Thirty-year-old academic Dr Lieketseng Ned completed her PhD last year and at 29 became the youngest person it the department of global health at Stellenbosch University to have achieved this remarkable feat. She is the youngest lecturer at the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies (CRS) and represented Stellenbosch University in April 2019 at the University of Helsinki.
Ned is also a board member for the South African Christian Leadership Association and serves as the deputy chair for the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre. She has published book chapters and articles in accredited journals and convenes the postgraduate diploma programme at the CRS.
“I am in this role because of my passion for teaching and learning and for an education that is of service to humanity. I believe in the need to produce young graduates who will form part of a community of questioners, thinkers and writers,” she says.
Hailing from Mount Fletcher, a village in the Eastern Cape, Ned plans on drawing in even more voices in the production of knowledge. She wants to bring in African, rural, indigenous and disabled people to develop a disability and rehabilitation studies scholarship that is diverse.
“This is particularly important because the majority of disabled people worldwide are located in the global south, yet disabilities studies continue to be dominated by thought from the north,” she says. “I want to do a follow-up participatory study from my doctoral work that is about exploring the use of participatory visual methodologies to enhance community participation in research dissemination.”
She believes that anyone can be a success and the youth have a responsibility towards creating a community of questioners and nurturing their own potential.
“Do not be afraid to reach out and network so we can all learn together,” she concludes. — Tamsin Oxford