Dr Clydenia Stevens was awarded a PhD in Law for her research study on Challenges in the Implementation, Regulation and Management of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures at the Multilateral, Regional and National Levels. 

‘The release of this study is not only timely, but makes a novel contribution in arguing that the influence of politics, economics and the law requires a balanced approach to address obstructing SPS measures,’ explained Stevens.

The study was supervised by the late Dr Edith Mneney and Dr Annie Singh.

Celebrating the culmination of her PhD journey is bittersweet for Stevens as she not only lost her supervisor and mentor, Mneney in February, but also her mother last year.

‘My mother worked at Shoprite Strand for more than 30 years and she always pushed me to study after school so I know that she would have been proud of me. My extended family and friends in Cape Town are also very proud of the achievement. Dr Mneney would send messages of encouragement and was a pillar of support over the last few years,’ she said. Dr Singh also provided guidance and support especially last year.

The journey also had its highs as the lecturer in International Law and International Trade Law supervised and graduated plus 25 Master of Laws students and a PhD (co-supervised).

‘In addition to my normal lecturing and supervision responsibilities, I also managed the School Textbook Loan Scheme and was appointed Deputy Academic Leader for Teaching and Learning in the School of Law in 2018. For the past two years, I would come to campus and stay late to complete my work. I am grateful to my husband Jacob and our boys, Kirwan and Cullen for their sacrifices and support and my colleagues who stepped in to help me.’

Words: Thandiwe Jumo

Photograph: Abhi Indarajan