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Celebrating Madiba’s Centenary & Legacy At UWC

Author: Staff Writer

Cape Town universities and colleges joined the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations at the first Madiba Centenary Inter-University and Colleges Colloquium at UWC on 6 February 2018.

Cape Varsities Celebrate Madiba Centenary: The Role of Universities and Colleges in Education, Sport, Gender and Disability


“In my 24 years at UWC  one of  the things I have learned - as a student, as a coach, as a lecturer, an educator, a facilitator, and as a professor - is that there can be  a  powerful transformative effect  when like-minded people come together  with their  values, ideas,  beliefs, and experiences  and pursue causes they believe in. It is these encounters that take us forward.”

So said Professor Marion Keim, Director of the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) International Interdisciplinary Centre for Sport Sciences and Development (ICESSD), speaking at the first Madiba Centenary Inter-University and Colleges Colloquium at UWC on 6 February 2018.

A hundred years ago, an extraordinary South African figure was born: Nelson Rolihlala Mandela, freedom fighter, revolutionary, and first president of a truly democratic South Africa. The Nelson Mandela Foundation announced plans to honour his legacy by building a base towards the future and working towards building the South Africa Madiba dreamed of.

UWC’s International Interdisciplinary Centre for Sport Sciences and Development (ICESSD) in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), joined  hands and hosted an event  to honour Madiba by  exploring The Role of Universities and Colleges in Education, Sport, Gender and Disability.

The event saw 134 sport researchers, academics, administrators and students from UWC, the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Northlink College and Boland College, as well as colleagues from Japan, Spain and France, exchange ideas on how to build on Madiba’s teachings towards a better South Africa through education, sport and inclusivity.

“We share common ground and a common language; commonalities about education, sport and equality,” Prof Keim said, encouraging participants to engage with each other and form networks and a movement to initiate collaborations and honour Madiba’s legacy.

She quoted the UWC motto, Respice Prospice (“Look back, look ahead”): “It means you need to look backwards in order to know where you are going ,  with your plans and goals.. That’s what we intend to explore with this event . The topics discussed here today are critical in society, especially at the moment where we are in the world.  Jointly exploring what we feel is important and to doing so with the next generation of leaders is most amazing.”

Madiba’s vision was the focus of the Colloquium: his vision for education; his vision for women and society’s values; education transformation pedagogy; gender and sport; disability and inclusion in higher education.

Presenters and panelists included : Prof. Joanne Hardman ( UCT), Dr. David Maralack (UCT) Mr.Cornelius  Malgas (Northlink College), Dr. Lyndon Boah ( DCAS) , Lilamani de Soysa, (University of Tsukuba, Japan), Prof. Joanne Hardman (UCT), Dr. Emma Mc Kinney (UWC), Dr Phoebe Runciman (SUN), Prof. Simeon Davies (CPUT),  

“It doesn’t matter who you are, but that you  can add value,” added Manfred Jacobs from the Drakenstein Correctional Centre (formerly Victor Verster Prison), where Madiba spent the last year of his time in prison. “If you can add value you can influence the lives of other people. Madiba’s legacy is about asking and answering some important questions: how do you change, and how do you influence, and how do people understand and value who you are - not because of the colour of your skin. That is what we want to do.”

The Madiba legacy is being celebrated by different organisations around the world throughout the year and this Colloquium is the first contribution of UWC  to the Centenary events in 2018.

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