Zamo Hlela

Degrees Held

  • Primary Teacher’s Diploma, BA, BA (Hons), Certificate in Adult Education, Post graduate in Adult Education, Masters & PHD


  • I have been with the institution since 2001. My main focus in these years was in undergraduate teaching at a certificate level. I am currently involved in a multi-disciplinary certificate programme that is offered in 15 African countries.

Research Interests

  • My interest is in advancing Afrocentrism as a discourse in research. I am particularly interested in understanding the nature of learning from within the continent particularly in a rural context because most often rural people are yet to benefit on the democratic South Africa.  

Teaching Interests

  • Adult learning; Curriculum design & studies; research and service learning 




Research Record

  • Hlela, Z., and John, V. (2002).  Elephants and people: conducting research and community education for empowerment in Maputaland. Kenton Conference (Jhb)
  • Hlela, A.Z.N. & Houghton, T. (2003).  “Bamba utalagu, touching the mirage: A case study of the Certificate programme.  Kenton Conference (Cape Town).
  • Hlela, A.Z.N. (2004).  “Ithuteng”, “SANLI ”, “Khomanani”,  ……what next? A case study of the Higher Certificate in Education (Participatory Development). Kenton Conference (uKhahlamba, KZN)
  • Hlela, A.Z.N. (2005). “Campaigns or Programmes”.  Edward Modlane University, Mozambique
  • Hlela, A.Z.N. (2005). Towards a better praxis: The certificate in Education (Participatory Development) case study , M Ed dissertation. University of KwaZulu- Natal.          
  • Hlela, Z., & Land, S. (2006). “Keeping the coals burning… “. In Antikainen,A, Harinen,P & Torres, A (Eds.) In From the Margins: Adult Education, Work and Civic Society. Pp 65-80. Rotterdam: Sense publishers. 
  • Hlela, Z. (2007). How not to: Conducting action research for empowerment in Maputaland. 2-6 July 2007. 4th World Environmental Education Congress: Learning in a changing world 2007 (Durban, South Africa
  • Hlela, A.Z.N.and Luthuli, N. (2007).Environment, culture and development: Are there any conflicting imperatives? 4th World Environmental Education Congress: Learning in a changing world 2007 (Durban, South Africa)
  • Hlela, Z (2008) Thokola themba: Ukufunda nokufundisa ngolimi okungesiyilo. University of Wisconsin-Madison. The theme of the conference was “African Languages & Globalization: Challenges, Expectations and Possibilities”. African Language Teachers Association in conjunction with National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages held a ground breaking conference at the
  • Hlela, Z (2009) ‘People and Nature – Two worlds’: The Maputaland Case study (Unpublished paper on conservation and people)
  • Hlela, Z & Mitchell, C. (2009) Module 6: Service Learning Workbook for the Certificate programme – Working with vulnerable children.  
  • Hlela, Z. (2010) Community levy projects: Towards a site for participatory community learning for biodiversity conservation.  presentation at the 37th Southern African Society for Education International Conference,  hosted by the University of Venda
  • Hlela, Z and Thabethe, N. (2015) University of KwaZulu-Natal Using a situated, supported distance learning (SSDL) framework to develop context specific learning programmes: The case of 10 African countries The National Association of Distance Education and Open Learning in South Africa Pre-Conference and Conference Programme 7-9 July 2015
  • Hlela, Z (2014) Learning from teaching in communities.  Mediterranean journal of social sciences Vol5 No8
  • Hlela, Z. (2016) Learning through the action of research: reflections on an Afrocentric research design 
    Community Development Journal 2016;
  • Hlela, Z. (2016) ‘We Are Born Like That’: Unpacking an Indigenous African Cultural Practice as a Community Learning Space. Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology .



  • I am currently involved in Masters Supervision

Community Involvement

  • Member of the KZN Community College Counsel: in terms of section 3 (1) of the Community Education and Training Act, 2006.
  • Board member of the Midlands Education Trust
  • Member of the KZN Human Resource development Council.
  • Member of Peace building research team in the City of Pietermaritzburg.
  • Member of the Oversight committee Umngeni municipality.