School of Built Environment & Development Studies

Mvuselelo Ngcoya

Mvuselelo Ngcoya

Associate Professor

Leadership Academic Leader: Population Studies

Discipline Development Studies

Contact Number 031-260-2917

Campus Howard College Campus

Office Address A715 7th Floor, Denis Shepstone Building

Last Updated 2 months ago

Degrees Held

  • PhD (International Relations)


  • Born in the undulating hills of Phatheni, Richmond, Mvu is essentially a country bumpkin. One who does enjoy fine things though, especially food. His culinary appetite has spiced his academic work with intellectual interest in the social life and political economy of indigenous vegetables (particularly imbuya or amaranth).  He wonders how we got to know so much about indigenous medicines, indigenous gardens, and Nguni cattle and so little about indigenous vegetables. Thus, agrarian issues such as land reform, small-scale agriculture, rural development, etc. form the kernel of his research interests. When he’s not thinking about food, Mvu teaches in the Development Studies programme in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (SBEDS) where he has been since 2010. His other academic interests include investigating the role of subjugated philosophies in International Relations.  His is particularly interested in the local and global significance of ubuntu, especially the contested social and political uses of this worldview.  His background in International Relations theory sustains an old flame of interest in the relevance of Frantz Fanon to understanding international politics.  Prior to joining UKZN, Mvu taught at American University in Washington D.C. and worked as a research analyst for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). He dabbles in poetry, plays beach volleyball and soccer, and struggles through Spanish classes during his spare time.


  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Comparative Development Problems and Policies in Masters in Development Studies Programme. Mvuselelo Ngcoya is also supervisor  to PhD Students.


  • Agrarian and Rural Transformations, Indigenous Plants, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Indigenous Food, Land Reform