Have Your Say - UKZN Launches Employee Engagement Survey

Have Your Say - UKZN Launches Employee Engagement Survey
The Employee Engagement Survey was launched on the Westville campus today.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, was the first to complete the online Employee Engagement Survey launched on UKZN’s Westville campus.

Participants complete the survey - which runs from 23 to 31 March - anonymously and all results are confidential. Voluntary focus groups will be organised after the survey to involve employees further on the extent of employee engagement within the University.

Employee Engagement refers to the commitment of employees to the University and its goals, as well as their commitment to giving of their best each day, and contributing to the University’s success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being. This also includes taking positive action to further the University's reputation and interests.

Van Jaarsveld encouraged staff to participate. ‘The right climate and environment are critical to ensure employees are inspired, motivated and developed, and perceive their contribution as having meaning to them and to the success of the University.

‘I would really like to know employees’ views of how well they think we are doing and therefore I encourage all employees “to have their say” and take part in the survey,’ he said.

The first Employee Engagement Survey at the University was conducted in October 2013. ‘It is now once again time for us to measure the level of employee engagement to see what progress has been made, and particularly where we need to improve,’ said Executive Director: Human Resources, Ms Avril Williamson.

‘The results will be used to see how we are doing compared to the results of the last survey. They will also help the University identify the areas that need to be addressed, which include reinforcing the REACH  - Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Client-orientation, and Honesty - values,’ said Williamson.

author : Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer
author email : captainr@ukzn.ac.za

Academics and Student part of 20th Time of the Writer Festival

Academics and Student part of 20th Time of the Writer Festival
At the Time of the Writer Festival (from left) Dr Nkosinathi Sithole, Dr Nakanjani Sibiya and Mr Khethani Njoko.

Two UKZN Academics and a Social Sciences student were participating writers at the recent 20th Time of the Writer Festival in Durban.

The academics were Dr Nkosinathi Sithole and Dr Nakanjani Sibiya of the College of Humanities  while the student was Mr Khethani Njoko.

Sithole, winner of the 2016 Barry Ronge Sunday Times Fiction Award for his debut novel Hunger Eats a Man, considers the Festival to be ‘one of the most highly regarded in the country, and being invited is an honour and recognition of one as an important writer- that is quite satisfying’.

The Man In Me Author, Njoko was thrilled to be a part of this year’s Festival. ‘This book was my first publication and through it, I’ve been acknowledged with such a vibrant platform. This shows that indeed anything is possible and one is able to achieve success beyond the limitations of this world.’

Sibiya, one of South Africa’s most prominent and prolific isiZulu authors, reflected on the importance of the Festival for writers. ‘The Festival gives authors a platform to share their writing experiences and engage with the audience on matters of mutual interest. Generally, authors who write in indigenous languages have been marginalised. The Festival, therefore, affords them an opportunity to showcase their craft and affirm the literary merit of creative work in local African languages.’

Sibiya was a member of two Festival panels which discussed Language of the Heart and Soul and Writing in my Language, and commented on the contemporary trends, developments and challenges in isiZulu literature, with particular emphasis on encouraging people to read and write isiZulu literary works.

Both Sithole and Njoko were also part of the Reflection and Introspection panel discussion where they shared their ideas and thoughts about writing; and the state of the country, continent and the world, while also reflecting on their own literary journeys.

‘The Festival is important as it allows writers to engage with the public and talk about the things that concern us as human beings, not just as writers and readers. It also motivates young people who are at school to take an interest in reading and writing,’ said Sithole.

author : Melissa Mungroo
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

Maths and Science Whizz Kids at UKZN Engineering Career Days

Maths and Science Whizz Kids at UKZN Engineering Career Days
Dr Leigh Jarvis and Professor Megan Govender interact with learners at the Engineering Career Days.

More than 295 top Maths and Physics pupils from schools in the Durban area attended Engineering Career Days 2017 at the UNITE Building on the Howard College campus.

Learners heard about the different disciplines of Engineering from staff and postgraduate students.

The days were aimed partly at recruiting learners to the Engineering Discipline but also to further enlighten the youngsters about what is expected of them as students in the various disciplines of Engineering.

Pupils also heard about academic requirements necessary to gain entry into the Engineering Discipline.

The School of Engineering is increasing its initiatives to recruit female learners and this is in line with the School’s ‘Engineering is a Girls’ Thing’ initiative.

The career days, which were a great success, ended with exciting Chemistry and Physics science shows.

author : Prashina Budree
author email : budreep@ukzn.ac.za

My Brother With Spear

My Brother With Spear
Ms Wisani Makhubele.

My Brother With Spear!

My motherland was of terror and sorrow,

As a child I ran for my life.

Life is priceless yet so fragile!

We live in a world made of the likes of men

I become what they want me to be.

Pains, sorrows, lies, corruption and death,

Has become the order of the day.

In fear and guilt I live,

Hoping for tomorrow to be sunny.


From my motherland I came running to my brothers arms

I came to my brother for refuge

I came to my brother for help

I came to my brother for love

I came to my brother to have life

I came to my brother for hope,

Not by will but by circumstances

For in my motherland terror was food


Under the blazing sun I work hard for a glass of water

Under the heavy rain I clear the fields for a loaf of bread

Money was part of the bargain, yet peace was the reason of it all.

From street to street pleading for mercy and work

Shame is a forgotten word, please is our hallo!

From my motherland to my brothers arms


Our skin colour was meaningless

My language and culture rule me outcast

Yet am in the midst of my brothers

Their arms are as thorns, painful and unbearable.

My language and culture labelled me evil amongst many

My life became worthless

From my motherland to my brothers arms.


My life was part of hobby

I am killed, I am lynched, and I am burnt alive by my brother!

Our cultures divide us, our languages condemn us and our nations a curse upon our existence.

I only seek refuge

I only seek peace

I only seek love

And I only seek hope in my brother’s arms.

There is no place to call home yet you preach Democracy.

There is no place to run to yet you are my brother!

I am African which you are

I am Black; you are no different to me.

I am an offspring of the African roots


What divides us brother?

The language we speak or the cultures we proclaim?

In my brother’s arms I seek refuge

Yet I see my brother with spear!!


Dedicated to all my brothers and sisters; mothers and fathers across the realms of Africa. Your language means no difference to me, your culture means no curse upon mine neither does your presence, we are Africans. South Africa should and will be home for all.


Ms Wisani Makhubele is a final year UKZN Bachelor of Arts in International Studies student from Limpopo.

author : Wisani Makhubele
author email : makhuvelewisani@gmail.com

UKZN Innovators Interact at Workshop With Cleantech Innovation Programme Representatives

UKZN Innovators Interact at Workshop With Cleantech Innovation Programme Representatives
From left: Mr Gerswynn Mckuur (GCIP), Dr Umeshree Govender (InQubate), Ms Petro de Wet (GCIP), and Mr Paul de Give (GCIP).

Innovative and creative minds got together at a workshop organised by UKZN’s Technology Transfer Office, InQubate, and the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP).

GCIP was represented by its South African National Product Manager Mr Gerswynn McKuur and its Global Mentoring and Training Director Mr Paul de Give, while a variety of innovators from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science flew the UKZN flag high.

GCIP is a global initiative implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation to promote clean technology innovation and support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups to grow their ideas into viable and sustainable cleantech businesses.

Broadly-speaking, Clean Technology refers to ‘any process, product, or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities’.

GCIP focuses on technology categories that are aligned to urgent national priorities, namely renewable energy, water efficiency, energy efficiency, waste beneficiation and green buildings.

McKuur and de Give gave an overview on the GCIP and engaged with researchers on whether their innovations met the criteria for the programme. In addition, Dr Desmond Seekola, a current GCIP participant and business success story, outlined how the programme helped take his method for providing accurate automated meter reading and billing for water, electricity, and gas emissions to the market.

The GCIP team was very impressed with the calibre of research at UKZN surrounding clean technology and wants to establish a long-term relationship to boost entrepreneurial prowess among science and engineering graduates.   

GCIP is a fully subsidised entrepreneurship accelerator programme that offers extensive training and mentoring, opportunities for showcasing of innovations on local and global stages, and access to an international network of potential sponsors and partners.

Innovators/inventors are encouraged to contact Dr Umeshree Govender (govenderu@ukzn.ac.za) at UKZN InQubate if their innovations are at proof-of-concept up to pre-commercialisation stage and fall within the listed categories that the GCIP supports.

For more information on the GCIP, please visit: www.southafrica.cleantechopen.org. Applications close on 26 April.

author : Umeshree Govender
author email : govenderu@ukzn.ac.za

Afrihub Business Breakfast Hits the Spot

Afrihub Business Breakfast Hits the Spot
From left: Dr Shamim Bodhanya, Professor Cristina Trois, and Dr Rudi Kimmie.

A successful dialogue breakfast was hosted at UKZN’s UNITE Building by the Manager of Afrihub, Dr Rudi Kimmie, and the Leadership Dialogue.

The breakfast, attended by UKZN staff and guests from the industry, was aimed at informing participants about the purpose and objectives of the Hub.

The breakfast further encouraged an exchange of ideas between guests and AfriHub management to pave the way for a successful future for the unit.  With a strong symbiotic link to the engineering and business sectors, AfriHub will actively pursue critically needed investment to enable skills development and economically relevant research with high social impact.

Dr Shamim Bodhanya of the Leadership Dialogue group and Kimmie were the speakers in the morning.

‘The initiative of the AfriHub was conceptualised in 2014 after engagement with government and municipalities,’ said the Dean and Head of the School of Engineering, Professor Christina Trois. ‘UKZN aims to work with the government and municipalities to grow skills within South Africa. Its fundamental aim is to grow skilled and talented engineers who will be instrumental in shaping the African City of the Future.’

author : Prashina Budree
author email : budreep@ukzn.ac.za

Media and Cultural Studies Discipline Showcases Filming Technologies

Media and Cultural Studies Discipline Showcases Filming Technologies
Film lecturer Mr Mzwandile Makhanya showing first year students his magic.

The Discipline of Media and Cultural Studies gave first year students a bird’s eye view of the Pietermaritzburg campus when it hired a drone to showcase what the Discipline offers.

School of Arts Lecturer Dr Nicola Jones and PhD student and Lecturer, Mr Mzwandile Makhanya, ensured students were glued to screens in the outside broadcasting van with demonstrations of the drone whizzing past the Colin Webb Hall, revealing the building’s glory from the air.

Makhanaya explained: ‘Each year there is a pool of students who come to our department saying if they had known about us earlier, they would have enrolled in our courses. As a result, we decided to do an exhibition/orientation day to showcase what we offer and aspire to offer in future.

‘As much as undergraduates were fascinated by the making of blockbuster feature films, they were very enthusiastic about the approach of using film for educational and research purposes.’

Said Dr Jones: ‘The response from students was incredible - they were very enthusiastic and captivated.’ 

The Discipline hopes to incorporate drones in their teaching in the future. ‘Activities such as our exhibition broadens students’ understanding about the power of communication and filmmaking,’ said Makhanya.

author : Slindile Amanda Mkhize
author email : MkhizeS14@ukzn.ac.za

Centre for Water Resources Research Hosts High Powered Sudanese Study Groups

Centre for Water Resources Research Hosts High Powered Sudanese Study Groups
Delegates from the first delegation with CWRR staff at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg.

UKZN’s Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR) and its collaborators recently hosted two delegations of North Sudanese water resources managers and decision makers as part of a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) small project agreement.

The visits were aimed at contributing to the strengthened capacity of North Darfur institutions to support, scale up and replicate successful approaches to catchment management, specifically for the Wadi El Ku Catchment in North Darfur.

The gatherings benefitted from UKZN’s expertise and experience in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), as well as its ability to facilitate training in this field.

CWRR’s range of expertise is in areas such as climate change, water quality monitoring, waste management, water governance, and hydrologic modelling.

In attendance were UKZN representatives from various disciplines within the Schools of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Engineering, and Built Environment and Development Studies.

Delegates comprised technical staff and managers, and high-level decision-makers, hoping to learn from South Africa’s two decades of experience in implementing IWRM.

Involved staff tailored the tours and the first delegation, including municipal managers and members of forums, participated in a series of lectures and field trips facilitated by the CWRR. Delegates visited several sites and saw aspects of IWRM in action.

UKZN sites visited included the Pollution Research Group (PRG) Newlands-Mashu site, where Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) are used for research. Delegates also visited Mpophomeni where they saw a citizen science initiative in the form of the use of a MiniSASS assessment conducted by local Envirochamps.

This first visit was supported by various bodies and organisations including the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Umgeni Water, the Pongola-Umzimkulu Proto Catchment Management Agency (CMA), the Umgeni Ecological Infrastructure Partnership (UEIP), the Msunduzi Catchment Management Forum (CMF), the Inanda CMF and the Lower Umgeni CMF, the Institute of Natural Resources (INR) and the Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT).

The second delegation, which visited the Western Cape, included Sudan’s Federal Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, various state ministers and commissioners from North Darfur, as well as advisors.

This visit focused on organisational and governance structures and included site visits. The Breede Gouritz Catchment Management Agency (BGCMA) hosted a large section of the visit and brought in experts on water governance from various sectors. Other collaborators included regional and provincial stakeholders of DWS and engineers from the City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Division. Representatives from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) were also involved.

‘The CWRR was very happy to host the study tours and to share its collective skills and experiences gained in southern Africa with others on the continent,’ said CWRR Director, Professor Graham Jewitt.

The study tours have evoked interest from the Wadi El Ku Catchment Management Project to collaborate further on research and training in support of development of their water management strategies.

author : Christine Cuénod
author email : cuenod@ukzn.ac.za

Centre for Civil Society hosts ‘Durbanity’ Photographic Exhibition

Centre for Civil Society hosts ‘Durbanity’ Photographic Exhibition
UKZN is hosting a photographic exhibition called Durbanity.

A photographic exhibition called Durbanity is being hosted by the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS).

The exhibition, loaned to the CCS from the Durban Centre for Photography (DCP), contains the work of 10 student photographers who embarked on a month-long project to create a “visual audit” of various aspects of Durban and surrounding areas. Their aim was to get a better understanding of the dynamics of contemporary urbanisation patterns and emerging urban cultures.

According to CCS Director, Dr Shauna Mottiar, the aim of the exhibition is to showcase an exploration of cultural, social and political identities through the work of a group of emerging photographers who see themselves as critical citizens and visual social commentators in Durban.

‘The Centre for Civil Society is pleased to be able to exhibit this collection of photographs. Photography is a powerful medium through which to understand and interrogate lived spaces, terrains of struggle and development’, said Mottiar.

The exhibition photographs map a specific route from peri-urban Cato Manor to Warwick Avenue, Grey Street, Central Durban and Point Road to the beachfront promenade. They aim to capture the African aesthetic shaped by a confluence of urban subjectivities, transient subjects, conflicting narratives and camouflaged realities.

author : Melissa Mungroo
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Dance Lecturer’s Show SADHANA at Playhouse Theatre

UKZN Dance Lecturer’s Show SADHANA at Playhouse Theatre
FLATFOOT DANCE Company dancers seen with Kathak dancer, Manesh Maharaj. They will perform SADHANA at the Playhouse Theatre.

From the same acclaimed team who brought the award winning BHAKTI to Durban, comes the latest offering: SADHANA.

UKZN’s Performing Arts Lecturer Ms Lliane Loots, once again, steps boldly into Eastern mystical philosophy and its confluence with African rhythms and dance, in producing the new show.

In association with the Playhouse Company, Loots joins forces with the six FLATFOOT DANCE Company dancers - Sifiso Khumalo, Tshediso Kabulu, Mthoko Mkhwanazi, Jabu Siphika, Kim Mccusker-Bartlett and Zinhle Nzama. Also starring is Kathak aficionado and master, Manesh Maharaj, known for his intrepid Kathak solo work.

SADHANA is a Sanskrit word meaning a journey towards enlightenment that honours intellectual, emotional and spiritual seeking. The show focuses on what South Africans are prepared to shed in their own voyages towards decolonising both the mind and body.

‘It is a rare and very precious moment for me to make dance work that allows for a more inward and contemplative artistic journey,’ said Loots, ‘so I am relishing this creative process allowing me to collaborate with Durban’s finest dance and musical talent.

‘The very make-up of the cast of dancers and musicians tells a story of multiple histories and identities providing the chance to explore what being South African means to all of us in our own divergent artistic ways.  This is the very fabric of SADHANA.’

‘Manesh Maharaj is probably one of South Africa’s finest dancers at the moment and both myself and FLATFOOT have been graced to work collaboratively with him over the past three years,’ said Loots.

‘His preparedness to share his own Kathak style so generously with us and his ability to cross borders into contemporary dance, makes him the biggest jewel in the SADHANA “crown”. Sometimes, in rehearsal, I get so mesmerised by his beauty as a dancer that I completely forget my role as Choreographer.’

Also intimately involved is South African Musician Madala Kunene whose unique African guitar rhythms set up the sound score of the work. He is joined by two of Durban’s most acclaimed musicians - master djembe drummer Mandla Matsha and tabla player Revash Dookhi.

Filmmaker and long-time collaborator with Loots and FLATFOOT, Karen Logan, creates the video installations for SADHANA - visually beautiful landscapes which echo Loots choreographic visions. Lighting is provided by award winning designer Wesley Maherry, whose creations have found a base in FLATFOOT’s work over the past 14 years. 

SADHANA runs as an ‘in association production’ with the Playhouse Company from 23 to 26 March at the Drama Theatre in the Playhouse Complex in Durban. Booking is open through Computicket.

author : Melissa Mungroo
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Student Wins Best Paper Award at International Conference

UKZN Student Wins Best Paper Award at International Conference
From Left: Prof David Dorrell (Director, Eskom CoE, UKZN), Oluwafemi Oni (MSc student/recipient), Sanjeeth Sewchurran (PhD student) and Professor Inno Davidson (supervisor/co-recipient), all of whom attended the conference.

An MSc student at UKZN, Mr Oluwafemi Oni, has shared an award for the best paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Application (ICRERA) in Birmingham, England. The paper was titled: “Harmonic Distortion of Line Commutate Converter LCC-HVDC and Voltage Sourced Converter VSC-HVDC Link in Eskom’s Cahora Bassa HVDC Scheme.”

It was supervised and co-authored by Professor Innocent Davidson of Durban University of Technology. 

Said Oni: ‘It was a great opportunity to attend and to win an award at such a prestigious conference was a real bonus. This validates the quality of the research being carried out under the EPPEI programme. Attending this conference also helped me gain further knowledge about futuristic research in the area of renewable energy integration.’

Director of the Centre of Excellence at UKZN’s School of Engineering, Professor David Dorrell, said: ‘The award is a reward for all the hard work he has put in towards his MSc at UKZN. We are looking forward to Oluwafemi continuing his studies through to PhD level as well as his continuing contribution to our Centre of Excellence. He is clearly a high quality student and I congratulate him.’

ICRERA is one of the high quality scientific conferences in the field of renewable energy. It is technically and financially supported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ communities of the Power Electronics Society, the Industrial Electronics Society and the Industry Applications Society. ICRERA offers opportunities and facilities to participants to not only share their knowledge and recent achievements but also to discuss new ideas with colleagues from many countries.

There were 372 paper submissions received from 46 countries including Turkey, Japan, India, Algeria, United Kingdom, USA, Italy, China, South Africa, Germany, Australia, South Korea, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Denmark, France and Norway.  About 225 of these were accepted. All papers presented at ICRERA in oral and poster sessions have been included in IEEE XPLORE as well as some journals in Thomson Reuters Indexes.

Half of the selected articles presented in ICRERA each year are recommended for the further publication in the following journals:

The conference provided a fantastic opportunity to establish new research collaborations, and to meet and engage with the new engineers in the industry – and help define it!

UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science students presented the following technical papers:

  1. E. Hamatwi, I E Davidson and M N Gitau: “Control of Multi-Level Voltage Source Converters Integrating a Wind Turbine System into the Grid”.
  2. O E Oni and I E Davidson: “Harmonic Distortion of LCC-HVDC and VSC-HVDC Link in Eskom’s Cahora Bassa HVDC Scheme”. (Award winning paper)
  3. S Sewchurran and I E Davidson: “Optimisation and Financial Viability of Landfill Gas to Electricity Projects in South Africa”.
  4. O E Oni, N Parus and I E Davidson: “Voltage Stability Analysis of Eskom Eastern Grid High Voltage Transmission Grid”. 
  5. S Sewchurran and I E Davidson: “Guiding Principles for Grid Code Compliance of Large Utility Scale Renewable Power Plant Integration onto South Africa’s Transmission/Distribution Networks”.

Professor Davidson of the Durban University of Technology said: ‘The words of Eskom’s Interim Group Chief Executive, Matshela Koko, are pertinent here: ‘This award indicates the high level of research conducted under the EPPEI programme which has produced over 100 graduates at MSc and PhD level since its inception in 2012.’

‘As the supervisor and co-recipient of the award, I feel it is an international endorsement of our local research efforts, and also rewards Eskom’s commitment to be at the forefront of renewable technology research. ICRERA is one of the high quality scientific conferences in the area of grid integration of renewable energy using HVDC technologies and power electronics. It is technically and financially supported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in the United States and offers attendees the opportunities to share their knowledge and recent achievements, as well as discuss new ideas with colleagues from all over the world. The paper has been nominated by ICRERA Technical Committee for publishing in IEEE Transaction on Power Electronics.’

author : UKNDabaonline
author email : maxiphem@yahoo.com

UKZN Nursing Students Kick-Start a No Drug Outreach Programme

UKZN Nursing Students Kick-Start a No Drug Outreach Programme
UKZN Nursing students stand beside the FAR notice board they donated to Fairview Secondary School. This board will showcase upcoming FAR events.

Fourth-year Psychiatric Nursing students from the College of Health Sciences have started a new outreach programme called Fairvale Awareness and Recovery (FAR), in partnership with the  Fairvale Secondary School in Wentworth, Durban.

The students behind this programma are: Ms Kelly Mather, Mr Sgcino Hlophe, Ms Zandile Khumalo, Ms Tholakhele Mkhize, Ms Zamazulu Zulu, Ms Slindile Makhwasa and Mr Chiragudeen Shaik.

The student group is also working with the Fairvale Awareness and Recovery Campaign which is a programme that was initiated by Fairvale school to fight substance abuse and assist students recovering from drug abuse.

‘We have seen what substance abuse does to young people, including how that substance abuse can lead to mental illnesses, we have decided to focus on awareness and preventative measures to help young sufferers, our  emphasis is on educating the youth and old about the impact of the drug scourge.’ said Shaik

The programme is aimed at identifying learners with potential and to provide them with training and skills to develop into peer mentors. ‘These peer mentors will be able to identify and assist fellow pupils who need help,’ said Shaik.

Some mentors have already been trained and also received tutoring from two nurses and a social worker from the Wentworth Psychiatric Clinic on patient confidentiality.

‘We have also collaborated with the Malibongwe Senior Citizens Club in order to promote community links. We want the community to move forward with this programme themselves,’ said Shaik. 

author : Sinenhlanhla Ngubane
author email : Ngubanes2@ukzn.ac.za

Usosayensi Osemusha Uhlonishwe Yisikhungo Sase-Afrika

Usosayensi Osemusha Uhlonishwe Yisikhungo Sase-Afrika
UDkt Andrew Eloka-Eboka, oqokwe njengolungu lesikhungo sesayensi sase-Afrika i-African Academy of Sciences (AAS).

Click here for English version

Unjiniyela wase-UKZN uDkt Andrew Eloka-Eboka umenyezelwe njengelungu lesikhungo sesayensi esiphambili i-African Academy of Sciences kusukela ngonyaka wezi-2017 kuya kowezi-2021, ungomunye wama-Afrika amane kuphela eNingizimu Ne-Afrika amukelwe kulesi.

I-AAS iyinhlangano yase-Afrika enekomkhulu layo eKenya, ihlose ukugqugquzela intuthuko e-Afrika ngokusebenzisa isayensi, ubuchwepheshe nokuqamba okusha. Lesi sikhungo sasungula uhlelo lwamalungu ngonyaka wezi-2015 ukuze sihloniphe futhi silekelele izifundiswa ezisakhula ukuthi zithuthuke zifinyelele ezingeni lomhlaba kwezocwaningo.

I-AAS ikhethe ososayensi abangama-22 ngokusebenzisa uhlelo lokubheka amakhono- bebekhethwa ezifundeni ezinhlanu zase-Afrika. 

‘Lezi zifundiswa ezisathuthuka zikhombise ubungoti emikhakheni yazo futhi zikufanele ukuhlonishwa,’ kushu uMqondisi we-AAS uSolwazi Berhanu Abegaz. ‘Sizosebenzisana nezikhungo zabo ukuze zibahlinzeke ngamathuba okuthuthukisa imisebenzi yabo nokusebenzisa amakhono abo ekuthuthukisweni kweAfrika.’

Laba abanga-22 abaneziqu ze-PhD bangaphansi kweminyaka engama-40 baqokwe emazweni ase- Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Ningizimu Afrika, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia, emva kohlelo lokuhlunga olunzulu obelusingethwe ososayensi abaqavile abangamalungu e-AAS emahhovisi ayikomkhulu esikhungo.

U-Eloka-Eboka usebenza emkhakheni wezobunjiniyela bamakhemikhali nobemishini futhi uqale ucwaningo lwakhe lwangemva kokuthola iziqu zobudokotela e-UKZN eSikoleni sezobuNjiniyela lapho elulekwa khona uSolwazi Freddie Inambao. Ucwaningo lwakhe luthinta imikhakha yezobuchwepheshe obusebenza amandla aphehlwa ngemvelo, ezokuguquka kwamandla nezezinjini ezisebenza ngamandla okushisa lapho egxile kwezeziphehlimlilo, iziphehlimandla, udizili wemvelo nemvelo.

UEloka-Eboka uthe uthokozile ngokuqokwa njengelunga le-AAS. ‘Uma umsebenzi onzima uhambelana namathuba lokho kuphenduka okubizwa ngenhlanhla,’ usho kanje. ‘Ukusebenza kanzima okungaphezulu kwakha ithuba lenhlanhla enkulu futhi. Ngakhoke lo mklomelo ngiwunikela kuMariya umama kaNkulunkulu ongcwele kakhulu.’

Njengelungu le-AAS u-Eloka-Eboka uzoxhaswa ukuze akwazi ukuhambela izingqungquthela, imihlangano, imihlangano yokucobelelana ngolwazi nokunye ukuze athuthukise amakhono ache kwezokubhalwa kweziphakamiso, izibonelelo nokwethula okuqanjiwe ukuze athole izibonelelo ezengeziwe, ukwenza ngcono izinga lakhe lokushicilela nokuqinisekisa ukuthi ucwanmingo lwakhe lunomthelela emphakathini. Uzobe ecijwa osasayensi be-AAS asebenamava.

USolwazi Quarraisha Abdool Karim, oyiphini likamongameli wesikhungo esifundeni saseNingizimu Ne-Afrika futhi onguMqondisi we-CAPRISA uthe lolu hlelo lwe-AAS belu nokuqhudelana okukhulu futhi lufunwa ososayensi abaphambili abasakhula ngoba luhlonishwa kakhulu emikhakheni yonke futhi luletha amathuba okuxhumana nabanye ososayensi ezwekazini lonke lase-Afrika kanye nososayensi abaphambili futhi abahlonishwayo.

‘Lokhu kuyisinyathelo nomphumela obaluleke kakhulu ku-Andrew,’ usho kanje.

author : Sally Frost
author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Business School Dean Appointed Vice-President of Business Schools Association

UKZN Business School Dean Appointed Vice-President of Business Schools Association
Professor Theuns Pelser.

Dean and Head Professor of UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership Professor Theuns Pelser has been appointed Vice-President of the SA Business Schools Association (SABSA).

The two-year tenure will see Pelser contribute to the Association’s mission of fostering strong ties with the business community, government and regulatory bodies as well as helping to share ideas and expertise between membership schools with the aim of developing business education in South Africa which is in line with international standards.

A total of 18 business schools belong to the Association, including UKZN’s GSB&L, the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business and Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). Member schools are responsible for nominating the vice-president.

Pelser said his aim was to ensure ongoing relevance and the contribution of business schools to African economic and policy development.

‘Business schools play a significant role in developing Africa’s leaders in business and society. I look forward to working closely with my colleagues across the continent to ensure that our leaders of the future are offered a quality business education that is relevant and addresses the challenges specific to doing business on this continent,’ he said.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor Managay Reddi, congratulated Pelser on his appointment and wished him well in his new role.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Women Combine to Help Young Folk

UKZN Women Combine to Help Young Folk
The women behind a community engagement project (from left): Ms Nontuthuko Sibiya; Ms Relebohile Lekoetje; Ms Londiwe Masikane and Ms Juwairiyya Paruk.

A group of UKZN’s College of Health Sciences fourth year Occupational Therapy students are running a youth focused community engagement project called, “Girls on Fleek!”

Directed by Mariannridge High School Grade 8 and Grade 9 female learners, the project focuses on issues currently facing the youth and how they affect their health and well-being.

The programme is specifically focused on four major topics; self-confidence, assertiveness, interpersonal relationships and sexual education.

Ms Londiwe Masikane said the topics target the root of concern areas identified to enable a person to think beyond what they are taught. ‘They need to be confident in their thoughts, and believe in possibility.’

The project also aims to reduce the prevalence of teenage pregnancy and substance abuse which are prevalent in this community.

The team, comprising Masikane, Ms Juwairiyya Paruk, Ms Nontuthuko Sibiya and Ms Relebohile Lekoetje explores the topics in depth together with the learners in order to prevent them from being involved in such behaviours and situations.

The group holds talks during Life Orientation (LO) periods - a slot given to them Monday to Friday by the school’s LO teacher.

‘Our concern as a society is our youth, because of the manner in which they are “taught” to think. Our youth are constantly bombarded and influenced by the contents provided by the media. This influence is profound due to the accessibility to technological devices. Our youth are influenced by adults that surround them, their behaviour, and their life choices,’ Sibiya said.

According to the group, the project challenges the manner in which the youth think. ‘By presenting information to them, hopefully it will alter the contents of their thoughts,’ said Paruk. ‘We all deserve to think beyond what we deem possible!’ said Lekoetje.

author : Nombuso Dlamini
author email : dlaminin10@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Student Creates Black Diamond Fashionwear

UKZN Student Creates Black Diamond Fashionwear
UKZN student Mr Mpendulo Mthethwa’s Black Diamond range of couture suits.

A flair for fashion and a mind for business sparked third-year BCom student Mr Mpendulo Mthethwa to develop the Black Diamond range of couture suits for young, up-and-coming men and women.

Mthethwa (24) of Richards Bay started the business after spotting a gap in the market for classic suits. ‘There are lots of suits around but not many are stylish,’ he said.

‘You don’t find Italian style easily in Durban. The ones you do get are highly priced – like R 6 000.’

While completing his degree on UKZN’s Westville campus, Mthethwa has created employment. He has three people working on the suits, which are made to order to ensure a perfect fit.

His family has a history in the clothing industry. ‘It’s my passion, I love it! I created the company, Black Diamond, to produce custom-made suits which can be ordered on line,’ he said.

His range includes three and two-piece suits for men and women, shirts, leather belts and socks. The classic suits take an average of four days to complete - from fitting to delivery.  A three-piece suit costs around R2 500, and includes a free shirt and accessories.

He has recruited Focalsoft, a business solutions company run by UKZN student Praise Khumalo to build the brand.

For more information visit Facebook or Instagram


author : Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer
author email : captainr@ukzn.ac.za

20th Time of the Writer Showcases Literary Giants, Up and Coming Writers

20th Time of the Writer Showcases Literary Giants, Up and Coming Writers
The 20th Time of the Writer Festival opened at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Some highlights are featured here.

The 20th Time of the Writer Festival, organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities, saw a successful week when 17 writers from South Africa, Africa and abroad showcased their literary prowess. 

This year’s Festival, which ran from 13-18 March, was themed: The Past Paving the Future, and commemorated the centenary of the sinking of the SS Mendi.

The historic original isiZulu version of the book by the late Professor Mazisi Kunene, titled: “Emperor Shaka the Great, uNodumehlezi kaMenzi” was launched during the Festival at the Durban International Convention Centre.

Speaking on opening night, Director of the CCA, David wa Maahlamela, said: ‘This Festival is an unmatched reflective platform that allows knowledge and cultural producers to examine political issues facing the globe. We are also honoured that Mazisi Kunene’s original isiZulu book is being launched during the Festival, attesting to UKZN’s commitment to close the gap between learning institutions and the community.’

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Stephen Mutula also noted the importance of the Festival, recognising it as an integral part of the literary landscape. ‘The Festival speaks to the vision and mission of the University. It has a strong community engagement element while allowing for irreplaceable cultural exchange and bringing together African literary intellectuals for the dissemination of African knowledge.’

Addressing writers, Mutula said: ‘UKZN recognises isiZulu and English in its bilingual policy. We are preserving language in academia. Help us in enhancing language. The output of your writing will help place Africa in a stronger position for the development of the continent. Your writing must not be an abstraction. It must make life qualitatively and quantitatively better for society.’

Reflecting on 20 years of Time of the Writer, renowned storyteller Dr Gcina Mhlophe acknowledged the achievements of African writers. ‘The story of this Festival is written in our hearts and minds. The most important word in isiZulu is Ngiyabonga (thank you). We forget it because it is a small thing. However, we should remember and thank all the writers who have come up on this stage for the past 20 years.

‘This Festival is about sharing gifts; these writers are sharing gifts with us. It is hard to believe that it is 20 years of Time of the Writer. We want more, new voices to listen to us. Time of the Writer opens doors and lets children meet writers who write in their languages. This is for the African child, for possibility. I hope we have 20 years more. We do not want this festival to become a Festival that once was. We must build it higher,’ said Mhlophe.

Participating Festival writers also spoke about their literary journeys and the political landscape of the country.

Megan Ross related on challenges of motherhood and being a writer; Nkosinathi Sithole discussed decolonising the curriculum and the mind; and Ralph Mathekga debated on how writing for a Sunday tabloid helped him learn how to write for people.

Zakes Mda apologised to young writers about his generation saying: ‘We fought for freedom, came back and messed up this country.’

UKZN student Khethani Njoko advised the audience: ‘If there is a book you want to read but can’t find, write it.’

Time of the Writer paid tribute, with a moment of silence, to literary stalwart Miriam Tlali, who died in February this year. She was the first Black woman in South Africa to publish a novel.

author : Melissa Mungroo
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za