UWC students reflect on the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela
As part of Mandela Day festivities the Centre for Student Support Services together with the UWC-Robben Island Mayibuye Archives, organised an opportunity for UWC students to reflect on the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela via an interactive dialogue session on Thursday 17 July 2014.
The youth reflections dialogue featured artefacts from the Mayibuye Archives, a discussion panel, open dialogues and a student poetry act which emphasised the important role that the youth play in finding solutions to the social challenges faced by South Africa.
The dialogue aimed at helping young people take ownership of South Africa in the move towards 20 years of transformation.
The event took place from 12pm till 2pm at the UWC Library Auditorium, the keynote speakers included Andile Nomlala – an Entrepreneur and UWC alumnus, Lwando Mzandisi from Equal Education, Dede Ntsoelengoe – a former Robben Island prisoner and Thozama Mabusela, who represented the UWC Gender Equity Unit.
Addressing the youth, Andile Nomlala said it was not by chance that he was standing in front of students at the University. “I know I was lucky to escape the trap of poverty, and the legacy of Nelson Mandela should be about seizing every opportunity presented to us as young people.”
Nomlala believes that young people should not only think about Nelson Mandela when his birthday approaches in order for them to do something for the next person. “You can help your community by sharing information, a little goes a long way – you would be so surprised. But the youth of today, however, have a tendency of attending university and later maintaining the perception that they are above the communities from which they come.”
While Thozama Mabusela doesn’t believe young people are what they are painted out to be in the media. “So often we hear people say we don’t care about history and politics, I refuse to accept that we are irresponsible and careless”.
She said to prove that today’s youth are not a lost generation – the UWC Gender Equity Unit encourages students to volunteer their time in order to help their peers.
The day ended with a vote of thanks from Arnold Mdepa from the Centre for Students Support Services, who welcomed everyone to refreshments at the end of the event.