UCT Post-graduate studies - Page 49

Zuziwe Msomi, lecturer in the
Centre for African Studies
“Why would people hate you for the
colour of your skin?” asks Msomi.
This question has spurred her to
interrogate racial identity in postapartheid South Africa.
“I came into academia because I like
research,” she says.
Her thesis, she explains, explores
the discursive strategies that
Rhodes University students used to
construct their raced experiences
of the university, and whether these
strategies challenge or reinforce the
culture of whiteness.
“It looks at the way we talk as a way
of creating the world around us … If
you talk about the world in a particular
way, you’re shaping the way you and
other people view the world.”
Zuziwe Msomi is asking the tough
questions. Why, in post-apartheid South
Africa, does whiteness still appear normal?
Philile Mbatha, assistant
lecturer in the Department
of Environmental and
Geographical Sciences
nGAP scholar Philile Mbatha is researching
the influence of complex governance
systems on rural livelihoods in South Africa.
Mbatha is studying the influence of
complex governance systems on rural
livelihoods – and in doing so, she is
amplifying the voices and viewpoints of
Kosi Bay locals.
Through the lens of Kosi Bay, a rural
area located within South Africa’s first
World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso,
Mbatha’s doctoral research documents
livelihood strategies and interrogates
how people’s livelihoods are influenced by
the existence of multiple and plural coastal
governance systems and processes.
Sadiq Toffa, lecturer in the School of
Architecture, Planning and Geomatics
Sadiq Toffa, born and raised in Bo-Kaap, Cape
Town, has a passion for cultural heritage and
transformative knowledge.
“What’s rarely understood about black
communities is that they’re sites of struggle,
but sites of struggle are great sites of
knowledge and ethics – they’re culturally rich
rather than deprived spaces.”
Toffa obtained a professional graduate
degree in architecture from UCT and a master’s
in human settlements from the University of
Leuven, Belgium and was recently a visiting
researcher at the London School of Economics
and Political Science as a Commonwealth
Scholar. His PhD research focuses on critical
heritage studies.
Curator of the Decolonial
Alternatives Project Space,
Sadiq Toffa is pictured
at the Rustenburg Burial
Ground on middle campus.
The New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP) is an initiative to recruit young scholars to permanent
academic positions at South African universities. Funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training
(DHET) in partnership with individual universities, all nGAP scholars are mentored by a senior academic and
given the opportunity to immerse themselves in research for six years until they’re fully rooted as academics.
While they do teach, their lecture load is kept relatively light to allow them to focus on research.


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