From Humble Beginnings to Graduating from Harvard!

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Mr Musa Kika.

He was the first person in his family to attend university and now he is a Harvard Master of Law graduate! – UKZN alumnus Mr Musa Kika continues to set the bar higher!

A top academic achiever, Kika received numerous awards and scholarships during studies for his LLB degree which he received summa cum laude from UKZN.

These included the 2014 Distinguished Student Award; the Mandela-Rhodes Scholarship; the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship in 2012 and 2013; the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society Prize for best LLB student (2014); UKZN Undergraduate Merit Scholarship (2014); Anand-Nepaul Prize for best Criminal Procedure Student; Ellie Newman Moot Court Finalist (2014), and the Certificate of Service to the UKZN Student Law Review.

Through the Mandela-Rhodes Scholarship, he registered for an LLM degree at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where the Higher Degrees Committee and the Doctoral Degrees Board upgraded his thesis to a PhD.

‘I changed my registration then to a PhD in Public Law (Constitutional and Administrative Law). I hope to finish my doctorate by December and graduate in June next year,’ said Kika.

Born in Zimbabwe, Kika studied at UKZN through a Zimbabwean government scholarship.

While at the Harvard Law School, Kika was awarded the Public Service Fellowship. ‘I chose to use that fellowship in Zimbabwe. I will be joining the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) in September to do human rights litigation.

‘The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is Zimbabwe’s premier human rights organisation. I was motivated to do Law primarily because I wanted to do human rights work similar to what I saw being done by the organisation and similar bodies,’ said Kika.

The youngest in a family of four, Kika has always been passionate about using Law to help bring about socio-economic and political change. ‘Law attains and secures the blessings of freedom for all, and with the security of such freedom, conditions conducive for economic prosperity are created.’

Kika is currently employed at the University of Cape Town’s Democratic Governance and Rights Unit as a researcher. He credits his academic success to the support of his family, his friends, colleagues and the academic grounding he got at UKZN.

Among other things, he hopes someday to return to UKZN and lecture in its Law School. ‘UKZN is my academic home. My first encounter with the study of Law was at this University, and it is here where I developed my love for the law. I still regard the UKZN Law School as one of the best middle-sized law schools in the region.’

Words by: Sithembile Shabangu