Dr Kuda Shonhiwa at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) has been recently appointed as the Advocate for Social Cohesion at the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture until 2024.
Speaking on his appointment Dr Shoniwa said he is humbled by the exciting news.
“I was very ecstatic when I received the good news and at the same time humbled to realise that my contributions are being noticed. We all have a human need to be appreciated and for me, this recognition boosts my potential professional advancement.
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary; that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting,” he said excitedly.
Dr Kuda Shonhiwa holds a PhD in the field of Public Administration from the Durban University of Technology. Prior to his doctoral studies, he obtained an MA from the University of Zimbabwe, and another Master’s degree in Peace and Governance from Africa University and a BA degree from the University of Zimbabwe. He has worked with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the Peace building and conflict resolution programmes in the African region for over 10 years. In addition, he has lecturing experience in tertiary institutions that spans over a decade and has presented scholarly papers in national and international platforms.
Dr Shonhiwa is currently the Executive Director for Peace Oasis International (POI) working in partnership with DUT. One of the key programmes that are currently running is the ‘Stop the hunger programme’, a feeding project that provides assistance with food packs and other basics for our disadvantaged students since its inception in 2017.
Speaking more on his new role, he said that his main objective as Advocate of Social Cohesion is to promote involvement, participation, and contribution of the people to decision-making. “In addition, promoting behaviour and conduct that is aligned to constitutional values, principles and ideals will be paramount. Among some of the important roles, I am tasked to do in the next five years include, firstly, to be the voice and face of social cohesion and nation-building. Furthermore, it would be my responsibility to attend and review meetings to gauge the status of social cohesion in provinces and communities. It is also important as my role to participate in all national activities of significance, including national days and their commemoration,” he said.
Dr AC Serote from the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture, who notified Dr Shonhiwa on his appointment, said the next five years will be key in terms of ensuring that the electoral mandate is put into practical effect programmatically, and the Social Cohesion Advocates programme is therefore extremely important and timely, as one of the instruments to effect social change. “Given your standing in society and your experience, the Department will support you as a Social Cohesion Advocate in any work you may elect to undertake that furthers the objective of a fully integrated and inclusive society,” he said.
Also applauding him on his appointment is Professor Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research, Innovation and Engagement at DUT. “Congratulations for being appointed as Advocate for Social Cohesion and the work you are doing with DUT as our key engagement drivers,” she said.
Dr Shonhiwa further said that he will always treasure the opportunity and privilege he has had to serve at DUT- POI partnership and is looking forward to more engagements nationally and internationally as DUT flag soars high.
Pictured: Dr Kuda Shonhiwa