‘My mother used to say that with the best education there is literally nothing I could not be - if I could imagine it in my mind then I could be it, in reality.  I am a big supporter of education especially educating young African girls because if you educate a girl the whole community benefits.’

These are the words of Ms Zamambo Mkhize who is Academic Development Officer (ADO) for the School of Social Sciences where she has fitted into the role perfectly while still managing to pursue her PhD.

‘It is an interesting job because it is the perfect position to be in especially because I have always been interested in helping students.  As a tutor there is only so much I could do to helping struggling “at risk” students but in my position as ADO I have more resources at my disposal and can help students more substantially,’ said Mkhize.

Mkhize was fortunate to have been awarded a full tennis scholarship to Florida University in the United States where she studied Criminal Justice for four years and graduated magna cum laude.  She then came back home and got her Honours in criminology at UKZN.

‘I was going to get my postgraduate degree in law but somehow fate intervened and I discovered my true passion is gender studies. I had no idea a raging feminist was lying dormant inside me waiting to be unleashed.  I then got my Masters in Gender Studies and now am doing my PhD in it as well.  I have always wanted a wide range of degrees because my biggest fear in life is boredom, so I always thought that if I got bored in one career, I am qualified for another and another.

‘I want to get my PhD before the age of thirty and to be a lecturer at the University.  I also want to be involved in government in the field of women, children and people with disabilities because I feel they have so much potential to really make a difference.’

She also hopes to one day open a shelter for women and children in abused relationships. This stemmed from her on-going PhD research on: Polygyny and gender: Narratives of professional Zulu women in peri-urban areas of contemporary KwaZulu-Natal.

‘As a feminist I hope my research will make society as a whole take notice of the plight of women, especially African women who are still to this day enslaved by their communities and culture and there is no end in sight.’

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