School of Built Environment & Development Studies

Use of Sexual Health Services by LGBT Students Subject of Masters Research

Mr Sthembiso Pollen Mkhize graduated with a Masters in Population Studies degree for his research which provided insight into the use of sexual health services by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in Durban.
Sthembiso Pollen Mkhize
Sthembiso Pollen Mkhize

Mkhize says the degree gives him the opportunity to examine the disproportionate burdens confronted by sexual minorities, such as the LGBT community, when accessing and using sexual and reproductive health services. ‘My study is close to my heart. Being a proud, young gay man, I was happy to contribute to the limited research, interventions and knowledge on the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of the LGBT community.’

The key findings of his study show that LGBT youth are victims of stigmatisation, prejudice and marginalisation within the South African health system, highlighting the importance of revising the SRH policies and interventions aimed at improving the overall wellbeing and quality of life for all young people whether heterosexual or homosexual.

‘I believe my research is beneficial to society because it contributes to the limited literature and research on young sexual minorities, and it adds value to the Department of Health and relevant national health organisations. It also contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals such as good health and well-being, and reduced inequalities,’ said Mkhize.

Being openly gay, Mkhize says he encounters a lack of emotional and financial support from his father. ‘I had to apply for loans to further my studies. I battled depression, anxiety and headaches, however with prayer, faith and by the grace of God, I was able to overcome everything that came my way.’

He thanked his support system of family, friends and supervisor Professor Pranitha Maharaj.  His advice to other students is: ‘Never be intimidated by your friend’s academics or success. Know what you are aiming for and always believe that something wonderful is about to happen. In life, we all have unique purposes, and only you hold the key to your success.’

Mkhize’s future plans include pursuing an academic career and ‘registering a non-profit organisation that will give LGBT teenagers in high schools and higher education institutions the knowledge and platform to challenge the social ills affecting them as they move into adulthood’.

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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

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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.