Irma du Plessis

Researcher, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research

Irma du Plessis does not describe herself as a natural student. But with five degrees under her belt � nearly all cum laude � it's a bit hard to believe. She obtained her BA from the University of Pretoria in 1993. She then completed an interdisciplinary honours in philosophy and Afrikaans from the same university and was awarded an Abe Bailey Overseas Scholarship. This was followed by a second honours degree in Industrial Sociology at RAU in 2000 and an MA in Literary Theory through the University of Pretoria in 2002. But what's interesting about this social and cultural analyst is not only her impressive academic record, it's what she studies. Du Plessis is on a quest for of the kind of understanding of the self that is often hidden. She examines aspects of contemporary South African society to try to make sense of the time and place we inhabit. Now a researcher at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (Wiser), where she examines aspects of contemporary South African society to try to make sense of the time and place we inhabit. � Hendri Pelser

Lunch spot: La Rustica, Houghton, Johannesburg