Talented photographer, Mr Sethu Dlamini recently graduated with his Bachelor of Arts Honours degree (Cultural and Heritage Tourism) in which he examined the conditions and dynamics of tourism in South Africa.
Dlamini was awarded a UKZN postgraduate bursary and is popular for the amazing photos he captures. He has worked for the University as a photographer for almost four years, capturing and narrating some of the institution’s most joyful and successful moments through his trusty camera.
His research looked at the service quality and standard adherence amongst black-owned small, medium, and micro-industry enterprises (SMEs). The study mainly focused on uMlazi township (V section) following previous literature which indicated a decline within black-owned tourism SMEs in South African townships. ‘The purpose of my research is to examine the obstacles that lead to this failure and to propose practical solutions. The research has also explored the amazing potential of these enterprises if the challenges they face today can be overcome,’ explained Dlamini.
He intends to study for his master’s to explore possible ways to boost South Africa’s mission of transforming its tourism industry. By applying for his master’s, he will also be able to explore possible ways to enhance the national vision.
One of Dlamini’s biggest challenges was balancing his honours studies and his work as a photographer – both of which required ample time for proper delivery and performance. However, being supervised by the late Dr Nokuthula Cele, who passed on when he was working on the last chapter of his research, made up for any challenges he faced. ‘She was more than a supervisor but a mother and an inspiration to me. In spite of the challenges at hand, she always encouraged me to be a solution-driven man. I developed my writing and thinking skills simultaneously through her,’ he said.
He chose UKZN because of its excellent performance in academic rankings, as well as the energy and atmosphere of growth at the institution.
Dlamini said his family and friends were there for him through his academic journey. He even had a weekly study schedule with friends around campus.
He encouraged his peers to invest time and effort in understanding their research topics which will result in the discovery of implementable solutions to whatever problem their research seeks to solve.