Admin Staff

Samantha Richmond

Research Coordinator

Samantha Richmond holds a Master of Social Science (MSocSc) degree in Democratic Governance, a Bachelor of Social Science Honours (BSocSc Hons) degree in Democratic Governance, and a Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSc) degree in Psychology and Organisational Psychology, all from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, at which she also completed two years of the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She has research interests in the intersection between academic research, policy and community engagement. She is a trained quantitative social science researcher and an experienced research manager with 10+ years’ experience managing programs, projects, and operations on a variety of social science research topics related but not limited to democracy and governance, education and technology, socioeconomic development, and women and gender with a specific focus on the African continent. She has also published on thematic issues such as democracy, gender-based reproductive health and open-access scholarship.

Senior Research Fellows

Sanya Osha

SRF | Focus: Humanities in Africa (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA) 

Sanya Osha holds a PhD in Philosophy and taught the discipline in Nigerian universities for a decade. He has published extensively on anthropology, cultural studies, knowledge systems of Africa, the politics of the West African region, and the sociopolitical and cultural realities of Southern Africa. He has undertaken extensive research on the discursive status of African systems of knowledge. He also spent a decade studying and teaching the sociological and political aspect of innovations studies. As an academic, he has held research positions at Smith College in the USA, the University of Groningen and the African Studies Centre in the Netherlands, and in South Africa at the Universities of Kwa-Zulu-Natal, University of South Africa, and the Africa Institute for South Africa (AISA). At HUMA, he works on various aspects of the "On Being Human" project and strengthening the publications arm and profile of the Institute.

Junior Research Fellows

Wangui Kimari

JRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA) 

Wangui Kimari is an anthropologist. Her work draws on many local histories and theoretical approaches – including oral narratives, assemblage theory, urban political ecology, the black radical tradition, the anthropology of empire, the anthropology of violence and the anthropology of subjectivity – in order to think through urban spatial management in Nairobi from the vantage point of its most marginalized residents. Wangui is also the participatory action research coordinator for the Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC), a community-based organization in Mathare, a poor urban settlement in Nairobi, Kenya and an editorial board member of the online publication Africa Is a Country (AIAC).

Ralph Borland

JRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)

Ralph Borland is an artist, curator and interdisciplinary knowledge worker. He has a degree in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University, US. His PhD from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, is a critique of first world design interventions in the developing world. His post-doctoral work at UCT focused on the African city and on North-South knowledge inequalities. He has a keen interest in the democratisation and creative use of emerging technologies; African Robots, his collaboration with street wire artists in Southern Africa introduces electronics and mechanics to their practice. His art-design piece Suited for Subversion (2002), a protective and performance suit for street protest, is in the New York Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection. He co-curated the exhibitions Design and Violence at Science Gallery Dublin in 2016 and Future Present: Design in a Time of Urgency at Science Gallery Detroit in 2020.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Hassan M. Yosimbom

PdRF | Focus: African Intellectual Biographies 

Hassan Mbiydzenyuy Yosimbom holds a BA in English and Linguistics, an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Buea, Cameroon, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and a PhD in African Literature from the University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroon. He has previously held postdoctoral positions at the Centre for Urban Management Studies (CUMS), University of Ghana, Legon (2019) and the Centre for African Studies (CAS), University of Cape Town (2021). He is currently an African Intellectual Biographies Fellow at HUMA – the Institute for Humanities in Africa at the University of Cape Town.

Babacar Faye

PdRF | Focus: Humanities in Africa (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)

Babacar Faye has a strong background in international education and teaching experience in Senegal, France and the United States. He holds a PhD from University Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal, a Master's in American Cultural Studies from Bowling Green State University, US and a Master's in Intercultural Mediations, Identities, Mobilities, and Conflicts from the University of Lille, France. He has a solid academic background in intercultural mediation and conflict resolution. Babacar has been the Interim Academic Director of the School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad programs in Senegal, "Senegal: Global Security and Religious Pluralism" and "Senegal: Hip Hop, African Diaspora and Decolonial Futures".  At HUMA, his research focuses on new social movements in the post-industrial West and the decolonial African context, focusing on the role of social media and hip-hop as a medium to effectuate political change globally.

Yousra Hamdaoui

PdRF | Focus: Knowledge activism – strengthening African publishing and dissemination (Open Society Foundations + HUMA + LASPAD)

Yousra Hamdaoui holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Settat, Morocco. Interested in questions of security, governance, violent extremism, resilience and soft power in the Sahel region and North, she carried out research work in Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Senegal and Morocco. She is in charge of communication and research at Movida/IPAR (Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale), Senegal. She is an associate researcher at the Laboratoire d’analyse des sociétés et Pouvoirs (LASPAD) at the Gaston Berger University of Saint Louis, Senegal and the Center for Global Studies of the International University of Rabat, Morocco. Yousra’s research at HUMA examines the state of scholarly publishing and dissemination in North and arabophone Africa from a critical perspective. 

Leah Davina Junck

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA) 

Leah Davina Junck completed a PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; with a dissertation that investigated the role of the dating application Tinder in facilitating intimacy across different places in Cape Town. Her MA research at UCT focused on suspicion and community crime patrolling in Observatory, Cape Town; her honours thesis examined the precarity of male sex work amongst a community of refugees in Cape Town. These are all published under the titles: Cultivating Suspicion: An Ethnography (Langaa RPCIG, 2019), and Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water: An Ethnography on Strategies of Bodily Navigation of Male Refugees in Cape Town (Langaa RPCIG, 2018). She holds a BA in African Languages and Literature. Leah worked as a journalist and researcher at the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) of the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, conducting policy-oriented health research. She is actively involved in the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, the Network for Digital Humanities in Africa, and writes for the South African Young Academy of Science. At HUMA, her work focuses on the role of AI in medical training practices in Mozambique.

Claire-Anne Lester

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)

Claire-Anne Lester holds a PhD in Sociology from Stellenbosch University and an MPhil in Justice and Transformation from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research interests include transitional and socio-economic justice. She is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Fellow. She founded the NGO "Constantia Heritage and Education Project", which aims to preserve the living heritage of people who experienced forced removals from Constantia, a Cape Town suburb, under South Africa's Apartheid Group Areas Act. Claire-Anne's research at HUMA traces ethical and social issues surrounding AI and prenatal diagnostic testing in South Africa and Ghana in the context of the so-called 'fourth industrial capitalist revolution'.

Itai Makone

PdRF | Focus: Knowledge activism – strengthening African publishing and dissemination (Open Society Foundations + HUMA + LASPAD) 

Itai Makone holds a PhD in Political Science from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation. She has a master’s in Economics and a master’s in International Relations, both obtained from the University of Zimbabwe where she also worked as a Research Assistant. Itai has been a guest lecturer at Stellenbosch University, an economist for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Zimbabwe, and a specialist consultant for the Parliament of Zimbabwe. Her research interests include political risk analysis and security, public policy, governance and research methodology.

Job Mwaura

PdRF | Focus: Knowledge activism – strengthening African publishing and dissemination (Open Society Foundations + HUMA + LASPAD)

Job Mwaura completed his doctoral studies at the Department of Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa. He holds a MSc in Communication and Journalism from Moi University, Kenya. His research interests include digital media in Africa, African studies, digital activism, digital cultures and social justice. He has taught journalism and media studies at Moi University and Wits University; he also worked as a researcher at the University of Sussex, UK, and the Kenyan government. He is an alumnus of the "Next Generation of Social Sciences in Africa" program of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in New York, US. He has published and co-published peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and other non-scientific articles.

Ibrahima Niang

PdRF | Focus: Knowledge activism – strengthening African publishing and dissemination (Open Society Foundations + HUMA + LASPAD)

Ibrahima Niang holds a PhD in Sociology from the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal. He has been a lecturer at the Department of Sociology for eight years; his teaching focuses on African sociology and anthropology, sociology of development and international relations, and China's geopolitics in Africa. He has stayed extensively in China and was engaged in research at the CODESIRA program (Africa-China) and the School of Agriculture and Rural Development of the People's University of China. He holds a Certificate in Economic Development from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Ibrahima is the author and co-author of numerous scientific articles and reports on development issues and foresight, academics freedoms, migration, conflicts, research governance and epistemology, and social movements. He was a Fellow of Edinburgh African Studies Center, UK and the Africa Peacebuilding Network (APN) of the Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC).

Fernanda Pinto de Almeida

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)

Fernanda Pinto de Almeida holds a PhD in History from the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape, where she held an NRF-DST Early Career Fellowship. Prior to that, she received an MA in Psychology from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and trained as a psychologist in Brazil, where she remains a registered clinician. She has written on photography and cinema and the formation of cultural publics in South Africa, focusing on the intersections of aesthetics, state planning and urban imaginaries. Her new research project approaches the technological mediation of cash transfers and asks specifically how Fintech reorients the relationship between wages, welfare and the state.

Eugene Arnaud Yombo Sembe

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)

Eugene Arnaud Yombo Sembe holds a MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon, and an MSc in Governance from the Panafrican University in Cameroon (Institute of Governance and Regional Integration). He has been a guest researcher at the University of Nantes, France, and the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden. Eugene has collaborated with Institut de recherche pour le developpement (IRD), Centre population et developpement (CEPED) and the University of Paris Descartes on the SAFIRE project targeting research funding in the Sahel. He was a policy analyst on governance and democracy at the Nkafu Policy Institute in Cameroon and the African Ambassador of the International Association of Political Science Students (IAPSS). Eugene has published on migration, terrorism, elections and regional integration processes in Africa. At HUMA, his research focuses on analysing how particular uses of artificial intelligence in Cameroon contribute to the protection of human life while at the same time accompanying and correcting what is framed as ‘human deficiencies’.

Chikezie E. Uzuegbunam

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA) 

Chikezie E. Uzuegbunam holds a doctorate in media studies from the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. Previously be obtained an MSc in Mass Communication from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria. He has taught, researched, and consulted in Nigeria and South Africa for almost a decade. Since 2013, he has been publishing consistently in the areas of digital media, young people's digital cultures, popular culture, misinformation, and political and health communication. His current project focuses on the ecosystem of medical mis/disinformation and digital health communication in the African context. As a thought leader, he has written opinion editorials on burning issues published in South African and Nigerian media and academic blogs. He is a reviewer for top journals and serves on the editorial board of African Journalism Studies and Annals of International Communication Association, published by Routledge. He has spent time as a visiting fellow at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and Xiamen University in China. He is a member of professional associations such as the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), International Communication Association (ICA), South African Communication Association (SACOMM), African Council for Communication Education, Nigeria (ACCE), and Internet Society. 

Innocent Akilimale Ngulube

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)

Innocent Akilimale Ngulube holds a PhD in English from Rhodes University in South Africa, with an MA in Literature from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. His research interests include Postmodernism, Modernism, Western literature, African literature, Postcolonialism, Ecocriticism, Afropolitanism, Pan-Africanism, Diaspora/transnationalism studies, Cultural studies, Literary and Critical theory, Magical realism, Science fiction, African popular culture, and African urban studies. Amongst his publications are the book chapter entitled "Pan-Africanism and its Contradictions: Rethinking the Nativist Idea of Egyptology in Ayi Kwei Armah's KMT" is due to appear in Xenophobia, Nativism and Pan-Africanism in 21st Century Africa edited by Sabella O. Abidde and Emmanuel Matambo and published by Springer.

Doctoral Research Fellows

Min'enhle Ncube

DRF | Focus: African Intellectual Biographies (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA) and 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)

Min'enhle Ncube holds an Advanced MSc in Cultural and Development Studies from KU Leuven in Belgium where she was a VLIR-UOS scholar and a MSocSci from the University of Cape Town funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF). Her research background comprises medical anthropology, migration, developmental policy, paradigms and frameworks in development, the First 1000 Days (early childhood), chronic illness, urbanity, housing and postcolonial neoliberalism. She has carried out research in Maphisa, Zimbabwe and Brussels, Belgium. She is co-founder of two technology start-ups, one for cleaner environments and another for educational gaming. Min'enhle is interested in using her anthropological background to analyse the efficacy of digital technologies in developing communities in Africa and using this knowledge to further develop useful technology on the continent.

Vanessa Mpatlanyane

DRF | Turning The Tide Humanities Academic Pipeline (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)

Vanessa Mpatlanyane is a sociologist. She studied at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, where she obtained a BA in Humanities, a BA (Hons) in Sociology, and an MA in Sociology with a dissertation that examined student activism in post-apartheid South Africa focusing on the Open Stellenbosch movement. She undertook short courses in Women in Leadership at the Frederik van Zyl Slabbert Institute for Student Leadership Development (FVZS) in Stellenbosch, South Africa and participated in student exchange programmes with the University of Helsinki, Finland. In 2020 she launched a social media project entitled "mere mortal" that explores the different dimensions of being a young 'mortal' through everyday narratives. Vanessa lectures Sociology in the Department for African Studies at the University of Venda, South Africa. Her research at HUMA explores the ways class and race (re)shape ideals around adulthood and one's sense of humanness among young black professionals in the Mpumalanga province, South Africa.

Ahmet Sait Akcay

DRF  | Focus: African Intellectual Biographies (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)

Ahmet Sait Akcay is an African Studies scholar, literary critic, and doctoral candidate in African Studies at the University of Cape Town. He received a BA in Comparative Literature from Istanbul Bilgi University and an MA in History from Yıldız Technical University, Turkey. He has consistently contributed to literary journals and newspapers for over twenty years. He worked as a translator and journalist at a news agency for almost five years before coming to Cape Town. He completed an MPhil degree in African Studies at the University of Cape Town, focusing on modernist African poetry. In his PhD dissertation project, he examines the question of hospitality and spatiality in Nuruddin Farah’s novels. Akcay has authored five short story collections and three critical books, including Reading Orhan Pamuk: The Impossible Allegories of Reading, Houris in Mind: A Critical Analysis to Islamic Populist Culture, and Modern African Literature in Turkish.

Angelique Thomas

DRF | Turning The Tide Humanities Academic Pipeline (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)

Angelique Thomas is a social science researcher interested in stigma and intersectionality, marginalised groups, mental health, and sexual and reproductive health. She holds an MA in Political Studies from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa and has completed postgraduate courses at the International Institute for Social Studies in the Netherlands. Angelique has worked in a wide range of research settings within universities, NGOs, and large-scale clinical trials. Informed by her experience of living and working in the global South, she is passionate about de-centring colonial patterns in global and public health. Angelique is a PhD candidate in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research on sexual and reproductive health resilience of young women living with HIV in South Africa aims to shed light on factors that would support young women living with HIV in becoming resilient and provide knowledge for how to design interventions for women (from the South) by women (from the South) who are directly affected by HIV. 

Sanelisiwe Ndlovu

DRF | Focus: Humanities in Africa (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)

Sanelisiwe Ndlovu holds a BA(Hons) and MA in Philosophy from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Her MA dissertation explored the concept of personhood, cultural identity and personhood amongst the Zulu, a nation of Nguni-speaking people in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. Sanelisiwe has been a fellow of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) summer research programme at Emory University, US and recipient of the University of the Western Cape's Center for Humanities Research (CHR) Flagship Fellowship. At HUMA, her PhD research in Philosophy examines community, personhood and human rights. 

Sawuya Nakijoba

DRF | Focus: African Intellectual Biographies (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA) and 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)

Sawuya Nakijoba holds a BA and MA in Economics from Makerere University Kampala, Uganda. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Teaching Higher Learning Institutions from the Islamic University in Uganda, Kampala. She has taught economics at different universities in Uganda for over ten years and completed a one-year graduate volunteer placement at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Uganda. She participated in the 2017/2018 Young Professionals Programme (YPP) research fellowship at United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ethiopia. Sawuya has a growing publication record.

Phiwokazi Qoza

DRF | Turning The Tide Humanities Academic Pipeline (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)

Phiwokazi Qoza holds an MA in Political and International Studies from Rhodes University, South Africa. Her research is focused on protest performance, affect and place/ space. Her research delves into sex work in the digital era with the migration of sex work to visual content subscription sites such as OnlyFans during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa as a case study. She has previously served as a tutor, researcher and professional administrative support staff at Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Nokuthula Olorunju

DRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)

Nokuthula Olorunju is an attorney and researcher who holds an LLB and LLM with a focus on Cyberlaw/ Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Law from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She has also obtained certificates in practice management and compliance. She has co-authored a number of articles, contributed to projects on the intersection of various aspects of social science, and is pursuing a PhD in the field of human rights and artificial intelligence. Nokuthula engages in research in the areas of the judiciary, artificial intelligence, data protection and privacy, gender rights and equality, land rights, civil society and public interest litigation.


Teaching Fellows

Abonga Sithela

TF | Turning The Tide Humanities Academic Pipeline (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)

The Late Abonga Sithela was a lecturer in Musicology at the South African College of Music (SACM), at the University of Cape Town (UCT)  Faculty of Humanities. At SACM, he was teaching Historical Musicology since 2020, a teaching assistant in the extended degree and diploma programmes since 2020, a tutor in historical musicology courses since 2018. He is also a teaching assistant for the Academic Development Programme at the UCT Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) since 2013. He completed his BMus, BMus Hons (Musicology) and MMus (Musicology) at SACM, examining the impact of having a choir in the community. Abonga's doctoral studies in Historical Musicology at the SACM centres on music as a lens through which to read complex decolonial and epistemic questions about South Africa.

JRF = Junior Research Fellow | PdRF = Postdoctoral Research Fellow | DRF = Doctoral Research Fellow | TF = Teaching Fellow