Celebrating Africa

17 June 2014

Billed as 'the antidote to Afro-pessimism', this year's Africa Month affirmed our continental connectedness. It marked a moment to celebrate diverse cultures, while also highlighting issues of common concern.


Celebrating Africa Celebrating Africa
Celebrating Africa Celebrating Africa

Africa Month kicked off with intra-varsity games in the Sports Centre. The theme was Celebrating Africa Through Sport, and there was plenty of that as basketball players (pictured) slammed some impressive dunks.

  • Johnny Oriokot (in green) of Easoc vies for possession with Obi Chigozie of eventual winners Ghanasoc in UCT's third annual Mini Africa Cup of Nations on 17 May.
  • About a dozen children, aged six to 12, engage in singing games, known as ukuqula, in a demonstration of traditional African games on Jammie Plaza.
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo, who spearheads UCT's Afropolitan drive, shares some words of encouragement with staff who participated in the painting and beading workshop to celebrate Africa Month.

Vusi Mahlasela "Our grandfathers of humanity, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Tata Nelson Mandela, and the man who lived in South Africa and planted the seed of reconciliation, Mahatma Gandhi ... taught us that there is wisdom in forgiveness. If you learn to forgive, you learn to live with more calmness within your innermost [being] and you become more free. If you don't forgive, you are the one who is suffering the most. You are like your own prisoner. You become like the bitter leaf that can just be squashed or be swept away by the wind any time. Forgiveness is important, and we should all wear it like a crown."



Celebrating Africa Celebrating Africa

Music legends and UCT honorary alumni Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya perform some of their best-loved hits for an appreciative audience at the UCT Alumni Concert held at the Baxter Theatre Centre.

Music student Zinzi Nogavu sings a traditional lament, Vukani Noba Nilele, in honour of Mandela's life, at UCT's 20 Years of Freedom concert.


Celebrating Africa Celebrating Africa Celebrating Africa Celebrating Africa Celebrating Africa

Master of ceremonies Deputy Vice-Chancellor Thandabantu Nhlapo officiates over the formal part of the proceedings at the Freedom Concert on 22 May, which saw the UCT community celebrate 20 years of democracy and pay tribute to Nelson Mandela's legacy.

  • Guitarist and alumnus Shen Winberg loses himself in Vusi Mahlasela's music.
  • Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price unveils the commemoration plaque to mark the renaming of Ring and Rugby roads as Madiba Circle / iSekile kaMadiba / Madiba Sirkelpad.
  • Perennial favourites Freshlyground wow the crowd. For some of the alumni in the band, including lead singer Zolani Mahola (left) and violinist Kyla-Rose Smith, UCT is home turf.
  • Award-winning house sensation Mi Casa ended the concert on a high note.


Celebrating Africa Celebrating Africa

Gumboot dancers show how it's done - Africa-style - on Jammie Plaza, as part of Societies Plaza Day.

At the Law in Poetry event, doctoral student Anthony Diala recites his Bring Back Our Girls poem, in which he expressed outrage at the abduction of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by Islamic extremists Boko Haram.

"Bring back our joy! Were it your child, your sister, your friend You would act with promptness What madness is this? What nation kills its young?"



Celebrating Africa

African cuisine being sampled by the UCT community as part of the annual Societies Plaza Day on Jammie Plaza.

Africa day celebrationMama Gloria (centre) from the Khumbulani Centre, which provides a holistic educare programme for families affected by HIV/Aids in Khayelitsha, accepted a donation of cash, clothes, food, toys, stationery and other much-needed items collected from commerce staff and students at the faculty's colourful Africa Day celebration on 27 May.


Xhosa ceremonyStudents celebrate the completion of a 12-week beginners' course in Xhosa. This year some 60 participants, most involved in community outreach work, received their certificates indicating their basic understanding and proficiency in the language.



Celebrating Africa Celebrating Africa

Law staff and students in traditional African attire hold up a #Bringbackourgirls placard at the Postgraduate Law Students' Council's celebration of all things African. The #Bringbackourgirls campaign was launched to pressurise the Nigerian government and the international community to prioritise the girls' rescue. • Panellists participating in the Big African Debate examined the space where sexuality and the law collide following their concern over increasingly oppressive anti-gay laws passed earlier this year in Uganda and Nigeria. The speakers were (from left) Dr Barbara Boswell, Adewale Maja-Pearce and Professors Pierre de Vos and Julia Stewart.

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