College of Humanities

UKZN Academic launches book on Women Who Build a Better Future for South Africa

Professor Rozena Maart, an academic in the School of Social Sciences together with former Miss South Africa Joan Madibeng recently launched their new book Women Who Build a Better Future for South Africa: Sixty-Six Years later, published by Arena Holdings.

The coffee-table book features 66 South African women to mark 66 years since the South Africa 1956 Woman’s March. Amongst those documented are UKZN staff, students, mothers, activists, academics, architects, bakers, chartered accountants, and even philanthropists who were recognized for their contributions to making South Africa and their communities great.

Maart, research ambassador to the University of Bremen in Germany, said: ‘The names of the women selected by us in the early stages came through discussion and consultation. Our mission is to build and assist, envision and affirm, recognize and bestow acknowledgment and offer our South African community and the global community at large, a significant piece of our history. And that is, our ability to thrive despite the obstacles and to assist others in the process.’

Madibeng added, ‘This is our labor of love. We can now share the book we’ve worked on for the past two years, throughout COVID-19, with the rest of the country and as its title suggests, to remember the shoulders of the women we stand on.’

Managing Director of Arena Holdings, Mr. Lyndon Barends said, ‘It is by time that we ensure that the real architects of society are indelibly etched in the annals of history, the women who did and are doing so much to keep the fabric of our society intact. We applaud the two authors for this piece of work.’

UKZN Clinical Sociologist Professor Mariam Seedat-Khan also features in the book. ‘Professor Maart has long since paved the way for women born of struggle. This co-edited masterpiece has pushed the boundaries of academic outputs and performance units. This publication helps us remember the women that came before us. It is important that each of us continue to lift women as we rise. I am inspired to change the lives of women. This publication will certainly put a spring in every women’s step.’

Dean and Head of the School of Social Sciences Professor Vivian Ojong added, ‘This ground-breaking work by Prof Maart and Ms. Madibeng will become an essential toolbox and useful platform to ensure that South African women do not vanish from history. It provokes feminist scholars to open up similar spaces to showcase the lives, experiences, and contributions of women. This will enable the stories of women in the struggle to remain in our collective memory. As we look forward to the publishing of the next volume, we trust that it will contribute to a wider representation of women.’

UKZN alumni featured in the book were architecture alumni Ms. Adheema Davis, Ms. Londiwe Sokhabase, Ms. Nandipha Makhaye, Ms. Nompumelelo Kubheka; Specialist Dermatologist Dr. Nokubonga Khoza; HIV activist Dr. Delarise Mulqueeny; former Dean of Research for the College of Humanities, Professor Sarojini Nadar, and the first woman commercial diver at the Port of Durban Ms. Roxanne Ross Manikkam.

Other UKZN staff that appear in the book are Professor Nirmala Gopal and Dean and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine, Professor Ncoza Dlova.

Each of the beautifully printed hardcover books is selling for R1000 each and can be ordered from