PROVIDING ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO THE DUT COMMUNITY IN THE TIMES OF A PANDEMIC
The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to commend its essential workers for their dedication and commitment in providing services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. DUT’s Communications team’s Nomvelo Zulu spoke to Alan Khan, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at DUT.
Q: Kindly tell me about your role at DUT?
A: “I work with a dedicated and talented team at Communications, Design Studio, Student Recruitment and Marketing, Public Relations & Events. We are involved in a number of exciting projects at DUT.’’
Q: How long have you been in that role?
A: “I joined the DUT family as a staff member in July 2011 as Senior Director: Corporate Affairs.”
Q: Please describe yourself in a few words?
A: “Kind hearted, honest and respectful.”
Q: How has it been like working during COVID-19?
A: “It has been an anxious time for me. I lost a number of family and friends to COVID-19 and being a high risk individual with medical comorbidities, I have closely followed the guidelines and protocols and did my best to avoid being infected. Working remotely also required a change in behavior and mindset. Thankfully, DUT offered wonderful support and our skilled team at Corporate Affairs managed to successfully achieve our objectives in 2020 and 2021.”
Q: How do you deal with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and losing loved ones due to this virus?
A: “I follow the science, abide by the guidelines and listen to the experts. During the lockdown in 2020, I completed an online course with the World Health Organisation soon after the pandemic was announced, as I wanted to empower myself with knowledge about the virus. Having so many family members and friends passing on during the pandemic was extremely difficult. Being forced to miss funerals and providing physical support and comfort was challenging. However, having a strong faith also helped me immensely.”
Q: What is your daily motivation?
A: “To provide the best opportunities for my wife and sons so that we lead safe and healthy lives, to help support my parents and to do my best to stay happy.”
Q: Please take me through a normal day in your life?
A: “When I hosted the breakfast show on radio or morning TV on SABC2, I would often get up at 04H00. I told myself that those early morning starts would be a thing of the past when I joined DUT in 2011. I now start my day with thanking god for his numerous blessings, then it’s breakfast after sunrise, check my overnight emails, shower and get ready for the day ahead. After that, it is meetings and other work related commitments. I make it a priority to dedicate my evenings to my family. My wife Mariam was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and she has done incredibly well on treatment. Despite the challenges she has faced, I am so proud of her positive state of mind and commitment towards the healing process. So, in March 2020 I stopped presenting my evening talk show on radio and made a conscious effort to enjoy more quality time with Mariam and our sons Nasser and Ameer.”
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: “If I am not spending time with my family, I’m watching sport or taking photographs.”
Q: If you could have one wish what would it be?
A: “That my wife remains cancer free…”