Zandile Mciza


Zandile, a dietician, is currently working full-time on her PhD, which analyses social, cultural, environmental and familial factors contributing to obesity, and hopes to finish her thesis by the end of 2006.

Her interest in diet and its relation to health began early. Born in Durban, Zandile grew up in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape, where she encountered many instances of health afflictions, such as hypertension and diabetes both in her family and community. This motivated her to become a general practitioner to find solutions to some of these chronic lifestyle diseases. At that point, she assumed a doctor was the only medical practitioner able to address such problems.

Zandile completed a BSc as a pre-medical degree in order to qualify for an enrolment in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) medical school. But during her degree, she attended a careers exhibition offered by the Department of Education. This changed her focus and led to her current profession as a dietician. She obtained her BSc in dietetics at the University of the Western Cape in 2000, did an MSc in medical nutrition and dietetics at UCT, finished her two-chapters in 2003 and converted to a PhD.

Now a dietician, Zandile is also a part-time sports dietician at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa and a researcher in nutrition and obesity clinical research techniques at UCT’s human biology unit.

Lunch Spot: Dros, Nino's