The Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning at the Durban University of Technology, Professor Nokuthula Sibiya handed over a Lenovo Tablet to a DUT staff member, Ms Yashmitha Padayachee, a Technician at the Department of Basic Medical Sciences in the Faculty of Health Sciences for winning the Moving the Midldle naming competition which was established in 2021.
Padayachee was invited to Prof Sibiya’s boardroom at Steve Biko Campus on Tuesday, 18 January 2022, where she was applauded for coming up with the name Hambisa for the Siyaphumelela Project Focus Area. The handover was facilitated by Dr Mzwandile Khumalo, Teaching, Learning and Development Practitioner at DUT.
Prof Sibiya said she was honoured to hand over an incentive to a DUT staff member.
“Out of all the names we received, her name Hambisa was the best, so congratulations to her. This was a competition which was running from last year and it was open to staff and students. We did receive quite a few names but her name stood out. Hambisa means moving forward, it is aligned very well with the English version of the second focus area,” said Prof Sibiya.
Speaking briefly about the Siyaphumelela 2.0 Project, Prof Sibiya said it focused on three focus areas, the first one being a holistic student support known as Sikusekele-We Got You. The second one is Moving the Middle which focuses on staff and student development. She said this award focuses on the second focus area which is Hambisa, the new name of Moving the Middle. The third one, Prof Sibiya said it is Lived Values and Culture Change.
“Our student success challenge relates to the different levels of preparedness of our students to become the creative, adaptive and entrepreneurial graduates envisioned in our strategic plan. This challenge is being addressed through Hambisa. The Project focuses on understanding the multiple challenges that are impacting on student success which creates a large middle cohort that remain in transition in academic programmes and identifying and implementing strategies for enhancing success. The aim is to contribute to developing (w)holistic graduates with the acumen to be both adaptable and able to respond to a rapidly evolving higher education, profession and world that remain ‘in-becoming. Our staff are also differently abled in terms of the skills and pedagogies needed to effectively guide and develop our students into adaptive graduates. These challenges are addressed through Hambisa,” said Prof Sibiya.
Receiving her gift, Padayachee said she entered the competition after reading about it on her staff email and she decided to come up with an IsiZulu name.
“This is Durban; I feel we have to embrace IsiZulu as most of our students are IsiZulu speaking. We don’t want something overly academic, that is going to shoot above their heads and not reach them. I intended for it to be a friendly and a supportive push to move forward,” she explained.
Padayachee further explained that she searched on the internet the isiZulu meaning of moving forward and she found the name Hambisa which she found fascinating and catchy for students.
Dr Khumalo, leading the student component of the Hambisa Project, who was part of the panel which selected the name Hambisa also congratulated Padayachee for coming up with this winning name. He said they received about 27 entries from both students and staff.
Pictured: Hambisa Student Component leader, Dr Mzwandile Khumalo with Ms Yashmitha Padayachee receiving her gift from DVC: Teaching and Learning, Prof Nokuthula Sibiya.