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People

The HUMA team is a community drawn from a diversity of nationalities, genders, disciplinary specialisations, methodological approaches, regional and thematic foci, languages, and backgrounds that speak to different but complementary aspects of the Institute's mission. Every member of our team contributes to the Institute's mission of building an interdisciplinary space for intellectual encounters. Team members are experts in their fields, with a deep commitment to an ethics of worldliness.

Go straight to: Management | Senior Research Fellows | Junior Research Fellows | Postdoctoral Research Fellows | Doctoral Research Fellows | Teaching FellowsAdministrative staff

Management

Divine Fuh, Director of HUMA

Divine Fuh

Director
E: divine.fuh@uct.ac.za

Divine Fuh is a social anthropologist at the University of Cape Town and Director of HUMA – the Institute for Humanities in Africa, at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He was Director of Publications and Dissemination Programme at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) from 2017–2019. He joined UCT in 2012, from the University of Basel where he was a researcher in the Chair for Research and Methodology at the Institute for Sociology. He has taught at the Universities of Basel, Cape Town, Western Cape, Stellenbosch, and has been visiting lecturer at the Universities of Brasilia, Tokyo, and Gaston Berger. His research focuses on the politics of suffering and smiling, particularly on how urban youth seek ways of smiling in the midst of their suffering. He has researched Botswana, Cameroon, Senegal and South Africa. His current work focuses on the political economy of Pan-African knowledge production, and also on AI and the ethics of care in Africa. He was trained at the Universities of Buea in Cameroon (BSc), Botswana in Gaborone (MA), and Basel in Switzerland (PhD). He has been a visiting fellow at the Centre for Modern Oriental Studies in Berlin (ZMO), and guest at the African Studies Centre Leiden. Divine is Founding Managing Editor of Langaa Research and Publishing, has been Chair of the Council of Management of the Africa Book Collective. He is the current Co-Chair of the Global Africa Group (GAG) of the World Universities Council (WUN).

Senior Research Fellows

Sanya Osha

Sanya Osha

SRF | Focus: Humanities in Africa (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA) 
E: olusanya.osha@uct.ac.za

Sanya Osha holds a PhD in Philosophy and taught the discipline in Nigerian universities for a decade. He has published extensively on anthropology, cultural studies, knowledge systems of Africa, the politics of the West African region, and the sociopolitical and cultural realities of Southern Africa. He has undertaken extensive research on the discursive status of African systems of knowledge. He also spent a decade studying and teaching the sociological and political aspect of innovations studies. As an academic, he has held research positions at Smith College in the USA, the University of Groningen and the African Studies Centre in the Netherlands, and in South Africa at the Universities of Kwa-Zulu-Natal, University of South Africa, and the Africa Institute for South Africa (AISA). At HUMA, he works on various aspects of the "On Being Human" project and strengthening the publications arm and profile of the Institute.

Junior Research Fellows

Wangui Kimari

Wangui Kimari

JRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)
E: wangui.kimari@uct.ac.za

Wangui Kimari is an anthropologist. Her work draws on many local histories and theoretical approaches – including oral narratives, assemblage theory, urban political ecology, the black radical tradition, the anthropology of empire, the anthropology of violence and the anthropology of subjectivity – in order to think through urban spatial management in Nairobi from the vantage point of its most marginalized residents. Wangui is also the participatory action research coordinator for the Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC), a community-based organization in Mathare, a poor urban settlement in Nairobi, Kenya and an editorial board member of the online publication Africa Is a Country (AIAC).

Dominique Somda

Dominique Somda

JRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)
E: dominique.somda@uct.ac.za

Dominique Somda is a sociocultural anthropologist trained in France; she received a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, where she was a member of the Laboratoire d'Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative. As a postdoctoral researcher, she held visiting positions at the Fondation des Maisons des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris and at the London School of Economics. She later taught anthropology as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Reed College in Portland, Oregon. More recently, she was a travelling faculty with the comparative study abroad programs IHP Cities and IHP Human Rights (School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont). Her work focuses on how inequality − or conversely egalitarianism − emerges through everyday practices, a thematic interest that has also led her to engage with the anthropology of slavery, democracy, Christianity, and feminist and postcolonial studies. Her regional focus is Madagascar. A dual citizen of Burkina Faso and France, she was born in Paris and raised in Cotonou, Benin.

Ralph Borland

Ralph Borland

JRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)
E: ralph.borland@uct.ac.za

Ralph Borland is an artist, curator and interdisciplinary knowledge worker. He has a degree in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University, US. His PhD from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, is a critique of first world design interventions in the developing world. His post-doctoral work at UCT focused on the African city and on North-South knowledge inequalities. He has a keen interest in the democratisation and creative use of emerging technologies; African Robots, his collaboration with street wire artists in Southern Africa introduces electronics and mechanics to their practice. His art-design piece Suited for Subversion (2002), a protective and performance suit for street protest, is in the New York Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection. He co-curated the exhibitions Design and Violence at Science Gallery Dublin in 2016 and Future Present: Design in a Time of Urgency at Science Gallery Detroit in 2020.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Azza M. B. Ahmed

Azza M. B. Ahmed

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)
E: azza.ahmed@uct.ac.za

Azza Ahmed completed her doctoral degree in Anthropology at the Bayreuth International Graduate School for African Studies (BIGSAS), Germany. She holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and Sociology, both from the University of Khartoum, Sudan. Her research interests include digital and urban anthropology, urban planning and infrastructures, mobilities, peace research, and gender and development. She was a research assistant on numerous projects and a research associate at the Institute of Geography at the University of Bonn, Germany and the Research Group Social Geography at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She was a lecturer at the University of Gezira, Sudan and a Research and Coordination Assistant at the Gender and Development programme, Development Studies and Research Institute (DSRI) at the University of Khartoum, Sudan. Azza is a member of the African Good Governance Network (AGGN).

Yousra Hamdaoui

Yousra Hamdaoui

PdRF | Focus: Knowledge activism – strengthening African publishing and dissemination (Open Society Foundations + HUMA + LASPAD)
E: yousra.hamdaoui@uct.ac.za

Yousra Hamdaoui holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Settat, Morocco. Interested in questions of security, governance, violent extremism, resilience and soft power in the Sahel region and North, she carried out research work in Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Senegal and Morocco. She is in charge of communication and research at Movida/IPAR (Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale), Senegal. She is an associate researcher at the Laboratoire d’analyse des sociétés et Pouvoirs (LASPAD) at the Gaston Berger University of Saint Louis, Senegal and the Center for Global Studies of the International University of Rabat, Morocco. Yousra’s research at HUMA examines the state of scholarly publishing and dissemination in North and arabophone Africa from a critical perspective.  

Leah Davina Junck

Leah Davina Junck

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)
E: JNCLEA001@myuct.ac.za

Leah Davina Junck completed a PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; with a dissertation that investigated the role of the dating application Tinder in facilitating intimacy across different places in Cape Town. Her MA research at UCT focused on suspicion and community crime patrolling in Observatory, Cape Town; her honours thesis examined the precarity of male sex work amongst a community of refugees in Cape Town. These are all published under the titles: Cultivating Suspicion: An Ethnography (Langaa RPCIG, 2019), and Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water: An Ethnography on Strategies of Bodily Navigation of Male Refugees in Cape Town (Langaa RPCIG, 2018). She holds a BA in African Languages and Literature. Leah worked as a journalist and researcher at the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) of the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, conducting policy-oriented health research. She is actively involved in the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, the Network for Digital Humanities in Africa, and writes for the South African Young Academy of Science. At HUMA, her work focuses on the role of AI in medical training practices in Mozambique.

Itai Makone

Itai Makone

PdRF | Focus: Knowledge activism – strengthening African publishing and dissemination (Open Society Foundations + HUMA + LASPAD)
E: itai.makone@uct.ac.za

Itai Makone holds a PhD in Political Science from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation. She has a master’s in Economics and a master’s in International Relations, both obtained from the University of Zimbabwe where she also worked as a Research Assistant. Itai has been a guest lecturer at Stellenbosch University, an economist for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Zimbabwe, and a specialist consultant for the Parliament of Zimbabwe. Her research interests include political risk analysis and security, public policy, governance and research methodology.

Babacar Faye

Babacar Faye

PdRF | Focus: Humanities in Africa (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)
E: babacar.faye@uct.ac.za

Babacar Faye has a strong background in international education and teaching experience in Senegal, France and the United States. He holds a PhD from University Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal, a Master's in American Cultural Studies from Bowling Green State University, US and a Master's in Intercultural Mediations, Identities, Mobilities, and Conflicts from the University of Lille, France. He has a solid academic background in intercultural mediation and conflict resolution. Babacar has been the Interim Academic Director of the School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad programs in Senegal, "Senegal: Global Security and Religious Pluralism" and "Senegal: Hip Hop, African Diaspora and Decolonial Futures".  At HUMA, his research focuses on new social movements in the post-industrial West and the decolonial African context, focusing on the role of social media and hip-hop as a medium to effectuate political change globally. 

Job Mwaura

Job Mwaura

PdRF | Focus: Knowledge activism – strengthening African publishing and dissemination (Open Society Foundations + HUMA + LASPAD)
E: job.mwaura@uct.ac.za

Job Mwaura completed his doctoral studies at the Department of Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa. He holds a MSc in Communication and Journalism from Moi University, Kenya. His research interests include digital media in Africa, African studies, digital activism, digital cultures and social justice. He has taught journalism and media studies at Moi University and Wits University; he also worked as a researcher at the University of Sussex, UK, and the Kenyan government. He is an alumnus of the "Next Generation of Social Sciences in Africa" program of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in New York, US. He has published and co-published peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and other non-scientific articles.

Ibrahima Niang

Ibrahima Niang

PdRF | Focus: Knowledge activism – strengthening African publishing and dissemination (Open Society Foundations + HUMA + LASPAD)
E: ibrahima.niang@uct.ac.za

Ibrahima Niang holds a PhD in Sociology from the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal. He has been a lecturer at the Department of Sociology for eight years; his teaching focuses on African sociology and anthropology, sociology of development and international relations, and China's geopolitics in Africa. He has stayed extensively in China and was engaged in research at the CODESIRA program (Africa-China) and the School of Agriculture and Rural Development of the People's University of China. He holds a Certificate in Economic Development from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Ibrahima is the author and co-author of numerous scientific articles and reports on development issues and foresight, academics freedoms, migration, conflicts, research governance and epistemology, and social movements. He was a Fellow of Edinburgh African Studies Center, UK and the Africa Peacebuilding Network (APN) of the Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC).

Eugene Arnaud Yombo Sembe

Eugene Arnaud Yombo Sembe

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)
E: eugene.yombosembe@uct.ac.za

Eugene Arnaud Yombo Sembe holds a MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon, and an MSc in Governance from the Panafrican University in Cameroon (Institute of Governance and Regional Integration). He has been a guest researcher at the University of Nantes, France, and the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden. Eugene has collaborated with Institut de recherche pour le developpement (IRD), Centre population et developpement (CEPED) and the University of Paris Descartes on the SAFIRE project targeting research funding in the Sahel. He was a policy analyst on governance and democracy at the Nkafu Policy Institute in Cameroon and the African Ambassador of the International Association of Political Science Students (IAPSS). Eugene has published on migration, terrorism, elections and regional integration processes in Africa. At HUMA, his research focuses on analysing how particular uses of artificial intelligence in Cameroon contribute to the protection of human life while at the same time accompanying and correcting what is framed as ‘human deficiencies’. 

Chikezie E. Uzuegbunam

Chikezie E. Uzuegbunam

PdRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)
E: chikeziee.uzuegbunam@uct.ac.za

Chikezie E. Uzuegbunam holds a PhD in Media Studies (focusing on digital media and young people) from the University of Cape Town's Centre for Film and Media Studies in 2019. Earlier, he had obtained an MSc in Mass Communication from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria. He has a demonstrated trajectory of working in the higher education industry in Nigeria and South Africa as researcher, teacher and youth mentor for almost a decade. His research interests include digital media and young people, digital cultures, political and health communication, and popular culture in Africa. He has published widely in these areas since 2013. He is a 2019 fellow of the Oxford Media Policy Institute at Oxford University. In 2017, he was named one of Africa's 100 Brightest Young Minds (BYM). Chikezie serves as an editorial assistant to African Journalism Studies and Annals of the International Communication Association, both published by Routledge.

Doctoral Research Fellows

Vanessa Mpatlanyane

Vanessa Mpatlanyane

DRF | Turning The Tide Humanities Academic Pipeline (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)

Vanessa Mpatlanyane is a sociologist. She studied at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, where she obtained a BA in Humanities, a BA (Hons) in Sociology, and an MA in Sociology with a dissertation that examined student activism in post-apartheid South Africa focusing on the Open Stellenbosch movement. She undertook short courses in Women in Leadership at the Frederik van Zyl Slabbert Institute for Student Leadership Development (FVZS) in Stellenbosch, South Africa and participated in student exchange programmes with the University of Helsinki, Finland. In 2020 she launched a social media project entitled "mere mortal" that explores the different dimensions of being a young 'mortal' through everyday narratives. Vanessa lectures Sociology in the Department for African Studies at the University of Venda, South Africa. Her research at HUMA explores the ways class and race (re)shape ideals around adulthood and one's sense of humanness among young black professionals in the Mpumalanga province, South Africa.

Sawuya Nakijoba

Sawuya Nakijoba

DRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)

Sawuya Nakijoba holds a BA and MA in Economics from Makerere University Kampala, Uganda. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Teaching Higher Learning Institutions from the Islamic University in Uganda, Kampala. She has taught economics at different universities in Uganda for over ten years and completed a one-year graduate volunteer placement at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Uganda. She participated in the 2017/2018 Young Professionals Programme (YPP) research fellowship at United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ethiopia. Sawuya has a growing publication record.

Min'enhle Ncube

Min'enhle Ncube

DRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)
E: NCBMIN002@myuct.ac.za

Min'enhle Ncube holds an Advanced MSc in Cultural and Development Studies from KU Leuven in Belgium where she was a VLIR-UOS scholar and a MSocSci from the University of Cape Town funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF). Her research background comprises medical anthropology, migration, developmental policy, paradigms and frameworks in development, the First 1000 Days (early childhood), chronic illness, urbanity, housing and postcolonial neoliberalism. She has carried out research in Maphisa, Zimbabwe and Brussels, Belgium. She is co-founder of two technology start-ups, one for cleaner environments and another for educational gaming. Min'enhle is interested in using her anthropological background to analyse the efficacy of digital technologies in developing communities in Africa and using this knowledge to further develop useful technology on the continent.

Sanelisiwe Ndlovu

Sanelisiwe Ndlovu

DRF | Focus: Humanities in Africa (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)
E: 3561487@myuwc.ac.za

Sanelisiwe Ndlovu holds a BA(Hons) and MA in Philosophy from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Her MA dissertation explored the concept of personhood, cultural identity and personhood amongst the Zulu, a nation of Nguni-speaking people in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. Sanelisiwe has been a fellow of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) summer research programme at Emory University, US and recipient of the University of the Western Cape's Center for Humanities Research (CHR) Flagship Fellowship. At HUMA, her PhD research in Philosophy examines community, personhood and human rights. 

Phiwokazi Qoza

Phiwokazi Qoza

DRF | Turning The Tide Humanities Academic Pipeline (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)
E: QZXPHI001@myuct.ac.za

Phiwokazi Qoza holds an MA in Political and International Studies from Rhodes University, South Africa. Her research is focused on protest performance, affect and place/ space. Her research delves into sex work in the digital era with the migration of sex work to visual content subscription sites such as OnlyFans during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa as a case study. She has previously served as a tutor, researcher and professional administrative support staff at Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Amina Alaoui Soulimani

Amina Alaoui Soulimani

DRF | Focus: 4IR and ethics of care in Africa (Carnegie Corporation of New York + HUMA)
E: ALSAMI003@myuct.ac.za

Amina Alaoui Soulimani is a local of Rabat, Morocco and holds an MSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics. She is interested in questions of imperial durabilities, the decolonial alternative, social marginality, and immaterial archives. She is a Moroccan writer, thinker, and feminist activist whose work can be found in diverse fora across the web. She is also an alumna of the African Leadership University Mauritius and has previously worked at multiple international organisations, such as the UN Refugee Agency, Ashinaga, and the African Union. Amina's research at HUMA will examine the intersections of AI, care, and the future of hospitals with a particular focus on access to cancer treatment.

Angelique Thomas

Angelique Thomas

DRF | HUMA Next-Generation Humanities Scholar (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)
E: thmang009@myuct.ac.za

Angelique Thomas is a social science researcher interested in stigma and intersectionality, marginalised groups, mental health, and sexual and reproductive health. She holds an MA in Political Studies from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa and has completed postgraduate courses at the International Institute for Social Studies in the Netherlands. Angelique has worked in a wide range of research settings within universities, NGOs, and large-scale clinical trials. Informed by her experience of living and working in the global South, she is passionate about de-centring colonial patterns in global and public health. Angelique is a PhD candidate in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research on sexual and reproductive health resilience of young women living with HIV in South Africa aims to shed light on factors that would support young women living with HIV in becoming resilient and provide knowledge for how to design interventions for women (from the South) by women (from the South) who are directly affected by HIV. 

Nabil Ferdaoussi

Nabil Ferdaoussi

DRF | Focus: Humanities in Africa (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)

Nabil Ferdaoussi obtained a Bachelor's degree in English Literary Studies at Ibn Zohr University, Morocco, and a Master's degree in Cultural Studies at the University of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, Morocco. He worked as a research assistant at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), collaborating with a multidisciplinary research group on migration, borders, and gender in North and West Africa. Nabil has been a teaching assistant in Cultural Studies at the University of Ibn Zohr and a research assistant at IREMAM, Université d'Aix-Marseille, France. He also serves as an editorial assistant at Politikon: the IAPSS Journal of Political Science. At HUMA, his PhD project examines the cultural anthropology of migration and borders, with a geographical focus on North and West Africa. 

Minga Mbweck Kongo

Minga Mbweck Kongo

DRF | Focus: Humanities in Africa (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)
E: KNGMIN003@myuct.ac.za

Minga Kongo is an anthropologist with research interests in water sociality, mobility, urbanism, illness and climate change. He holds a BSc in Biomedical Science from the University of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, an Honours degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town (UCT), from where he also obtained a Masters in African Studies. He has been a fellow of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program for undergraduate studies at UCT. Minga has served as a research assistant for several projects at UCT, has been a tutor, teaching assistant, and a curator at UCT Centre for African Studies. He is a member of the Citizens in Motion bilateral cooperation project between South African and Japanese scholars. He has worked widely in emergency medical services, architecture, construction, arts and community development sectors. At HUMA, Minga’s PhD research in Anthropology examines water, sociality and the navigation of dignified livelihoods in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa.

Olerato Mogomotsi

Olerato Mogomotsi

DRF | Accelerated Transformation Programme (DVC Transformation, University of Cape Town)
E: MGMOLE001@myuct.ac.za

Olerato Mogomotsi is a philosopher focusing on questions related to the phenomenological ontology of individuals belonging to marginalized groups, contemporary ethical quandaries and the conceptual analysis of Africanness. He holds a BSocSci (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and an Masters in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town, South Africa; his research addressed the structure and nature of authenticity as a concept related to the self. He is currently completing an MPhil in African Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK; his research examines the South African state’s use of heritage to shape young South African identities. Olerato has held Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF), the Mandela Rhodes Foundation scholarship, been a scholar of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and had experience at the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking. At HUMA, he will be pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Cape Town, deepening inquiry on authenticity and belonging.

Teaching Fellows

Abonga Sithela

Abonga Sithela

TF | Turning The Tide Humanities Academic Pipeline (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation + HUMA)
E: abonga.sithela@uct.ac.za

Abonga Sithela is a lecturer in Musicology at the South African College of Music (SACM), at the University of Cape Town (UCT)  Faculty of Humanities. At SACM, he has been teaching Historical Musicology since 2020, a teaching assistant in the extended degree and diploma programmes since 2020, a tutor in historical musicology courses since 2018. He is also a teaching assistant for the Academic Development Programme at the UCT Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) since 2013. He completed his BMus, BMus Hons (Musicology) and MMus (Musicology) at SACM, examining the impact of having a choir in the community. Abonga's doctoral studies in Historical Musicology at the SACM centres on music as a lens through which to read complex decolonial and epistemic questions about South Africa.

Administrative staff

Nuraan Allie

Nuraan Allie

Research Administrator
E: nuraan.allie@uct.ac.za

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