School of Built Environment & Development Studies

Masters research offers insight into contraceptive use

Ms Bongimpilo Zulu received a Masters in Population Studies for her dissertation on the factors facilitating and inhibiting contraceptive use among white students.
Ms Bongimpilo Zulu.

‘This topic is close to my heart. As a person who grew up in a rural area, seeing young women falling pregnant and dropping out of school at a very young age, I thought about the causes and facilitating factors of such a problem especially because contraceptives are provided for free in South Africa. Statistics had shown the white population to have low teenage pregnancies and high contraceptive rates. I saw them as the right group to gain insights from and try to implement similar ways among other population groups,’ explained Zulu.

One of the key findings of her study was that contraceptives are not only used to prevent pregnancy, but have health benefits, such as regulating periods and being used in tandem with skin medication for women with acne.

She hopes her study will encourage further research: ‘The insights gained can be a starting point for implementing programmes that will help all population groups experiencing high levels of teenage and unwanted pregnancies as well as low contraceptive rates.’

Obtaining her Masters degree was no easy task. ‘I struggled with registration fees for two years and had to sell my laptop. In my third year, I battled depression. I wanted to quit however, by God’s grace I never went to bed on an empty stomach and resolved to complete my degree,’ Zulu said.

She advises other students to have a support system and to be resilient. She thanked her family, friends and supervisor Professor Pranitha Maharaj for their encouragement.

Zulu plans to launch a non-profit organisation to disseminate information on contraceptives to young people and to help them overcome their difficulties in order to reach their full potential.

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Ms Zandile Msimango

Masters student lands top Project Management Job

Masters student in Community Development Ms Zandile Msimango has landed a top position in Project Management at Ilitha Research and Management Consultants. She will be responsible for research, project planning and management for some of the company’s clients, enabling her to put her skills to good use and to lay the foundation to achieve her goals.

Professor Brian Kearney and Ms Michele Jacobs with some of the drawings and work from the UKZN architecture archives that feature in The Berea Style publication.

UKZN Architecture drawings and work feature in The Berea Style

Curator of the UKZN Architecture library archives Ms Michele Jacobs and Emeritus Professor in the architecture discipline Brian Kearney recently exhibited prints of original and measured drawings of a vast array of KwaZulu-Natal buildings done by UKZN students and other architects.

From left: Mr Juan Solis (UKZN), Mr Lawrence Ogunsanya (UKZN), winner Mr Siyabonga Khuzwayo and Mr Chris Mungle (Corobrik Sales Manager, eThekwini).

UKZN students win top architectural awards

Architecture student Mr Siyabonga Khuzwayo was named winner of the Corobrik Regional Architecture Award. He received R10 000 in prize-money, with Master’s student Mr Kireshen Chetty taking the second prize of R8 000, and Mr Mthokozisi Sibisi receiving R6 000 for third place. A further R6 000 was awarded to Mr Mbuso Msipho for the innovative use of clay masonry in his building design.