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UKZN Graduate First to Achieve Doctorate in Kenyan Village

2017/04/19 10:35:01 AM

Dr Martha Sibanda grew up in a rural community in Kenya where education was considered a luxury, taking a back seat to essentials such as farming, looking after her family’s cows and walking 10km to fetch water from the nearest river.


Dr Martha Sibanda. 

Dr Martha Sibanda grew up in a rural community in Kenya where education was considered a luxury, taking a back seat to essentials such as farming, looking after her family’s cows and walking 10km to fetch water from the nearest river. 

However, her parent’s belief that education was the only way out of poverty plus resilience on her behalf, saw Sibanda leave her village to live with her brother Advocate Boniface M Kabaka and his family in Nairobi. 

Sibanda worked hard and the result was she graduated with a Doctor of Administration from UKZN, making her the first person to achieve a doctorate from her home village in Kenya.

Sibanda said her research was on disaster management which is ‘fundamental to enhancing service delivery in local government in particular, and society at large’.

Her thesis was titled: “Towards a Total Disaster Risk Management Framework for Implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes: The Case of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality”.

Her supervisor, Dr Mogie Subban, said the study, which has been recognised internationally, was invaluable. ‘Mitigation and response programmes addressing risk governance are a significant imperative with strengthened partnerships and collaboration. Congratulations Martha on your accolade. Your hard work and perseverance has been well rewarded!’

‘My brother instilled in me a love for education and always encouraged me to do my best to achieve excellence. I honour him for sacrificing his life to work hard so that his siblings received an education, thus breaking the cycle of inter-generational poverty,' said Sibanda.

She acknowledged her family, and particularly her husband, Mr Darlington Sibanda, for his ongoing support and understanding and saluted Subban for her patience, meticulous attention to detail and ‘instilling in me the need to strive for perfection and motivating me to new heights’.

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

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