About 100 guests attended the annual function of the UKZN Alumnus Association in Europe at South Africa House in London.

Mr Bruno van Dyk, Chair of the Association, welcomed guests and introduced UKZN alumnus and “body language guru”, Dr Peter Collett; President and Chair of Convocation, Mr Fanle Sibisi, and UKZN Foundation Executive Director, Professor Anesh Singh who were speakers at the event.

Collett, a London-based psychologist, TV personality and body language expert, spoke on: Mandela and His Smile: How to Read Politicians from their Body Language. He explored Mandela’s personal appeal and examined the vital role that aspects of behaviour such as facial expression, posture, gesture and tone of voice play in domestic and international politics.

Presenting clips from his TV programmes, Collett showed that while some non-verbal signals are deliberate, others are unintentional and therefore more revealing. He said in politicians’ attempts to come across as powerful and approachable, it was often their body language that determined whether they succeeded or failed.

In his address, Sibisi stressed the need for graduates to “give-back” to their alma mater and updated the gathering on recent developments at UKZN.

Singh spoke about the role of the UKZN Foundation and encouraged donations to the University.

South African canapés and drinks were served after the talks. Guests were able to network and interact with fellow graduates.

UKZN’s Acting Executive Director of Corporate Relations, Ms Normah Zondo, and Alumni Relations Manager, Mr Finn Christensen, were on hand to meet guests and answer questions about the University.

A lucky draw was held with winners receiving UKZN specific gifts while packs with the latest University information and mementos were distributed.

Words: Finn Christensen