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UKZN Summer School programme launches student on path to success

2010/12/02 04:26:19 PM

Mr Kwazi Majola, is among this year’s top academic achievers in the university’s Golden Key International Honour Society, cites taking part in UKZN’s Management Studies African-American-European 2007 Summer School as the key to his success.

UKZN student, Mr Brian Kwazi Majola, who is among this year’s top academic achievers in the university’s Golden Key International Honour Society, cites taking part in UKZN’s Management Studies African-American-European 2007 Summer School as the key to his success.

Mr Majola, recently returned from the United Kingdom where he completed his second masters degree, says the school gave him the opportunity to study abroad and that was vital.

Mr Majola has worked as an educator, sales consultant and a policeman and holds two honours degrees and a Master of Commerce in Industrial Relations.

A scholarship from the Ford Foundation International Fellowship Programme enabled him to study further for a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management International Development at the University of Manchester from August 2009 to October 2010.

Mr Majola was one of two people awarded the scholarship in KwaZulu-Natal and one of 30 in South Africa who were able to choose the country they wanted to study in. The Masters Programme enabled students to go to France and Belgium for field training where they learned a lot from the European Commission, the Development Bank, and the United Nations in terms of work practices and policy formulation.

During his stay in England, Mr Majola also visited Ireland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany, Holland, and travelled around Scotland and Wales.

His masters’ dissertation was titled: Women Representation in the Era of Decentralisation, and the focus was on the UMsunduzi Municipality in Pietermaritzburg, his hometown.

Mr Majola was interested in contributing to the literature on local government in relation to democracy, gender issues and representation. He said the study could add value on strategies to be adopted and could be useful to policy-makers. He added that local government was closest to community members, the majority of whom were women and were poor.

Mr Majola said women still elected men to office because they were not confident. Women’s representation at local level depended to a large extent on the discretion and policies of political parties. Family support and a changing culture were factors contributing positively towards increasing the representation of women. Interestingly, once elected, women were treated as equals, depending on the individual’s contribution, said Mr Majola.

Mr Majola thanked his wife, Phindile, who allowed him to follow his dream, looking after their daughters while he was abroad. Going overseas at that particular time was hard for him, as he had recently got married, had a new- born baby, and was building a house.

He said it was important for young people from previously disadvantaged communities to grab opportunities to study with both hands and not depend on political appointments to get them where they wanted to be in life. Mr Majola added that South Africa needed to capacitate people who influence policies, do research and make recommendations to remove discriminatory practices and policies in all spheres of life.

Mr Majola said one of the highlights of his studies overseas was a visit to East Africa, for two weeks earlier this year with medical students from various universities around the UK. While on the visit he joined the Kenyan Orphan Project which focuses on helping young orphans who lost parents due to HIV and AIDS-related illnesses as well as assisting street children and community hospitals and building schools in the rural district of Kisumu. To raise funds for the orphans, he organised an African cultural dance night event, which was well supported by university students.

Mr Majola emphasised that Africans should learn to support each other, face their own challenges and refrain from destructive criticism of one another.

He was also a member of UNICEF on Campus and the International Society’s International 16, working with refugees and asylum seekers in the United Kingdom.

Mr Majola plans to do a PhD at UKZN.

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