Twenty-one UKZN postgraduate students received 2013 TATA Africa Prestigious Scholarships at an awards ceremony held at the new UNITE Building on the Howard College campus.

The scholarships are awarded to top performing disadvantaged students from different fields to assist them finance their studies.

In his welcome address, UKZN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, congratulated the students and their parents. He highlighted the role played by parents and commended them for being “real shapers of these kids”.

Makgoba also thanked and applauded TATA for recognising and supporting the students. Managing Director of TATA Africa, Mr Raman Dhawan, said in his official address numerous opportunities were available in Africa but it was up to students to identify them.

‘I would like to congratulate all recipients and thank you for giving me the honour to be with you here,’ said Dhawan, who encouraged students to give back to the communities they came from, to continue to believe in whatever they did and to respect all views.

Ms Zama Msibi who is completing her Masters’ degree in Medical Microbiology, thanked TATA for getting her one step closer to her dream and conveyed an “earnest and heartfelt thank you” on behalf of all the recipients.

Chemistry Masters’ student Ms Sandipa Bhikraj said the scholarship would make her dream a reality.

Executive Director: Corporate Relations Ms Nomonde Mbadi thanked TATA for their investment in UKZN graduates.

She told the students: ‘UKZN wishes you every success…take a lesson and give back to your communities.’

author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za



A R1.2 million grant from Nedbank will allow high-potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds at UKZN to receive funds to pursue their dreams of becoming engineers.

This follows a ground-breaking agreement between UKZN’s Intensive Tuition for Engineers Programme (UNITE) and the Nedbank Eyethu Community Trust.

UNITE is a one-year alternate engineering access programme that offers intensive tuition.  Over 25 years, the programme has given more than 1 800 students the opportunity to become engineers. 

Nedbank Eyethu Community Trust Trustee, Ms Kirshnie Govender, said the bank was willing to take the financial risk as it saw the long-term benefits of the investment.  ‘Students have a responsibility to work hard and pass,’ she said, ‘so that other students can have the same opportunity.’  

Govender said as a bank and a company in South Africa, Nedbank supported the national agenda and saw education as a key strategy in this regard. 

UKZN’s Pro Vice-Chancellor: Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship, Professor Deresh Ramjugernath, welcomed the financial injection. ‘The greatest investment we can make is an investment in the education of our youth. ‘This is a fantastic initiative from the Nedbank Eyethu Trust.’  

Ramjugernath said by partnering with UNITE the institution was investing in the future of the country. 

UNITE student, Mr Kevin Sefoka, labelled the funding a blessing.  ‘We will make you proud,’ he said.  His sentiments were echoed by fellow student, Ms Tanja Makhanya.  ‘We promise to be the best engineers possible,’ she said.  ‘Thank you for investing in us.’

Deputy Director of UNITE, Dr Rudi Kimmie, challenged other banks to follow Nedbank’s progressive example by investing in UKZN, and in so doing, become an active partner in the process of “turning potential into value”.

author email : kimmier@ukzn.ac.za



UKZN’s Centre for Rural Health (CRH) will receive R8.767 million from the ELMA Group of Foundations over the next three years to improve neo-natal care in KwaZulu-Natal.

The money will be used in a programme – the KwaZulu-Natal Initiative for New Born Care Project (KINC) – which oversees the support and development of infant care in district hospitals.

In line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the South African National Strategic Plan, the CRH pioneers several research projects which are supported by the Department of Health (DoH).

Meanwhile, the ELMA Group of Foundations provides sizeable philanthropic assistance to high impact initiatives within the Foundation’s focus area. Its mission is to improve the lives of Africa’s children and youth through the support of sustainable efforts to relieve poverty, advance education and promote health.

The KINC project will focus on building capacity and developing skills and conditions conducive to improved quality of care for infants.

CRH Director, Dr Bernhard Gaede, said the majority of district hospitals were situated in rural areas where situations were often very different to what was generally considered as the norm.

He explained that in most district hospitals nurseries were attached to the obstetric units which were run by the midwives. Traditionally, midwives focused mainly on the delivery of babies and the initial labour ward context with nurseries being somewhat neglected.

The project will strengthen the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV programme within the nursery, as well as breast feeding practices and support for the mothers.

Gaede said safe births were critical for healthy babies. However, the manner in which sick infants were managed in the first days of their lives was critical not only to prevent death, but also to ensure the best possible outcome for every child born.

The KINC Project is based on the Limpopo Initiative for Newborn Care in which CRH staff is involved from inception. It involves a process of building the skills of nursery staff and developing action plans to improve the service and close the service delivery gaps, which then lead to an accreditation process. Critical in the process is also building capacity to maintain skills and link the process with an on-going improvement of the quality of care.

The CRH ran a similar programme successfully in Zululand and after discussions with the DoH it was decided to take the project to a higher level by rolling it out to the province.

The approach that this project uses was accepted on a national level to raise the standard of neo-natal care for district hospitals. Gaede said the project fitted in well with the core standards of the hospitals as part of South Africa’s National Health Insurance.

‘The grant really helps us focus on a particular area of need that has been quite neglected in the past. Only recently did neonatal care start receiving more attention. The project provides invaluable research opportunity for especially Masters and PhD candidates in disciplines such as Nursing, Paediatrics and Public Health.

‘We really need to use the opportunities that we have when engaging in such a context to start to delve deeper and understand the issues and the context in a more comprehensive way. In such a context, research can become a critical component in improving the health of the people of our country.’  Dr Christiane Horwood functioning as a Principal Investigator.

* The Centre has a vacancy for a project manager in the KINC programme. More information is available at: crh.ukzn.ac.za

author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za



Mr Brian Kwazi Majola, a Lecturer at the College of Law and Management Studies recently explored Canada’s local government system for four months as part of the research for his doctoral studies. He took a break from his normal duties in order to learn more from one of the most developed countries in North America. Majola’s research interests lie in the area of gender equality, affirmative action, political participation and people with disabilities ranging from women’s participation and representation at local/district government level to the review of employment policies in relation to people with disabilities.

Majola secured the opportunity through the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Programme which provides short-term exchange opportunities for candidates from Commonwealth countries for study or research in Canada at the Master’s or doctoral level.

‘As a new academic, I discovered that people within the University are working in silos and besides my research, I wanted to go outside to learn more about the world of academia unlike when I was a student in Europe few years ago,’ said Majola.

As part of this scholarship, Majola was able to study at Canada’s Carleton University under the guidance of the Director of the University’s Institute of African Studies, Professor Blair Rutherford. It was an opportunity which inspired Majola to look at different angles for his research which he is now keen to share with his students.

‘I discovered that there are no political parties at local level in Ottawa,  Ontario and that people there are taught about local government issues at secondary school level which makes them more accountable to the people rather than political parties. I also got an opportunity to interview Ottawa’s City Council members. I also saw the difference between conducting research in a first world country and a “second” world country such as ours,’ said Majola. As a Visiting Research Scholar, Majola attended seminars and learned more about the African continent and its people. He was given an opportunity to work as a guest lecturer and was thrilled to be called “Professor” for once, as university teachers are all referred to as professors in America. 

With his key focus also on looking at how students with disabilities are treated, Majola plans to write a paper  comparing  the service disabled students enjoy at Carleton University in comparison to the ones offered at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

‘I visited the residences, library and also explored how disabled students at Carleton University participate in sports. I discovered that the number of students with learning disabilities has decreased over the years but the University has experienced an increase in students with psychiatric challenges at a tertiary level.  I want to use this information to explore ways that UKZN can improve its facilities for the disabled thus making it an institution of choice for students with disabilities in South Africa, if not in Africa,’ said Majola, who is also a Ford Foundation International Fellow.

The highlight of Majola’s visit at Carleton University was when he was requested to present a paper at the 43rd Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) by Professor Rutherford in May 2013. Under the theme of Africa Communicating, he presented a paper titled: “The Role of the Media in Promoting Women’s Participation and Representation at Local Government Level in South Africa”.

‘It was my first time presenting a paper at a conference and it was a remarkable experience. I also got to meet and network with other academics from academic institutions all over the world with the purpose of strengthening international links between UKZN and international institutions,’ said Majola.

author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za



Ms Vera Leckie is currently working at the Centre for African Studies (CALS) on the proofs of her translation of the book: L’Afrique au-dela du Miroir (Africa beyond the Mirror) (2007) by the West African Author, Boubacar Boris Diop.

The book - an interesting and well-written compilation of essays and newspaper articles - has been translated into English from French and the translation is to be published by Ayebia Publishing in the United Kingdom.

Leckie hopes the publication of a second translated work of Diop's which she has submitted, Les petits de la guenon (The Monkey and her Children), will follow.

author email : Stilwell@ukzn.ac.za



Two UKZN academics have edited a special issue of the SA Review of Sociology (SARS) Journal published this month.

They are Dr Shaun Ruggunan of the Discipline of Human Resources Management in the College of Law and Management Studies, and a colleague, Dr Debby Bonnin, Industrial, Organisational and Labour Studies in the College of Humanities.

SARS - the official journal of the South African Sociological Association - is co-published by Routledge and UNISA Press. 

As guest editors, Ruggunan and Bonnin solicited papers on the theme, which focuses on the changing nature of professional work in South Africa, and also authored a guest editorial and two empirical papers on the subject.

Their role involved editing solicited papers as well as analytical work looking at the ways in which the economy, careers, work and workplaces are rapidly being restructured globally. 

In their editorial titled: “Towards a South African Sociology of Professions”, the academics suggest that in post-apartheid South Africa an examination of professional occupations has become increasingly important in assessing the success of the state’s project to “deracialise” the labour market.

They say the empirical work can be used to engage the Sociology of Professions literature and in turn shape and challenge that literature from a South African/southern perspective.

The paper also puts into perspective the role of the National Development Plan and the Planning Commission in the area of improving the accountability and service delivery of the state. 

Ruggunan believes this represents a good example of cross college and interdisciplinary co-operation that has been encouraged by UKZN's restructuring process. 

‘Some of the most interesting and unique projects are the outcomes of cross college and interdisciplinary research teams. We tend to work in departmental silos, and are not always aware of the synergies and opportunities for research across the various UKZN colleges. Most funders actively encourage multidisciplinary research teams and student collaborations,’ said Ruggunan.

Ruggunan and Bonnin view multidisciplinary research as a crucial tool in addressing complex challenges facing society and are keen on exploring synergies and areas of mutual academic interest across the disciplines of industrial sociology and human resources management.

Bonnin said: ‘The articles published in this special issue of the South African Review of Sociology cover a wide number of topics from policing to health to security guards.  The work practically demonstrates the advantage of a broader disciplinary approach when embarking upon research.’

For more information on the  journal


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za



Mr Hloniphani Ndebele has been awarded two prestigious scholarships to further his PhD studies in the African Languages Cluster.

Ndebele won the international Canon Collins Scholarship for the 2013 and 2014 academic years, worth R50 000 a year.

This is a prestigious scholarship which involves a competitive process - Ndebele was one of only 25 successful recipients from 1 200 applications.

The Canon Collins Trust was founded in 1981 by Canon John Collins with the major objective of equipping South African and Namibian exiles with the skills and education denied them by apartheid.

The scholarship programme was later extended to include the Southern African region, focusing on developing future leaders by funding post-graduate study.

Ndebele has also been awarded the UKZN Doctoral Research scholarship which is based solely on academic performance in previous degrees. It is a highly prestigious scholarship available to only one student per College in the entire University.

Ndebele is currently a PhD second year fulltime registered student in the School of Arts, African languages Cluster. He graduated with a Master of Arts summa cum laude last year.

‘I have a strong passion for research, most particularly in the field of African languages, language policy and planning and socio-linguistics. I also hold an uncompromising belief in language as a basic human right which must be protected and embraced just like any other human right,’ he said.

‘It is upon such a basis that I am conducting my PhD research on the role of information and communication technology in the promotion and intellectualisation of African languages in Higher Education under the supervision of Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa and Dr Gugulethu Mazibuko.’

He has also presented research papers at several local conferences and co-authored papers with his academic supervisors for publication in accredited journals.

He is looking forward to presenting research papers, based on his PhD research, at the African Languages Association of Southern Africa Conference in July, the 7th Annual Teaching and Learning Higher Education Conference in September and the UKZN  Annual Postgraduate Conference in October.

‘I believe that with the assistance and guidance of my academic supervisors, the scholarship support and the support of fellow students and staff in the School of Arts, I will be able to complete my studies in the minimum stipulated time and grow as an academic.’

author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za



A method of male circumcision with no surgical procedure involved is to be piloted by the National Department of Health (DoH). 

Approved and prequalified by the World Health Organization, an easy-to-use and portable device is put on the penis for a period of seven days after which the foreskin is easily removed. 

According to researchers, throughout the procedure there would be no blood, no sutures and no injected anaesthesia as opposed to surgical male circumcision.  Once the device was on, which takes less than five minutes to fit and take off, men could return to work the following day without any complications. 

The DoH revealed its plans – during the South African AIDS conference in Durban - to introduce the device within three provinces in the country in co-operation with the Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention Studies (CHAPS). 

Researchers say the device provides a “safer, simpler and pain-free” method of adult male circumcision.  Dr Thobile Mbengashe, National DoH Chief Director for HIV and AIDS, spoke about the country’s plans to introduce the device at a media briefing held in partnership with the Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention (AVAC), UKZN’s Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and the Mail & Guardian’s Bhekisisa Health Journalism Centre at the AIDS Conference. 

Mbengashe sad the novel non-surgical device - PrePex™ - provided a unique option suitable for resource limited settings, in line with the Health Department’s efforts to reduce new HIV infections in the country by promoting voluntary medical male circumcision. 

Unlike surgical male circumcision which required highly trained medical professionals and sterile surgery-type settings that came at a cost to patients, male circumcision done using the new device could be rolled-out as an alternative public health service. The circumcision could be conducted in urban and rural settings by a trained cadre of health professionals including nurses once a national programme was in place. 

Dr Ntlotleng Mabena, Technical Advisor for CHAPS, spoke about the success of previous randomised male circumcision trials using PrePex™. 

Mbengashe said piloting the device in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West Province allowed for critical evaluation of its impact in the local context and determining which cadre of health practitioners could be trained to use the device in addition to up-skilling doctors who already performed surgical male circumcision.  The DoH would be able to look at issues of cost, distribution and accessibility to the device. 

While PrePex™ presented as a feasible biomedical intervention for HIV and venereal disease prevention in the country, Mbengashe said society’s behavioural and structural issues still needed to be addressed. ‘The conditions under which people live make them susceptible. One of the strengths of this device is its simplicity and design. It has shown through independent research that it can make a difference so we have to use it in conjunction with other prevention strategies.’ 

The speakers emphasised that surgical circumcision would still be offered to those who wanted it but the new device was a means of making safe male circumcision a service available to all communities.  

While it is hoped that the new device will also be accepted by traditional communities which practice male circumcision, Mbengashe stressed that circumcision was not an alternative to condom use but a way of making sexual experiences as safe as possible given that an estimated 5.6 million people lived with HIV and AIDS. He said it was important to note that the “ABCs” – Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condomise – were crucial elements, but not enough on their own.  ‘Preventing new infections would have huge health and cost benefits for the country.’

author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za



UMnu Mick Goss usebenzise iziqu zakhe zomthetho zase-UKZN njengesisekelo sempumelelo yebhizinisi lakhe lokufuya amahhashi naziqhenyayo ngalo ngokuthi abuyisela emphakathini. 

UGoss wathweswa iziqu ze-LLB, ophikweni laseMgungundlovu ngo-1974 kodwa kuthe emva kweminyaka eyi-17 washiya umkhakha wakhe wobummeli ukubhekana-ngqo nebhizinisi lokufuya amahhashi eSummerhill Stud Farm eduze nase Mooi River.

Lolu shintsho olungaka alwenza lwenzeka emva kokuba engumeluleki wezomthetho womnikazi famu – elenza inzuzo engamaphesenti -6.25 njengeholo lomsebenzi awenzayo kwicala elenziwa lokuthenga indawo. ‘ Ulwazi lwami njengommeli lube usizo kakhulu ekwaziseni  umphakathi  ngebhizinisini. Ngibe nenhlanhla yokufunda ezikoleni ezimbili  ezihamba phambili kwezomthetho – i-UKZN kanye neStellenbosch, kusho oka Goss.

‘Abafundisi base-UKZN ngaleso sikhathi  babeqavile kakhulu, hhayi kuphela nje kwezemfundo, kodwa  nasekucijeni abafundi bebalungisela impilo yangaphandle.   Abafundisi  babeba  nokukhathalela  izimpilo zabafundi,  lokho kwangihlab’umxhwele kakhulu.’

Namhlanje, iSummerhill iyaqhubeka nokudl’ubhedu ngaphansi kobuholi buka Goss njengoba isithathe izicoco eziyisishiyagalombili ze-South African Champion Breeders.

Njengengxenye  yokunothisa umphakathi, ipulazi seliyikhaya labantu abaphakathi kwama-600 kuya kwama-700 abaqashiwe kuleli bhizinisi kanye nendlu yokudlela iHartford House ekhona epulazini.

Baphinde babe nesikole sobuHoli  sobunyonincu esifundisa izifundo esithi phecelezi Equine esinabafundi abahamba phambili nasebegogodile kumakilasi ebebewenza. Abafundi sebezuze imifundaze yomhlaba jikelele engama-50 kumapulazi ahamba phambili umhlaba wonke.

Iqembu labadansi base- Summerhill selihleli esicongweni, lilala isibili kanye nokwesithathu ngokulandelana eToyko kanye nase Hong Kong kumncintiswano womhlaba wonke wabadansi besiko lemvelo, ngesikhathi okuka abane bamaZulu abavela kuyo indlu yokudlela eHartford behlonishwe ngemisebenzi yabo abayethule kwenye yemibukiso yokudla eZurich, Prague kanye nase Shanghai.

Ku-Goss, le misebenzi yokuthuthukisa umphakathi  iyimizamo yokwenza ngcono izimpilo zabantu abaphons’esivivaneni sempumelelo yepulazi.

‘Ngesikhathi sifika lapha, bekukhona abantu abayisithupha kuphela abasebenzayo kanye namakhono ambalwa kwezamahhashi kanye nokwamukela izivakashi, ukusho nje. Ngokhisimusi odlule sikhokhele amabhonasi angama-350 kubantu abenze imisebenzi encomekayo. Bazinikelile eminyakeni ebinzima, sibakweleta konke esiyikho nesimele khona, kubeka oka-Goss. 

Click here for English version

author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za



A new language laboratory recently completed on the Durban campus will support learning of all languages offered by the College of Humanities.

According to the College Dean of Teaching and Learning, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, the lab will strengthen offerings of the African languages departments in line with new Bachelor Degree rule making isiZulu compulsory.

‘The language laboratory has SANAKO 1200, a software-based teaching solution that combines the use of multimedia with a suite of essential classroom management tools.’

‘SANAKO 1200 helps teachers deliver effective instruction in any subject area and it does not need additional hardware therefore being easy to install and maintain. The software has various activities such as homework, screen control, model screen to students, web browser, white board and chat,’ said Hlongwa.

This project began in January 2012 as part of the strategic initiatives for the College of Humanities Teaching and Learning. The project is also being supported by the infrastructure and efficiency funding from the Department of Higher Education and Training which is led by Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa and Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize.

Staff members in the African Languages Cluster were also trained by the IT Director of Digital Voice Processing, Mr Craig Dahl, on how to use the software. Training will be extended to all the language teachers in the College of Humanities.

author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za



Lack of information and fear of pain are the main reasons male students fear getting circumcised, say two UKZN students who recently underwent Medical Male Circumcision (MMC).

In an interview with UKZNOnline, BCom students Mr Mxolisi Mazibuko and Mr Sithabiso Zwane shared their experiences about how circumcision had changed their lives and empowered them.

The UKZN MMC Campaign together with the University’s Men’s Forum programme was launched on the Howard College campus in April through the co-operative effort between UKZN, the Department of Health, the eThekwini Municipality and partner NGOs.

Head of the UKZN HIV/AIDS Centre Ms Nomonde Magantolo said the aim of the MMC campaign at institutions of higher learning was to strengthen the prevention interventions which already existed.

‘The campaign was not only about circumcision but also to give educational talks on how a real man should behave and relate to other people in society. It also encouraged men to take a leading role in protecting themselves and their loved ones,’ said Magantolo.

Zwane said he decided to get circumcised because he felt it would benefit his personal health, and he also wanted to protect his girlfriend against diseases such as cancer of the cervix.

Many students were not keen to undergo the procedure because of misinformation and a fear of pain. Another myth circulating concerned the issue of what was done with the foreskin after circumcision.

The MMC procedure is a comprehensive prevention package of services offering partial protection (60 percent) against sexually acquired HIV in men. The services include HIV testing and counselling; correct and consistent use of female or male condoms; treatment for sexually transmitted infections; and the promotion of safer sexual practices, such as avoidance of penetrative sex.

According to Brothers for Life, circumcision improves hygiene, eliminates bruising and tearing during sex, removes cells which attract HIV, and provides health benefits for sexual partners.

The organisation says MMC is good for a women’s health too as it reduces the risk of getting cervical cancer by removing the human papilloma virus that is often carried in the foreskin.

As part of the campaign launch on the Howard College campus, an onsite circumcision clinic was set up with KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health Dr Sbongiseni Dhlomo part of the team that circumcised the students. Fifty-five men were circumcised on site during the launch.

Magantolo said a total of 96 procedures had been done on the Howard College and Westville campuses since the campaign launch.  ‘The response from male students has been good.’ Dhlomo shared his concerns on the “Sugar Daddy issue”, which involves older men going out with young girls particularly at school and tertiary institutions. He said a responsible father in a “fancy car” would not be seen at a girls’ residences late at night.

Two procedures are done during circumcision. One is the conventional method which involves “cutting and stitching” followed by check-ups after three, seven and 21 days.

The second type of procedure is the Tara Klamp in which there is no loss of blood. This involves clamping a plastic device over the foreskin for seven to 10 days until the skin falls off. Check-ups are also done at three, five and 21 days.

UKZN’s Ms Eleanor Langley emphasised that students still needed to take precautions when having sex. Langley said even though circumcision reduced the chance of HIV infection, proper protection prevented sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

Mazibuko encouraged students to come forward while still on campus where there is free access to clinics.

Langley said complications discussed in individual screening sessions included bleeding and body reactions. ‘It is important to take care of the wound correctly.’

UNAIDS says that from 2011 to the beginning of 2013 more than 300 000 men have undergone medical male circumcision in KwaZulu-Natal decreasing their risk of HIV infection. Although it remains high, the overall HIV prevalence among 15-24-year-old men dropped from 31 percent in 2009 to 25.5 percent in 2011.

Other organisations and speakers present at the launch included CAPRISA’s Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Councillor Ms Lindiwe Mhlongo-Ntaka, Mr Sandile Mdluli of Brothers for Life, and representatives from eThekwini Municipality, the Department of Health and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture.

The UKZN HIV and Wellness Programme works together with St Aidan’s Hospital, Sactwu, MatCH and other DOH institutions when circumcisions are done.  ‘We hope will reach our target of 500 MMC in 2013,’ said Magantolo.

author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za



With gay marriages much in the news lately, the 34th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will put the focus significantly on sexuality this year.

Speaking at a recent Press briefing, DIFF Manager Mr Peter Machen said there had been no gay-themed films at last year’s festival.  ‘It was just a strange thing but Directors seemed to not make any however this year we are carrying a full spectrum on sexuality.’

Machen said the festival, organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) and funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, would also highlight independent American films.

For the first time, DIFF presents a repertory section in which film fans and filmmakers have the opportunity to access a slice of film history. In The Films That Made Me, South African director Jahmil Qubeka, presents five films which have been influential in his growth as a filmmaker.

The five films he will present are: Oliver Schmitz’s Mapantsula, Akira Kurosawa’s Ran, John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy, Jean Jacques Annaud’s Quest for Fire and Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi.

After each screening, Qubeka will lead a discussion regarding the importance of the film.

 ‘In addition to the best fiction features from around the world, DIFF 2013 has a wealth of documentaries to satisfy a broad spectrum of tastes and interests. And of course, there’s a strong selection from South Africa, where the documentary form is growing in stature and volume,’ said Machen.

‘Audiences can look forward to seeing Riaan Hendrick’s  The Devil’s Lair which transports us deep into a claustrophobic drug den on the Cape Flats, while celebrated local documentary-maker Damon Foster gives us a window into the lives of crocodiles with Touching The Dragon.’

The festival runs from 18 to 28 July. Programme booklets with the full screening schedule and synopses of all the films are available free at cinemas, and other public information outlets. Full festival details are also available on www.durbanfilmfest.co.za or by calling 031-260 2506.

author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za