Elizabeth Mills

PhD student

Social anthropologist Elizabeth Mills will never forget the words of a woman she interviewed while doing research for her master's degree at the University of Cape Town. "I fought in the streets for this government, and now they are not giving me medicine for my dying daughter,� the woman said. Now 30-year-old Mills is completing her PhD at Sussex University. Her topic? The effects of HIV and Aids drugs on women's lives. Mills did an honours degree at Oxford before becoming deputy director of the aids and society research unit at UCT until 2009. She says her greatest satisfaction comes when a research subject sees her as a person, not just as an academic. "It brings the concept of ubuntu alive for me, because we are all human beings,� she explains. Mills, who names Nozizwe Madlala Routledge (former deputy minister of health) as her inspiration, says she hopes to bridge the gap between academia and activism.�Aphiwe Deklerk

Website: cssr.uct.ac.za/asru/research/mills