Students excel in African studies

07 June 2004

The Centre for African Studies recently held a tea to honour two students who were awarded prestigious scholarships, as well as their 2003 class medallists.

The Harry Oppenheimer Institute for African Studies awards a scholarship designed to assist post-honours students in undertaking research in any field with application to African studies. This year, public policy master's student Tracy Jooste received the Harry Oppenheimer Scholarship, with a purse of R16 000, to assist her studies.

Using survey research, Jooste is studying the feasibility of developmental projects at a community level.

The institute also funds an annual bursary for students registered for the diploma and honours in African Studies, called the Jack Simons Bursary.

Albert Hess, who is completing his master's in public culture and research methodology, walked away with this bursary and R8 000, which will also be used to fund his studies.

Speaking at the tea, the chair of the Harry Oppenheimer Institute Committee of Management, Professor Crain Soudien, said the scholarship attempted to promote African studies by recognising young people who will go on to establish themselves in the field.

"Both the committee and the award were started in the late 1970s and they were established to honour excellence and hard work in the area."

Soudien explained that the bursary was awarded in honour of Jack Simons, the doyen of African studies.

"The bursary is awarded to a student who exemplifies the values that Jack Simons stood for, namely the commitment to justice, fair play and equality.

"Neither award includes vast sums of money but the status that accompanies them is critical," he added.

The six class medallists were: Chambi Chachage (field: problematising the study of Africa), Kerry Greenberg (public archaeology in Africa), Shira Hockman (race, culture and identity in Africa), David Lier (debates in African studies), Tracey Randle (public culture in Africa) and Jill Weintroub (images of Africa).

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