Durban - Professor Maheshvari Naidu has racked up various accolades over the span of her academic career, but ask her what she pins her success down to and the answer may surprise.
"My parents," she says. "I am utterly indebted to them. I am fortunate to have had parents who transcended their time and their cultural background."
Naidu is a Professor of Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). As a feminist anthropologist with an Honours as well as Masters degree cum laude and a doctorate that explored African Feminism/s, she has travelled the world presenting papers and lectures in her field and in 2013 was one of the National Winners of the Department of Science and Technology Women in Science Award for research excellence.
Professor Naidu has been in the Top 30 Researcher rankings of the University of KwaZulu-Natal thrice in the last four years and has been widely published in the fields of anthropology of religion, feminist religion, and anthropology of tourism, heritage, identity and migrant studies.
In addition, the 49-year-old, who grew up in Durban's historic Clairwood community, also works with several NGOs.
When we move to the topic of feminism, which she has spent her career exploring, her answers are forthright.
She says that women and men are both under an incredible amount of pressure to succeed and fit into the mould of the fourth industrial age and highly techno-savvy society.