College of Human Sciences

Digging deeper to preserve the past

Dr Forget Chaterera-Zambuko was honoured as a National Research Foundation (NRF) Y2-rated researcher at Unisa’s 2020 Research & Innovation Awards earlier this year. According to the NRF site, the Y2-rated category recognises promising young individuals who constantly produce high quality research outputs in their fields of expertise. Chaterera-Zambuko is a research fellow in the Department of Information Science in the College of Human Sciences (CHS), with ten years of teaching and research experience in archival science, museum studies and the documentation of cultural property.

Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa (Vice-Principal: Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation) and Prof Mandla Makhanya (Principal and Vice-Chancellor) congratulate Dr Forget Chaterera-Zambuko (CHS) (centre) on her 2020 NRF Y Rating.

For Chaterera-Zambuko, the NRF rating means that the academic business of research is given the attention it deserves. She says "that scientific research is at the heart of identifying and suggesting possible solutions to societal problems, hence the need to encourage researchers by acknowledging and rewarding their work through these ratings." She adds: "Overall, NRF energises support and promotes researchers to keep pursuing their research endeavours."

“The NRF rating has put me in the limelight! I’m now more visible to the community of researchers than before. Ever since I received the rating, I have been approached by several scholars to partner with them in writing manuscripts for publication. The NRF rating also benefits me in that it offers financial support to attend conferences and to secure any other resources which I might need to conduct research projects.

"This award made me realise that I have the potential to contribute to the existing body of knowledge and the general advancement of scholarship," says Chaterera-Zambuko, who is currently based in her homeland, Zimbabwe.

The information scientist is employed as a lecturer in the Records and Archives Management Department at the Zimbabwean National University of Science and Technology. Her research interests are access to public information, managing public information centres and documentation of cultural heritage property.

The decolonisation of museums and archives to preserve cultural heritage are among Chaterera-Zambuko’s most important pursuits. She also focuses on emerging technologies for access and the use of documentary heritage, among other things.

In November 2008, Chaterera-Zambuko graduated with an Honours degree in Archaeology and a Master’s in Museum Studies from the Midlands State University in Zimbabwe owing to her passion in information management.

She decided to pursue a Master’s and Doctor of Literature and Philosophy in Information Science with Unisa. Recognising the importance of knowledge sharing, she did a Postgraduate Diploma in Tertiary Education.

Adding to her significant academic milestones, she says: "My debut publication was in 2012. I have to date published 12 journal articles and four book chapters."

Chaterera-Zambuko plans to become an established and internationally recognised researcher. "This I intend to do through conducting multi and interdisciplinary research projects whose findings I’ll disseminate in high impact journals, books, book chapters and academic gatherings such as workshops, seminars and conferences," she explains.

As an information scientist, Chaterera-Zambuko strongly believes that the sole reason why information management practitioners are concerned with the long-term preservation of information is to enable access and use of that information. As such, she developed an interest and passion in research areas that directly and indirectly touch on accessibility and the use of information by members of the public.

* By Lesego Ravhudzulo, Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2020-05-18 00:00:00.0