Dr Matumo Ramafikeng

School of Health and Social Care
Dr Matumo Ramafikeng



I am an Occupational Therapist with experience in mental health practice, research, and teaching in the Global South. My areas of expertise include teaching for diversity, design and delivery of occupational therapy curriculum that is contextually relevant and providing academic support to minority students in higher education. I draw on various strategies, such as academic literacies, translanguaging as a pedagogic strategy; drawing on students’ linguistic resources to support learning and attainment of educational outcomes. My research interests include decolonisation of curriculum, transformative pedagogy, practice education in health sciences, language in teaching and learning, as well as health and well-being of health professionals and community mental health. In research, I have used qualitative case study design, descriptive qualitative design, linguistic ethnography and analysis methods include discourse analysis, genre analysis and thematic analysis. I am the current President of the Occupational Therapy in Africa Regional Group (OTARG), an official branch of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) for the Africa region. In this role I have a mandate to lead the organisation in developing and growing occupational therapy practice on the continent.


  • PhD Education University of Cape Town, (2018)

  • BSc Occupational Therapy University of Cape Town, (2003)


University of Essex

  • Lecturer, Occupational Therapy, University of Essex (10/11/2021 - present)

Other academic

  • Senior Lecturer, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town (1/1/2020 - 31/10/2022)

  • Lecturer, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town (17/2/2016 - 31/12/2019)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

The influence of language use on attainment of educational outcomes

This interest is in pedagogical research on how language use in teaching and learning shapes attainment of education outcomes.

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Concepts of Therapy (HS176)

  • Autonomous Practitioner (HS809)

  • Foundations for Occupational Therapy (HS892)

  • Mastering Occupation (HS895)


Journal articles (5)

Ramafikeng, MC. and Marshall, E., (2023). Navigating language discordance in public health care in rural South Africa: a qualitative descriptive study of occupational therapists’ perspectives. BMC Health Services Research. 23 (1), 867-

Ramafikeng, M. and Eboh, WO., (2022). Protocol for scoping review on well-being among theatre nurses in large public hospitals in low-income and middle-income countries.. BMJ Open. 12 (4), e057600-e057600

Ramafikeng, M., (2021). Features of the research proposal genre made easy for undergraduate occupational therapy students. African Journal of Health Professions Education. 13 (4), 214-214

Ramafikeng, M., Beukes, L., Hassan, A., Kohler, T., Mouton, TL. and Petersen, S., (2020). Experiences of adults with psychiatric disabilities participating in an activity programme at a psychosocial rehabilitation centre in the Western Cape. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy. 50 (2)

Ramafikeng, MC., Roshan, G. and Amesun, SL., (2019). Tobacco use and concurrent engagement in other risk behaviours: A public health challenge for occupational therapists. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy. 49 (1), 26-35

Book chapters (2)

Ramafikeng, M., (2023). Making Implicit Occupational Therapy Curriculum Expectations Explicit and Using Translanguaging to Navigate Literacy Practices. In: Transforming Teaching and Learning Experiences for Helping Professions in Higher Education: Global Perspectives. Editors: Pillay, R., Mkwananzi, S. and Moonsamy, S., . Brill. 194- 210. 9789004540811

Van Niekerk, L. and Ramafikeng, M., (2022). Ethics in practice and research. In: Creek's Occupational Therapy and Mental Health. Editors: Bryant, W., Fieldhouse, J. and Plastow, N., . Elsevier. 150- 158. 0702077453. 9780702077456

Thesis dissertation (1)

Ramafikeng, M., Students’ negotiation of practice education in occupational therapy: A case study



Colchester Campus