The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) oldest graduate this year, Dr Elizabeth Martiny (71-years-old) was hooded by UKZN Registrar, Mr Simon Mokoena, at a University graduation ceremony held at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg this afternoon.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) oldest graduate this year, Dr Elizabeth Martiny (71-years-old) was hooded by UKZN Registrar, Mr Simon Mokoena, at a University graduation ceremony held at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg this afternoon.

Meet UKZN's oldest PHD graduate aged 71

By Post Reporter Time of article published Apr 25, 2018

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Durban - The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) oldest graduate this year, Dr Elizabeth Martiny (71-years-old) has graduated with a PhD in Religion and Theology. 

She is ecstatic to get her PhD and says she still feels young at heart.

Martiny’s life journey has been fraught with difficulty as she contracted polio as a child. 

She says her reality positioned her inner vigour to seek spiritual meaning in life, not just for herself but also for others. 

Martiny has worked as a teacher in elementary schooling and special education. 

One of the reasons she chose to do her PhD was to reflect on the various aspects of her life journey and to explore them through research.

She investigated the images of God and the disability experiences of physically challenged women from the perspectives of theology and analytical psychology.

She says there is a need to challenge misleading ideas and the stigma around disability in society, through faith communities. 

She hopes that her research will be instrumental in the deconstruction of negative stereotypical attitudes and behaviours toward people with disabilities.

This process, she says “Has been a test of perseverance and patience but most importantly it was meaningful learning about myself and giving voice to those who have not had an opportunity to be heard.

“Dreams can emerge at all stages of life and this dream has become a reality for me,” said Martiny.

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