Professor Kriben Pillay, Keynote Speaker at Central University of Technology Research Seminar

Professor Kriben Pillay, Keynote Speaker at Central University of Technology Research Seminar
Professor Kriben Pillay delivering his keynote address.

UKZN’s Professor Kriben Pillay was the keynote speaker at Bloemfontein’s Central University of Technology’s Annual Prestige Research Seminar hosted by the Faculty of Management Sciences.

The Seminar was attended by the entire Faculty and postgraduate students.

Pillay’s address was on the challenges to Higher Education, specifically examining the paradigm of separation that is still the current discourse in many disciplines.

When questioned by the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Albert Strydom, about how he viewed the call to decolonise the curriculum, Pillay replied that it was a complex matter that went beyond mere change of content, which is not being disputed, but had to take into account the very process of thinking itself.

This by its very nature was a divisive activity which therefore called for the cultivation of a higher form of perception, which is currently totally ignored by the Academy, except in small emerging pockets of inquiry.

Professor Crispen Chapunza, the seminar co-ordinator, wrote in an email thanking Pillay for his participation: ‘It was indeed a pleasure to have you as our guest. ‘We are privileged because you left us with a treasure, the poem, summarising all the papers presented and the message each one of them contained.’


author : NdabaOnline
author email : pillaykri@ukzn.ac.za

Seminar Explores Potential of Technology, Gamification and Active Pedagogy to Enhance Teaching and Learning

Seminar Explores Potential of Technology, Gamification and Active Pedagogy to Enhance Teaching and Learning
Lecturer Mr Ebrahim Adam (right) with WILL seminar participants.

The Women in Leadership and Leverage (WILL) Committee at the College of Health Sciences hosted a seminar for novice and experienced academics presented by Lecturer, Mr Ebrahim Adam.

Adam, who lectures in both the Information Systems and Technology and MBChB programmes at UKZN, is completing his master’s degree.

His seminar explored the potential of technology, gamification and active pedagogy to enhance teaching and learning in Higher Education. ‘Approaching your courses using gamification and other active pedagogical approaches involves repackaging and presenting your courses in a manner that engages and motivates your students,’ said Adam. ‘This is different from redesigning an entire course.’

Gamification, the integration of game design, game mechanics and game dynamics into real-world contexts to motivate behaviour, enables academics to integrate the motivational elements of games such as points, badges and leaderboards (PBLs) into the classroom. To illustrate the motivational power of games, Adam cited the example of students going to the extent of sacrificing sleep and dedicating hours to play games whilst barely engaging in the classroom. ‘Remember, the core objective of gamification is enhancing motivation and not PBLs,’ he cautioned.

Adam also reflected, through the lens of the Activated Classroom Teaching (ACT) approach, on the possibilities of adopting active pedagogy in the classroom. This approach, developed by Dr Craig Blewett of the College of Law and Management Studies, aims to enhance students’ learning by moving them beyond consumption to curation, conversation, correction and ultimately creation of knowledge.

To explain this, Adam cited the example of lecturers sharing video content with students which is more commonly used to expose students to scenarios otherwise not possible. Whilst this undoubtedly has immense benefit, adoption of active pedagogies requires that lecturers design activities which see students developing their own videos on a particular topic.

‘When we challenge students to develop their own content, they must critique and interrogate their own knowledge (and that of peers) before they can offer it to the world. This approach also results in the production of an artefact which has further learning benefits. We have witnessed the powerful benefits to student learning when adopting this approach in our courses,’ said Adam.

Adam also explored how initiatives already in place at the University such as Teaching and Learning TV and the UKZN Smart Clicker can enhance teaching, learning and the student experience.

Reflecting on the fact that technology does occasionally encounter glitches, Adam said students were forgiving by nature. ‘They will tell you what works and what doesn’t. The key is to work collaboratively with students and accept that technology is part of the solution – the human touch is still at the core.’


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

Museum of Classical Archaeology Dedicates Collection to Benefactor

Museum of Classical Archaeology Dedicates Collection to Benefactor
Dr Adrian Ryan and Mr Andrew Law at the display cabinet, aptly named the Law Collection, after the donor, Ms Joan Law.

The Classics Museum has dedicated a small display cabinet, aptly named the Law Collection and housing prized artefacts, to a generous benefactor, the late Ms Joan Law, who has made donations to the museum over the years.

Among those at the dedication function were her cousin, Mr Andrew Law, who spoke fondly of her and her love for Classical Archaeology.

Former museum curator Dr Adrian Ryan said Law had been a ‘most consistent and generous benefactor who had donated money over many years and through whose assistance the museum was able to acquire its own pieces’.

The list of artefacts secured includes a selection of five Roman coins, a Roman bronze military diploma, and two fragments from anthropoid Egyptian sarcophagoi - a piece of wood with hieroglyphics painted on it and a fragment of cartonnage.

Speaking about the importance of the collection in the museum’s history, Ryan said: ‘The pieces in the Law Collection are without doubt my favourite – after all I got to choose them myself.  Although they are quite modest compared with some of the artefacts in Cairo and the Antikensammlungen, ours is a teaching museum, and the interesting stories these pieces tell make them useful tools for bringing to life the history and culture of the civilisations we study.

‘Law’s legacy will continue here in the display cabinet housing the artefacts we acquired through her generous support, and it is my hope that they will continue to be used for the purpose for which they were intended - to inform, to delight, and to help ignite in new students an interest in the ancient world, so that its study survives at UKZN,’ said Ryan.


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

Isithuthi Esihamba Emanzini Nasemhlabeni Sizokwethulwa Ngosuku Lokukhangisa

Isithuthi Esihamba Emanzini Nasemhlabeni Sizokwethulwa Ngosuku Lokukhangisa
Abafundi bonyaka wokugcina kwezobuNjiniyela Bezemishini bematasa beqedelela ukwakha isithuthi sabo esihamba emhlabeni nasemanzini esizokhangiswa ngomcimbi womkhakha.

Click here for English version

Isithuthi esisebenza ngogesi esakhiwe abafundi abane base-UKZN sizokhangiswa nokunye emcimbini wokukhangisa WezobuNjiniyela Bezemishini ngoLwesihlanu oluzayo. 

Iqembu labafundi abakhe lesi sithuthi lihlanganise oMnu Nicolass da Silva, uMnu Marco Lopes, uMnu Lareesan Naidu noMnu Roneil Sivanandan, bonke abamatasa kumanje ukuze baqinisekise ukuthi isithuthi  silunge ngesikhathi.

Inhloso yabo kwakuwukwakha isithuthi senani eliphansi esingahamba ngokukhululeka emhlabeni nasemanzini ngokusebenzisa amandla kagesi.

Isakhiwo saso sihlanganise izingxenye zesithuthuthu esinamasondo amane nesikebhe ngenhloso yokuthi sikwazi ukuthi sihambe ngesivinini esingafinyelela emakhilomitheni angama-60 ngehora nesivinini esingama-40 amakhilomitha ngehora emanzini.

Abafundi bebelulekwa umholi wezokufunda eMnyangweni WezobuNjiniyela Bezemishini uSolwazi Glen Bright.

Ifulemu yesithuthi eyi-aluminiyamu yakhiwa u-Lopes. ‘Bekubalulekile ukuthi kwakhiwe umzimba wesithuthi ngendlela ezoheha umphakathi futhi iphephe uma sesisetshenziswa,’kusho u-Lopes.

U-Naidu uthe: ‘Sengibona into eqale iwumcabango kodwa manje osekuyinto ephilayo.’ Umsebenzi wakhe bekuwukwakha uhlelo lomgogodla oluhambelana nokuma komzimba kwesikebhe nolunye uhlelo lokukhipha isithuthi sasemanzini ngokusebenzisa ugesi.

Iqhaza lika-Sivanandan kube ukudweba futhi akhe umgogodla wangemuva, nezinsiza zokuphehla amandla namagiya. Futhi uphinde wadweba futhi wakha ifulemu yangemuva ne-ekseli yakhona. ‘Ngikuthokozele kakhulu ukubamba leli qhaza ngoba kunginike inselelo,’ usho kanje.  

U-Da Silva ubesebenza ngogesi futhi wadweba umzimba wesithuthi kabusha.’Ngiyaziqhenya ngokuba yingxenye yalo msebenzi ngoba ababaningi abantu esebeke babona imoto ehamba emanzini nasemhlabeni. Ingeyokuqala yohlobo lwayo lapha eNingizimu Afrika,’ kusho u-da Silva.

U-Bright uchaze ukuthi injongo yemisebenzi yonyaka wokugcina ezifundweni zobunjiniyela bemishini ukufundisa izindlela ezihlukene zokuxazulula izinkinga zezobunjiniyela ezikhona. ‘Sihlose ukukhombisa abafundi ukuthi ukuqondisisa kahle ngokudweba, ukuhamba, ezamanzi nezokuphepha kungasetshenziswa kanjani ukuze kuhlangane umsebenzi.’ 


author : Basetsana Mogashoa
author email : Mogashoab@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN’s Mamba Electric Car on Display at Open Day

UKZN’s Mamba Electric Car on Display at Open Day
The striking Mamba Electric Vehicle in UKZN’s Mechanical Engineering workshop.

A UKZN-designed Mamba electric car will be on display among other final-year Mechanical Engineering student projects at the UNITE School of Engineering Building on the Howard College campus this Friday.

The eye-catching Mamba Electric Vehicle is the collaborative work of four top-performing final year students and two postgraduates, working under EMERG (the UKZN Energy and Materials Engineering Research Group), along with two Durban companies (TR Tec - 100% financial sponsor, and Stealth). Supervision of the project was by Dr Clinton Bemont and Dr Michael Brooks.

Ms Simone Chetty, Mr Sean Mons, Mr Brendan Sims and Mr David Woods were ecstatic when they became part of the team to design and build the car, along with postgraduates Mr Nicholas Witteveen and Mr Matthew Woods.

The Mamba Electric Vehicle is a sports car that is designed to have good aerodynamics and range, good handling, be extremely light (at about 650kg) and to do 0-100 km/h in five seconds in its final form. 

Sim’s designed and produced a 3D model of the car, produced the flat panels and worked on the aerodynamics, while Mons was tasked with bringing the 3D design to life and building a carbon fibre monoque, weighing in at around 600kg.

Woods was responsible for the design and construction of the moulds needed to produce the carbon fibre panels of the vehicle and also handled the suspension and braking system.

Chetty’s task was to design high strength but very light weight electric motor mounting, drive shafts and CV joints for the car. She was also in charge of the overall assembly sequence, as well as the seats and the all-important seat belts. 

Everything had to be based on SABS standards.

‘Properly designing an electric car involves a huge number of different design specialisations that all need to come together perfectly. It takes teamwork and passion to achieve the result that our team has in just one year,’ said Dr Bemont. ‘It is an accelerated learning experience for the students’.

Though the process challenged the students as individuals and as a group, they all agreed that seeing their hard work come to life was ‘the best feeling ever’!

‘Our aim was to build a cost effective sports car and show the public that we could construct a high-performing electric vehicle on a relatively small budget,’ said Bemont. 


author : Basetsana Mogashoa
author email : Mogashoab@ukzn.ac.za

Engineering Team Builds Balloon Drone

Engineering Team Builds Balloon Drone
Final-year Mechanical Engineering students (from left) Mr Mikhail Narsai, Mr Morne’ Zeeman and Ms Shannon Freese with supervisor Dr Michael Brooks. Together they designed a balloon drone seen here during trials.

An ASReg balloon drone is one of many exciting and unusual projects on display at the 2016 Mechanical Engineering Open Day this Friday.

The drone was designed and built by Senior Lecturer Dr Michael Brooks and three of his final year undergraduate students: Mr Mikhail Narsai, Ms Shannon Freese and Mr Morne’ Zeeman.

For now the balloon drone will only be used indoors and in wind-free outdoor conditions.  Brooks said that the objective of the drone project was to combine a lighter-than-air lifting envelope with a highly manoeuvrable propulsion system to extend the flying time of the unmanned vehicle and also to demonstrate aerial recharging of batteries using solar energy.

The students also aim to demonstrate stable flight control, including the ability to manoeuvre the drone vertically, rotationally and horizontally.

Narsai designed the drone’s propulsion system which includes three electric motors that can be pivoted to change the vehicle’s direction. He was also responsible for the avionics used to control the drone.

Freese designed a solar concentrator with a 6 m focal length that will be used to direct sunlight towards a high concentration photovoltaic cell located on the underside of the vehicle. This will convert the light energy into useful battery power.

‘This project pushes boundaries in that the solar cell is airborne and the concentrator can be positioned so that a battery can be charged in the air,’ explained Freese.

Zeeman was responsible for designing the aerial vehicle’s envelope and analysing its aerodynamic performance. ‘The thing that excites me the most about this type of vehicle is its vast use, which could range from search and rescue to delivering products,’ he said.


author : Basetsana Mogashoa
author email : Mogashoab@ukzn.ac.za

KZN School Pupils Recite at Poetry Africa Festival

KZN School Pupils Recite at Poetry Africa Festival
Winners of Poetry Africa’s School Poetry Writing Competition.

Some of the best KwaZulu-Natal school poets recited their work alongside wordsmiths from around the world at the 20th Poetry Africa Festival at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

The six poets were chosen from more than 100 entries received for the Festival’s annual schools poetry competition. The awards and prizes were sponsored by Adams Campus Books.

Top honours in the English category of the competition went to Callula Clay Smith of Durban Girls’ College for her poem titled:  I am a Woman.

Durban Academy’s Kwazokuhle Phakathi was second with Khoi San while Keleiah Pillay of St. Mary’s DSG in Kloof won third prize for her poem: Shattered Silence.

The isiZulu category was dominated by learners from the Dwengu High School in Mid-Illovo - Nokubongwa Nzama (1st), Thando Madonsela (2nd) and Minenhle Mdladla (3rd).

Launched in 2000 as part of Poetry Africa, the competition is aimed at motivating aspirant poets in schools.

Learners are encouraged to share their experiences through poetry, on a topic of their choice.

Judges looked at language, form, imagery, impact and originality.

Co-ordinator of the competition Mr Sakhile Gumede of the Centre for Creative Arts, said the standard of poems received this year reflected the dedication of entrants. ‘Each year the bar is raised, our young people are really talented. It is inspiring to see youth taking poetry seriously,’ he said.

Praising teachers and schools, Gumede said they played a major role in developing young writers and urged them to continue encouraging youngsters to write and perform.

‘The future of poetry is bright if young people - likes our winners - are carrying the poetry torch into tomorrow.’

Gumede said Poetry Africa would continue to provide a platform for young poets to share their work on an international stage. 


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

PhD Candidate’s Research Featured in Bird Matters Video Interview

PhD Candidate’s Research Featured in Bird Matters Video Interview
A Trumpeter Hornbill in Eshowe.

PhD candidate in the School of Life Sciences at UKZN, Mr Moses Chibesa, was recently featured in a Bird Matters video interview concerning his presentation at this year’s BirdLife South Africa’s Flock Conference in the Kruger National Park.

Chibesa’s presentation was about research on the home range and habitat use of the Trumpeter Hornbill (Bycanistes bucinator) in an urban-forest mosaic in Eshowe. Trumpeter Hornbills, the largest obligate frugivores in South Africa, are a common sighting in their natural environment and the urban environments where they are found. They have a distinctive loud nasal wailing call and are easily recognised by their black and white plumage. Their slightly decurved bill and casque are black. Males are larger than females with larger bills and higher casques.

The birds are highly dependent on the forest, especially for their fruit diet and ultimately play an important role in seed dispersal. However, the indigenous forest is increasingly being threatened by human population growth and the resulting deforestation.

Although the Trumpeter Hornbill is classified as of Least Concern (LC) due to its population not appearing to be declining, increased human development threatens its habitat and is forcing it to adapt to use of both residential and indigenous forest habitats.

‘As urbanisation expands and more natural land is being converted for anthropogenic structures and agriculture, understanding how species adapt and survive in the resultant fragmented habitats is important for their conservation,’ said Chibesa.

‘Humans are so good at taking things out of nature, but when it comes to taking care of nature, very few individuals are committed.’

Chibesa highlighted the need for increased awareness and sensitisation to the issues facing these species and the importance of the birds to humans. He also emphasised the importance of government policies in guiding conservation and management practices for species using urban environments, with political will being essential for research and non-governmental efforts to be implemented.

He emphasised the importance of timely and inclusive policy implementation based on sound scientific and indigenous knowledge in mitigating effects of human-induced climate change, loss of indigenous forests, illegal wildlife trade and similar challenges to avifauna and other wildlife.

‘I’m very optimistic,’ said Chibesa. ‘If you want change to happen, you need to be optimistic. Whether it happens now or in 200 years, if you achieve change you have reached your objective, and that’s what drives me every day.’


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

Latest Freshwater Fish Conservation Status in Southern Africa Revealed

Latest Freshwater Fish Conservation Status in Southern Africa Revealed
In the field searching for barbs are (from left) Mr Lungelo Madiya, Dr Gordon O’Brien and Mr Mahomed Desai.

The conservation status of existing and new fish species in KwaZulu-Natal was updated during an International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) red list assessment workshop for freshwater fish in southern Africa.

The workshop, hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) at the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) in Grahamstown, was attended by the leader of the Aquatic Ecosystem Research Programme at UKZN, Dr Gordon O’Brien.

Numerous regional scientists and conservationists representing hundreds of years of experience were present.

O’Brien, who accompanied Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Freshwater Ecologist Mr Skhumbuzo Kubheka, noted the attendance of leading researcher, Professor Paul Skelton

Key outcomes include the revision of a range of new fish for KwaZulu-Natal and the listing of many species as threatened due to multiple stressors.

‘KwaZulu-Natal had fewer than three freshwater fish listed as threatened in the early 2000s but this may now have tripled with some species possibly endangered or critically endangered,’ said O’Brien.

‘KwaZulu-Natal has close to 100 species of freshwater fish, many endemic and many new species of barbs (Enteromius spp.) have recently been discovered and described.’

UKZN has worked closely with Ezemvelo over the past three years to look for these barbs in KwaZulu-Natal rivers, especially in threatened systems. They have also had support from Umgeni Water, the Department of Water and Sanitation and the National Research Foundation.

‘We’ve observed a concerning decline in the average diversity and abundance of many populations of fish in the province largely associated with changes in distribution of alien fish, land use practices and pollution, and most importantly the drought, which has decreased availability of surface water in numerous systems. Surviving fish have also been removed through pollution, habitat change and harvesting by local communities for subsistence and commercial trade. Such extreme conditions have never been observed, even in severe droughts in the 1990s.  There is no doubt the threats to the wellbeing of rivers are considerably higher today.’

O’Brien referred to several important outcomes such as reminders about the extinction of local species and the listing of species as threatened for the first time. He also noted the discovery and listing of new species, the increase in migration barriers throughout the province that reduce distribution (especially of eels), and the need to revisit the status of several species in coming years.

He emphasised that, while KZN-dwellers need fresh water for homes, industries, recreation and waste treatment, it was vital that everyone played a role in looking after that water and its inhabitants in return, notably through increasing knowledge and exploration of water systems.


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

20th Poetry Africa Festival Ends on High Note

20th Poetry Africa Festival Ends on High Note
Poets and artists who performed on the closing night of Poetry Africa.

The grand finale of the 20th Poetry Africa Festival, organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), was held at the BAT Centre in Durban.

CCA Director David wa Maahlamela said: ‘Returning to its historic venue, the festival finale embraced the irreplaceable memories of the past 20 years on which the foundation of this edition stands.’

This year’s exciting Festival programme consisted of workshops, open mic performances, book launches and musical and poetry performances.

The following book launches took place at Ike’s Books on Florida Road on the last day of the Festival: Tihlùngù Ta Rixaka: Dikixinari ya Ririmi ra Xitsonga by Max Marhanele and Vonani Bila; House Without Walls: Poems by Kyle Allan; and My Muse: In the Healing Seasons by Hector Kunene and Nthabiseng JahRose Jafta.

An archival exhibition of the past 19 years of Poetry Africa was also on display at the Bat Centre gallery.

As part of the closing of the Festival, a Department of Arts and Culture Showcase was hosted by Zulu love poet Mxolisi Mtshali and featured izimbongi (praise singers) highlighting the artistic and creative wealth of indigenous African languages.

Another feature of the Festival was the annual Slam Jam event where Durban poets competed for the title of Poetry Africa Slam champion. Final performances from Poetry Africa participants were also presented.

Kenya poet Ms Ngwatilo Mayiwoo described the festival as enriching and powerful. ‘This is a great poetry event that showcases the talents of amazing spoken word artists and I hope to return in the future. Well done to the organisers of the Festival.’

South African poet Professor Kobus Moolman said: ‘I am very grateful to be part of Poetry Africa again. There is a unique audience make-up that comes to the Festival and it is always a delight for me to share my work with them. They are open, vibrant and incredibly responsive.’


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

Young Women Researchers Pioneering New Knowledge

Young Women Researchers Pioneering New Knowledge
Dr Takshita Sookan (left) and Dr Tricia Naicker.

UKZN’s College of Health Sciences recently funded seven studies through its Young Researchers Competitive Grants.

Dr Tashita Sookan and Dr Tricia Naicker of the School of Health Sciences were awarded R250 000 each for their novel studies in the fields of biokinetics and pharmaceutical chemistry.

Sookan, a Biokineticist, will conduct a study titled: “The Effect of High Intensity Intermittent Training (HITT) versus Steady State Aerobic Training on Endothetial Function, Heart Rate Variability, Microvascular Blood Flow and Metabolic Profile in Apparently Healthy and Insulin-Resistant Individuals”.

South Africa is one of the developing countries plagued by obesity, Type 2 diabetes and physical inactivity. Earlier studies have indicated that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with endothelial dysfunction, leading to vascular pathology that has been linked to cardiovascular, peripheral vascular and metabolic disease. Endothelial dysfunction can be regarded as a syndrome that exhibits systemic manifestations associated with significant morbidity and mortality.

Sookan’s study involves 120 participants regarded as healthy and insulin resistant. Subjects will be randomised into a high intensity interval training group (HIG) (n=40), steady state group (SSG) (n=40), and a control group (CG) (n=40). Both the HIG and the SSG  groups will complete a cycling training programme in two sessions a week for eight weeks. The control group will not undergo any training.

Baseline testing (5-7 days prior to the start of the intervention) will be performed to determine the subjects’ initial skin endothelial function, cardio-respiratory fitness, body composition, lipolytic rate and microvascular blood flow. This will be done again after the eight week intervention (72 hours post last training session).

Sookan will collaborate on the study with academics from UKZN, East Carolina University in the United States and the University of Canberra in Australia. The study will also develop one PhD and two masters students.

Said Sookan:  ‘I am really excited and grateful to the College of Health Sciences for the opportunity to participate in the grant writing process, particularly Professor Chimbari for giving young researchers the opportunity and helping us grow and develop as independent researchers. I am also motivated to start a new project post PhD and for the support of my multidisciplinary team. This is a good stepping stone for young academics.’

Naicker, an expert in applying organocatalysis to drug synthesis, will conduct a study titled: “An Integrated Approach for the Discovery of New Antibiotics”. There is an escalating worldwide need for the development of new effective antibiotic drugs which simultaneously target mechanisms of resistance, maintain a high degree of specificity and possess the desired pharmacological properties.

To meet this dire need, the aim of this project will be to integrate the four multi-disciplinary pillars of drug design and development (chemical synthesis, theoretical methods, biochemical factors and biophysical analysis) to provide new antibacterial drug candidates up to preclinical trials.


author : MaryAnn Francis
author email : francism@ukzn.ac.za

Increasing Access and Participation for Persons with Disabilities

Increasing Access and Participation for Persons with Disabilities
At the Research Indaba were (from left): Mr Amith Ramballie and panelists Mr Mthobeli Cutana, Dr Brian Watermeyer, Ms Odette Swift, Mr Tito Nkonyane, Ms Moganambal Naidoo, and Mr Nevil Balakrishna.

The second annual Disability Support Research Indaba was held at the Westville Country Club.

Hosted by the Student Services Division, the conference theme was “Inclusivity in Higher Education: Increasing Access and Participation for Persons with Disabilities”.

Executive Director: Student Services, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, highlighted the importance of inclusivity and the ‘voices of all’, particularly around issues of disability support at Higher Education Institutions.

‘Last year, the inaugural Research Indaba focused on challenges in areas of opportunities, observations and on transformation with a view to placing issues around disability on the research agenda in Higher Education,’ said Chalufu.

He emphasised the importance of facilitating a ‘strong platform for more research and engagement on issues of disability support in universities’.

Chalufu said that this year, the organisers had ‘upped the ante’ by focusing on critical issues of inclusivity in Higher Education.’

The keynote address was delivered by a disabled (partially sighted) Clinical Psychologist and disability studies researcher at the University of Cape Town, Dr Brian Watermeyer.

Watermeyer spoke on: “Disability Standpoint in Tumultuous Times – South African Higher Education in 2016”, in which he examined the current transformation agenda and political climate.

Watermeyer explored race trauma, identity politics and populist positions. He said: ‘We are more comfortable thinking about race than we are thinking about disability. We feel at home talking about race as South Africans.’

He cautioned that disability was always in ‘danger of being relegated to an-add-on’ and emphasised that disability should be at the centre of the diversity debate. ‘A caring society must be built on an inclusive politics,’ he said.

Senior Student Development Specialist in the Student Services Division, Mr Amith Ramballie, quoted the South African Constitution saying: ‘Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit from the law.’ 

Ramballie said the mission of the DSU was to make UKZN ‘barrier free by enhancing equal education opportunities and providing quality services and support to students with disabilities, academic staff and support staff’.

The Indaba included a panel discussion and presentations on a wide variety of topics ranging from “Not Being Heard – Barriers Experienced by Deaf School Leavers” by Ms Odette Swift, to: “The Role of Higher Education Institutions in the Inclusion and Accommodation of Persons Post Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI) in the South African Workplace” by Dr Khalida Akbar and Mr Henry Wissink.


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

UKZN Students at Launch of Women in Water Empowerment Programme

UKZN Students at Launch of Women in Water Empowerment Programme
From left: Ms Sisanda Cele, Ms Thobeka Hlophe, Ms Vunyiwe Makha and Ms Thembeka Zungu.

Four UKZN students attended the launch of the Women in Water Empowerment Programme hosted by the National Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni.

They were the President of the KwaZulu-Natal Youth in Water and Sanitation organisation, Ms Thobeka Hlophe, Ms Thembeka Zungu, Ms Sisanda Cele and Ms Vunyiwe Makha.

The four received invitations to the event after they accompanied the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Ms Nomusa Dube-Ncube, to schools in rural areas to see how learners, especially young girls, coped with unhygienic conditions which had been identified.

Following the visit, the Youth in Water and Sanitation organisation was formed with the aim of, among other things, teaching young girls about sanitation, and to encourage them to pursue careers in water management, treatment, conservation and distribution.

The organisation is currently establishing a vision and strategies to take action towards effective water management to reduce all unnecessary water wastage and to ensure adequate water for everyone.

The organisation’s leadership was also invited to the Women in Water Empowerment Programme to learn more about the opportunities created for young women and in turn the opportunities for young women to participate and become service providers in the provision of water and sanitation.

The aim of the programme is to introduce entities owned by women into the water and sanitation industry as consultants, contractors, suppliers and innovators. It is also aimed at women in the water sector to ensure they can take advantage of huge economic benefits that accrue from water and sanitation infrastructure development and maintenance.

The Minister called for the inclusion of women and youth in programmes to ensure sustainable access to clean and quality water for all South Africans amid drought challenges.

Mokonyane thanked the eThekwini Municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government for their best practices interventions to alleviate the negative impact or possible disasters caused by climate change.

The UKZN delegation met activist Ms Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, who - in tandem with Mokonyane - urged the Youth in Water and Sanitation organisation to continue its good work and committed Government to assist when required.

The UKZN delegation also met the Water Research Commissioner, Dr Mandla Msibi, who offered assistance and guidance with water and sanitation research.


author : Thobeka Hlophe
author email : 215039014@stu.ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Law Academics Contribute to DIT Intellectual Property Consultative Framework

UKZN Law Academics Contribute to DIT Intellectual Property Consultative Framework

A group of School of Law academics is part of a team of experts, scholars and pro-access to medicines advocates who have contributed to the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DIT) Intellectual Property Consultative Framework.

The framework attempts to reform the Department’s intellectual property, mainly patent laws, in an effort to improve access to affordable medicines.

The academics are: author Professor Yousuf Vawda and co-submitters, Professor David McQuoid-Mason, Ms Priya Pravesh Singh, Ms Sheetal Soni, Ms Devina Perumal, Ms Lindiwe Maqutu, Ms Dev Bellengere, Mr Maropeng Mpya, Ms Suhayfa Bhamjee, Mr Simphiwe Phungula, Ms Willene Holness, Mr Zwelethu Sibiya and Mrs Clydenia Stevens.

Mr Andy Gray of UKZN’s School of Health Sciences, and Mr Lloyd Lotz formerly of the School of Law, are co-submitters.

‘The extensive involvement of our colleagues in this process is hardly surprising as many of them have been involved during the past three years in training and preparing for a new curriculum on Intellectual Property Human Rights and Access to Medicines which is a Masters of Laws module now being offered in its second year,’ said Vawda.

‘This is one of the Law School’s programmes which aims to combine academic teaching, research, advocacy work and outreach to communities and NGOs advocating for access to affordable medicines. As a result, the pool of academics which is involved in working in this Discipline has increased.

‘Our co-authors and supporters are drawn from an international network of scholars and experts. Many of the authors have also been involved in developing capacity in this discipline in several African countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Botswana, through the Open Society Foundation-supported African Scholars for Knowledge Justice (ASK Justice) Network. We have also previously collaborated on several projects, including making a submission to the Department of Trade and Industry on its earlier 2013 Draft IP Policy,’ he said.

‘It was an incredibly rewarding experience working with colleagues who are all specialists in their fields. We all contributed to this effort and learned from one another, and worked collaboratively on the document for about two months,’ said Vawda.

‘In addition, we circulated our draft submission widely prior to delivery to the DTI and received a phenomenal response from academics, experts, scholars, activists and access advocates across the world. The list of co-submitters includes researchers from some of the leading institutions in the world as well as national and international NGOs.’

We were also pleased to secure the endorsement of the South African-based Fix the Patent Laws Coalition, representing 31 organisations including the Treatment Action Campaign, Doctors Without Borders, the public interest law group Section27, and many of the leading patient groups working with people afflicted with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and various mental health conditions.

The Department of Trade and Industry is presently reviewing all the proposals received on the Framework. The submission can be viewed at http://infojustice.org/archives/36991. Comments or queries should be directed to Professor Yousuf A Vawda at vawday@ukzn.ac.za.


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

UKZN’s Dr Reshna Mungar Wins Top Prize at International ENT Congress

UKZN’s Dr Reshna Mungar Wins Top Prize at International ENT Congress
Dr Reshna Mungar.

Postgraduate student and Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) Registrar, Dr Reshna Mungar, won the Registrar Prize for the best oral presentation at the 2016 International ENT Congress in Durban. 

‘I am excited for UKZN’s ENT Department and honoured to be recognised among my colleagues,’ said Mungar, who presented her research titled: “Scope of ENT Amongst Primary Care Physicians in KZN”, to fellow ENT practitioners across South Africa as well as international guests.  

According to Mungar, the ENT department is inundated with referrals of patients from all over the province. ‘My research creates awareness about ENT among the medical community. ENT is an under represented speciality because there is a lack of understanding of its scope.’  

She said her department was the third largest surgical discipline internationally along with General Surgery Trauma and Orthopaedics. ‘Almost 20% of GP consults are related to ENT conditions and a further 50% are paediatric related. My perceptions of ENT changed when I joined as a Registrar because I was made aware of the pathology and expertise involved,’ explained Mungar.

Her presentation created awareness about the scope of ENT in KwaZulu-Natal. ‘I provided an overview of the perceptions of the importance of ENT training in general practice. I described the ENT symptoms, conditions and emergencies encountered by private GPs and primary providers - interns, community service officers and medical officers – at the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal. I correlated years of experience with referrals to ENT and/or discipline specific referrals,’ said Mungar. 

Mungar’s study provided insight to the ENT pathology seen by doctors. She said the information would assist the ENT Department to provide workshops or training for interested doctors. ‘By empowering our doctors we equip them to treat and manage the vast ENT pathology seen in those unreachable rural areas and also prevent delays in referrals. We have also launched ENT-KZN CARES (Client Access and Referral Expansion Service) to help with swifter referrals and management,’ she said.

Mungar is currently doing her MMed, ‘As a Registrar I value my teachers and consultants and would aspire to be as influential as they have been in my career.’ Her future plans include being involved in the health care system transformation within government hospitals, providing free and adequate medical services to the impoverished.

The Durban-born doctor is married with two daughters aged 7 and 4. ‘My children inspire me to make a difference.’

The head of the ENT Department, Dr Yougan Saman, congratulated Mungar on winning the registrar prize for the best oral presentation at the Congress, ‘This is extremely great news and she has made us all very proud,’ said Saman.


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

Inaugural Student Services HIV and AIDS Research Indaba

Inaugural Student Services HIV and AIDS Research Indaba
Dr Sibusiso Chalufu (far right) with staff members from the University HIV and AIDS Programme and delegates who attended the Research Indaba.

There are 1 000 new HIV infections in South Africa every day whilst one out of five people in the world, living with the disease, are in this country. Those were just some of the statistics revealed during the HIV and AIDS Inaugural Research Indaba hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) HIV and AIDS Programme within the Student Services Division.

Using the theme: “HIV and AIDS in Institutions of Higher Learning: A Focus on Knowledge Generation, Social Empowerment, Scientific and Behavioural Aspects of the Pandemic”, the two-day Indaba explored the latest statistics, challenges, research and realities facing Higher Education Institutions and society as a whole.

According to the organisers, the motivation behind the conference was to introduce ‘a research culture’ into the support sector at UKZN in respect to the HIV and AIDS Programme and the critical work carried out by the department. It was seen as a strategic decision to focus more on confronting the pandemic from the angle of ‘Research’ as a means to be more evidence based.

The HIV and AIDS Programme realised that it has become critical to examine the pandemic from a behavioural context through ‘Behavioural Research’. It is hoped that more action-based behavioural research at UKZN will allow the HIV and AIDS Programme and others to gain key insight to the underlying factors that contribute to HIV infection rates and in turn create a means of empowerment and inform strategies. Hence, the Indaba marked the commencement of the research strategy for the HIV and AIDS Programme which is a new beginning for the Department, Division and University as a whole. As of this year, the HIV and AIDS Programme has also aligned its strategy to the United Nations ‘90 90 90’ global AIDS strategy. The strategy is meant to end the pandemic by 2030. Hence the objectives of the 90 90 90 strategy are to ensure that by 2020:

In his opening address, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal (UKZN), Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, conveyed that nobody in South Africa escaped being touched by the pandemic as it affected the life of every single South African in one way or another.

In addition, he relayed that UKZN had invested heavily in the area of research in HIV and AIDS, and it was home to three leading HIV and AIDS research centres. Van Jaarsveld revealed that K-RITH and the Africa Centre recently received a R170 million Wellcome Grant towards research. He indicated that the University had also secured - through the Student Services Division - a Ford Foundation grant to explore and conduct research on the pandemic on UKZN campuses.

Keynote speakers included the husband and wife HIV and AIDS research duo, Professor Salim Abdool Karim and Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim. Quoting latest statistics, Salim Abdool Karim highlighted that there were 1 000 new infections in South Africa everyday; one out of five people living with HIV in the world were in South Africa; more than 7 million people were living with HIV and that treatment reached less than 50% of patients. A third of global infections were in South Africa, India and Kenya.

The panel discussion (which included the Department of Health, Higher Education Sector, UKZN HIV Co-ordinator, Peer Educator and Researcher) presentations centred around issues affecting university students, including ‘blessers’ or ‘sponsors’ (men who give financial and material favours to students in exchange for sex).

Highlighting the progression of the pandemic since its discovery, Quarraisha Abdool Karim spoke on: “How Values and Norms Impact What We Do”, saying a lot of progress had been made in the transformation of HIV treatment. The country had gone through a period of denialism but had emerged from it with part of that emergence being the introduction of the use of ARVs. The use of ARVs to prevent mother-to-infant infections was one of the major successes in reducing the spread of HIV infection. ‘In 2009, we had 30 to 40 percent transmission rates whereas today there’s a transmission rate of less than 2%.’ Abdool Karim highlighted that half of South Africa’s population were under the age of 30 and with young girls having children, the mother’s survival was critical to the infant’s survival.

The Executive Director of the Student Services Division, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, asserted that collaboration between concerned parties was vital for positive outcomes. He acknowledged the support of government departments and NGOs.

The presentations at the Indaba were of high quality and relevance. The presenters demonstrated sheer research strength and knowledge and all presentations stimulated engaging discussions which complemented the essence of the Indaba. The Indaba also attracted research that was done places beyond our borders such as Zimbabwe and Kenya. Delegates even travelled from places abroad to present their research and contribute to the discussions.

Some of the presentations revolved around key areas such as:

-       HCT uptake among university students

-       ‘Sponsor’ (also referred to as a ‘Blesser’) Mentality among University students and its implications on HIV (a Kenyan study)

-       Students’ Attitudes and Perceptions towards Medical Male Circumcision

-       Students’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours with regards to HIV and AIDS at a university. (This was a study done in Zimbabwe)

-       Racial differences in willingness to participate in HIV prevention clinical trials amongst university students

-       Gendered knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of university students towards the ‘ABC’ strategy for HIV prevention.

Also discussed were the scarcity of HIV and AIDS research on university students. It was revealed that new infections were high among girls and women between the ages of 15 and 24. Other issues raised included the preference of students to use the campus clinics to be tested for HIV and AIDS rather than using allocated stations during campaigns in an effort to avoid the stigma associated with being seen having the test.

One of the highlights of the Indaba was the strong collaboration with WITS University (represented by Professor Mzikazi Nduna), which gave rise to the WITS Symposium that was well positioned on the second day of the Indaba. This symposium presented a rich and detailed analysis of LGBTI at a Higher Education level. Other crucial aspects such as gender based violence, human rights, the missing voice regarding LGBTI, and the responsibility of each person were also emphasised by the remarkable and intellectual presenters that were members of the symposium from WITS University. This hence marked a strategic and collaborative relationship between both universities in relation to HIV and AIDS.

Overall, the Indaba made a strong statement regarding HIV and AIDS in Higher Education. It was clear that the fight to free our society from HIV and AIDS was far from over, however, the on-going research and interventions by committed researchers and stakeholders would not stop nor decline. The Indaba became a strong platform for critical knowledge exchange and engagement and the presentations enhanced the understanding of the current realities and happenings in relation to HIV and AIDS in a Higher Education setting.


author : Sithembile Shabangu
author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

The UKZN Griot. Of Paper, Uncompletion Quotients and Work

The UKZN Griot.  Of Paper, Uncompletion Quotients and Work

Keyan G Tomaselli*

‘There’s too much damn paper work.’ This was my A-rated colleague’s observation on having to sit through an interminable meeting on research centres.  ‘How does anyone get any real work done?’ he asked me.

This 75-year-old is delighted that he will retire soon – no more paperwork.  No more officious HODs. The paperwork, of course, is now all electronic, with no storage or budgetary limits.  Whole university divisions have been established simply to extract data from all of us.  We’re drowning in information.  But that information is useless because there is too damn much of it, and nobody really knows what to do with it. So, managers just ask for more and more of it.

Universities set up committees to process useless information, now known as “big data”.  But often they don’t know where it is or how to access it.  So they recurrently ask the academics to re-generate the same data, often on different forms and in different templates.  In a previous 2010 column I suggested that my student readers explain to their parents that what academics do is fill in forms [1].

One head of School told his staff to keep all correspondence to just four lines.  Failing which, he did not have time to read it, let alone act on it.  So, what we get now are templates.  Templates feed Charles Vail’s axioms of hierarchicology.  Vail was once a university vice-president.  He was the first to study the bureaucracy.   Vail’s Axiom 1 reads:  ‘Work seeks the lowest level’, but at UKZN it seeks a higher level where academic co-ordinators now do the work once done by secretaries and messengers.  Vail’s Axiom 2: ‘The percentage of work at any level of the hierarchy that remains undone is invariant, which is why bureaucracies expand ad infinitum.’ 

Why create just two levels when four will do?  Corollary 2 is relevant here:  ‘The amount of material to be filed increases in proportion to the amount already filed’; which then re-activates Axiom 1. The bureaucracy is unable to locate, connect or process the information already filed with it by academics now doing basic admin jobs also.  So the academics are instructed to re-generating the same data over and over and over again.

This circularity creates the ‘Backlog Syndrome’. If we do not have a backlog we cannot make claim to continued employment.  So, the bureaucrats devolve their backlogs to the academics where the buck stops, mainly because the academic co-ordinators at UKZN don’t have a natural lower (secretarial) level to which to devolve their backlogs.  So the highest uncompletion quotient (UQ) in any institution is to be found in the higher ranks. Thus, was management science borne. But I wonder how many still teach Northcote Parkinson’s theory of hierarchicology?  In this context Corrollary 2 of his First Law states that: ‘Officials make work for each other.  They also make work for everyone else and hijack time that was previously available for productive work.   

Recently – after some resistance to being treated like a factory worker – I insisted on composing my own performance template, explaining what academics actually do. But the un-negotiable section of the form still ranks annual article output as follows:  ISI (WoS), Scopus, IBSS, accredited, other.  Why?   I don’t write for indexes. I write for readerships.  Indexes are not publishers but publisher positioning and marketing devices.  Academics are usually suspicious of ‘the market’, but when publishing they tend to be driven by it. Are they oblivious of the contradiction?

Though lecturers work in terms of annual cycles, researchers do not.  These are linked to what is feasible during specific phases of the research, in light of time, funding and non-tangible resources, and are dependent on external factors that cannot always be anticipated.  Measuring output that does not include in-preparation, rejected or under-review publications on an annual basis is thus inaccurate.

Research is reliant on a series of considerations that emerge out of the projects themselves.  So I have called on Vail’s Axiom 2 and included in my performance management (PM) form my backlog:  stuff I am still thinking about, half-done articles, writing these kinds of columns, wasting time at conferences,  doing peer reviews, community engagement, footling around in the field etc.  Since the PM industry took Parkinson seriously, instead of seeing his irony, I have furthermore entered the filling in of my PM form on the form itself.  Now, I have allocated a percentage to the amount of time consumed in this form filling exercise which simultaneously addresses the Vail and Northcote principles of how to keep ever-expanding bureaucracies busy. As more staff are appointed, more work is undone and so more people must be brought in to do it. But this does not axiomatically apply in the academic sector where fewer and fewer staff do more and more work in less and less time.

My objective in developing this thesis is to develop a huge backlog and to be employed until I am 80, as Minister Blade Nzimande has suggested.  I will then bequeath my backlog to my successor and wait for my articles in the pipeline to appear over the next 10 years. 

She or he can then fill in the forms. Paper still rules.

Reference:

1.       “Of Managers and Forms”,

  http://ccms.ukzn.ac.za/files/articles/Griot/ukzndaba%20october%202010%20p8%20repro.pdf

·         Keyan G Tomaselli was the first academic to go electronic at Natal University in 1985.  The Finance Division kept asking why he was asking for a PC.   Why would a typewriter not do?

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


author : Keyan G Tomaselli
author email : tomasell@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN Announces Names of First Nine DRILL Fellows

UKZN Announces Names of First Nine DRILL Fellows
The new Developing Research Innovation, Localisation and Leadership in South Africa (DRILL) Fellows.

UKZN’s College of Health Sciences (CHS) has announced its first cohort of nine Fellows under the auspices of Developing Research Innovation, Localisation and Leadership in South Africa (DRILL).

The project is receiving funding of R45 million over a five-year period from the United States Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The grant, awarded in 2015, funds the training of 20 junior researchers from UKZN and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, with the aim of producing world-class scientists who will lead and direct research programmes designed around real world problems outside metropolitan areas. The new Fellows will prioritise health research that is underpinned by the philosophy of social accountability in the scientific areas of HIV and AIDS, mental health, health professions education and health systems research.

It is envisaged that the Fellows will also be trained for academic positions at UKZN with a strong developmental plan that would prepare them to apply for a National Research Foundation (NRF) rating and academic promotion.

Two of the new Fellows - Dr Euphemia Mbali Mhlongo and Ms Varsha Bangalee - will focus on health systems strengthening.

Mhlongo’s study will assess the progress towards the goals of the National Health Insurance (NHI) in two pilot districts in KwaZulu-Natal, specifically the factors which enable or hamper progress.

Bangalee, who is a Pharmacist, will focus on the use, benefit and applicability of health technology assessments in regard to pharmaceutical pricing; policy monitoring and development; and decision making.

In the field of HIV and AIDS, three new fellowships were awarded to Medical Practioner, Dr Thabile Wendy Mphatswe, Medical Scientist, Dr Jacobus Hendricks, and Pathologist, Dr Bongani Nkambule.

Mphatswe’s research will focus on clinical, viral and immunological factors associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) clearance and treatment outcomes following surgical excision of intraepithelial lesions of the cervix in HIV positive patients. She believes that an understanding of clinical, viral and immunological factors associated with treatment response of cervical pre-invasive lesions including the effect of HIV infection and ART on this, are critical to the development of treatment and follow up strategies that could improve the outcome of patients who are already infected with HPV.

Hendricks, who has a PhD in Immunogenetics, will focus on the targeting of B-cell immune checkpoints that induce improved antibody responses in HIV. Essentially, an understanding of antibody responses could lead to the development of more efficient and safer pharmaceutical drugs aimed at combatting the virus.

Nkambule’s study aims to identify signalling pathways and immune check points that may serve as a link between inflammation and thrombosis in inflammatory conditions such as HIV and Type 2 diabetes. This study concentrates on therapeutic strategies for management of patients who are at risk of developing metabolic disease or thrombotic complications.

Awarded a fellowship within the area of Health Professions Education are UKZN academics Ms Diane van Staden and Mr Saul Cobbing.

Trained as an Optometrist, van Staden’s research is aimed at developing a planning framework for a decentralised model of training in health sciences within the South African context.

Cobbing’s physiotherapy research project aims to design and implement the multidisciplinary training of community health care workers and maximise their effectiveness at carrying out general rehabilitative assessment and services in the homes of People Living with HIV in an underserved district of KwaZulu-Natal.

The two Fellows doing research in the field of Mental Health are Dr Lihle Qulu and Dr Thabisile Mpofana.

The focus is on febrile seizures which are a paediatric disorder affecting between 10% and 18% of children in certain parts of Africa and are by far the most common convulsive disorder. The seizures are a consequence of infections such as otitis media (middle ear infection), gastro intestinal infections and other childhood infections. Qulu, a Neuroscientist, will investigate the mechanism by which Searsia chirindensis, also known as Red Current and which is commonly found in the eastern parts of Southern Africa, attenuates febrile seizures.

Mpofana, a Medical Scientist, will seek to understand the progression of the neurodegenerative disorder of Parkinson’s disease as a result of maternal separation. Earlier studies have indicated that exposure to stressful events during the early postnatal period affects the development of the brain therefore making a person more susceptible to the development of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease later in life. Mpofana’s study will not only create a better understanding of Parkinson’s disease but also result in new approaches in the treatment of the disease and preventative measures.

Professor Rob Slotow, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of CHS, congratulated the new fellows but reminded them of the importance of excelling. ‘Do not be mediocre. Mediocrity doesn’t help. You need to find a way to excel in all that you do. We wish you all the best.’

Professor Petra Brysiewicz of DRILL, said: ‘We are thrilled to introduce the DRILL Fellows who are staff with incredible life stories of their academic journey thus far. We are privileged to be able to work with this exceptional group and look forward to exciting years ahead!’


author : MaryAnn Francis
author email : francism@ukzn.ac.za