Shongwe's research gets nod at global academic awards

Gabangaye Shongwe, a student at Nelson Mandela University, was among those honoured at the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit in Dublin, Ireland.
Gabangaye Shongwe, a student at Nelson Mandela University, was among those honoured at the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit in Dublin, Ireland.
Image: SUPPLIED

Nelson Mandela University student Gabangaye Shongwe's paper has been commended at the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit held in the Irish capital, Dublin.

Shongwe - a BA media, communication and culture student - was announced the regional winner for Africa and Middle East in the Music, Film and Theatre category of the Undergrduate Awards held earlier this year.

At the global awards, which took place on November 11 to 13, Shongwe's paper titled "Social renewal and representations of African womanhood" received a commendation.

The paper referenced four African films touching on various issues affecting African women and the changing identities of women in Africa. The four films are TheBlue Eyes of Yonta (Gomes, 1991), KarmenGei (Rama, 2001), Elelwani (wa Luruli, 2012) and Moolaade (Sembene, 2004).

"I also touched on the representations of women in Africa and social renewal, particularly in the face of modernisation," said Shongwe.

"I believe that the research
was of particular importance considering the sad realities embodied within contemporary movements such as #Femicidenation or #AmINext," he said.

Shongwe's work was among 3,437 undergraduate submissions from students in 338 universities in 50 countries.

The Undergraduate Awards are the world's leading awards programme for students still pursuing their first degrees.

The awards recognise top undergraduate work and share it with a global audience, connecting students across cultures and disciplines.

Shongwe said understanding the representations of African womanhood and African women in such testing times may assist in extinguishing toxic and outdated ideas and may also assist in guiding people into possible solutions.

He said it was one of his
lecturers, Professor Janina Wozniak ,who encouraged him to make a submission.

Professor Azwinndini Muronga, the executive dean of the faculty of sciences, engineering, politics, education and law, said the university's efforts of bringing the global awards to the attention of students and staff was starting to pay off.

"I believe more recipients of this award will emerge from our institution.

The highly recommended entry of Shongwe and him being declared the regional winner will encourage other students to take part," he said.

Undergraduate Awards executive director Dr Garret Maher said the awards offer the world's most inspiring students a unique platform to benchmark their work on a global scale.

"At a time when there is a lot of uncertainty in the world, the global undergraduate summit embraces these students, enabling them to showcase their outstanding research to an audience of peers, academics and future employers as they transition to become the next generation of change makers," said Maher.

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