Lecturer at UKZN’s School of Law, Ms Janine Hicks, was one of 28 people to receive the prestigious Golden Key Southern Africa 2020 Honorary Membership at a virtual ceremony on 3 November hosted by the Golden Key International Honour Society (GKIHS).
The GKIHS is the world’s largest collegiate honour society for graduate and undergraduate students, and has strong relationships with more than 400 universities around the world. It invites annual nominations for honorary members from its regional chapters. Hicks was nominated by the President of the UKZN Howard College Chapter, Mr Syethemba Nkosi, who explained that honorary members are individuals who have distinguished themselves in their field of endeavour.
Hicks’ stellar record in community service and support for academic excellence speaks for itself. She is the Chair of the UKZN Gender-Based Violence Committee and a Convenor for the Navi Pillay Research Group – a collective of academics from the School of Law who aim to address critical emerging issues of race, class, gender and disability in post-apartheid South Africa through research, law and policy reform. She is also the Project Leader for the South African Law Reform Commission’s Project 143, which investigates maternity and paternity benefits for self-employed workers and a former Commissioner with the South African Commission for Gender Equality.
Nkosi said: ‘We believe that Ms Hicks is a legal pillar of South Africa and an ambassador for the legal fraternity. Most important is her passion for the emancipation of previously disadvantaged groups in South Africa and leadership that has prevailed over time and remains unshaken.’
Commenting on her recognition Hicks said: ‘I feel honoured to have been nominated, and am inspired by the leadership and social justice activism of our students. I am committed to upholding the obligations required of honorary members, which include promoting high standards of academic achievement, serving as a leader, and upholding high moral and ethical standards.’
Noting that the GKIHS recognises, rewards and encourages its members to surpass expectations, and represents the most accomplished students, graduates and alumni in the world, Dean and Head of the School of Law, Professor Managay Reddi is very proud of Hicks’ recognition. ‘It is a singular honour and a remarkable achievement to be made an honorary member of the Golden Key Society. I am delighted that such an award has been bestowed on the School of Law’s Ms Janine Hicks. Janine exemplifies the attributes of intellectual excellence, academic integrity, and deep concern for critical social justice matters. She is hardworking and driven in her commitment to her students, her PhD studies, and her leadership of important structures like the UKZN GBV Committee and the South African Law Reform Commission’s Project 143. Janine’s accomplishments make her a most worthy recipient of this prestigious award.’
Chair of the Golden Key Board, Dr Michael Sanseviro, welcomed and congratulated the new honorary members based in southern Africa.
Words: Hazel Langa