Sepideh Azari 


The natural and social science construction of the "native" in South African scholarship between 1920-1990

Sepideh Azari completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Namibia. She holds an MSocSc in Sociology from UCT. The focus of Sepideh’s master's thesis titled, Spaces of contestation: the everyday experiences of ten African migrants in Cape Town, analyses the everyday experiences of discrimination faced by African migrants. 

For her PhD, Sepideh is looking at the role of the natural and social sciences in the construction of “the native” in South African scholarship between 1920 and 1990. The focus of her study is an exploration of the epistemic formations and academic traditions of the University of Cape Town.

Sepideh has tutored in the Department for a number of years and in a variety of courses. In 2014, she taught the module on 'race' for SOC2004S: Race Class and Gender.

Sepideh’s research interests are on matters of race, everyday discrimination, migrancy, identity politics, and South African higher education.

Sepideh is part of the Third African Diaspora research collective, and since 2012 she has been working as a researcher for the Charter of the Humanities and Social Sciences; today the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Presently she is an intern with the Knowledges of Power project (NRF funded). This project investigates the relationship between state ideology and knowledge production, in search for new post-apartheid knowledge projects. 

Emma Arogundade

This quiet revolution: exploring the links between identities and restitution amongst a diverse group of Capetonians

Emma Arogundade completed her MPhil in Critical Diversity Studies at the University of Cape Town in 2012. Her ongoing research interests into the intersections between the ways in which identities and positionality shape and influence opinions and actions is finding expression in her PhD exploring how different Capetonians respond to the idea of restitution and redress for past race based injustices in South Africa. Other research interests include pan africanism, feminisms, mothering and privilege. She has tutored and lectured in the sociology department at UCT, as well as with the School for International Training. She has also worked as a research intern at the Human Sciences Research Council, where the projects she worked on include an evaluation of peer education in the Western Cape, a project on race and agency in higher education , and a project on privilege in four African universities. She has presented her work at several conferences and is the author and editor of a number of academic and non-academic texts. 

Fazila Farouk

At the Intersection of Automation, Unemployment and Inequality in South Africa: The robots are here! Will the white collars survive?

Fazila’s PhD research seeks to map the scope, scale and manifestation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in the South African economy to determine the actual nature of technological disruption, who is affected by it and how. In this regard, she examines who the winners and the losers are in the South African economy.

At the same time, as insufficient attention is given to occupations that are seen as stepping-stones to the middle class, her study specifically drills into white-collar jobs that have become vulnerable to technological unemployment due to the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI).

Given the complex challenges created by the emergence of automation in the 4IR, its impact on the workforce and the threat it poses to South Africa’s transformation project, Fazila’s research explores whether South Africans are up to the task of breaking the mould in our thinking about how to deal with our crisis of inequality.

Fazila is a South African activist who has dedicated more than two decades of her working life to the local NGO sector. She is the founder and former publisher of the South African Civil Society Information Service (, a non-profit news agency that fed social justice commentary to the mainstream media from 2008 to 2015.

Ragi Bashonga 


Ragi Bashonga is employed as a PhD Research Trainee in the Research Use and Impact Assessment (RIA) unit in the HSRC. She holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Sociology and Labour Studies from the University of Pretoria. Her Master’s Study entitled ‘Selling Narratives: An ethnography of the Spoken Word poetry movement in Pretoria and Johannesburg’ explored a number of issues an important of which is contemporary black youth identities. Ragi has research experience in a number of qualitative and quantitative research projects at the HSRC. She also has experience in the field of gender, having worked in the Gender Focal Point unit at the National Department of Social Development. Her interests are in the areas of identity, gender, inequality and socio-economic development. Her proposed PhD ‘Amakwerekere? The identity Construction and Integration of second generation African immigrants’ is a study of race, migration and belonging  in the area of youth identities in South Africa. 

Isaac Chinyoka

How and why do states provide for children? A comparative study of social grants to poor families with children

My PhD research focuses on variations in social assistance programmes for families and children in selected Southern African countries. I hold a BA Honours degree from Midlands State University and MSc in Development Studies from the National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe.  I have vast humanitarian and development policy and practice experience as a project manager, researcher and lead consultant for various national and international Non-Governmental Organisations. My research interests include family policy, poverty, social protection, comparative social policy development and financing, HIV & AIDS and children. I am a Research Fellow in the Families and Society Research Unit of the Centre for Social Science Research at the University of Cape Town and a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the department. Current research covers comparative welfare policy reforms in 14 countries in Africa.

Selected conference papers presented:

Policy Debates, Child Indicators and Child Grants in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, presented at the 5th Conference of the International Society for Child Indicators on “From welfare to well-being: Child indicators in research, policy and practice” at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 4 September 2015.

Poverty, Changing Political Regimes and Social Cash Transfers in Zimbabwe, presented at Politics of Social Protection in Africa Conference, UCT, South Africa, June 2015

‘Broken families’, Poverty and Social Assistance for Children in Southern Africa- Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, presented at Social Protection in Africa Conference, UCT, South Africa, March 2015.

Social policy reform in Zimbabwe, 2009-13, presented at Centre for Social Science Research Symposium in Social Protection in Africa, UCT, South Africa, June 2014.

Reunification and community reintegration of children in residential care in Zimbabwe, presented at Child Rights Sector Annual Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, November 2013.

Needs of Female Inmates in Zimbabwe, presented during Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Stakeholder reflections on Working with Incarcerated Women at Cresta Oasis Hotel Harare, Zimbabwe, 10 October 2013.

Exploring hidden alternative sources of social support among Institute of Capacity Development students, presented at Institute of Capacity Development in Harare, Zimbabwe on 8 February 2011.

Women and girls living with HIV and AIDS and their access to medical care and treatment for HIV-related opportunistic infections using public health institutions in Harare, presented at mitigating the impacts of HIV & AIDS conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, 05 August 2009.

Emma Daitz

Biography as Social Theory: the Life of Vuyelwa Mashalaba, first General Secretary of the South African Students' Organization, 1970-1971

Nicole Daniels

An Ethnographic Account of Pathways through Pregnancy and Narratives of Private Sector Childbirth in Cape Town.

Nicole Miriam Daniels is a research affiliate with the Family Studies Research Unit (FASRU), at the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR) where she has written three working papers and presented in their lunchtime seminar series. Her first peer-reviewed article was recently published in the Journal of Gender Studies: Doing homebirth like a man? Constructions of masculinity in South African men’s narratives of homebirth

Nicole returned to UCT in 2012, ten years after completing her undergraduate degree in gender and development to do an honours in sociology examining women’s retrospective experiences of homebirth. Motivated by her own birth experiences and those of others she’d assisted as a doula, she was hungry to learn more about the conditions which led to meaningful and fulfilling experiences of birth.

Under the attentive supervision of Dr Elena Moore, she was able to hone her skills as a researcher and was given the opportunity to do a dissertation masters. As a DST-NRF Research Intern, she tutored in HUMEDU, the Humanities Educational Development Unit. Nicole was able to procure addition supervision from Dr Rachelle Chadwick to help her understand multiple perspectives of women, men and couples’ experiences of homebirth. She asked the question: What are the relational negotiations that take place when couples plan homebirths, have homebirths and narrate their experiences? 

She has presented ‘work-in-progress’ findings from her thesis at the British Sociological Association (BSA), Medical Sociology (MedSoc), 2014 Annual Conference with funding from the CSSR and a Bio-Social Society Conference Bursary. In 2015 she presented as part of a panel with Jessica Rucell and Rachel Chadwick on ‘Coming to Life: Methodological Challenges of Researching Birth and Maternal Health in South Africa’ at the International Society for Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP). In 2016, she joined three other FASRU researchers, Kirsty Button, Isaac Chinyoka and Elena Moore at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR) annual conference in Scotland. She has also presented her work to fellow birth activists and research participants at the 2014 and 2015 Midwifery and Birth Conferences and as a fellow post-graduate at UCT’s cross currents conference.

She currently part of the Rands and Reproduction Project run by Dr Amrita Pande, who is co-supervising her PhD.

Email: and read more of her work

Guy Patrice Dkamela Mbeche  REDD+, State and Society in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Sociopolitical Analysis of Politics, Power and Discourse on 'Avoided Deforestation'


Simbarashe Gukurume

Revolutionary growth and consumption of religiosity on university campuses: A comparative study of Pentecostal Charismatic Churches at UCT and University of Zimbabwe

Simbarashe Gukurume is a Doctoral fellow at the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA), University of Cape Town. He is a holder of a BSc degree in Sociology and an MSc in Sociology and Social Anthropology from University of Zimbabwe. His research interests focus more broadly on money, prosperity gospel, consumerism and livelihoods. His current research project focuses on prosperity gospel and upwardly mobile university students within Pentecostal Charismatic Churches in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Before his current role, he was a lecturer at Great Zimbabwe University (2010-2014), a teaching assistant at University of Zimbabwe (2008-2010). 

*Simbarashe is a Doctoral Fellow in the Institute of Humanities in Africa (HUMA)

Susan Holland-Muter

Body 'a-whereness': place and the shaping of sexual identities and expressions & notions of belonging

Susan Holland-Muter has been active in women's and LGBTI struggles in South Africa and Colombia as a feminist political activist and researcher. She is currently a PhD student in Sociology. Her work focuses on the politics of gender, sexuality, race and place in Cape Town, exploring lesbians' everyday negotiations of the city through a number of inter-related spheres. These include perceptions and experiences of Cape Town as being both the gay capital of South Africa as well as the centre of racism and inequity; secondly, perceptions and experiences of families of origin and families of choice and lastly, the politics of love and desire. 

Mario Jacobs



What form of union organisation and bargaining strategy is needed to hold lead firms in and alongside value chains accountable?

Mario Jacobs is a former trade union official with 24 years’ experience in the South African labour movement. Part of his trade union work involved research in the field of labour law and labour market developments. He has an MPhil (Labour Law) from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and a MA (Social and Labour Economics) from the University of Campinas, Brazil. He is a researcher at the Labour and Enterprise Policy Research Group (LEP), based at the law faculty, UCT. His current research interest includes Global Value Chains (GVC) and Collective Bargaining. His PhD research question is: What form of union organisation and bargaining strategy is needed to hold lead firms in and alongside value chains accountable?

Wandile Kasibe


The Sociological Pathology of Race and Power Relations in the Production of Museums and Public Spaces in South Africa: HOW CAN WE DEFUSE SOUTH AFRICA’S ‘CULTURE WARS’ THROUGH CULTURAL DIPLOMACY?


Moment Malandu

Forests, Property Rights and Livelihoods. A Case of Gwayi Protected Forest, Zimbabwe.

Moment Malandu is a PhD candidate in  Sociology at the University of Cape Town. His research interests are in forest governance and land reform.  He holds a BSc Hons Degree in Development Studies and MA in Development Studies Degree from Lupane and Midlands State Universities respectively, both located in Zimbabwe. His current thesis is titled “Forests, Property Rights and Livelihoods. A Case of Gwayi Protected Forest, Zimbabwe.” The study focuses on the role played by property rights in the governance of protected forests and their effects on livelihoods of forest dependent communities. 

Leo Mapira

Labour Migration & Trade Union Revitalisation in South Africa: The Explanatory and Strategic Utility of Social Movement Unionism and Institutional Embeddedness

Leo Mapira is an industrial sociologist and holds a BScSc in Labour, Organisational Psychology & Human Resources Management; BSocSc (Honours) in Workplace Change & Labour Law; and MSocSc in Industrial Sociology), all from  the University of Cape Town (UCT). He is currently undertaking Doctoral studies in Industrial Sociology at UCT. The working title of his Doctoral thesis is - Labour Migration & Trade Union Revitalisation in South Africa: The Explanatory and Strategic Utility of Social Movement Unionism and Institutional Embeddedness. Mr Mapira is also training in Programme Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation. He an Academic Advisor at the Institute for the Education of International Students (IES Abroad Cape Town) where he also convenes and lecture the Polity, Community Development & Urban Life course. Mr. Mapira is also a Teaching Assistant/Guest-lecturer in the Department of Sociology and the Humanities Education Development Unit at the University of Cape Town. His expertise and research areas include: industrial relations and immigration (African Diaspora); community development & social protection policy; Programme planning, monitoring and evaluation. He has considerable years of research experience in the academia, development and corporate sectors. Among his more recent reports research are:

Mapira, L (2013). ‘Trade Unions Are Their Own Obstacles’: Trade Union Policies and Practices in Response to Undocumented Migrant Labour in Post-Apartheid SA, Masters Dissertation, 2013. 

Chames C, Davies, N., Phillips, T & Mapira, L. A Study on the Coordination of Social Protection Policies: Support to the Government of Zambia’s Formulation of the Social Protection Policy. Research by Southern Hemisphere Commissioned and Published by the International Labour Organisation, 2013. 

With Philips, T & Wessels, W & Mapira, L. An Evaluation and Impact Assessment of the Refugee, Asylum Seekers and Undocumented Migrants Programme for the Foundation for Human Rights. Report by Southern Hemisphere Commissioned by the Foundation for Human Rights (South Africa), 2013.

Merlin Ince

Youth unemployment and advanced marginality in ghetto neighbourhoods of Cape Town

My work is concerned with the way in which youth interpret and negotiate the socio-geographic conditions of ghetto neighbourhoods in their attempts to find work. While many youth struggle without work, some do succeed with finding permanent employment. I am interested in probing these disparities because while ghetto neighbourhoods imply confined living conditions, people construct various mechanisms to cope with their circumstances. In building diverse case studies, I hope to trace these constructions that highlight the discrepancies in employment outcomes among youth who are exposed to the same neighbourhood conditions.


Aimee Kuhl

Sociological and Educational Perspectives on Youth Transition in South Africa: Rethinking interdependencies between social constraints, learning and agency

Daliwonga Lester

Marikana: A breakdown of institutionalised bargaining? 

Daliwonga Lester holds BA Degree majoring in Political Studies (UWC), BA Honours in Political Studies (UWC), MPhil in Labour Law (UWC) and Masters in Law Dispute Resolution (UCT). He is a qualified mediator that specializes in the field of Labour law. He is currently undertaking Doctoral studies in Industrial Sociology at UCT. His research focuses on the 2012 Marikana killings of the mine workers. His main focus are the events leading to the strike, with specific attention to the failed engagements that took place between mineworkers and Lonmin management.   

Aisha Lorgat Trade unions and migrants: the contradictory role of trade unions and shop stewards in securing the social and economic rights of foreign migrant workers in the construction sector in Cape Town

Nonzuzo Mbokazi

Nonzuzo Mbokazi is a sociologist, holding a Master of Social Science in Sociology from Rhodes University. She is currently pursuing a PhD with the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. The thesis of her doctoral study is focused on low income mothers and childcare state policy. Nonzuzo has a strong interest in public policy as she is of the view that Sociology can help to better understand how institutional inertia affects public policy initiatives, which are so pertinent to a developing country such as South Africa. Nonzuzo Mbokazi is also a researcher with the Mzantsi Wakho study at the AIDS and Society Research Unit (ASRU) at UCT.   

Robert McGaffin


Cape Town's space-economy - Where and why Cape Town's economic sectors locate where they do

Rob McGaffin is a town planner and land economist.  He has worked as town planner with the City of Cape Town and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and has worked in property finance at several financial institutions. He was the coordinator for the markets theme at the Urban Land Markets Programme for Southern Africa. He currently lectures in the Department of Construction Economics and Mangement at the University of Cape Town and is a Mistra Urban Futures Researcher with the African Centre for Cities.  He is the course coordinator for the Housing Finance Couse for Sub-Saharan Africa run in partnership with the University of Cape Town,  the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa. He registered for a PhD at the University of Cape Town where he is researching where and why the economic sectors in Cape Town locate where they do.

Talia Meer

The contested space of ‘everyday life’: Problematising the ‘routine’ experiences of street harassment in a South African city

I have a BA (Hons) in Political Science from the University of KwaZulu Natal, and an MA in Development Studies from Dalhousie University, Canada. I’ve worked at UCT’s Gender Health & Justice Research Unit since 2011, where I remain an irregular member of staff. My doctoral research aims to ‘street harassment’ constitutes urban space for women and sexual and gender minorities. My other research interests and previous work includes: gender-based violence, youth sex and relationship education, queer theory and disability studies.


Tsitsi Mpofu-Mketwa

"Asihlali phantsi!" A study of agency among isiXhosa-speaking women traders from a Cape Town township

Tsitsi completed a BSoc Sci in Social Work (2008), BSoc Sci (Hons) in Social Development (2009) and MSoc Sci in Social Development (2011) at the University of Cape Town. Her Masters’ thesis explored the structural, social and economic factors that contribute to women doing sex work in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.  She worked as a Social Worker at the Cape Flats Development Association (CAFDA) in Cape Town. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Development Studies at UCT. Her PhD Research Project is entitled: Asihlali Phantsi!: A study of agency among isiXhosa-speaking women traders in a Cape Town Township. The study investigates the structural constraints and opportunities that women traders encounter in their businesses and how they exercise agency in response to these. The study is located in development studies and sociological debate on structure and agency, drawing primarily on Giddens’s Structuration Theory and Amartya Sen’s Capabilities Approach has been grafted into Structuration Theory to strengthen the theoretical framework because of Sen’s record of work in women’s self-help projects. Tsitsi worked as a part time researcher at the Gender Health and Justice Research Unit at UCT on a school based violence prevention project. She also worked as a research assistant at the Energy Research Centre on   a number of projects relating to Climate Change Mitigation Project, Informal Trading and Energy Use. She also tutors Sociology courses for undergraduate students.

Conference Papers Presented:

  • Giddens, Sen and a Group of isiXhosa-speaking Women Traders, presented at the South African Sociological Association (SASA) conference in Pretoria from 30 June-3 July 2013.
  • PhD Project Preliminary Findings, Young Scientist Conference in Johannesburg 16-17 September 2015.Her research interests are women’s empowerment, sustainable livelihoods and poverty alleviation. 

She is a Mellon Mays Fellow.


Tafadzwa Mushonga

I have a background in forest and nature conservation, and  6 years experience working with the State Department of Forestry, the Forestry Commission in Zimbabwe. My study interests are, broadly, in forest governance issues in Zimbabwe's forest reserves, with a particular focus on people-state relationships. I am enrolled in the Environmental Humanities South programme, a new interdisciplinary MPhil and PhD programme in the Faculty of Humanities. For my PhD l am studying the militarisation of forest policing practices in the forest reserves and their effects on local people, under the supervision of Dr. Frank Matose of the Sociology department.


Emmily Kamwendo Naphambo 


The social construction of a girl's readiness for marriage

For the past 10 years, Emmily Kamwendo Naphambo has been a development practitioner, with specialty and interest in the development and management of programmes in the fields of Children’s’ rights, Gender, Adolescents and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health, and HIV and AIDS.  As a researcher, she has published several research reports on the issues of women, youth and children. Emmily has also served in the UN system, particularly in UN Women and UNFPA, where she managed several successful gender and Adolescent and Youth related programme portfolios in Malawi. Emmily has also served in other international and non-governmental organisations notably:  Plan International (she managed a regional programme on ending child marriages in 5 Southern African countries; Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique) where she successfully contributed to the development of a SADC model law on Child marriages, Women and Law in Southern Africa(WLSA), where amongst other things, she co-authored a number of research publications on Women Rights and Population Services International, where started her career in youth programming. Emmily is currently in her second year, reading her PHD specialising in Sociology.

Nolwazi Nadia Ncube 


"Markets of Menstruation": Through the Narratives of the Southern African Rural Girl Child

Nadia is a PhD student registered with the Department of Sociology. Her main research interests are Reproductive Sociology , Gender Studies, Development Studies, Public Health and Transmigration Studies. 

Her PhD topic, "Zulu girls’ Narratives of Menstruation: a case study of menstruation and menstrual health as silent topics of the development discourse" through narratives of the Southern African rural girl child is linked to a project she founded called “Save the Girl-with-a-Vision”. It supports 70 girls in the village of Mbizingwe, Zimbabwe. In it she champions the cause of the rural girl child in the field of sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) by widening the access to sanitary wear in order to curb school girl absenteeism. If you'd like to sponsor a girl or make a contribution to the donor Foundation, visit: .

Nadia  holds three degrees in Sociology with the University of Cape Town (UCT) –  a BA, an Honours in Development Studies and MSocSc in Global Studies. She is a published poet, journalist and creative writer. She specializes in auto/biographical narratives in her academic research as she has a lyrical ability that meaningfully translates lived experiences into sociology theory. Her Master's was titled, "Narratives of the transnational student: a complicated story of cultural identity, cultural exchange and homecoming". Her MA abstract was accepted for presentation in Buenos Aires, Argentina in April at the University of Birmingham's Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage international conference, "Heritages of Migration: Moving Stories, Objects and Home" under the sub-theme "Problematizing Belonging" 

Nadia is also talented vocalist with her own single and serves happily as a worship leader at her church in Zimbabwe, One Community, a Pentecostal church which is one of the Newfrontiers International network.

Azwi Netshikulwe

Occupational/ethnic niches of African immigrants in South Africa: a study of Congolese immigrants in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg

Originally from Venda (Limpopo), Azwihangwisi  (Azwi) Joseph Netshikulwe joined the University of Cape Town in 2002 as an undergraduate. 13 years later he is still here although he took a two-year gap between 2010 and 2012. He has been part of Sociology Department since 2003 and holds a Master's Degree in Sociology. He is currently working on his PhD in Industrial Sociology.He is interested in issues related to the labour market in South Africa and is currently conducting research on the occupational/ethnic niches of African migrants in South Africa, focusing on informal Congolese car-guards in South Africa. This an area of interest to our Third African Diaspora project, headed by Prof Ari Sitas, which attempts to “map” the changing nature of African migrations at a national, regional and trans-continental level. 

Edwin Nsah 


NGOs and poverty reduction in the North West region of Cameroon 

Edwin Nsah completed an undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Dschang, Cameroon, and Honours and Master’s degrees in Development Studies at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Cape Town. He is particularly interested in developing an understanding of the problems and challenges facing NGOs in pursuing their aims.

Mario Pissarra 

Through the lenses of decolonisation: reading colonial and postcolonial Africa in and through the paintings of Sam Ntiro and Malangatana Ngwenya

Mario Pissarra is an art historian and founder of the Africa South Art Initiative (ASAI), an independent research project located at UCT. The digitization of the Community Arts Project’s (CAP) archives forms part of ASAI’s ongoing research into ‘people’s culture’, a radical discourse associated with the 1980s that continues to pose challenges to contemporary preoccupations with the ‘creative economy’. His PhD research is being supervised by Prof Ari Sitas. 

Sophia Sanan 

Sophia Olivia Sanan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town, and a Research Fellow with the Recentring AfroAsia Project. She has been working in the fields of visual culture and arts education in South Africa for the last nine years. She holds a Masters degree in Sociology from the Universities of Freiburg in Germany, Jawaharlal Nehru University in India and UCT, an Honours degree from UCT in Political Philosophy and Social Theory, and a BA in Visual Communication from Stellenbosch University. Through her work as a scholar, lecturer and researcher she has focused on the themes of art and design education for social justice; race and institutional transformation in higher education; cultural policy development in Africa; and the socio-cultural dimensions of African migration in Europe, South Africa and India. Her studies, research work and personal life have allowed her to spend extensive time in North India, which she considers a second home.

Her PhD research is a comparative study on race, ‘foreign-ness’ and belonging in migrant African micro-communities in Cape Town and New Delhi. In both of these cities, she will engage with both self-identified ‘locals’ and African ‘foreigners’ to explore personal narratives, collective imaginings and social tensions through visual research methods and the study of cultural and aesthetic expressions. By using a visual approach to data collection, she aims to create an inclusive dialogue-based research process. The visual, textual and audio-visual mapping processes conducted in both cities will aim to illuminate a) the imagined Africa in India and South Africa that informs the perception of ‘otherness’ expressed in moments of violence; b) responses, stories and narratives from the African diaspora to this collective imaginary; and c) the dialogue, interaction and exchange that would result from these maps, stories and imaginations engaging with each other.

The study is premised on the idea that engaging with the experiences of discrimination, marginalisation and violence felt by perceived ‘foreign’ communities in both India and South Africa may be instructive in understanding and responding to the construction of race and difference in both of these two global South urban environments. By drawing on histories of cultural entanglements between India and Africa, the study hopes to explore less violent contemporary possibilities for Afro-Asian connectivity.

Lwando Scott

"Will marriage normalise queers or will queers radicalise marriage?": same-sex marriage in South Africa

Lwando Scott is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He was a visiting research fellow with the Fox International Fellowship at Yale University (2013/14). His doctoral research is on same-sex marriage in South Africa with a working thesis title "Will marriage normalise queers, or will queers radicalise marriage: Same-sex marriage in South Africa." After receiving his Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Diversity Studies (UCT), he completed a Master of Social Science in Social Responsibility in 2010 from St Cloud State University in Minnesota. His thesis titled, “The historical impact of capitalist development on gay movements in South Africa and the United States.” in 2011 & 2012 He worked as an Assistant Lecturer for Diversity Literacy at UCT. During his time as a PhD candidate Lwando has tutored first year students Introductory Sociology. He held internship positions both at the  Desmond Tutu Aids Foundation (2011), and the Institute for Security Studies (2007). He also volunteered and subsequently worked at the Minnesota Aids Project as a community educator and conducted trainings on the intersection of HIV/Aids and chemical health (2010). Lwando's work, academic and otherwise, is centered around advancing queer politics in South Africa.

Hangala Siachiwena

How and why social protection policy reforms happen after changes of government in Southern Africa

Hangala Siachiwena holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Development Studies and Economics from the University of Zambia and a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from the University of Cape Town (UCT). He is currently a Researcher on the Legislating and Implementing Welfare Policy Reforms (LIWPR) project in the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR) at UCT. The LIWPR project seeks to understand the factors that favour or militate against the adoption and expansion of social protection policies in 14 African countries. His research on the LIWPR project also serves as the basis for his doctoral studies. Hangala’s PhD research focuses on how and why social protection policy reforms happen after changes of government in Southern African countries, including Malawi, Namibia and Zambia. Through his research, Hangala wishes to understand how decisions on social protection programmes and policies are made, the roles played by different actors such as political leaders, bureaucrats, international donors and civil society in the provision of social protection, and to understand how and why programmes and policies have changed (or not) in recent years following the elections of new presidents and/or political parties. Hangala is also a member of the Southern African Social Protection Experts Network (SASPEN). 


Jean-Paul Solomon


Jean-Paul Solomon is a PhD student whose research, being supervised by Prof Owen Crankshaw, is focused on the extent to which spatial, racial and economic inequalities have persisted into the so-called ‘post-apartheid’ era. This forms part of his broader interests in the racial differences in labour market and educational outcomes, as well as the resulting economic inequalities.

In addition to his masters degree in sociology from UCT, he has qualifications in theology and accounting. His work experience in recent years has included working as a researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), lecturing at the Cornerstone Institute ( and UCT, as well as being an academic advisor to students in the study abroad programs at SIT ( and CIEE (

John Spiropoulos

A house in the city – debt and the moral economy of households in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

John Spiropoulos' PhD project is an examination of the meaning of money, debt and the value placed by poor households on the house, on objects of consumption and on relationships. He is an affiliated PhD student in the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA)

Bianca Tame

'Comfortable Others': The process of ethnic niching among transnational migrant domestic workers, domestic agencies and employers in Cape Town

As a newly appointed lecturer specialising in Industrial Sociology, I am focusing my teaching interests on labour studies and the new worlds of work. This relates closely with my research, where my primary areas of interest are domestic work, private employment agencies and migrant labour.  

Dickson Tumawu 

Farming Community, Environment and Extractive Gold Mining in Ghana

Dickson Armstrong Tumawu, a Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar, is supervised by Dr Frank Matose. His work is titled: Farming Community, Environment and Extractive Gold Mining in Ghana. His research examines the metabolism between gold mining, humans, nonhuman nature and society. He holds a PhD Fellowship from the Albert Baker Fund, in Sacramento, California USA. He received an M. Phil in Modern Society and Global Transformations from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He is a member of the Individual in the Labour Market Research Group at University of Cambridge. Prior to coming to University of Cape Town, he taught at a number of universities and institutions. His research interests are in three main areas. The first is located in environmental management. The second is situated in managing and motivating people at work. He also has the expertise and interest in logic and critical thinking.