Professor Nokuzola Mndende

Professor Nokuzola Mndende is an adjunct professor in the Sociology and Anthropology department. With an extensive career in the areas of African Culture, Feminist/Womanist theology, African Spirituality, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems, she is leader in Africa-Centred Knowledge Systems. Dr Mndende received her PhD in 2002 from the University of Cape Town, specialising in African Traditional Religion. She is a qualified diviner/Spirit medium (iGqirha). Dr Mndende thus straddles between two systems of thought as uGqirha (Dr) and iGqirha (qualified diviner) and uses the combination of these two systems to educate and consult for the national government, media houses, and legal fraternity on issues regarding indigenous institutions of health, gender, and religious systems. Currently she produces Ibuzwa Kwabaphambili (Ask the Elderly), a radio programme on Umhlobo Wenene FM, that won the Liberty National Radio Award in 2017.

 She is a first representative of African Religion of the Religious Broadcasting Panel of the SABC and presenter of African indigenous theology at Umhlobo Wenene FM. Dr Mndende was also a member of Parliament in the South African National Assembly between 1999 and 2003, and a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Religion in Education. She is a part-time Commissioner to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and member of the advisory team that drafted the National Curriculum Statement (syllabus) on Religious Studies. She is an author and co-author of more than 15 journal articles, book chapters and children’s storybooks. Dr Mndende is team member of the NIHSS Project titled “Maternal Legacies of Knowledge and rethinking of the Eastern Cape”