The HUMA team is a community drawn from a diversity of nationalities, genders, disciplinary specialisations, methodological approaches, regional and thematic foci, languages, and backgrounds that speak to different but complementary aspects of the Institute's mission. Every member of our team contributes to the Institute's mission of building an interdisciplinary space for intellectual encounters. Team members are experts in their fields, with a deep commitment to an ethics of worldliness.
Divine Fuh is associate professor of social anthropology at the University of Cape Town and Director of HUMA – Institute for Humanities in Africa, at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He was Director of Publications and Dissemination Programme at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) from 2017–2019. He joined UCT in 2012, from the University of Basel where he was a researcher in the Chair for Research and Methodology at the Institute for Sociology. He has taught at the Universities of Basel, Cape Town, Western Cape, Stellenbosch, and has been visiting lecturer at the Universities of Brasilia, Tokyo, and Gaston Berger. His research focuses on the politics of suffering and smiling, particularly on how urban youth seek ways of smiling in the midst of their suffering. He has researched Botswana, Cameroon, Senegal and South Africa. His current work focuses on the political economy of Pan-African knowledge production, and also on AI and the ethics of care in Africa. He was trained at the Universities of Buea in Cameroon (BSc), Botswana in Gaborone (MA), and Basel in Switzerland (PhD). He has been a visiting fellow at the Centre for Modern Oriental Studies in Berlin (ZMO), and guest at the African Studies Centre Leiden. Divine is Founding Managing Editor of Langaa Research and Publishing, has been Chair of the Council of Management of the Africa Book Collective. He is the current Co-Chair of the Global Africa Group (GAG) of the World Universities Council (WUN).
Joy M. Kirimi is the Communication Officer at HUMA – Institute for Humanities in Africa, University of Cape Town; responsible for publishing development, research visibility and science communication. She holds an MA in International Public Relations and New Media (IPR) from Cardiff University, UK, and a BA in Communications from Daystar University, Kenya. She is currently completing her PhD in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research interests lie in media and elections coverage in Africa, where she explores peace and conflict frames, activist journalism, and government PR, amongst others. Joy has over 15 years' experience in corporate and strategic communications, public relations and media relations, digital marketing, brand, and social media management, working with governments, NGOs, corporates, and academic institutions. She has served as a PhD student representative at the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), where she is also a member. She is also a member of the South African Communication Association (SACCOM). She produced the TV documentary Remembering the Poor. Joy was also involved in the teaching team at the UCT Centre for Film and Media Studies that enabled staff and students to transition and embrace online learning using Edtech during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ayanda Manqoyi is a Program Administrator: Postgraduate Development in the HUMA Research and Grants Development Hub. He holds an MPhil in Sustainable Development from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and an MA in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), United States. Ayanda is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at UC Davis. His research interests include entrepreneurship, kinship, kinship obligations, colloquially known as the "black tax", black middle class, and youth. He is a member of a research initiative "Reimagining the Indian Ocean Worlds" at UC Davis. He has taught cultural and social anthropology at UCT and UC Davis. Ayanda serves on the planning committee of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF). His publications include the book chapter "Researching cannibalisation obligations in post-apartheid South Africa" in the book Eating and Being Eaten: Cannibalism as Food for Thought.
Cebisa Bingwa is an administrator at HUMA – the Institute for Humanities in Africa, at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is responsible for the day-to-day operational activities of the institution. She holds a BTech Internal Auditing (Cape Peninsula University of Technology – CPUT), a Certificate in Supply Chain Management (CPUT) and a Certificate in Forensic and Investigative Auditing (University of South Africa – UNISA); currently, she is a student of BCom in Finance (CPUT). Cebisa has over 15 years of experience working administratively in different capacities, such as Student and Finance Officer at UCT, Finance Administrator at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Project Administrator at UWC. She is meticulous in managing academic finances, from budgeting to reporting and handling audits.
RF | Focus: Future Hospitals & Francophone World (IRD – French National Institute for Sustainable Development + HUMA)
Fanny Chabrol is a Visiting Research Fellow at HUMA – the Institute for Humanities in Africa, at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and a Research Fellow at the French Institute for Sustainable Development and Research (IRD), attached to the Population and Development Center (CEPED) in Paris, France. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Social Issues (EHESS), a postgraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Paris and a DESS in International Studies from INALCO, France. Her research focuses on infectious diseases and access to healthcare in public hospitals in Africa, the politics of health reform and Africa-China health cooperation, including through the building of new hospitals. More broadly, she is interested in the political economy of health, global health and health infrastructures in Africa and beyond, in the present and the future. Fanny has published on these issues, including the book: Prendre soin de sa population. L’exception botswanaise face au sida (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 2014). She previously held the post of sub-Saharan Africa researcher at IRIS from 2001 to 2003. She has carried out several missions in Africa for the International Organisation of the Francophonie (Côte d’Ivoire, Congo) and in the framework of a research project funded by the National Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS) in South Africa and Botswana.
Dominique Somda is a sociocultural anthropologist trained in France; she received a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, where she was a member of the Laboratoire d'Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative. As a postdoctoral researcher, she held visiting positions at the Fondation des Maisons des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris and at the London School of Economics. She later taught anthropology as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Reed College in Portland, Oregon. More recently, she was a travelling faculty with the comparative study abroad programs IHP Cities and IHP Human Rights (School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont). Her work focuses on how inequality − or conversely egalitarianism − emerges through everyday practices, a thematic interest that has also led her to engage with the anthropology of slavery, democracy, Christianity, and feminist and postcolonial studies. Her regional focus is Madagascar. A dual citizen of Burkina Faso and France, she was born in Paris and raised in Cotonou, Benin.
Azza M. B. Ahmed
Azza Ahmed completed her doctoral degree in Anthropology at the Bayreuth International Graduate School for African Studies (BIGSAS), Germany. She holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and Sociology, both from the University of Khartoum, Sudan. Her research interests include digital and urban anthropology, urban planning and infrastructures, mobilities, peace research, and gender and development. She was a research assistant on numerous projects and a research associate at the Institute of Geography at the University of Bonn, Germany and the Research Group Social Geography at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She was a lecturer at the University of Gezira, Sudan and a Research and Coordination Assistant at the Gender and Development programme, Development Studies and Research Institute (DSRI) at the University of Khartoum, Sudan. Azza is a member of the African Good Governance Network (AGGN).
Minga Mbweck Kongo
Minga Kongo is an anthropologist and postdoctoral researcher at HUMA with research interests in water sociality, mobility, urbanism, illness and climate change. Minga's thesis in social anthropology examines water, sociality and the challenge of navigating dignified livelihoods in Khayelitsha, a Cape Town settlement often characterised by limited access to, and the uncertain quality of, water. He investigates the subjectivities created by unequal municipal water distribution and how Khayelitsha residents access and harness water to meet their everyday needs, sustain life and build socio-cultural personhood. He further explores how residents navigate and seek to reconcile the possible contradictions in the uneven distribution of water in Khayelitsha and its surroundings, as well as in other places that are generally relatively well-provisioned. His study shows the multiple relations with and complexities of water. He employs an anthropological perspective using ethnography to show these complexities. Minga has been a fellow of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program for undergraduate studies at UCT. He has taught and served as a research assistant for several projects at UCT; he is also a curator at UCT Centre for African Studies and a member of the Citizens in Motion bilateral cooperation project between South African and Japanese scholars. He has worked widely in emergency medical services, architecture, construction, arts and community development sectors.
Alison Kuah is a doctoral student in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her PhD research at HUMA examines the intergeneration transmission of artisanal skills within the context of artificial intelligence and rapid technological transformations in Mthatha in South Africa and Akita in Japan. She holds a BA degree in Anthropology from Tufts University, United States and an MA degree in Practical Anthropology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her MA research at UCT focused on African immigrant youth and civic participation in Cape Town. Alison has worked and conducted research in Singapore, Argentina, the United States and South Africa.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fanidh Sanogo is a Burkinabe doctoral student in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town. She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Glasgow Caledonian University (Mauritius campus) and a Master's in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town through the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. Her master's research investigated the art of Maquis in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), focusing on understanding ways of being in the maquis via facial make-up. Her doctoral research is a continuation of her master's studies, further investigating ontic (physical) and ontological (mental) constructions of being through facial make-up in a context of rapid global cultural and technological transformations.
Amina Alaoui Soulimani
Amina Alaoui Soulimani is a local of Rabat, Morocco and holds an MSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics. She is interested in questions of imperial durabilities, the decolonial alternative, social marginality, and immaterial archives. She is a Moroccan writer, thinker, and feminist activist whose work can be found in diverse fora across the web. She is also an alumna of the African Leadership University Mauritius and has previously worked at multiple international organisations, such as the UN Refugee Agency, Ashinaga, and the African Union. Amina's research at HUMA will examine the intersections of AI, care, and the future of hospitals with a particular focus on access to cancer treatment.
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.
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 YÄ±ldÄ±z 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.
DRF | Focus: African Intellectual Biographies (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)
Nabil Ferdaoussi obtained a Bachelor's degree in English Literary Studies at Ibn Zohr University, Morocco, and a Master's degree in Cultural Studies at the University of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, Morocco. He worked as a research assistant at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), collaborating with a multidisciplinary research group on migration, borders, and gender in North and West Africa. Nabil has been a teaching assistant in Cultural Studies at the University of Ibn Zohr and a research assistant at IREMAM, Université d'Aix-Marseille, France. He also serves as an editorial assistant at Politikon: the IAPSS Journal of Political Science. At HUMA, his PhD project examines the cultural anthropology of migration and borders, with a geographical focus on North and West Africa.
DRF | Accelerated Transformation Programme (The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust + HUMA)
Olerato Mogomotsi is a philosopher focusing on questions related to the phenomenological ontology of individuals belonging to marginalized groups, contemporary ethical quandaries and the conceptual analysis of Africanness. He holds a BSocSci (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and an Masters in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town, South Africa; his research addressed the structure and nature of authenticity as a concept related to the self. He is currently completing an MPhil in African Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK; his research examines the South African state’s use of heritage to shape young South African identities. Olerato has held Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF), the Mandela Rhodes Foundation scholarship, been a scholar of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and had experience at the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking. At HUMA, he will be pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Cape Town, deepening inquiry on authenticity and belonging.
Abonga Sithela is 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 has been 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.