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  • DUT Alumni


Dr Nokuthula Mavela, a member of the Student Support Development Unit under the Centre for Excellence in Learning at Teaching (CELT) at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) has made it to the list of nominees for the 2021/2022 National Science and Technology Forum (NTSF) South32 Awards.

The announcement of nominees for this prestigious awards ceremony known as the ‘Science Oscars of South Africa’ was recently made public.

Sharing the good news with Dr Mavela was Ms Seipati Moleleki from NTSF’s Knowledge and Database Management Unit. Moleleki wished Dr Mavela the best of luck with her nomination. NTSF applauded all the nominees who are described as individuals, teams and organisations who are recognised for an outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology and innovation in South Africa.

NTSF, founded in 1995, is a non-profit stakeholder body for all science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation organisations in South Africa.

Dr Mavela, a qualified Homeopath is pursuing her PhD in Health Sciences under the Faculty of Health Sciences at DUT. She is honoured to have made it to this stage. She is nominated under the Innovation Award: Corporate Organisation category.

“I am honoured to have made it to the next stage of the nomination and to see my name on the official nominees list. I am ecstatic and hope to bring back home the award. A special thanks to the DUT management, and the Innobiz office for all their support and guidance throughout the nomination process in the NSTF awards, and not forgetting my research supervisors Prof Ashley Ross and Prof Firoza Haffejee,” said Dr Mavela.

She expressed her gratitude to Professor Keolebogile Motaung, Director: Technology, Transfer and Innovation at DUT for believing in her and for nominating her for the NTSF Awards. Dr Mavela explained that Prof Motaung has played a crucial and pivotal role through her office by encouraging researchers within the institution to consider commercialisation of their research output.

Dr Mavela’s research passion lies in health systems and the integration of complementary and alternative medicine into the public health care sector. She then decided to further delve into actual production of complementary and alternative medicinal products whilst upholding sustainable development goal number 3 which stipulates health for all and sustainable development goal number 12 which stipulates responsible production and consumption. Thus the inception of Ewah Cosmeceuticals a zero-waste environmentally friendly company that produces therapeutic personal care products made from cosmetic grade food sourced raw ingredients, medicinal plants through the use of indigenous knowledge systems and the recycling, upcycling and repurposing of suitable food waste. Furthermore, Dr Mavela indicated that their products range from skin care, hair care and nail care for managing common skin, hair and nail conditions.

During the early stages of her nomination, Professor Sibusiso Moyo, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement at DUT said one of the ways of recognising excellence and promoting DUT female scientists and innovators is through nominations for various competitive awards. She thanked Prof Motaung for ensuring that the DUT nominees are better prepared to present themselves for such nominations. Prof Moyo wishes Dr Mavela and other nominees the best outcomes.

Prof Motaung is confident that Dr Mavela has the potential to win the award, saying being nominated for these prestigious awards is a huge achievement on its own.

Dr Mavela’s experience as a body burn victim and survivor informed her research interest in health systems and she has further turned that tragic incidence into a profitable experience. She encourages social entrepreneurship, where individuals within their respective communities identify their challenges and find innovative ways to manage these challenges in a profitable manner.

Pictured: Dr Nokuthula Mavela

Simangele Zuma

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