spice people

The Human Computer – Shakuntala Devi: maths genius. complicated mother and LGBT champion

Shakuntala Devi 2020 film

The human supercomputer not only pushed for the minds of humanity to breach their capacity, but for irrational beliefs and LGBT prejudices to be challenged as well. The words “Shakuntala Devi”, “maths” and “rapid calculation” are synonomous. Be inspired and watch ‘Shakuntala Devi’ (2020) on Amazon Prime. It will inspire you and you’ll put your daughters and sons in front of the screen to watch it. But beware, there was a price to pay for passion and maths genius that you will see in the film. Math genius Shakuntala Devi is a household name today since Vidya Balan decided to step into her rather large shoes. But there’s a less-talked-about side to her that needs more attention. The year was 1977 when in one corner of the world, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Shakuntala Devi successfully extracted the 23rd …

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Professor Karim steps down as the General in the fight against coronavirus

covid-19 south africa

South Africa’s top adviser to the government on covid-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, announced Thursday that he has resigned as chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on the coronavirus pandemic. Karim is an epidemiologist, internationally recognised for his research contributions to HIV prevention and treatment. He heads the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in SA at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His area of speciality is clinical infectious diseases. In a statement available on Twitter (below), he said it had been his singular honour and privilege to have served as the chairperson of the MAC on Covid-19 since March last year and subsequently as co-chair of a revised MAC, established in September. His last day on the job was on Tuesday. “When I accepted the appointment on 23 March 2020, little did I realise how important science would …

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Struggle veteran Charm Govender is laid to rest

Charm Govender

The life of Charm Govender was celebrated today as his funeral was held in Kharwastan Civic Hall, Chatsworth. Pathasarvasvaran Samotharan Govender (Charm) 09/04/61 – 22/03/21 Charm was born in Durban, the eldest son of Dhanam and Dory Govender. He schooled at the Welbedacht Primary School and Crestview Primary School as well as at the Risecliffe Secondary School in Chatsworth where he completed STd 9 (Grade 11). He completed his A levels in the UK where he was exposed to the work and members of the African National Congress and the SACP. He returned to South Africa in 1978 and thereafter registered at the University of Durban-Westville (now UKZN). He became active in student, community, political and grassroots struggles in Chatsworth, as well as the Greater Durban and KZN area. At the Chatsworth level he worked with highly respected NIC leaders …

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Laudium’s Rabia Ghoor and Sumayya Vally receive international accolades from Forbes and Time

Rabia Ghoor beauty products Forbes

Two young women from Laudium have won high-profile international accolades for their exemplary skills and entrepreneurship this week. They are Rabia Ghoor and Sumayya Vally. Beauty products businesswoman, Rabia Ghoor, received the Forbes Woman Africa ‘Young Achievers’ Award for 2021, while architect Sumayya Vally, was pne of those featured in the 2021 Times100 list that acknowledges leaders who are shaping the future. Rabia Ghoor is a 21-year-old entrepreneur and Sumayya Vally 30-year-old architect respectively. Swiitch Beauty – Rabia Ghoor Ghoor’s award was announced during a virtual Forbes summit to celebrate African women leaders. Especially those who are committed to economic and social transformation on the continent. Ghoor started ‘Swiitch Beauty’, her make-up and skincare online beauty store at just 14. She dropped out of school two years later to concentrate full-time on the business. She was inspired after she identified …

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It’s been a long and winding road for family medicine registrar and Discovery Foundation Award winner Dr Kartik Naidoo


On his way to studying to be a family medicine physician, Dr Kartik Naidoo has worked as a software salesman, a Hindi teacher and even qualified as a computer engineer. But it’s his groundbreaking work in reproductive health that earned him a 2020 Discovery Foundation Award. Naidoo believes that empowering women through education and control of their reproduction, would help solve most problems in the world. This belief has led him to do research for his MMed in family medicine on patients in the community of Mossel Bay in the Western Cape. He explored their attitudes, beliefs and expectations, as well as the social influences that play a role in family planning in the community. “The issues involving reproduction provide a window into fundamental beliefs and attitudes that a community has. It is in understanding these that, I believe, the …

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Research on newborns with low birth weight will help the region eliminate HIV in paediatrics

Veena john

Having studied medicine at the University of Cape Town, Dr Veena John realised she wanted to be a paediatrician. This was during her fifth year as a medical student on rotation at Somerset Hospital in Cape Town. That decision is now improving the lives of children in communities in the Eastern Cape, her home province. John, 34, works as a paediatric consultant in the ICU at Frere Hospital in East London. She is busy completing her MMed in paediatrics with the help of a Discovery Foundation Award. Her research focuses on the prevalence of HIV in newborn babies with low birth weight. ‘Paediatrics captured my heart early’ John says she knew early on that she wanted to be a paediatrician. “It was during my fifth year that there was a measles outbreak in Cape Town. I was on rotation at …

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Comment: The magnificence of the Maha Shivaratri experience – By Aarti Bhana

Shiva wallpaper

Raised vibrations, prayer in mind and a heightened sense of consciousness. Hindus around the world observed the ‘Great night of Lord Shiva’ or Maha Shivaratri on March 11, 2021. The auspicious religious festival venerates and honours Lord Shiva, the Destroyer (of evil). Lord Shiva goes by many names, 108 to be exact, some of which are Natraja (the Lord of dance), Shankar, Mahadev, Maheshwar, Bholenath and others. The names signify each of Lord Shiva’s glorious qualities. Shiva has a serpent around his neck, an adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair and the third eye on his forehead. He holds a Trishul (trident) as his weapon, and the damaru (a small two-headed drum) where the first sounds of the universe emanated from. We celebrate Maha Shivaratri to help ourselves attain salvation in this lifetime and …

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‘Happy Indian Arrival Day’ : Johannesburg writer releases zines on Indentureship

Youlendree Appasamy

Seawater carried for 8 hours in a 2-litre plastic milk carton R12 for the oThongathi toll A broken coconut shell dotted with ash and kumkum How do you measure a grain of sugar? Johannesburg-based and Verulam-born – Youlendree Appasamy is a multi-faceted writer who recently created and released two zines (short booklets in magazine format with original and appropriated text) to share the South African Indian experience and frame it within concepts of identity and struggle. “Zines are sometimes serious, sometimes playful, and as a writer I’m thinking about the different ways to express the research and lived experiences of [post]indentureship in South Africa, using sugar towns on KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast as a starting point. Although I’ve been involved in the zine-making process [both digital and physical] from Ja. Magazine to No Sweetness Here Collective, and I collect them, I’ve …

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