School of Social Sciences

Inspiring Journey of student to graduate with PhD in Political Science

After enduring hardship and struggles, Dr Rosaline Kanjo was all smiles as she graduated with her PhD in Political Science from UKZN recently for her study that investigated the Prevention of Xenophobic Attitudes Amongst Female Students at UKZN: Political Socialisation and Policy Awareness, supervised by Dr Lubna Nadvi.
Dr Rosaline Kanjo
Dr Rosaline Kanjo

Said Kanjo, ‘My study highlights the role of political socialisation (PS) which is considered as a valuable practice and knowledge of state policies as a preventative measure against xenophobic practices within the university and the broader community.’ With emphasis on tolerance, the study attempts to relate and contextualise the role of political socialisation and policy awareness as a preventive measure against xenophobia.

During her studies, Kanjo battled academic, health and life challenges. Her research proposal was delayed for a year and she struggled to pay for fees, accommodation, food and other expenses necessary for a foreign student in South Africa.

Finally, she prevailed and was given the green light to commence with her research. She was then informed that her initial supervisor had resigned from the University. This set her back again for some time. Nadvi then stepped up at a critical stage of Kanjo’s study and was able to provide the necessary support.

Kanjo faced the challenge of her thesis being rejected twice with tough/major comments from the reviewers. She stayed focused till her study was passed.

Tragedy struck for Kanjo when she was involved in a fatal train accident in Gothenburg, Sweden. At 7 months pregnant, heading to church for choir practice, Kanjo was about to cross the rail when a fast running inter-city train knocked her down.

The gruesome accident left her with part of her intestine exposed, her left hand crushed with multiple fractures and rapid blood loss. Undergoing 8 different surgical operations, she miraculously survived and naturally gave birth to a healthy baby boy and later two girls despite falling gravely ill. Towards the last stages of her research, Kanjo lost her father who was a single parent after the death of her mother years ago. She was dealt another blow with the passing of her mother-law.

Despite all the heartache and tragedy, Kanjo is happy to graduate with her PhD and is thankful for the continuous support from her husband, siblings, family, friends, supervisor and God.

Though sheer determination to graduate, her supervisor identifies Kanjo as An Academic Inspirator” in an effort to encourage all those studying and faced with challenges to try and brave the challenges making sure their study is successfully completed. 

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

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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

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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.