Research projects

Research Projects (Principle Investigator)

100 years of Radio in South Africa: Reflections from Academics and Practitioners

Edited Volume under development

The year 2023 will mark a hundred years since radio broadcasting started in South Africa. Despite technological innovation characterised by new media platforms, radio continues to be a powerful medium because of its reach, affordability and place in the lives of South Africans. There has been a resurgence in radio studies in recent years as scholars ponder over how the introduction of digital technologies have reconfigured this traditional medium. In a context like South Africa, where the majority still turn to radio for information and entertainment, scholars are contemplating on how the development of the medium over the past century is shaping the convergence between radio and digital media as well as the reconfiguration that has taken place due to changes in access and participation. The book aims to bring together media scholars and practitioners to deliberate on the role and influence of radio broadcasting in South Africa over the past 100 years. 

FuturAbilty - Digital and Transversal Skills for online Teachers


FuturAbilty - Digital and Transversal Skills for online Teachers” gathers a Strategic Partnership of organisations - Universities, Research Centres and Cultural Enterprises - working with Visual Methods and Digital Learning tools willing to investigate, produce and share Open Educational Resources(OER) to make online teaching more attractive and accessible, in reference to the European Frameworks DigCompEdu and LifeComp. The main challenge is the development of pedagogies and digital tools that could enable teachers and trainers to transport the content of their lessons in participatory and engaging online forms.

The broad scope of these materials is to provide university lecturers with key digital and transversal competencies and to improve online teaching methods and tools through the effective use of innovative solutions with special attention to visual methods.

The project focuses on the development of digital and transferable competencies so that lecturers and educators become more resilient, increase their creativity and efficiency and acquire career adaptive competencies. It will enable Higher Education Institutions to offer enhanced experiences, by up-skilling and re-skilling their lecturers/educators, thus raising the quality of life of the general public. The OERs will be piloted in six Countries, Particular attention will be given to the promotion of gender equality.

The project will consolidate the results through the establishment of a Community of Practice.

Digital tools for social engagement ~ Transdisciplinary study (2021)

Project leader of this transdisciplinary study with a team of 5 researcher

Digital tools have become a way of life, and as such, have become a growing topic of study for researchers in a range of disciplines. The dominant outlook of these tools appears to be understanding them as disruptors of particular fields or an enabler in certain contexts. There does not appear to have been much research on how these tools are used to facilitate social engagement. The purpose of this interdisciplinary project is to examine ways that different fields employ digital tools for social engagement. A secondary purpose is to develop new tools or build on existing ones. Specifically, this study aims to explore how digital tools are being employed for social engagement within the higher education teaching and learning environment. The study is exploratory in nature and will employ qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis.

Towards a multilingual and decolonialised “Journalism and Society” curriculum through digitised readings from the Early South African black press

Principal investigator of this study. I am collaborating on aspects of it with UCT colleagues and an international platform called Revolutionary Papers

This project seeks to digitise content from the early South African black press in order to use the content towards creating a more decolonised and more multilingual ‘journalism and society’ module. As field, journalism was initially established as a disrupter, however the modern day news media has taken on the characteristics of the entities it sought to disrupt, by being strongly aligned to neo-liberal ideologies as evidenced by the fact that even the news media nowadays is seen as a business, and by prioritizing English, even in context, like South Africa, where the majority do not speak it as a first language.  The content, context and authors of the material from the early black press in South Africa, turn the notions explored in the ‘journalism and society’ modules currently taught in many South African universities on their heads, and they expose ways in which the discipline espouses coloniality and prioritises English. 

Appropriating Mandelism to promote harmony and reconciliation amid a global crisis: A rhetorical analysis of Cyril Ramaphosa’s speeches on the coronavirus pandemic (2021)

This is a project I am working on with a colleague from the discipline of Political Communications

This paper undertakes a rhetorical analysis of selected speeches by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa to the citizens of his country about developments around the corona virus pandemic in his country in 2020. Drawing on the notion of “Mandelism”, the study argues that in his addresses Ramaphosa employed very similar techniques used by Former President Nelson Mandela to appeal to patriotic sentiments, often invoking notions of magical powers in an endeavour to reconcile South Africans and advance nation building, in light of a pandemic that exposed the nations deeply entrenched economic and social divisions. The speeches considered in this study were those delivered by Ramaphosa in the early stages of the pandemic’s impact on the country, when very few cases had been reported, but the nation was uncertain in light of the perceived scale of impact that this health crisis was set to have. 

Persuasion and the television of culture:  A rhetorical analysis of television news broadcasts on the law

PhD thesis. Completed in 2022

This doctoral thesis aims to build on the existing theory of rhetoric culture by including how the act of mediatising a culture shapes its persuasive replication and performance. This is in order to understand how the mass news media’s re-presentation of a culture alters the persuasive performance of the components that make up that culture, and thus alters the ways in which meaning can be made from the messages being communicated by that cultural system. 


Grants, awards and fellowships

NRF Black Academics Advance Programme. 2021. Rhetoric and the Television of Culture. ~ R250 000

CODATA-RDA Data Science School. 2021. Selected to participate in a Summer School on Data Science and awarded a scholarship to attend the school.

Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research Humanities. 2020. Multilingual education in journalism and creating multilingual resources. ~ R30 000

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). 2020. Multilingual education and epistemic access. ~ R50 000

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). 2019. Pilot project around multilingual education. ~ R50 000

Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research Humanities. 2019.  Multilingual education in journalism and creating multilingual resources. ~ R25 000


National Communication Association (2021) - Conference

International Association for Media and Communication Research (2021) - Conference

Communicare (2020) - Journal

Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science (2020) - Journal