Sinethemba Makanya, based at WiSER, University of the Witwatersrand, has been named one of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans in the field of Science and Technology for her work with African conceptions of mental illness.

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“Part of Sinethemba Makanya’s journey has been undertaking training to practice as a traditional healer. It is this journey, she believes, that led her to enrol for a PhD in Medical Humanities at Wits in 2015 on the topic of demystifying traditional healing by writing it down as a theory and model. The importance of such an undertaking is often frowned upon by traditional gatekeepers, but such processes create an understanding of ancient African perspectives and knowledge that is transferred almost solely orally.”