School of Social Sciences

Thesis Explores Lives of PMB Street Women

UKZN Staffer Dr Lungile Zondi graduates with her PhD in Anthropology.
UKZN Staffer Dr Lungile Zondi graduates with her PhD in Anthropology.

UKZN Staffer, Dr Lungile Zondi, graduated with her PhD in Anthropology recently for research that delved into the life and experiences of young women (19-35 years) living on the streets of the Pietermaritzburg CBD and surroundings.

According to Zondi’s study which sampled 20 women, push and pull factors such as ancestral calling, whoonga addiction, forced/arranged/early-marriages, corporal punishment, grandmother and big brother headed families, family connections on the street as well as hereditary recurrences have led to women living on the streets.

Her study also found that these women possess obscured and misconstrued identities that comes with living on the street and they actively use fending strategies for survival. Fending strategies include hourly prostitution, standing on the road intersections and working as car-guards during the day and night.

Zondi argues that the women’s vulnerability context includes being treated less than human, smuggling whoonga, unpaid prostitution, assault by law enforcement authorities and the death of their friends while sleeping. Despite such challenges, the study finds that the women are sceptical about being reunited with their families.

‘Responsive interventions that policy custodians can embark on based on other African countries are part of the solution,’ says Zondi.

Zondi thanked her family, friends and supervisor, Professor Vivian Besem-Ojong, for being her support system during her studies.

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Dr Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu at CODESRIA’s General Assembly Conference.

UKZN Research Fellow presents paper at CODESRIA General Assembly Conference

Research Fellow in International Relations within the School of Social Sciences, Dr Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu presented a paper on African Regional Economic Integration in the era of Globalisation: Reflecting on the Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs, at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa’s (CODESRIA) 15th General Assembly Conference in Dakar, Senegal.

From left: Mr Niq Mhlongo, Mrs Shantha Maharaj, Ms Darniel Small, Dr Patricia Opondo, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, Mr Mbuso Khoza, Dr Saleem Badat, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, Professor Nogwaja Zulu and Ms Xoliswa Zulu

Humanities Academics spearhead research projects through the Mellon Foundation

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize and academics Professors Ernest Khalema, Maheshvari Naidu, Nobuhle Hlongwa and Nogwaja Zulu recently met with Dr Saleem Badat of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to discuss their research projects that were made possible through funding from the Foundation.