Contributing to Research and Teaching and Learning a Priority for Scholarship Recipient

Contributing to Research and Teaching and Learning a Priority for Scholarship Recipient
Mr Doctor Sangweni.

UKZN’s Talent Excellence and Equity Scholarship recognises top Black African students intending to pursue an academic career at UKZN with the aim of growing the next generation of academics.

Masters of Commerce in Economics student Mr Doctor Sangweni is one such student who is driven by the need to be at the forefront of cutting-edge research and innovation.

‘I grew up in Nongoma in rural KwaZulu-Natal where education was never a priority for a young man. And being raised by a single parent who struggled financially made obtaining an education tough for me,’ said Sangweni.

And he faced further challenges as his sight was impaired. ‘In 2007 I had surgery to both my eyes which enhanced my vision significantly.

‘However, I was always considered a high performing pupil and attribute this to my mother because she understood the value of education and made it her mission to ensure I received a good education,’ he said.

Apart from the Talent Excellence and Equity Scholarship, Sangweni also received the Economic Research of Southern Africa (ERSA) scholarship.

‘The prestigious ERSA award allows me to pursue my master’s degree and do research into different economic conditions and what drives daily economic decisions. This scholarship is offered to only 10 students a year,’ said Sangweni.

‘I am taught by the most remarkable scholars. I would like to extend my deepest and most humble gratitude and appreciation to my supervisor Dr Harold Ngalawa, and Ms Nezeka Damoyi and Dr Claire Vermaak, who encouraged me to pursue the ERSA scholarship. They have played a pivotal role in shaping me as an academic.

‘I also want to thank the School of SAEF staff, who have all played a huge part in my academic achievements,’ he said.

Sangweni is a member of the Westville Chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society committee which promotes community service, leadership and excellent academic performance.

He is also a member of the Macroeconomics Working Group (MWG) a body of economists comprising academic staff and postgraduate students from the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (SAEF) whose mission is to advance and develop research in the field. 

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Economics PhD Candidate Awarded Doctoral Research Scholarship

Economics PhD Candidate Awarded Doctoral Research Scholarship
PhD candidate, Mr Adebayo Kutu.

School of Accounting, Economics and Finance PhD candidate, Mr Adebayo Kutu, has been awarded a UKZN Doctoral Research Scholarship.

The award is made to one PhD candidate in each College who is in the top five percent in the categories of intellectual strength, research aptitude and purposefulness, as motivated by evidence.

Kutu obtained his BSc degree in Economics from the University of Ilorin-Nigeria and in 2011 earned a BCom Honours degree from the University of Limpopo where he also received an award for being the second best student sponsored by Economic Research Southern Africa.

In 2013 he graduated with his Masters of Commerce degree at UKZN.

His doctoral research, supervised by Dr Harold Ngalawa, focuses on the Monetary Policy Shocks and Industrial Output in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a group of emerging market economies (EMEs) with similar interests, generally referred to as BRICS.

‘This is cutting-edge research work with a strategic importance in boosting the growth of the industrial sector and employment generations,’ said Kutu.

Kutu has presented his research in this area at several international conferences, including the recent International Journal of Arts and Sciences Conference at Harvard University in the United States and locally at the South African Reserve Bank and the School’s postgraduate research seminars.

He has also published several journal articles while others are currently under review by ISI accredited journals.

Kutu said being awarded the scholarship would financially empower him to improve the quality of his research.

‘I am not only happy because the award comes with a number of zeroes but I am also happy that UKZN created the leverage for me to compete with my peers. I advise young students to push hard in their studies, no matter how difficult things are and seize all opportunities available,’ he said.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Rugby and Accounting a Good Match for Scholarship Achiever

Rugby and Accounting a Good Match for Scholarship Achiever
Mr Willem Badenhorst.

UKZN Prestige Sport Scholarship recipient Mr Willem Badenhorst says his dream of becoming a professional rugby player doesn’t preclude him from also being a chartered accountant.

‘My goal is to become a professional rugby player, but if that doesn’t work out I will rely on my studies and qualifications.

‘Thus I aim to graduate and become a CA, but right now I’m enjoying what I do and giving it my utmost and who knows what the Lord has in store for me,’ said Badenhorst.

The U19 Sharks player who was part of the Sharks Academy says being awarded the scholarship is a blessing as he faced financial difficulties which were standing in the way of him achieving his goals.

‘I hoped I would get a rugby contract or a bursary at the academy but when that didn’t happen financial constraints threatened my future at the academy this year,’ he said

‘My U19 coach encouraged me to apply for a scholarship at UKZN and not give up on my rugby and education,’ said Badenhorst. ‘I received a scholarship for this year and that thankfully solved that problem but then the question arose about what to study?

‘Everyone advised me go for the best possible qualification and so I decided on a BCom Accounting course.’

While juggling his studies and rugby is tough’, having a strong support system makes it possible.

‘The biggest challenge was and still is my rugby training clashing with my lectures. I have to go through the work I miss by myself but my tutors are always there to help.

‘And my family assists and guides me. They taught me right from wrong and embedded core biblical principles in me which I live by. They are always there for me and I can say for sure they are my biggest supporters,’ added Badenhorst.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Study Excellence a Non-Negotiable for Students

Study Excellence a Non-Negotiable for Students
From left: Mr Ahmed Ally, Ms Claire Gillespie and Ms Kineta Garach.

Three recipients of College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarships - Ms Kineta Garach, Ms Claire Gillespie and Mr Ahmed Ally - are committed to student excellence.

The three were each recognised as top-ranked undergraduate students proceeding from their second year to further studies.

Following in the footsteps of her father, Professor Dilip Garach, means that academic excellence in accounting is an aspiration worth achieving for Garach.

‘My love for figures and having a natural flair for accounting has motivated me to pursue a career in the field.’

She comes from a family of accountants – ‘my mum has a master’s degree and is involved in the corporate world, my two sisters are also qualified in business, commerce and finance, while my father, who has been my inspiration in choosing a career path, has always set high standards which encouraged me to reach greater heights in my studies’.

Garach’s future plans include pursuing a postgraduate qualification during her journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant.

‘Receiving the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship is a great privilege and honour. It shows that hard work and dedication always pay off. Receiving the award has motivated me to strive to greater heights whilst remaining humble. I am deeply religious, I believe in myself and I believe that with faith I will be able to take on tasks, both big and small to achieve my goals and dreams in life,’ she said.

For Gillespie, pursuing a career in law was motivated by the need to use her legal skills to help others get access to justice. She says the scholarship is a good incentive for her to continue working hard to make her dream a reality.

‘The interesting and empowering nature of law inspired me to pursue this career, where I will have the ability to assist others in need. I have signed articles with Bowman Gilfillan, one of the top five law firms in South Africa, and am currently serving as a clerk for Mr Justice Wallis of the Supreme Court of Appeal,’ she said.

Ally received both the College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship and the UKZN 100th Anniversary Scholarship - remarkable achievements which keep him striving to be the best he can be. 

‘My future plans include obtaining a postgraduate degree at UKZN, completing my training contract at Deloitte and then qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. From there, I would like to go into the world of business and give back to the community,’ he said.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Scholarship Recipients now able to Concentrate on Studies

Scholarship Recipients now able to Concentrate on Studies
College of Law and Management Studies’ Frene Ginwala Scholarship recipients.

Five students at the College of Law and Management Studies have each received a Frene Ginwala Scholarship worth R18 000.

The students are Ms Mbali Mkhize, Ms Nokukhanya Cumaio, Ms Nokwanda Thango, Ms Nothando Mthimkhulu, and Ms Portia Mokoena.

Mkhize needed a loan to continue with her studies but the situation looked bleak at the beginning of this year as she did not meet the requirements.

‘My guardians are both unemployed, which meant that I did not qualify for a loan. Then with just a week before registration I was informed I had been awarded the scholarship. It was the best moment ever in my life and such a relief as I had almost given up being admitted to UKZN,’ said Mkhize.

Mkhize is doing a BCom majoring in Finance and Marketing.  ‘I chose finance because there are a wide range of career opportunities and it challenges one’s critical thinking and interpersonal skills.’

Mokoena, who is doing an LLB degree, grew up in historic Sharpeville near Johannesburg. ‘I saw and experienced principles of law as well as law enforcement and I wanted to get involved and make a difference.’

The biggest challenge I faced leading up to the commencement of my tertiary studies was getting funding. My parents were - and still are - in no financial position to fund my studies so I had to apply to various financial institutions but had little success,’ said Mokoena.

‘The Frene Ginwala Scholarship has been a life changer, opening so many doors for me.  What a pleasure it is to not have to worry about paying fees and to rather concentrate on my studies.’

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Scholarships Keep BCom Student Aiming High

Scholarships Keep BCom Student Aiming High
Mr Ahmed Ally with UKZN Vice-Chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld.

A College Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship and a UKZN 100th Anniversary Scholarship have motivated third-year BCom (Accounting) student Mr Ahmed Ally to keep striving to be the best he can be. 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship is awarded to the three top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from second to subsequent years of study and the UKZN 100th Anniversary Scholarship is awarded to the third-placed among the three top-performing undergraduate students in the entire University.

Ally says the scholarships will ease the financial burden of tuition fees and ensure he maintains his outstanding academic performance.

‘These scholarships are a real motivating factor to constantly achieve outstanding results since the renewal of this scholarship depends on maintaining a good academic record. This scholarship has given me the motivation to work to the best of my ability in all aspects of my life as it has recognised my achievements to date,’ he said.

Looking to the future, Ally plans to use his degree as a stepping stone to qualifying as a Chartered Accountant.

‘My future plans include getting a postgraduate qualification at UKZN, completing my training contract at Deloitte and then qualifying as a CA.  From there, I would like to go into the world of business and hopefully the education I got at UKZN will help me prosper in life and give back to the community,’ he added.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Law and Management Studies Students Among Select Few

Law and Management Studies Students Among Select Few
Four of the five students who received the Malegapuru W Makgoba Scholarship in the College of Law and Management Studies.

Only a few people can boast about being recognised as a top student among several thousand in each College of a leading University and five students from UKZN’s College of Law and Management Studies are among them.

They are Mr Dean Adams, Mr Arjun Nandlal, Mr Lancis Chetty, Mr John Kruger and Ms Zakiyya Reheman.

They each received the Malegapuru W Makgoba Scholarship which is awarded to the five top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from first-year to second-year study in each of UKZN’s four Colleges.

For Adams, the scholarship lessens the stress about tuition fees on his journey towards becoming a chartered accountant.

‘One of the major challenges was finding the money to pay for my fees because my parents are not in a position to foot the bill. The Lord answered my prayers and I’m now free of financial burdens,’ he said.

Nandlal, who passed his matric with seven distinctions, received the top overall first-year student prize at the 2016 UKZN–SAICA Students Awards Ceremony.

‘A university education is usually cost prohibitive which even with good matric results is often a major problem for students.  The financial pressure I experienced last year without the scholarship, together with the transition from school to university and coping with challenging studies made 2015 extremely difficult  for me. I am grateful and blessed to have received this scholarship and thank UKZN for it,’ he said.

Reheman was among the top 30 matriculants in the country in 2014 with seven As and achieving an A-aggregate made the difference in terms of being awarded the scholarship.

‘Maintaining an A-aggregate at university level is a mission! When I achieved my goal and received the scholarship I was ecstatic.  It is a great reward for the effort I put into my modules and it motivates me to continue striving to do my best in the future,’ said Reheman.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Law Graduate Awarded Emma Smith Scholarship

Law Graduate Awarded Emma Smith Scholarship
Master of Law student Ms Priyanka Naidoo with her parents.

Master of Law student Ms Priyanka Naidoo has been awarded the Emma Smith Overseas Scholarship which she will use to pursue a masters degree at either Harvard University in the United States or at the University of Cambridge in England.

‘I am currently reading for a Master’s in International Criminal Law and hope to pursue my second master’s at Harvard or Cambridge because they offer a very flexible LLM degree,’ said Naidoo.

‘I would like to use a combination of various courses to study criminal justice from a constitutional perspective, particularly focusing on the role of the victim in the trial process.’

Naidoo’s other achievements include winning the the 2015 Ellie Newman Moot Competition and receiving 18 Certificates of Merit for being in the top three of the best performing students in various modules throughout her LLB degree before graduating summa cum laude in April.

For someone who was torn between studying study law or engineering, choosing to go the legal route is proving to be one of her best ever career choices for her!

‘I initially had no great desire to pursue Law,’ said Naidoo. ‘It was only in my second year of study that the passion for Law fully gripped me. What I enjoyed most about it was that there were always two sets of opposing arguments that could be made before a court - sometimes both competing for persuasiveness and reasonableness. Persuading the court to find in your client’s favour can be an intellectually challenging process of which I really want to be a part of,’ she said.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Prestige Sports Scholarship Recipient Succeeds Against All Odds

Prestige Sports Scholarship Recipient Succeeds Against All Odds
The Prestige Sports Scholarship recipient, Mr Stuart Hogg.

A broken neck and ribs, fractures in his lower spine and the grim possibility of being permanently paralysed are among the obstacles UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship recipient, Mr Stuart Hogg, had to overcome after being involved in car accident.

Hogg, who is a Canoeist, had to undergo extensive physical rehabilitation to be able to get back into his boat again. He persevered and has gone on to be the first person ever to represent South Africa as a para-canoeist at the Senior World Championships.

Competing at the Championships at Duisburg in Germany in 2013 proved Hogg’s determination and tenacity.

‘I got into canoeing when I was nine-years-old after watching my older brother at a school’s race and becoming instantly keen,’ said Hogg.

‘I had many highlights in my career as an able bodied athlete including at Junior and U23 level where I competed at a few World championships and won the SA Sprint champs Junior Victor Ludorum in 2007,’ said Hogg.

‘But after my car accident it took me a long time to just be confident walking again. I still face neurological challenges from disabilities sustained from my injuries but I am really grateful to be able to do most things.’

The Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate is currently training to represent South Africa again as a para-canoeist at the next Senior World Championships.

‘I got married earlier this year to my girlfriend of eight years, Cailin who is very supportive of my road to representing South Africa again as a para-canoeist. Being awarded the scholarship means so much to me.

For a long time after my accident, I didn’t believe I would get to where I am now. It is really one of the biggest highlights of my sports career - off the water,’ he said.

Hogg currently works at Mass discounters’ (Game & DionWired) IT department as a Junior Business Analyst after joining their graduate programme last year.

His future plans include pursuing his master’s degree and gaining the experience necessary to become a senior business analyst.

‘I decided not to compete this year while I was starting a new job and settling in Durban. My last international race was last year at Senior World Champs in Milan, Italy. I am keen to race next year in both sprints and marathon, especially with world marathon champs being in Pietermaritzburg next year. It would be great to race here at home,’ he said.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Competing in the Olympics - the Ultimate Goal for Sports Scholarship Holder

Competing in the Olympics - the Ultimate Goal for Sports Scholarship Holder
Prestige Sports Scholarship winner, Ms Laika Maharaj.

Playing in the South African Badminton team and one day competing in the Olympic Games are part of Prestige Sports Scholarship winner Ms Laika Maharaj’s future plans.

The second year BCom Accounting student’s impressive track record includes receiving her first South African badminton grading of No 6 in the country at the age of 15 in the Under 17 age group; a South African grading of No 3 in the country in the Under 19 age group, and being selected to be part of the SA U19 Team to participate in Peru at the World Junior Badminton Championships in November last year.

‘The world championships were the highlight of my career and an all-round eye-opening experience,’ said Maharaj

‘I made lots of priceless memories with a team who became family while I improved my game and was exposed to different skill sets.

‘I also competed with the UKZN team recently in the USSA games and we did really well. In the individual section I received a silver medal for singles, a bronze for women’s doubles and also reached the quarter finals for mixed doubles.  I was ranked third overall.’

As the eldest of two sisters and one brother, Maharaj has spread her passion for badminton to the family as her sisters now play while her parents are her number one fans.

‘My family and I are extremely grateful for this scholarship as I now have more funds to allocate to my sporting career regarding training and equipment, making it easier for me to improve my skills to reach my goals of playing in the SA Senior Badminton Team and to one day participate at the Olympics.

‘The award also gives me the opportunity to continue studying for my degree at one of the top universities in South Africa,’ she said.

Maharaj is working hard to realise her dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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Vincent Maphai Scholarship Recipient, a Woman of Many Talents

Vincent Maphai Scholarship Recipient, a Woman of Many Talents
Ms Siddharthiya Pillay congratulated by her father, Professor Kriben Pillay.

Inspiring greatness is a way of life for Vincent Maphai Scholarship recipient, Ms Siddharthiya Pillay, whose achievements are not solely academic but include being selected as one of UKZN’s Top 40 Inspiring Students for 2015 and recently performing for the Indian Prime Minister as a qualified Bharathanatyam (Indian classical dance) dancer.

Pillay is currently reading for a Masters in Medical Law - very different to her undergraduate and honours qualifications in Medical Biochemistry which she obtained summa sum laude.

She says her dream of contributing meaningfully to society through community engagement starts with understanding the challenges people face when their human rights are infringed.

‘My future plans are to start a non-profit organisation based on engaging and finding our collective humanity through compassion and community engagement.

‘The Masters qualification opens my eyes to the struggles others go through, and the barriers to fully protecting the human rights of the most vulnerable in society. Knowing how the law works is a weapon in the hands of those willing to fight for a better world,’ she said.

Being selected by the University community as an inspiring student whose contribution goes beyond her academic achievements with the hope of inspiring other students to follow suit, typifies Pillay.

Not only is she passionate about community engagement but she also aspires to work for international civil organisations with the hope that she may create positive structures to benefit marginalised groups.

‘The most rewarding year I’ve had was spent teaching at my old school, Westville Girls’ High. It was a year of inspiring and being inspired by my students. It made me realise the potential that lies dormant within us, and the fear of failure that keeps it that way. I want to be more fearless, and I want to encourage others to be the same.’

Outside of growing her knowledge through education, Pillay enjoys dancing Bharatha Natyam which she started at the age of three and graduated as a qualified dancer aged 16, following in the footsteps of her late mother, Shamala, who was a Bharatha Natyam graduate and dance teacher.

Pillay is currently pursuing studies in another form of Indian classical dance called Kathak.

‘Dancing for the Prime Minister of India during his visit to South Africa in July was an incredible experience because we were literally a few metres away from the leader of the world’s largest democracy.

‘I danced as a freelance dancer with the Surialanga dance company under the direction of Professor Suria Govender. I enjoyed working with dancers of different styles such as traditional Zulu, contemporary, and hip-hop performers and felt the frustrations of an artist. People do not realise the difficulties artists face behind the scenes. I hope I’ll have a future role in creating a culture of respect and protection for artists in South Africa,’ she added.

author : Thandiwe Jumo
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