Ms Patricia Bongi Zengele

Ms Patricia Bongi Zengele


Discipline Social Work
Contact Number 031-260-1241
Campus Howard College Campus
Office Address 229 Second Floor MTB
Last Updated 1 year ago

Degrees Held

  • Degree, (Institution)


Research Interests

  • Area of Interest in Research/Activism:
  • Researching and Positioning Relevant Critical & Scholastic Social Work Response to present day to day life challenges.
  • How does work in HIV and AIDS interface between African Spirituality and Religion? What forms the basis of Resilience in Children, Women and Men impacted directly or indirectly with HIV and AIDS? Exploring new theologies towards transformation and equipping communities to face challenges brought about HIV and AIDS in a South African context.
  • Master’s Degree in Theology and Development Studies: An Exploration Study of Children’s Spiritual Development working with Abandoned Children on their Perceptions of the Images of God.

Teaching Interests

  • SOWK 211 Working with Individuals and Families: – Casework Theory & Practice
  • SOWK 401 Family Therapy, Psycho-social Support & Mental Health
  • SOWK 4AP Field Placement Instruction & Community Based Learning Preparing Students for Implementation of Theory and Practice in Social Work Practice.
  • Facilitating, convening monthly and Co-ordinating Supervision of Field Instruction of Supervisors.
  • Creative Teaching and Learning skills in facilitating Active Listening, Participation and Role Play these appeals to younger generation we encounter during lectures

Basic Research Skills


Journal Articles

  • West, Gerald and Zengele, Bongi 2006 ‘The medicine of God’s word: what people want (and get) from the Bible’ Journal of Theology for Southern Africa125:51-63.
  • Zengele, Bongi 2008 Conference Presentation for AACC 7-12 December 2008 Maputo, ‘Youth Becoming a Caring and Healing Community: Cultural Practices that leads to positive behaviours.’
  • Telling the Ujamaa Centre Story CIHA-Blog

Chapters in books:

  • West, Gerald O., and Zengele Bongi. “Reading Job ‘Positively’ in the Context of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.” Concilium 4 (2004): 112-24.
  • Zengele, Bongi 2009 (submitted to Cartography CHART book project) A response to academic paper by an Activist: ‘Children HIV and AIDS in Religion’
  • Zengele, Bongi 2009 (submitted to Cartography CHART project) A response to academic paper by an Activist: ‘Religion and Policy in the Context of HIV and AIDS’
  • Zengele, Bongi 2017 (a chapter in a book) ‘Let the Children Come to Me’ Edited by Ezra Chitando &Nyambura Njoronge

Conference Paper Presentations


  • What happened to support groups in the era of HIV test and treat? Lessons learned from Siyaphila network of PLHIV in KwaZulu-Natal


  • Reframing Disability in Africa: Spaces for Reason, Responsibility for Social Change and Transformation Conference.: The intersections of Disability, Culture and Human Rights: What is happening in Africa?
  • Transforming Faith Communities into Safe Space: Conversations on Gender, Health, Religion Culture and Disability.
  • 4th Annual Conference in UKZN Annual Conference.

Joint Conference of Academic Societies in the field of Religion and Theology

  • Bongi Zengele, University of KwaZulu-Natal and Dr. Deborah Mindry, University of California, Los Angeles:
  • ‘Support Groups as critical sites of religious engagement with lived realities of human rights struggles: A case study of Siyaphila, in KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa.’


  • A critical reflection on SACSSP code of ethical values that are challenging Social Work   in an ever – changing context of HIV and AIDS in South Africa. (ASASWEI-ASSWA Social work Conference)
  • Can debt be a barrier of decolonizing education? a critical reflection on fees must fall campaign in UKZN. (ASASWEI-ASSWA Social work Conference)
  • ‘Support Groups as critical sites of religious engagement with lived realities of human rights struggles: A case study of Siyaphila, in KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa.’
  • AIDS Conference in Durban 2017 presentation workshop on Sugar Daddies’ and transactional sex among young girls living in poverty and HIV&AIDS.

Community Involvement

  • A Social Worker in HIV/AIDS & Gender Activism and a Theologian.
  • Worked with Ujamaa Centre for Biblical and Theological Research in the School of Religion and Theology at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) in Pietermaritzburg.
  • For nineteen years worked as a Co-ordinator of HIV and AIDS Programme known as, The Solidarity Programme for People Living with HIV& AIDS
  • a lecturer in Church and AIDS Course at both under-graduate and post-graduate levels in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics.
  • Currently a registered PhD Candidate in Clinical Pastoral Care working directly with People Living with HIV, doing research in exploring their Lived and Embodied Theologies of HIV and AIDS.
  • A part-time researcher and facilitator of Tearfund working on the Survivor of Sexual Violence Research
  • A Facilitator in UNISA on Chance 2 Advance Project, a Community Engagement initiative for 10 years.
  • Consultant with UNFPA on Training for Traditional Leaders on Prevention of Sexual Gender –Based Violence in KZN Province
  • A Lead-Researcher on: Breaking the Silence-A needs assessment of survivors of sexual violence in KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape.
  • A Researcher and Consultant with Tearfund, UK based evangelical FBO addressing SGBV issues, the mapping research was on: If I Speak Out, Will It Change
  • Facilitating and Listening to Survivors of Sexual Violence in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, Rwanda, Central African Republic (CAR), Tanzania, Ethiopia, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho.
  • Presently a full-time Lecturer in Social Work Discipline at UKZN Howard College, Durban Campus.
  • A Research Associate in Ujamaa Research Centre within the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics

Teaching Expertise

My experience has been focused at enabling students to relate theory and practice in community work that provided conducive environment for action research to take place, offering support and mentorship to different students as they engaged with communities doing research. My role has been that of a liaison person between the community and the academia

  • Researched and developed through action research and field-tested a Resource Manual for Churches on Sexual Gender Based Violence using Theological and Biblical Resources. Finished United Nations (UNFPA) assignment of field-testing within 45 days in two provinces KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. This was very successful and there is a demand for more copies translated into local languages. To engage religious and Traditional leaders in the prevention of SGBV.
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Student Supervision

  • Honours
  1. Mr. Emanuel Mboya (2012) A Critical Analysis on How Children who live in the Streets/ Street Children Pray
  2. Mr. James Miriango (2013) A Critical Analysis of (RGC) Redeemed Gospel Church’s Doctrine of Holiness in working with HIV and AIDS in handling Stigma and Discrimination
  • Masters
  1. Mr Joseph Mosoeu (2020) ‘Sihlukumezekile!! The Elderly Talk of their Experiences of Elder Vulnerability in KwaSwayimani.