DIFF NOMINATED FOR AFRICA AWARD

DIFF NOMINATED FOR AFRICA AWARD

The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), hosted annually by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), has been nominated in the Most Outstanding Film Festival in Africa category at the 2013 AFRICA Film Development Awards.

Established in Tanzania in May 2012, the Africa Film Development Awards are geared at recognising and celebrating excellent individuals and organisations which have become notable in their contribution towards the growth and development of African cinema.

Nominees include film-makers, heads of government, corporate organisations, film promoters, distributors, media and film journalists from more than 30 African countries.  The awards ceremony takes place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 29 June.

The 34th edition of DIFF – South Africa’s premier film festival - takes place this year from 19 to 28 July.

DIFF is the country’s largest and longest-running International Film Festival presenting more than 150 screenings of the latest and greatest in contemporary world cinema.

Apart from a powerful cross-section of new films from South Africa and the rest of the continent, there will be a special focus on films exploring sexual identity as well as showcases of European cinema and contemporary independent directors from the United States.

This year features a Zombie Fest! - a special focus area exploring the current wave of zombie movies.

At a recent gathering, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, thanked staff of the CCA for their hard work and effort in ensuring the continued success of the various events of the CCA.

‘As a College, we recognise the role of the Arts in society and I thank you for all your efforts in making Time of the Writer a success and for all the hard work done ahead of DIFF,’ said Potgieter.


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

TREE PLANTED FOR INTERNATIONAL BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY DAY

TREE PLANTED FOR INTERNATIONAL BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY DAY

The School of Life Sciences celebrated International Biological Diversity Day by planting a Natal Forest Cabbage Tree near the Biological and Conservation Sciences Building on the Westville campus.

Welcoming students and staff to the event, Associate Professor Ashley Nicholas drew their attention to the hole dug for the new tree, suggesting it was symbolic of the grave of the 16 species which became extinct on that very day (according to World Wildlife Foundation statistics).

Nicholas said biodiversity had become more accurately defined over the last 15 years as: ‘The study of living organisms at all their levels of manifesting, from the chemical, the genetic, the cellular, the physiological, the anatomical, the microscopic, the morphological and also the ecological levels. Biodiversity occurs at all these levels and also includes all their interaction. This embraces key aspects such as pollination, evolution and population dynamics.’

Nicholas told the audience biologists were privileged because they had amazing insight into living organisms with their work place spanning the laboratory, the museum, the herbarium, the greenhouse, the library and the field. ‘The greatest and most important research laboratory is the field.’

Nicholas wanted those attending to appreciate that the tree being planted represented the honour one would wish to accord to all life on earth, from the smallest single celled organisms to the mushrooms, insects, fish and mammals. ‘The tree should embody our respect, appreciation and love of all life,’ said Nicholas.

Nicholas concluded: ‘We need more green-corners on campus, such as the one on the east side of the Biology building where students and staff can come to study or socialise. The Tree Planting Culture should be encouraged and embarked on at a campus wide level.’

Associate Professor Himansu Baijnath, a scientist with an excellent knowledge of South African plants, was next to speak. Baijnath, who received his Doctoral degree at Reading University in England, spent a great deal of time also working at the world famous Jodrell Laboratory in Kew Gardens. Nicholas said: ‘Professor Baijnath is one of the School of Life Sciences respected patriarchs and is one of a slowly fading generation whose wisdom and knowledge is irreplaceable.’

Baijnath provided an informative session about the Natal Forest Cabbage Tree or the Roundhead Cabbage Tree. Some of the interesting aspects he touched on were the description, history and uses of the tree. He described the tree as 'attractive, quick growing, with a relatively long life span and which can attain a height of 15 meters. The tree has a peculiar habit of producing their attractive leaves toward the ends of thick branches in large round heads. Trees typically have between 1-15 heads, although older specimens may develop many more.'

Professor Baijnath followed this with a brief history about the name of the plant: ‘Cussonia is named after the Professor Pierre Cusson at the University of Montpellier (1727 – 1783).’ The genus Cussonia is represented by 11 different species in South Africa; most are small to medium trees.


author email : rajpall@ukzn.ac.za

RESTORATION OF HUMANITY THE CLARION CALL AT PUBLIC LECTURE

RESTORATION OF HUMANITY THE CLARION CALL AT PUBLIC LECTURE

Restoring humanity in South Africa against a background of a deeply divided, wounded, violent post-apartheid human condition was the thrust of Occupational Therapy Activist Mr Frank Kronenberg’s presentation at a Public Lecture at UKZN.

Kronenberg discussed why occupational therapists needed to work more closely with disciplines beyond medicine and a diversity of social actors in order to bring about the much needed processes of healing.

He said occupational therapy embraced a vision of human occupation for health. It is based on a critical appreciation of the easily taken for granted relationship between the ordinary and extraordinary things people do to themselves and to each other on a daily basis, and their health and wellbeing.

He quoted the 1996 preamble of the South African Constitution which states: ‘South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity’, and invited the audience to briefly engage with the ‘human occupation for health’ question: ‘how are we doing as South Africa’?

Respondents voiced deeply felt concerns about “where we are and where we could be going as a country”.

Kronenberg, who grew up in The Netherlands, said one of the main lessons he had learned in life was that “humans cannot do without each other”. Having been raised in a bakery milieu, he understood human occupation for health as “the other daily bread” and that having access to it was fundamental to bringing about and maintaining health and well-being.

He acknowledged the need of occupational therapists to more compellingly communicate their social value as a possibilities-based practice, to stand-up for and with people who were told or made to believe that what they were seeking was “not” possible and changing it into “not yet” while committing to collectively overcome obstacles at hand.    

While acknowledging the value of the National Planning Commission’s Diagnostic Report and Development Plan (2011), Kronenberg expressed a concern about what he called, “the plan’s perhaps overly instrumental approach” towards “eliminating poverty and inequality” in South Africa, which views “creating employment and improving the substandard education for poor Black South Africans” as its main challenges.

Kronenberg proposed that fundamental to these rather obvious development measures, might be the need to create opportunities to disrupt the historical conditions which caused and continue to create the gross inequalities which seem to keep “all who live in South Africa” divided by what might constitute “our wounded humanity”. This is the focus of a PhD he is currently carrying out at the University of Cape Town.

Kronenberg argued that as a society, we ought to not only look at these challenges as “things that need to be fixed”.  Occupational therapists delved deeper to see and enable what individuals and groups, irrespective of their ability and/or socio-economic status, could contribute to society.

Highlighting the need to train more occupational therapists in South Africa, he said within the profession globally there were several emerging discourses and practices which went beyond the advancement of the “doing well” of individuals within a social context and more towards promoting “doing well together”, and “therapy” beyond the ‘treatment of patients’ rather focusing on the healing of relationships between historically divided people.

The talk ended with the question: How can YOU and I go about restoring humanity?

* Kronenberg is a co-founder of the movement Occupational Therapists without Borders; an international guest lecturer at universities worldwide and Director and co-Founder of Shades of Black Works (www.shades-of-black.co.za) He is also a Development Director with Isango Ensemble, a world-renowned Cape Town-based theatre company (www.isangoensemble.org.za) and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Khayelitsha-Cape Town based NPO Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS (GAPA, www.gapa.org.za)


author email : francism@ukzn.ac.za

UCWANINGO LWETHULWE PHESHEYA KWEZILWANDLE

UCWANINGO LWETHULWE PHESHEYA KWEZILWANDLE

UNksz Zandile Blose wase-UKZN, wethule umsebenzi wocwaningo lwakhe kwiNgqungquthela yaminyaka yonke ebizwa phecelezi – The 4th Coalition for Global Hearing Health Conference, eTennessee, United States.

UBlose onguMciji omkhulu kwiSayensi yezokuzwa e-UKZN wethweswe iziqu ze-Masters kuwo lonyaka ophezulu aziphase kahle kakhulu ngalokhu esithi cum laude kulandela ucwaningo alwenzile olubuka izinselelo ezibhekene nezingane ezingezwa kwimindeni ezwayo. Uthe kumjabulisile ukuthi umsebenzi wakhe awenze kanzima umkhokhele ngale ndlela futhi ‘usumfak’ezintweni’.

‘Ngethula ucwaningo kubacwaningi asebemkatshu’bomvu kule ndima umhlaba wonke. Abanye balaba cwaningi sebebhale amaphepha kanye nezincwadi esizisebenzisile emisebenzini yethu yocwaningo kanye nasekufundiseni’, kubeka uBlose.

‘Amazwibela aleNgqungquthela abe ngesikhathi sifakana imilomo, sixukuz’ ugebhezi kweminye imisebenzi yocwaningo kanye nokufunda izindlela ezintsha zocwaningo ezingasetshenziswa nalapha ekhaya’.

Oka-Blose uthe okwamhlab’umxhwele ukuthola imibono evela kulabo ababeyingxenye yeNgqungquthela nenkuthazo yokuqhubekela phambili ukusebenza kule ndima yocwaningo ikakhulukazi  kwingqikithi yaseNingizimu Afrika. Umphumela walokho, uBlose usefake isicelo sokuqhubeka enze izifundo zakhe zeziqu zobuDokotela, kumanje umatasa ubhala ngalokhu akutholile kumsebenzi wakhe wocwaningo kwiziqu zakhe ezedlule.

‘Umkhakha wethu musha futhi uyakhula ngesivinini. Ngenxa nokho yokwehlukana kanye nezindaba ezahlukene ezikhona ezweni lethu, kunengcindezi ekhona yocwaningo olufanelekile futhi oluqonde-ngqo kwimanje lethu’.

Oka-Blose unxenxe abafundi bakhe ukuba bahlale bevul’amahlo ngamathuba akhona kuwo  uMnyango wezokuzwa esho nokusho ukuthi, lokhu kuzokwenza ukuthi baphons’esivivaneni solwazi ukuqhubekisela phambili lomkhakha.

Click here for English version


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

PUBLIC GOVERNANCE STUDENT AWARDED INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP

PUBLIC GOVERNANCE STUDENT AWARDED INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP

Public governance honours student Mr Khethukuphila Ngubane has secured a scholarship to attend the Strategy and Marketing for Emerging Countries: Brazil Economic Outlook, Business and Employment Opportunities Programme in Brazil next month.

The three-week certification programme - offered by the International Business School of Sao Paulo and the Universidade  Paulista - informs foreign students, investors and young professionals from all over the world  about the main characteristics of emerging countries and how to succeed in global marketing.

Ngubane, who was among those selected from more than 4 000 applicants for the scholarship, said he was grateful for the support he received from the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance  academics who have encouraged his academic and career development and assisted him with the application process.  Ngubane also expressed gratitude to the International Relations Office and the broader UKZN administration.

‘I was confident I had a chance to secure the scholarship but I needed help preparing my CV and my personal statement, so I approached lecturer Dr Fayth Ruffin who was only too happy to help.

‘Attending this programme gives me an opportunity to get international exposure and knowledge I can use when I do my Master’s next year. I hope to be an ambassador for UKZN and to make every one proud,’ said Ngubane.

Public Administration Lecturer Dr Thokazani Nzimakwe is currently giving Ngubane guidance on what awaits him in Brazil.

‘It is very important for him to know what to expect and have academic guidelines to refer to as this is his first overseas venture,’ said Nzimakwe.

Ruffin said it was important for academics to nurture and support students as this made them more confident about their academic potential.

‘When students are nurtured they push beyond their borders because they believe in themselves and also get an understanding of how the world works. It also shows them that every goal they have is only a decision away. We are very excited for Khethukuphila and hope that he will serve as an inspiration to other students to seize these wonderful opportunities,’ said Ruffin.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN EDUCATION PROFESSOR VISITS HONG KONG UNIVERSITY

UKZN EDUCATION PROFESSOR VISITS HONG KONG UNIVERSITY

Professor Michael Samuel of UKZN’s School of Education recently visited Hong Kong University (HKU) on a Faculty Visitorship Scheme (FVS) programme organised by the Faculty of Education at HKU.

Samuel said the visitorship was structured largely around the introduction of innovative methodologies of teaching and assessment of professional teacher education programmes; the exploration of creative methodologies of research approaches at postgraduate level, and activation of a structure for a book capturing the inter-disciplinary activity of a research cluster of staff working in a project called the Teaching Development Grant (TDG).

The visitorship also involved working with postgraduate PhD students who were in exploratory stages of design of their studies, as well as data analysis and capturing of textual representation of their findings.

‘I took part in one of the TDG Seminars exploring methodologies of refining the goals and principles underpinning assessment practices during the teaching practice (TP) sessions. Conducted by Professor Ora Kwo, this provided orientation to planning, engaging and reflection on the feedback session after TP with 3rd and 4th year students.

‘My engagement with the classroom activity of third and fourth year students gave me an insight into how the pernicious performativity culture of formal assessment rather than professional learning infuses into the professional training environment. The voices of the schooling mentor teachers need to be more consciously activated as a major potential force (positive or negative) on student teacher trajectory of development.’

Samuel also delivered a public lecture on a macro-level analysis drawing from comparative perspectives of tracing doctoral career paths of students after they graduate. His second public lecture focused on innovative methodologies of life history and narrative research as a potential for teacher development.

Samuel met members of the Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) for discussions about macro-scale research being conducted on “shadow schooling” - the rising international phenomenon of private tutoring operating - sometimes clandestinely - parallel with the formal public school system.

Possibilities for similar projects to inform policy directions in the South African context are anticipated.

Kwo of Hong Kong University said: ‘I can see Professor Samuel has had a profound impact in enlightening colleagues and graduate students with the breadth and depth of his integrated horizon of research and teaching.’


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN BIKER COMPETES IN SANI2C RACE

UKZN BIKER COMPETES IN SANI2C RACE

Administrator in the School of Engineering Ms Wendy Janssens completed the gruelling 267km Sani2c trail race – one of the most prestigious events on the South African mountain biking calendar.

Janssens, who was sponsored by the Mechanical Engineering Discipline, the School of Engineering and the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, said Day One involved an 87km ride between Underberg and Ixopo followed by Day Two’s 100km grind through the Umkomaas Valley which was the most demanding section of the race.

After overnighting at Jolivet in Highflats, the final – and fastest – leg took competitors down to Scottburgh to finish on the life floating bridge. ‘It was quite a challenge to ride 800m along the bridge with waves that broke over the structure,’ said Janssens.

‘Hopefully, UKZN will enter more teams in the event next year.’


author email : Janssensw@ukzn.ac.za

WRITING PLACE AWARDS ITS STUDENTS

WRITING PLACE AWARDS ITS STUDENTS

The Writing Place held its first semester awards function at the Howard College Theatre on UKZN’s Howard College campus recently.

Students who performed well in the Writing Place’s academic writing workshop series were recognised and rewarded at the event. 

The Writing Place assists students (First year-Master’s) with their academic writing skills through an emphasis on essay/assignment structure and understanding of academic concepts.

Dean of Teaching and Learning at the College of Humanities, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, who presented the awards, addressed the students on the importance of academic writing.

‘We understand that students struggle with issues of writing so these workshops are designed to improve and enhance your essay and academic writing skills to enable you to structure essays and in turn improve your academic performance,’ said Hlongwa.

According to the Writing Place Co-ordinator, Ms Jessica Dore, the aim of this year’s workshops is to guide students through the process of constructing an essay, from breaking down the essay question through to learning how to reference work correctly. 

‘The current small group format of these workshops was piloted in the second semester of 2012,’ said Dore. ‘So far this year we have run two full workshop series, each consisting of four weekly 45 minute sessions.

‘Students were divided into groups of between six and 10 with each group led by two of our trained postgraduate tutors.  We had almost 200 students sign up for our workshops but only 80 attended all four sessions.’

As a reward for their commitment these students were invited to attend the awards function and received attendance certificates.  Students were also encouraged to submit essays for a competition and those who received the best marks for their essays were awarded R200 Adams’ book vouchers to help encourage a culture of reading.

The winners of the book vouchers were Ms Terrie-Lea Russon, Ms Sinegugu Madlala and Mr Sandile Ncwane.

‘Attending the workshops really improved my writing skills and my academic performance has improved as well,’ said Russon.

The prize winners encouraged other students to make use of the Writing Place and to work hard.

author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

PUBLIC HEALTH SYMPOSIUM PUTS YOUNG RESEARCHERS ON THE MAP

PUBLIC HEALTH SYMPOSIUM PUTS YOUNG RESEARCHERS ON THE MAP

Public Health specialists who recently graduated from UKZN presented findings from their research at a symposium.

Academics from the discipline which produced 12 Masters and a PhD graduate this year, said the young professionals had an important role to play in improving primary healthcare in South Africa during the implementation of the National Health Insurance scheme.

According to Professor Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni, Acting Academic Leader for Public Health at UKZN, the future of healthcare in South Africa requires a lot of professionals who specialise in public health.

Tsoka-Gwegweni told the graduates it was important to distinguish between knowledge and understanding while ongoing research was the key to enhancing their knowledge, understanding and wisdom as young public health professionals.

Graduate Dr Daniel Simbeye presented significant findings and recommendations from his study which focused on the implementation strategy of free health care policy for disabled persons at hospital level in KwaZulu-Natal.

Simbeye argued that since its introduction nationally in 2003, the free health care policy for disabled people had not been evaluated locally. This spurred him to conduct research to inform health service managers and the provincial Department of Health about the status quo.

Study participants called for increased awareness of the policy especially among people living with disabilities as well as hospital staff. They said it was important to make the policy available at hospital level and for it to be translated into an appropriate language and format.

Participants also suggested training of health workers on the assessment of patients for policy eligibility and the incorporation of free health care into the Uniform Patient Fees Structure.

Simbeye said those with disabilities often did not have transport to hospital while some hospitals lacked adequate strategies and equipment for patient care. He suggested a review of the policy at national level and the introduction of a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure implementation of the policy.

A study conducted by Dr Margaret Nthlangula assessed eThekwini Municipality health workers’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding counselling behaviour for HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB

Dr Harvey Williams assessed the therapeutic efficacy of the fixed-dose combination – artemether and lumefantrine – in the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Williams found that artemether and lumefantrine should continue to be used as first-line treatment for the disease in KwaZulu-Natal and that training on the use of rapid diagnostic tests should be carried out at clinics before the next generation malaria season as indicated by the World Health Organization. He recommended that drug resistance marker studies be undertaken annually in KwaZulu-Natal.

Dr Tsholofelo Mhlaba was lauded for her study which showed that despite increased access to affordable antiretroviral treatment (ART) in the country, no gold standard had been established for monitoring highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) adherence and that various current methods were not homogenous.

Mhlaba said clinicians needed to have a plan for measuring adherence to HAART on an on-going basis in clinical practice.  She confirmed in her study that pharmacy data was a feasible tool to be used by general practitioners in ART programmes as a measure of adherence to HAART even though other methods may also be needed to validate this.

She said low adherence to HAART undermined treatment benefits while risk factor identification could help enhance the success of GP HAART programmes. ‘Larger studies are recommended to confirm significant predictors of adherence.’


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

US DRONE ATTACKS ANALYSED AT UKZN LECTURE

US DRONE ATTACKS ANALYSED AT UKZN LECTURE

The international legality of drone attacks by the United States was explored during a presentation by Melbourne Law School’s Associate Professor, Dr Kevin Heller, who is the Project Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law.

Hosted by the Law School, Heller’s address was titled: “Are signature strikes legal? Targeted Killing and International Law”.

‘There are a lot of misconceptions about the drone programme and the legal issues surrounding it. Most of the signature strikes permitted by International Human Rights Law (IHRL) though certainly not all, would violate IHRL’s insistence that individuals cannot be arbitrarily deprived of their right to life. If we dilute these policies then we have to worry about them applying to other countries.

Hence, this presentation aims to give students who care about these issues a different view which is legally orientated and attempts to clears up misconceptions,’ said Keller.

He focused on the concern surrounding the clarification of signature strikes and evidence that constitutes a signature strike. He also looked at the legal complicity of International Human Rights Law with regard to signature strikes.

Students and academics who attended the talk engaged with Keller on issues of criminal law and human rights law.

Professor Karthy Govender thanked Keller for sharing his expert knowledge on the topical issue with the Law School.

‘The debate about the legality of drone strikes is likely to intensify with more and more countries gaining access to the technology.

‘The issue is whether the recent address by America’s President Obama will result in greater restraint in the use of drones and what impact this will have on other countries which also have access to drones.

‘We thank Dr Keller for his thoughtful contribution to the debate,’ said Govender.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN-LED “ACTIVE AGING” PROGRAMME A HIT AT DURBAN OLD AGE HOMES

UKZN-LED “ACTIVE AGING” PROGRAMME A HIT AT DURBAN OLD AGE HOMES

More than 100 senior citizens at five old age homes in the eThekwini Municipality region enjoyed a UKZN-designed lifestyle-changing exercise programme which had them on their feet and pumped up for active aging over a three-month period.

The geriatric exercise project was led by Dr Serela Ramklass of the School of Clinical Medicine, assisted by Professor Andrew McKune, Professor Johann van Heerden and Professor Olalekan Oduntan of the School of Health Sciences.

The programme - designed to assist with mobility, balance, strength and flexibility - was conducted as part of a research study that assessed the effect of exercise on the general health status, immunity, memory, risk for falls and nutrition in elderly folk.

Aged care facilities participating in the project were affiliated to TAFTA and the Aryan Benevolent Home groups.

Participants were 60 years and older, mobile and independent in their activities of daily living. For purposes of the study, one group exercised three times a week and the other twice a week

Ramklass said: ‘There is an absence of a structured exercise programme particularly for persons living in old age homes. This project provided the opportunity to devise and test the effectiveness of a structured group exercise programme for older persons residing at aged care facilities within the eThekwini Municipality.

‘Following an analysis of the study results, the exercise programme will be disseminated  to old aged homes as a means of promoting active aging for residents living within these facilities both locally and nationally.’

Mrs Somaree Roopnarain (73), a resident at Mary Asher Home for the Aged and a former Natal athlete, said the exercise programme had numerous benefits for participants. ‘I struggled at first but it’s made such a positive impact in my life. It loosened my body - the pains are gone and I feel physically and mentally relaxed. I can bend easily, my memory and balance have improved and my chest isn’t tight anymore. I used to feel dizzy when I woke up and now that’s all gone.’

The same sentiments were shared by Mrs Jane Bijoux (81) who participated in the programme three times a week and Mr Patrick Puckree (75), a resident at Clayton Gardens Home in Sydenham, who said they were sad the programme had come to an end. ‘It’s really been a stimulus for the aged and it created the spirit of togetherness at the home by changing our lifestyle and strengthening our relationships,’ said Puckree. 

‘I would definitely recommend it for other people,’ said Mrs Jasod Bansi, who had difficulty standing upright following a spine fracture. ‘After the exercise I could stand up straight. I was so happy with the improvement and I feel good.’

Four Master’s degree candidates conducted research during the exercise programmes at the old age homes. Mr Nivash Rugbeer assessed the nutritional component of the project in relation to the individual’s anthropometric measurements while Mr Levin Chetty investigated the efficacy of the exercise on the functional fitness of the elderly.

Co-supervised by McKune and Ramklass, Chetty said it was impressive to see improvement in the participants’ functional fitness, even before the research was complete. ‘The elderly can now enjoy activities such as gardening, bending down and playing with their grandchildren with ease.’

Ms Prathna Dudhrajh, Postgraduate Administrator in the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, is doing her Masters in Sport Science with a particular focus on testing salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) – the antibody that plays a critical role in mucosal immunity and functions as first line of defence against upper respiratory tract infections.

Dudhrajh is investigating the change in levels of IgA and cortisol in relation to the exercise programme.

An international expert in salivary bioscience, McKune said saliva testing was a non-invasive technique recommended instead of drawing blood samples from children and the elderly. ‘We can measure a lot of different molecules in the immune system by using this technique.’

Master’s candidate Ms Beverly Peters, a Lecturer in the BELS Discipline and supervised by McKune, is investigating cardiac parameters, particularly heart rate variability, related to the rhythm of the heart.  She said research indicated that physiological activity impacts the variability of heart rhythm, and her study will evaluate the difference in cardiac protection between the groups training twice and thrice weekly.

‘With age comes physiological decline. Senior citizens are prone to chronic and cardiac related diseases,’ said Peters. ‘As a biokineticist, one of the aspects is cardiac rehabilitation, and I enjoy working with older people – a usually side-lined population.’

The overall project also presented an experiential learning opportunity for Honours students in Biokinetics. Ms Casey Dekoonie who worked closely with the elderly at Mary Asher Home for the Aged, said it was “rewarding” to notice a change in the participants’ attitude, physique and general outlook.

‘It was a very well-constructed programme and a tremendous success,’ said Mrs Chanetta Fouche, Manager of the Mary Asher Service Centre. ‘The participants were very enthusiastic and it was really worth the effort. The UKZN team had the right attitude for it and they really respect the aged. Now others want to participate in the programme as well.’

The team was lauded for producing a DVD, a manual and leaving training equipment to be used at the homes by training facilitators. The team will give feedback to participants and the Department of Social Development.  


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

LAW ALUMNUS OPENS LEGAL PRACTICE

LAW ALUMNUS OPENS LEGAL PRACTICE

With an LLB qualification from UKZN’s School of Law as a solid foundation, Ms Atisha Ghela is confident her recently established legal firm, Atisha Ghela & Associates Attorneys at Law, will succeed.

Ghela, who has 10 years of law practice behind her since graduating in 2002, said her new business was situated at the Gateway Shopping Centre in Umhlanga.

‘My qualification has liberated me as a woman - I am independent, driven and focused. I am motivated by the different roles and responsibilities granted to me during my schooling years which generally focused around representing others,’ said Ghela.

‘I believe we have a beautiful country with very clear and democratic laws and regulations.  That in itself makes practising law straightforward and uncomplicated,’ said Ghela.

‘Our focus is on property law, family law, commercial litigation, wills and estates, labour law, personal injury matters and general collections.’

While achieving professional and personal success as a mother and wife are very important to her, she also feels the need to nurture law students so that they will be equipped with practical experience.

‘I would love to see the practice grow from strength to strength and  for university students currently pursuing their law degrees to spend time with me to get a feel of what legal practice is all about,’ said Ghela.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

IMPRESSIVE DISPLAYS AT COLLEGE OPEN DAY

IMPRESSIVE DISPLAYS AT COLLEGE OPEN DAY

The five Schools within the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science presented impressive displays to attract schoolchildren to the various disciplines during a successful Open Day at the Biology Building on the Westville campus.

The learners were addressed by the Head of Schools and the Managers of the respective College divisions with the highlight being a presentation from UKZN’s Dr M Govender who wowed the crowds with his unusual but very informative science show.

Mrs S Mthembu, a Teacher at the Moses Zikhali High School in Mbazwane, said: ‘Learners enjoyed the experience.  They were able to pose questions about their career interests directly to staff of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science at the various exciting and interesting exhibition stands.  The learners, who have indicated they want to study at UKZN, were very grateful for the gifts they received.’

Another Teacher, Mr A Ncanana of Mfinyeli High School in Nongoma, said: ‘Open Day was very informative for our learners. They were very happy with the information and material given to them which included brochures, Central Application forms and bursary forms which will assist them make informed decisions about their future careers.’

Dr R Narain of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, said: ‘The school learners discovered on Open Day that mathematics plays an important role in Science and Engineering. Intrigued by the language of Sciences, learners were exposed to a variety of problems mathematicians solve. They also learned about the different careers paths related to studying mathematics. Undoubtedly, Open Day was successful with the learners enjoying an amazing science show presented by Dr Govender who is a member of the Mathematics team at UKZN.’

Open Day was a great opportunity for the two disciplines within the School of Chemistry and Physics to collaborate and showcase their various fascinating experiments including an artificial volcano, air balloons cooled in liquid helium, and visualizations of phase transitions by means of mechanical models.

Mr C Bemont of the School of Engineering said: ‘Open Day was a great success for Mechanical Engineering. We had a continuous flow of interested students and their parents, all showing great interest in our displays, especially the solar car and in the details of studying and practising Mechanical Engineering.’


author email : rajpall@ukzn.ac.za