School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics

PhDs for Proud Philosophy Students

From left: Dr Christopher Yaye, Dr Joyline Gwara, supervisor Professor Bernard Matolino and Dr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.
From left: Dr Christopher Yaye, Dr Joyline Gwara, supervisor Professor Bernard Matolino and Dr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti.

Professor Bernard Matolino, an academic from the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, is proud of his three students Drs Joyline Gwara, Christopher Yaye and Kudakwashe Bhasikiti who graduated with their PhDs in Philosophy from UKZN recently.

One of the students, Dr Joyline Gwara, is the first black African female in Zimbabwe to obtain a PhD in philosophy at UKZN. She said, ‘I want my achievement to be motivation for other students, especially females, to work hard and make their dreams a reality,’ she said.

Her research investigated the extent to which freedom is considered to be consistent with human agency in the face of a deterministic metaphysical substrata as outlined by various thinkers in African philosophy. As it is taken to be the case that a person receives a pre-ordained destiny at creation, Dr Gwara seeks to account for notions of freedom and choice making in the light of a pre-ordained individual life plan.

Yaye’s research investigated the complex nature and relationship between culture and democracy in Africa. He outlined the fact that contemporary democratic dispensation in Africa is problematic in a number of ways. He proposed a new form of democratic governance for Africa called Integrated Consensual Democracy which presupposes the viability of African cultural values and practices in the postcolonial state.

Bhasikiti analysed the gutsaruzhinji (socialism) policy in Zimbabwe. In light of Africa’s quest to find an indigenous polity that is responsive to its citizen’s needs, he suggested that the concept and practice of gutsaruzhinji is a viable form of democracy that satisfies both the indigenous and progressive requirements of African political theorization. ‘As an anthropocentric, humanist and welfare theory, gutsaruzhinji retains the key requirements likely to be the blueprint for Africa’s future development,’ he added.

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Dr Tioti Timon

PhD study examines climate change in Kiribati, South Pacific

Dr Tioti Timon graduated with a PhD in Theology and Development. His thesis examined the ways in which climate change is affecting the people, indigenous culture, and environment of Kiribati, in the South Pacific and the role that the church and the Tangintebu Theological College is playing to equip church leadership to respond to these challenges. The study also assessed the extent to which environmental and ecological issues are integrated into the overall theological curriculum.