School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences

High Performing Self Starter Graduates Top of her Class

Ms Nombuso Maduna graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Geology, scooping the prestigious DMT Kai Batla Prize for the best Honours student in Geological Sciences for 2018 at UKZN.

Matriculating at Danville Park Girls’ High School, Durban born and bred Maduna knew early on that she wanted to study at UKZN and her passion for Geology grew throughout her undergraduate studies. After graduating with a BSc, she realised the importance of continuing to Honours level in Geology in order to progress in the industry in future.

Maduna’s honours project investigated diamonds found off shore at Elizabeth Bay, a mining town on the southern coast of Namibia. Her research evaluated the processes that allowed for the potential accumulation of diamonds in the area.

Describing her honours year as tough, Maduna said her hard work paid off as she felt a great sense of accomplishment after the last exam had been written and her final research project submitted. ‘Finishing something you set out to do is extremely rewarding.’

Maduna thanked her family, friends and supervisor, Professor Andrew Green, who supported her throughout her studies. Most importantly, she was grateful to God who helped all the way through her journey.

Said Green: ‘I initially met Nombuso during first-year registration and was immediately impressed. My thoughts were that this is a person who will go far.

‘During her honours project, she took a shine to research and demonstrated an ability to act independently and intelligently. Her work was performed to the highest of her abilities and with a level of diligence that was outstanding.

‘I was very impressed with how well she delved into the topic, her level of understanding of the geophysical tools used, and her ability to digest the literature and place her own results in context. I showed her work to many colleagues overseas and they were stunned that it was for an honours thesis,’ said Green.

Maduna is currently enrolled for an MSc at the University of Witwatersrand after which she intends to go into the working world.

Said her mother, Mrs Mamello Maduna: ‘Nombuso is a hardworking, responsible daughter whose strong will and perseverance makes her achieve the goals she sets for herself.

‘We are super proud of her for challenging adversity and achieving her honours degree top of her class. We look forward to greater achievements from her. Well done, my daughter, you are much loved.’

In her spare time, Maduna enjoys reading novels, playing the guitar, drawing and going to the movies.

Words: Leena Rajpal

Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan