SIYABONGA Khuzwayo from the University of KwaZulu-Natal is this year’s regional winner of the 33rd Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year. He is pictured with a model of his thesis.
Durban - A UNIVERSITY of KwaZulu-Natal architecture Master's student hopes his architectural design and research will help change people’s perceptions about traditional healing and uplift the infrastructure challenges faced by traditional healers in urban areas.

Corobrik Regional Architecture Award winner Siyabonga Khuzwayo, from Ndwedwe, north of Durban, received R10000, with Master’s students Kireshen Chetty taking home the second prize of R8000 and Mthokozisi Sibisi receiving R6000 for third place. A further R6000 was awarded to Mbuso Msipho for the innovative use of clay masonry in building design.

Khuzwayo’s dissertation was titled Exploring the influence of traditional healing practice to space and form: A design towards a traditional healing centre in KZN.

He said the aim of the study was to design a building typology that would provide a platform for traditional healers to network and engage with people.

Khuzwayo said an illness that could not be cured through western medicine had led his uncle to consult a traditional healer as a last resort.

“We were about to give up when we thought about sending him to a traditional healer. After consulting and using the treatment, he has since regained his spiritual health. I realised that traditional healing, although looked down upon because of the conditions in which traditional healers work in urban areas, has the power to heal body, mind and soul.

“My design is a vision and a concept that I believe would bring dignity to traditional healing,” he explained.

His work has been commended by peers and lecturers.

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