. Through textual analyses of the two novels, he further identified emergent themes such as the emancipation of women, subordination of gender, religion and patriarchy.

‘Within the novels, patriarchy is linked with economic dependence,’ said Hughes. ‘Marriage is seen as a means of sustenance and is one of the viable options of survival. It can be said that from these two novels and their depiction of women in Angola and Mozambique, the cultural features of the past are still present currently in the form of trauma. Race and class still impede coherence.’

The symposium highlighted representations of struggles for liberation in different current artistic manifestations and questioned the extent of apartheid legacies for neighbouring countries of Angola, Mozambique and Namibia that are represented in current art in and outside South Africa; the representation of ‘border wars’ in post-2000 Southern African fiction and art, and current movements of resistance across Southern Africa that use artistic forms as tools of disruption.

author : Melissa Mungroo
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