Push transformation forward

05 January 2015

Bame Modungwa
Master's in economic development

What I understand by decolonisation in the university is that we're trying to push forward the transformation ideal. Bringing it back to UCT, it's about freeing the students from this system, if you can call it that. It's about pushing forward transformation, making sure everybody feels included, everybody is heard, and that everybody feels like they could be heard if they had something to say.

Obviously you have to start at the top, I would say, for instance, Senate and the university Council - which I had no idea about before Rhodes Must Fall - have now been brought to light; and I think it's important that we transform from the highest point, which makes it easier to have that trickle-down effect.

It's also important to have transformation in the faculty, because those are the faces you see when you come to school. I studied my undergrad in politics, philosophy and economics. I haven't had a single black female lecturer in my entire career here.

From my first year in politics especially, you'd think they'd be more enlightened about our context; but I found that the curriculum focused a lot on Eurocentric concepts and theorists. It's unfortunate, because that's not to say that there aren't any African philosophers or theorists or political scientists. So it's curious to me as to why they aren't included in the syllabus.

Looking around for places to do my master's, I found that you actually have a better African studies department in the UK than at supposedly the best university in Africa! Why should I have to travel there to get a good education on Africa when I live in Africa? The curriculum is an important aspect.

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