Students Showcase Innovative Entrepreneurial Thinking at Business Challenge

Students Showcase Innovative Entrepreneurial Thinking at Business Challenge
Team BuzziBee Boutique celebrating their victory.

Business Partners, sponsors of the Integrated Business Studies (IBS) presentations by UKZN Bachelor of Business Science students, has committed to financing all the innovative business solutions showcased on the day.

The presentations, part of the IBS module, involved four groups each creating a business concept and developing a proposal around business functions such as information technology, top management and finance.

Acting Dean of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Dr Mabutho Sibanda, said he was very impressed with the presentations.

‘I really value Business Science as it is a flagship course for the School and the College,’ said Sibanda. ‘I am proud of the students and their work ethic and how they displayed the soft skills and critical thinking they have learned from the IBS module. I am looking forward to them graduating in record time.’

The students were also required to make a reflection video displaying their perspectives of the course.

IBS Lecturer and event co-ordinator Mr Kenneth Ngwenya said it was important to motivate students to share their experiences and learn how the theory they are taught is so evident in the real world.

‘It has been a pleasure working with a group of students who are always willing to learn and show a keen interest in their academic development.

‘What impresses me the most about the class of 2016 is the quality of business ideas presented in the BuzziBee Botique, SWIFTBUY, Saucery and Vigi Band projects and also the teamwork displayed during the presentations,’ said Ngwenya.

Group Leader of the BuzziBee Boutique project which won top honours, Ms Amy Thorpe, said the idea was to develop a subscription baby clothing store.

Event sponsors, Business Partners were so impressed by the high calibre presentations and ideas showcased by the students that they committed to funding all the business ideas presented at the event.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Norwegian Delegation Visits School of Education

Norwegian Delegation Visits School of Education
School of Education staff with the delegation from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Six delegates from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences - a merger between Bergen University College and Stord/Haugesund University College - visited the School of Education.

The visit formed part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bergen University College of Norway and the School of Education signed in March this year.

The MOU was the result of collaboration by members of the School’s Social Science Cluster - Dr Sadhana Manik, Dr Marshall Maposa and Professor Suriamurthee Maistry and Professor Johan Wassermann - with their counterparts at Bergen University College: Professor Erlend Eidsvik, Professor Jacob Melting and Professor Vibeke Vagenes.

The delegates met with staff members from the School for a series of workshop sessions to discuss student exchange between the two institutions and the supervised placement of Norwegian student teachers in Durban.

Discussions also included north-south research co-operation between the institutions as part of the Southern African-Nordic Centre (SANORD) network.

Speaking further about the partnership, Manik said: ‘I am excited and confident. Excited at the pace with which we are engaging in fruitful discussions and activities and confident that we will be successful in achieving the initial endeavours we have planned.

‘We have two teams committed to providing teaching, learning and research opportunities via the MOU to staff and students across both institutions in addition to local schools. This will strengthen our programme offerings, bolster our professional development and deepen our community initiatives.’

In order to strengthen the partnership between both universities, support was provided by acting Dean for the School of Education Professor Thabo Msibi; Dean for Teacher Education and Culture at Stord/Haugesund University College, Professor Sigurd Sandvold, Bergen University College and UKZN’s International Relations offices.

author : Melissa Mungroo
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Foreign Doctors Sit for SA Exam at Medical School

Foreign Doctors Sit for SA Exam at Medical School
Foreign qualified doctors at their HPCSA clinical assessment exam.

About 138 Medical Doctors who qualified outside South Africa sat for the 2016 Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) Board Exam at UKZN’s Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine.

The exam is held twice a year and has two components, a written section and a practical component.

The HPCSA is a statutory body, established in terms of the Health Professions Act and is committed to protecting the public and guiding the professions.  It is also responsible for registration of all qualified medical and paramedical professionals in this country.

Examiner and convenor, retired Chief Specialist and Head of Department of Family Medicine, Honorary Associate Professor Cyril Naidoo, said the doctors wrote the exam in October. About 90% passed and were then invited to the clinical practice exam which comprised 17 stations, each lasting five and half minutes. ‘At the stations they have to examine patients, perform urine tests, interpret X-rays or answer questions by examiners,’ Naidoo explained.

He said the majority of the foreign doctors were from Nigeria, Romania, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Jamaica, Poland, Canada and the Caribbean Island. About 40% of the applicants were South Africans who had studied medicine outside the country.

Naidoo was impressed at how presentable doctors were at this exam. ‘I am impressed at how neat the candidates looked.  They were well dressed and had their name tags on. These candidates need to be complimented and commended on their attire and professional outlook.’

Dr Benedict Makopo of the DRC has been in South Africa for four years and aims to practice here. ‘South Africa offers a high standard in terms of science and medicine. It also meets the high standard of service delivery in rural areas which are difficult to access in my country.’

‘It is an opportunity to get residency,’ said a South African, who wanted to be named only as Dr Ashraf. He completed his medicine degree in Poland and came back to South Africa in 2013. ‘It is not easy to get a job if you are not trained in this country - everyone thinks you are not fully qualified. They always ask why you didn’t study in the country.’

HPCSA‘s observer Professor Luke Binu said he was pleased with the organisation and the co-ordination of the exam.

HPCSA’s Professor Gboyega Ogunbanjo said for doctors to qualify to work in the country they had to follow a process set by HPCSA and the National Department of Health (DoH).

Foreign trained doctors first have to apply to the DoH for an endorsement application process by the Medical Council and then they have to do the theoretical exam followed by the practical competence assessment. ‘The process can take up to a year, depending on the documents they have to hand in to comply with the requirements,’ said Ogunbanjo.

‘After they have passed they are allocated by the DoH to work as interns. Once they have completed their internship they need to work in the public service for five years after which they can apply to be independent practitioners.’ 

author : Nombuso Dlamini
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Doctoral Scholar to Speak at the International Diabetes Congress

Doctoral Scholar to Speak at the International Diabetes Congress
Doctoral student Mr Ugochukwu Offor who will speak at a diabetes congress in London next year.

A UKZN PhD student has been selected to present at the International Congress on the Prevention of Diabetes in London in October next year.

Mr Ugochukwu Offor of the Department of Anatomy in the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences (LMMS) will present his research topic: “Momordica Charantia Ameliorates - Diabetic Kidney Disease”.

This follows his nomination by the College of Health Sciences (CHS) selection committee that pin-pointed Offor as the best candidate among many applications received by the committee to attend the Congress.

Offor’s most recent paper published in the Minerva Urologica 2016 was a selection requirement that provided him with an excellent chance of being selected.  The publication is titled: “Does Hypoxis Hemerocallidea Mitigate Renal Injuries Following Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy?

The 22nd International Congress on Prevention of Diabetes Conference provides an opportunity for participants to share knowledge and expertise while networking with researchers and industrial professionals. The Conference aims to attract renowned scientists, physicians, surgeons, young researchers, industrial delegates and talented student communities.

Outlining his research presentation for next year’s conference, Offor said diabetic nephropathy had become a primary cause of end-stage kidney disease. ‘Several complex dynamics converge together to accelerate the advancement of diabetic nephropathy. The aim of this study is to explore the mechanism of reno-protective nature of Momordica Charantia following antiretroviral therapy in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats by evaluating the anti-hyperglycemic effects as well as markers for oxidative stress and antioxidant proficiency in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  I am extremely humbled to have been chosen to attend the Conference.  The recognition has improved my confidence and inspiration to realise my dreams.’

author : Lihle Sosibo
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Law Professor Plays an Active Role at UN Legal Aid Conference in Buenos Aires

Law Professor Plays an Active Role at UN Legal Aid Conference in Buenos Aires
Professor David McQuoid-Mason (second left) with delegates at the Conference.

Professor David McQuoid-Mason of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies presented a paper at the 2nd International Conference on Access to Justice and Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems in Buenos Aires.

The conference - held under the auspices of the Argentinian Ministry of Justice and Office of the Federal Public Protector, the International Legal Foundation, UNODC and UNDP - aimed to promote full implementation of the UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems (2012) and the UN Model Legal Aid in Criminal Proceedings Law (2015), particularly for Latin American countries.

McQuoid-Mason was one of the International Legal Aid Experts who assisted with the drafting of the UN Principles and Guidelines as well as the UN Model Legal Aid Law which he proposed at the First UN Legal Aid Conference in Johannesburg in June 2014.

McQuoid-Mason’s paper was titled: “Challenges Faced When Seeking to Include the United Nations Principles and Guidelines’ Non-lawyer–Centred Provisions in Legal Aid Legislation for Developing Countries with Small Numbers of Lawyers”.

He also facilitated a session on: “The Role and Function of Legal Aid Boards in Administration”.

McQuoid-Mason further  arranged a meeting of African Legal Aid Providers which was facilitated by Judge Dunstan Mlambo, Chair of the Board of Legal Aid South Africa, and held several side-meetings with legal aid representatives from Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Fiji and Pakistan, all of which he has helped or is assisting with their Legal Aid programmes.

author : NdabaOnline
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UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme Recognises Contributions

UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme Recognises Contributions
From left: former Peer Educators Mr Vince Ndou and Ms Nokuthula Zondi, Ms Nomonde Magantolo, and Head of Department at the Pietermaritzburg Campus Health Clinic Services, Ms Gugulethu Zondi.

UKZN’s HIV and AIDS Programme hosted a year-end event to recognise and congratulate peer educators, staff, and internal and external stakeholders for their excellent work this year.

The event was marked by diverse creativity, educational entertainment, and performances by peer educators from all five campuses.

Peer educators form the backbone of the Programme being change agents who are involved in all the awareness campaigns and outreach programmes - HIV and AIDS; Anti-Drug and Substance Abuse; Gender Based Violence, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Sensitisation - throughout the year.

The function was attended by stakeholders and representatives of UKZN’s Department of Student Residence Affairs and Campus Health Services, the Higher Education and Training HIV/AIDS Programme and the eThekwini District AIDS Council.

UKZN’s HIV and AIDS Programme Co-ordinator, Ms Nomonde Magantolo, thanked stakeholders for their continued support.  Peer educators had an opportunity to share their success stories, leadership and facilitation skills learned, and personal growth in risk reduction since joining the peer education programme. They also had an opportunity to participate in a Mr & Miss Graduate Alive Contest, promoting making smart choices and responsible behaviour.

 The Graduate Alive campaign, a national annual initiative, is aimed at inspiring and empowering students through various risk reduction mechanisms to graduate alive irrespective of their HIV status and further encourages them to make healthy life choices.

UKZN’s 2016/2017 Graduate Alive winners were Mr Siyabonga Shongwe of the Medical School and Pietermaritzburg campus student Miss Sphiwakahle Dludla.

Magantolo congratulated the winners and reminded them of their social responsibility to their fellow students and that their role, among others, was to advocate and promote healthy lifestyle practices.

Former peer educator and now a teacher, Ms Nokuthula Zondi, gave testimony on how peer education transformed her life enabling her to work with a range of people at different levels. She encouraged her peers to impart the knowledge they have gained to their fellow students, families and communities.


Certificates of appreciation were handed out to peer educators in recognition of their outstanding contribution in the fight against the spread of HIV. 


The following is a summary of some of the work done during the year by the UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme:


·         8 642 HIV Tests; 96 medical male circumcision procedures; 45 Campaigns rolled out reaching 16 796 people; 37 group discussion/dialogues/residence visits reaching 2 797 people and 2 148 276 condoms distributed

·         25 438 students and staff participated in the HIV and AIDS programme through awareness campaigns and HIV testing

·         Extensive stakeholder collaboration with government department, NGOs and Civil Society

·         Sustainable Peer Education Forums and Support groups (LGBTI, women, men, positive living, and abstinence groups)

·         Anti-Retroviral Treatment initiation from the PMB Campus Health Clinic

·         Launch of Anti-Drug and Substance Abuse Initiative

·         Launch of UKZN implementation of the 90-90-90 UNAIDS 2020 targets to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030

·         Community outreach at schools in informal settlements, prisons, children’s homes and participation in the provincial and district AIDS Council.

author : Thembani N. Khumalo
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PhD Student Wins Recognition at US Conference

PhD Student Wins Recognition at  US Conference
Mr Kibwe Mwewa preparing trace element analysis.

A Physiology doctoral student in the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, Mr Kibwe Mwewa, was awarded a certificate of recognition by the International Clinical and Experimental Cardiology Association at their Conference in Florida in the United States.

The Conference brought together international professors, scientists and cardiologists to discuss strategies for heart disease remedies. The Conference also aimed to provide diverse and current education that will keep medical professionals abreast on issues affecting prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases under the theme: “The Science of Heart Discovery”.

Mwewa’s certificate of recognition was awarded for his oral presentation titled: “The Effects of Moderate Treadmill Activity on Cardiovascular Factors in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats”. The paper has also been accepted and will be published in the Journal of Cardiology.

Mwewa says hypertension is a major health problem throughout the world because of its high prevalence and its association with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.  ‘Free radical generating oxidative stress has been strongly implicated as one of the many etiological factors. Despite the beneficial effect of aerobic exercise, it can potentially induce oxidative stress especially in condition of a compromised antioxidant status. Trace elements have a role to play in the regulation of blood pressure as well.  Imbalances or deficiencies of these trace elements can lead to the development of high blood pressure.

‘The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of moderate treadmill activity on the pathogenesis of hypertension using a well-established animal model of genetic hypertension, the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). The objectives were therefore to assess total antioxidants status, antioxidant associated trace element status in blood and skeletal muscle and inflammatory markers during pre- and post-treadmill physical activity in this model of hypertension,’ said Mwewa.

‘The results show that during physical activity the antioxidant status trace elements were compromised and C-reactive protein was increased. Also shown was that the pathological changes associated with oxidative stress are exacerbated when coupled with exercise in this model of hypertension and that using an antioxidant supplement will be beneficial, especially to people with heart conditions with compromised antioxidant levels before engaging in physical activity.

‘The experience at the Conference taught me to be confident and attentive.  I am highly grateful to my supervisors, Dr A Nadar and Professor ML Channa, for mentorship and for the support shown through my entire project’, added Mwewa.

author : Lihle Sosibo
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Big Band Features at 28th Annual Jazz Jol

Big Band  Features at 28th Annual Jazz Jol
UKZN’s Big Band and the talented ensemble band Nyimbo ya Bantu performed at the Jazz Jol.

The 28th Annual Jazz Jol, featuring UKZN’s Big Band and the talented ensemble band, Nyimbo ya Bantu, was recently hosted by the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music

The UKZN Big Band is directed by Lecturer, Mr Burton Naidoo, and includes top Jazz students from the Music Discipline in the School of Arts. ‘We performed three pieces on the night - Nomusa by Ndikho Xaba and the Natives, Mad Mad, and Motown Swing. The Jazz Jol showcases very special and powerful performances,’ said Naidoo.

UKZN Big Band members are pianists Abigail Giddings and Jaedon Daniel; bassist Llewelyn Chetty; drummer Riley Giandhari; trumpeters Siyanda Zulu, Sanele Qwabe, Phuti Mofokeng, and Talente Mhlongo; guitarist Kaylin Naidoo; clarinettist Snothile Mkhize; alto saxophonists Nwabisa Kheswa, Simone van Niekerk, Tim Lewis and Phumlani Mtiti; tenor saxophonist Bonginkosi Mkhize; trombonists Thembinkosi Khumalo and Mokgethisi Nkots, and flautist Tseleng Makhatla.

Nyimbo ya Bantu consists of five UKZN Jazz students - Nic Pitman (guitar), Tseleng Mokhatla (flute), Ildo Nandja (bass and vocals), Zibusiso Makhathini (piano) and Riley Giandhari on drums. 

The name is a blend of Swahili and Zulu, and means people’s song. The repertoire mixes original compositions influenced by classic jazz, afro jazz and world music, with South African jazz standards and music by local artists from KwaZulu-Natal.

Their repertoire for the evening boasted original compositions such as Rachel, composed by Pitman; Metamorphosis, composed and arranged by band leader Nandja; End times by Giandhari and Spirit of the Messenger by Makhathini. Audiences were treated to a cover composed by renowned South African pianist Bheki Mseleku.

Said Nandja: ‘Audiences enjoyed a high standard quality musical performance with a fresh blending of traditional classic jazz with contemporary sounds of African and world music.’

Proceeds from the show go towards the Ronnie Madonsela Scholarship which assists disadvantaged jazz students at UKZN with financial aid or support.

The Scholarship also provides bursaries for deserving students and also funds students’ travel and accommodation to the National Youth Jazz Festival in Grahamstown and other educational festivals, workshops and conferences.

Gonsalves said: ‘The annual Jazz Jol is the highlight of the jazz performance calendar at UKZN and one of the premier jazz events in the province. Now in its 28th year, it has a long tradition of serving as the main fundraising event for the Ronnie Madonsela scholarship.’

author : Melissa Mungroo
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Marine Conservation Drives UKZN Duo

Marine Conservation Drives UKZN Duo
Ocean Heroes ready for action with Dr Thea van der Westhuizen and Mr Wade Krieger (centre).

School of Management, Information Technology and Governance academic, Dr Thea van der Westhuizen and masters student Mr Wade Krieger will contribute to marine conservation, promotion of youth development and awareness creation on the importance of ocean sport racing to the community through participating in the Ocean Heroes happening at North Beach, Durban on 4 December, however if better conditions prevail it will be on 3 December.

Ocean Heroes, an initiative founded by Krieger in 2014 encompasses elite ocean athletes participating in swimming, running, ocean paddling and board paddling thus creating awareness around Clean Oceans; Water Safety, Youth Development and the Upliftment of Surf Lifesaving.

‘Some athletes that participate in Ocean Heroes have achieved incredible results in sport and as a result have overcome adversity. Their stories are relevant to the challenges of youth and can be a vehicle to inspire the community,’ said Krieger.

Through their shared interest in entrepreneurship, water sports and marine conservation Krieger and van der Westhuizen have raised over R100 000 through community projects for these worthy causes.

‘We have raised money for the cleaning of Umgeni river and surrounding estuaries from plastic pollution. We also are involved in a project called Paddle for the Planet and have raised awareness in over 23 different countries around the world for cleaner oceans as well as installed the first prototype river cage to remove plastics that harm marine life right here in Durban,’ explained van der Westhuizen.

She added that their combined vision was inspired by the need to create change through youth programmes and community initiatives to encourage South Africans to take action and responsibility of preserving the environment.

For more information or to participate in Ocean Heroes visit: or their Facebook page:

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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UKZN Academic Contributes to Philosophy Textbook

UKZN Academic Contributes to Philosophy Textbook
Contributors to the Philosophy Manual, a South-South Perspective (from top) Professor Rozena Maart, and UKZN students, Ms Zaria Govender and Ms Delarise Mulqueeny.

UKZN’s Professor Rozena Maart, Former Director of the Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity (ccrri), housed within the College of Humanities, has contributed to a trail-blazing textbook titled Philosophy Manual, a South-South Perspective.

The manual is an innovative and high-quality tool for young people in secondary and higher education, and in non-formal education.

The textbook not only facilitates the discovery of philosophical texts from Africa, the Arab region, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, but also promotes their full understanding through a critical apparatus which enables easily adapted educational use.

As well as being informative, the textbook provides a comparative reading of texts from the South-South region with a view to broad and diverse reflection on key questions which span world philosophy. 

The South-South Philosophical dialogues was a three-year UNESCO initiated project that ran from 2013 until 2015, producing this first ever South-South Philosophy textbook. The project took place mainly in France and Morocco, with scholars from the four major South-South regions: Africa, South and Central America, Asia and the Arab region.

Maart served on the Scientific Committee and worked with Professor Nkolo Foé of the Cameroon, Professor Bachir Diagne Souleymane of Senegal, Professor Enrique Dussel of Mexico, Professor Magali Mendes de Menezes of Brazil, and Professor Raul Fornét-Betancourt of Cuba, among others.

Speaking about the significance of doing a textbook of this kind, and working with scholars of the political South, Maart said: ‘The project organisers were adamant that it not be seen as a political project.  However, to work towards producing a text like this one is not only suggestive of a political project but speaks directly to the question of philosophy as a discipline, what is being taught and under what conditions, and how the geography of reason within Philosophy needs to shift to the political South.

‘It is here where we produce knowledge, and where that production informs how we live in the world. Working with this team was quite an experience,’ said Maart.

Two students Ms Zaria Govender and Ms Delarise Mulqueeny worked with Maart. ‘My heart-felt thanks to Zaria and Delarise for assisting with this project. Their dedication will always be cherished,’ said Maart.

A copy of the text is available at the EG Malherbe library and the Philosophy department on the Howard College campus.

author : Melissa Mungroo
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UKZN at KZN Crime Summit

UKZN at KZN Crime Summit
From left: Ms Vuyelwa Maweni, Professor Shanta Balgobind Singh, Dr Sazelo Mkhize, Ms Soomaya Khan, Ms Reema Nunlall and Mr Siyanda Dlamini.

UKZN staff and students from the Criminology Discipline within the School of Applied Human Sciences (SAHS) represented the University at the KZN Crime Summit at the Dube Trade Port in Durban.

The event was hosted by KZN Premier Willies Mchunu and MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Thomas Mxolisi Kaunda.

Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko delivered the keynote address at the two-day summit which addressed aspects of the economic and social costs of crime, combatting cyber-crime and reducing fraud and corruption.

Also examined were the impact of crime prevention structures in KwaZulu-Natal, behaviour change programmes, offender rehabilitation, community reintegration and safety through environmental design.

Further explored were early warning mechanisms and the enhancement of crime intelligence, political intolerance, violent public protests and combatting taxi-violence.

UKZN’s Professor Shanta Balgobind Singh said of the 2.2 million offences recorded annually by the South African Police Services, only a fraction were investigated and of those only a fraction resulted in conviction and sentencing.

‘One of the main reasons for the inadequate investigation of criminal offences is the lack of human resources. Furthermore, police officials are not updated on the necessary policy and procedures in the investigation of the crime and the crime scene,’ she said.

Singh suggested that a partnership be established between SAPS and UKZN where discussion could take place about offering part-time short courses to police officials. ‘In this manner officials could be updated on the necessary protocols and procedures regarding and advancing the fight against crime,’ she added.

author : Melissa Mungroo
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Post-Doctoral fellow at TechWomen Initiative in the US

Post-Doctoral fellow at TechWomen Initiative in the US
Dr Yaseera Ismail (top left) with Team South Africa members.

Post-doctoral Fellow in UKZN’s Quantum Research Group, Dr Yaseera Ismail, attended the TechWomen initiative in the United States - a five-week programme which included a professional mentorship visit with a host company, exposure to cultural and community service events and targeted meetings with the US Department of State in Washington DC.

The programme brings emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East into contact with their professional counterparts in Silicon Valley in the United States. The aim is to empower, connect, and support women leaders through innovation and technology.

While in Silicon Valley, Ismail was hosted for three weeks at Synopsys - an EDA company based on the development of silicon in chip technology - where she engaged with various divisions within the company from software development to prototyping.

Emerging leaders were also hosted at LinkedIn, Symantec, NASA Ames research institute, UC Berkeley, Twitter, Google and Autodesk, among other companies.

The involvement of the various tech companies exposed emerging leaders to the environment within the tech industry. This varied from hands-on training at Autodesk on 3D modelling and design to the development of business plans and start-ups to empowering leadership workshops at LinkedIn aimed at discovering and nurturing soft skills such as personality strengths, focusing on leadership and career development.

Emerging leaders were also given the opportunity to attend events hosted in Silicon Valley such as Biztech San Francisco, where business meets technology. This one-week event was aimed to promote start-ups and was hosted at Oracle. One of the prominent topics at the event was the Internet of Things (IoT).

Part of the Techwomen experience was for participants to take the programme a full circle and use the skills developed to impact others and give back to the community by tackling a socio-economic issue in their own country. 

Team South Africa - three scientists, a PhD candidate and an aerospace engineer - focused on the issue of low literacy rates within township and rural areas.  These impact plans were pitched at Oracle with the opportunity to win one of five seed grants. Team SA won one of the five grants for their impact plan, Books4Mzansi.

Books4Mzansi is an app operated on Android system and aims to provide a platform to connect resources in English and native languages to underprivileged schools, with the intention of inculcating a learning environment and driving the youth towards a prosperous future.

Ismail described the experience as life altering and an opportunity that all emerging women in STEM should aim to undertake.

‘To be awarded this prestigious title you have to be an individual working in STEM with a prosperous and growing career. You also need to be influential and involved in the development of the youth and STEM careers.’

Ismail is currently conducting research in quantum technology, specifically quantum communication, which promises to revolutionise ICT security solutions in the future through the encryption of data using quantum mechanics.

author : UKZNDabaOnline
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Pollution Research Group Hosts Gates Foundation Manager

Pollution Research Group Hosts Gates Foundation Manager
Members of UKZN’s Pollution Research Group with international research partners and local stakeholders at a planning workshop for the testing of innovative sanitation technologies.

The Pollution Research Group (PRG) in UKZN’s School of Engineering recently hosted programme manager from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Dr Carl Hensman, as well as other grantees to discuss the engineering testing of reinvented toilet prototypes in Durban.

The visit also included eThekwini’s Water and Sanitation unit (EWS), who work closely with the PRG in the implementation of their research.

The PRG is the recipient of a three-year capacity-building grant awarded by the BMGF in November 2014 that is enabling their work as sanitation practitioners in the field of faecal sludge management. This increase in capacity has included the upgrade of their laboratory on the Howard College campus to improve health and safety in its activities, an example of which is the extraction of nutrients from waste and waste storage.

In anticipation of increased research activities, it has also facilitated the expansion of their space for hosting visiting researchers and the purchase of new analytical equipment to enhance the analyses and tests they are able to undertake for other laboratories as well as their own.

The occasion, which involved visits to the aforementioned facilities, included international research partners from Cranfield University in the UK, the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), the University of South Florida, and Janickie Industries, all in the USA. In addition to PRG researchers and EWS representatives, representatives from the Water Research Commission (WRC) were also present.

Hensman was enthusiastic about PRG’s involvement, saying: ‘It’s a very exciting time as we bring together all these stakeholders to start creating a testing platform for a new generation of sanitation technologies which could also potentially help reduce the impact of sanitation on water use. UKZN’s PRG are globally recognised for their work, expertise and knowledge in the field of sanitation. Given the high demand for their attention, we are very lucky to have them as a core partner in this endeavour.’

Funding from the BMGF, specifically through its Water Sanitation & Hygiene (WSH) Transformative Technology portfolio, has played a role in supporting PRG. One key collaboration between PRG and BMGF-WSH has been the research into affordable sanitation systems that are convenient, produce a number of value products, operate independently of electrical, water and sewage grids and are asthetically desired by the user.

The PRG’s innovative research is concerned with the management of water resources, waste water reclamation, the impact of effluents on local environments, sanitation systems, faecal sludge management, and other water-related environmental issues.

The PRG’s research into these areas is focused through numerous projects, from the investigation of aerobic and anaerobic treatment of wastewater to agricultural applications to the management of wastewater in the soft drink industry, among others.

author : Christine Cuénod
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CCA Staffer Wins 2016 Regional Vodacom Journalist Print Feature Award

CCA Staffer Wins 2016 Regional Vodacom Journalist Print Feature Award
Ms Nosipho Mngoma seen with her KZN Vodacom Journalist of the year regional award in the Print Feature category.

Ms Nosipho Mngoma, a former Daily News Journalist and now Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) staffer, won the KZN Vodacom Journalist of the year regional award in the Print Feature category for her story in the Daily News, Jailhouse rocked.

This is her second award after winning the Discovery Health Journalism Award for Best News Reporting. ‘For someone who started journalism later than normal, and being in the industry for a short while, the recognition validates my decision to start over and follow my passion. I’m encouraged and although I am no longer in mainstream journalism, I am motivated to write even more,’ she said.  

Mngoma’s award-winning feature is about a raid for contraband at Westville prison, written mainly from her observations. ‘Prison is not an everyday place. Fuelled by my own curiosity, I watched, listened and tried to take in as much as I could while there, so that in my writing I could bring the readers into those cells with me. It’s true what one of my mentors told me, that the smallest things can be the most telling. That’s what I looked out for and tried to capture in the piece.’

Mngoma considers herself a storyteller who sees writing as both exciting and cathartic. This love for writing, led her to take up another career, this time in journalism.

‘Beyond writing, journalism is a unique and exciting path. I say path because it’s more than a job. It has given me the opportunity to meet all kinds of people. The access I have into people’s lives, the trust given to me to tell their stories, the camaraderie with fellow journalists, travel, exposure to different walks of life, there are many highlights. I have never been more fulfilled,’ she said.

Mngoma is a strong supporter of the CCA, previously participating in Talent Press at the 2013 Durban International Film Festival.  ‘I love the arts and jumped at the opportunity to work in an organisation that dealt exclusively with the arts. All the CCA festivals are about storytelling; whether in film, poetry, dance or literature and I wanted to be a part of that as an aspiring storyteller.’

Her advice to other aspirant media students is, ‘Don’t limit yourself. I almost didn’t join the Daily News because I was afraid I would not be able to cope with the pressure of a daily newsroom. Put in the work and chances are, you will surprise yourself.’

Mngoma plans to now pursue her Masters in Media Studies at UKZN ‘to learn a different method of storytelling.’

author : Melissa Mungroo
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MACE Scientist at Sea for a Month on Research Vessel

MACE Scientist at Sea for a Month on Research Vessel
Mr Babtunde Adeleke at work in the laboratory. Right: The Polarstern vessel that he is on.

Masters candidate in the Marine Biology, Aquaculture, Conservation Education and Ecophysiology (MACE) laboratory in Marine Biology at UKZN, Mr Babatunde Adeleke, is one of 50 international postgraduate scholars spending a month at sea aboard a research vessel.

The vessel is the Akademik Tryoshnikov which is taking part in the North to South Atlantic Ocean Transect leg zero of the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) - a month-long voyage involving training in skills necessary for the investigation of ocean, atmosphere and climate interactions.

Adeleke and his 50 fellow scholars, who were selected from more than 1 000 applicants, left Bremerhaven in Germany aboard the vessel on 19 November, making their way south along the West African coast expecting to complete the transect in Cape Town on 15th December. The trip coincides with the COP22 Marrakech Climate Change Conference.

It is a philanthropic project funded by Dr Fredrick Paulsen and coordinated by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Swiss Polar Institute and the Russian Geographical Society. This is the first time the trip is being undertaken under the auspices of Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) Maritime University.

Research activities will include learning ship-board methods for sampling and analysis of waters from the shallow shelf waters of the North Sea through the deep waters of the Canary Islands and the highly productive waters of the upwelling areas off the coast of Namibia. The data they collect while exploring oceanographic and atmospheric interactions and their impacts on climate will acquire further data contributing to the understanding of climate processes.

Adeleke, originally from Nigeria, studied Fisheries Management in his home country and gained experience in management consulting and agribusiness advisory services before extending his academic qualification through the MACE lab in Durban.

His masters research is centred on the effects of ocean acidification and concentrations of heavy metals on Sand Bubbler Crabs in the Durban Habour, Richards Bay Harbour and Mlalazi Estuary. According to Adeleke, ocean acidification is an important factor to consider as the ocean’s chemical composition is impacted by climate change and atmospheric carbon dioxide.

‘Ocean acidification is predicted to affect the release, behaviour, fate and exposure of heavy metals to marine organisms,’ said Adeleke, who seeks to better understand these impacts on a specific species in our waters.

It is the first sea voyage Adeleke has been on and on departure he said he was looking forward to the introduction of marine science as an applied and transdisciplinary field and to the hands-on ship-based activities supporting the research of specialist scientists on board, using state-of-the-art equipment. He also eagerly anticipated the interactions with seasoned researchers and scholars in his field.

He thanked his MSc supervisors, Dr Gan Moodley and Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson, for encouraging and supporting him to apply for the programme.

Adeleke hopes that his participation will strengthen global academic collaborations and the reach of work being done by the MACE lab.

author : Christine Cuénod
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Uphiko Lwezokwelapha Lukhethe Izinkulumo Ezidle Ubhedu

Uphiko Lwezokwelapha Lukhethe Izinkulumo Ezidle Ubhedu
Abebethula izinkulumo emzuliswaneni wokugcina beneNhloko Yophiko Lwezokwelapha uDkt Nombulelo Magagula.

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Uphiko Lwezokwelapha e-UKZN lubambe umzuliswano wokugcina womqhudelwano lapho odokotela abayisithupha bethule izinkulumo ezikhethekile mayelana nokwelashwa kweziguli. 

Bekuwukuphothulwa kochungechunge lohlelo lokwethulwa kwezinkulumo obeseludonse unyaka wonke wezokufunda lapho bekukhona odokotela abasengamathwasa kanye nabaphathi bezibhedlela bekhuluma ngezimo abanqwamane nazo ezibhedlela lapho kuqeqeshelwa khona odokotela KwaZulu-Natali

Lezi zithangami bezihanjelwe oSolwazi, abaluleki, abezokwelapha, odokotela abangamathwasa, abaphathi bezibhedlela kanye nabafundi bezokwelapha.

Izinkulumo eziphambili ezintathu ezingeni lodokotela abangamathwasa kanye zezintathu kwabangabaphathi bezibhedlela ziyakhethwa ukuze ziqhudelanele umklomelo ophezulu emzuliswanweni wamanqamu.

Kodokotela abangamathwasa abebehamba phambili ngoDkt Daniel Laas, okhulume ngesimo lapho bekunesifo sokulimala kwezicubu kanye nokulimala kwezinso; uDkt Natasha Lallo ukhulume ngesimo esingajwayelekile esibizwa nge-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma kanye noDkt Saxony Moolman okhulume ngesifo esingajwayelekile esibizwa nge-pituitary gonadotropinoma.

Osebenzela umphakathi esibhedlela i-RK Khan uDkt Dane Perumal ukhulume ngesimo esingajwayelekile esibizwa nge- B-cell lymphoma.

Kubaphathi bezibhedlela abaqokiwe kube uDkt Shaun-Ray Temmers womkhakha wesayensi yokukhiqizwa yigazi esibhedlela i-Grey’s eMgungundlovu yena ukhulume ngesiguli esinesifo i-Sheehan Syndrome kwathi uDkt Kumari Naidoo wakhuluma ngesifo esiwundendende sezinso esihlangene nesamathambo lapho kuvuvuka khona amalunga esihambelana nesifundo sezamathambo nemisipha i-rheumatology.

Kuqokwe izinkulumo zika-Naidoo no-Lalloo njengezidle umhlanganiso.

Ngenkathi kukhishwa imiklomelo, uDkt Bilkish Cassim woMnyango Wezokwelashwa Kwabadala uhalalisele iNhloko Yophiko Lwezokwelapha uDkt Nombulelo Magagula ngokuqokwa kwakhe njengosolwazi Wezokwelapha

Abasebenzi bakulo mkhakha nabo bamukeliswe okokubabonga ngokusebenza kwabo ngokuzinikela enyakeni wonke. 

author : Nombuso Dlamini
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UKZN Hosts Global Change Conference in Durban

UKZN Hosts Global Change Conference in Durban
UKZN will host the 3rd National Conference on Global Change from 5-8 December 2016.

UKZN will showcase results of innovative, multidisciplinary and world-class research aimed at providing holistic solutions to very complex problems arising from changes in various earth systems at the upcoming national Conference on Global Change.

The Conference is being hosted by UKZN from 5 to 8 December under the auspices of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF).

‘We as an institution are encouraging our researchers to take a transdisciplinary approach towards solving some of the problems which affect our ability to pursue a sustainable future or tackle the very “wicked’ problems of global change research,’ said Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UKZN, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld.

The Conference will feature a range of research from various disciplines including Marine Biology, Atmospheric Sciences, Hydrology, Geography, Ecology, Economics and Applied Poverty Reduction.

Renowned Hydrologist and researcher, Emeritus Professor Roland Schulze, will present on research done on the water-energy-food nexus.

‘When we wake up in the morning, we actually wake up in the future,’ said Schulze. ‘My research looks at the future decisions about how we need to sustain our world in terms of water, in terms of food, in terms of energy, because everything we plan at the moment is something that will come into fruition in the future.’

Atmospheric researchers in Physics at UKZN, led by Professor Sivakumar Venkataraman, will speak on atmospheric and climate data they have been measuring in Durban, including levels of air pollutants affecting the health of citizens. They are working towards improved tools to manage the environment and mitigate climate change.

Hydrological research presentations will include investigations into changing wildfire patterns; the development of satellite-based drought indices; land use impacts on water resources; models for assessing vegetative cover; improved rainfall estimations, and river flow and health.

Marine biologists will speak on results of research into coral health in intertidal pools in KwaZulu-Natal as well as essential indicators of the health of estuaries, highly sensitive, productive and important ecosystems under stress due to human action.

Reports on Ecological research will focus on monitoring of freshwater resources, development of strategies to conserve vegetation under threat of climatic extinction, the investigation of forest regeneration, and diversity of insect and grass species in grasslands.

Meanwhile, geographers, who are using state-of-the-art geographic information system (GIS) and remote-sensing technologies, will speak on important research, including estimating urban surface temperatures.

There will also be reports on research into health concerns such as the spread of malaria under changing conditions, and how this could be modelled to control outbreaks.

With global changes set to affect the poorest most severely, a group of social scientists have also done research into poverty reduction and climate change mitigation in communities at risk in local municipalities, including work on education and policy recommendations.

The Global Change Conference is part of the Global Change Grand Challenge (GCGC), now in its 6th year of implementation.

The GCGC encourages the production of new knowledge and information in South Africa to face key grand challenges, including understanding a changing planet, reducing the human footprint, adapting the way we live, and innovation for sustainability.

author : Christine Cuénod
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UKZN Graduate making her mark in the Finance World

UKZN Graduate making her mark in the Finance World
Ms Risha Rajkumar.

A Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification continues to open doors for career growth for UKZN Accounting graduate Ms Risha Rajkumar.

She has come a long way from her days as a UKZN BCom Accounting student who benefited from a bursary from the Shoprite Group to finance her undergraduate studies.

Rajkumar is currently the Designate Salary Accounts Manager at Shoprite’s Cape Town headquarters.

‘The Chartered Accountancy profession opens the door to a wide variety of exciting career opportunities because you gain an in-depth and holistic understanding of the business environment,’ said Rajkumar. ‘During training you are rated on both technical and professional skills. The development of my professional skills - such as managing and leading, delegating, and being an effective communicator - have been essential to my career growth.

‘My job is the ideal combination of accounting, problem solving and interacting with people – so it is never dull or mundane, each day is completely different. I spend the majority of my time problem solving, providing guidance, leading people and ensuring that risks are identified and actively managed.

‘I am currently being groomed to take over from someone who has fulfilled the role for more than 20 years,’ she said.

Rajkumar intends to continue growing her career within the Shoprite Group while lecturing part time.

‘Aside from working at Shoprite I have a passion for lecturing and for the past two years I have been lecturing part time at a private institution to students who are completing various auditing modules at undergraduate and postgraduate (CTA) level. My career goal has always been to work with, lead and inspire large groups of people and to strive for excellence on a professional and personal level. I hope to do this on a much larger scale over the next few years,’ she added.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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