A story to tell: Giving thanks

04 May 2021 | Story Law Mugadhuyi. Photo Jean Claude Nsabimana. Read time 3 min.
Students getting ready to make their way back to campus after a raging fire destroyed some of UCT’s buildings.
Students getting ready to make their way back to campus after a raging fire destroyed some of UCT’s buildings.

#Heros #UCTFirefighters #Leadership #Teamwork.

On Sunday morning the 18th of April 2021 a friend of mine woke me up to tell me that there was a fire on Table Mountain. At first, we thought that it was not going be as massive as it ended up being. To cut the long story short, almost 4000 students were evacuated from their residences to alternatively safe and comfortable places. This resulted in the suspension of all academic activities for a week. Food and other essential goods were provided to the students during their stay at these alternative places until students returned to their residences on the 22nd of April 2021.

Given such an overwhelming support, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the University leadership team for the love, care, and concern that they demonstrated by giving students time to heal from a catastrophic event. Let me also take the opportunity to express my gratitude to companies that opened their doors to accommodate students in such a short notice (Hats off to you! I salute you and I thank you).

Having said what has been discussed above, one can wonder and ask what then happened to the fire, how did it end? One might want to call them legends, but I prefer to call them heroes. These heroes are the so-called firefighters who played a significant and vital role in stabilizing the fire from causing further destruction. It takes courage and passion for one to play such an imperative role and I would like to say to them (I salute you for your amazing service). Fighting is not all about using machine guns, even a pistol can help a soldier survive in the battle, so the role played by some students cannot go unnoticed. Hence, I would like to throw a big shout to my fellow colleagues who grabbed the fire extinguishers to help fight the battle, I salute you for showing such bravery. 

Lastly, I would like to also throw a big shout to the individuals, private sectors and companies who donated food and other essentials. One person once told me that a hungry man is an angry man but with the large amounts of food that were donated anger never surfaced, it was just hope, happiness and joy in students’ eyes. They say water is life, but I think water and food sustain each other.

In conclusion, I would like to thank every person who pray to the Almighty asking Him to strengthen students and the University’s hearts from such a disturbing event. I THANK YOU.

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In an email to UCT students, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“Thank you for your patience as we seek ways to return to full academic activity at the University of Cape Town under COVID-19 regulations. Our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of everyone who needs to return to campus buildings.”

UCT is deeply grateful to all the donors who supplied food and other essential items for our students, and to everyone who has so generously offered other forms of support and assistance.

Everyone who would like to support the #UCTFire emergency relief fund is urged to please make financial donations to UCT through the UCT Alumni Ways to Give web page.

Donations can also be made by EFT using the details below:
Account name: UCT Donations Account
Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa
Branch code: Rondebosch Branch, 025009
Account number: 07 152 2387
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ
Please include your donor name if you so wish, as well as the reference for your donation, e.g. Name Surname, #UCTFire.

Messages of support


Cengage EMEA 17:00, 7 June 2021
Ricardo de Sao Joao 16:00, 17 May 2021
J.P. Morgan 10:00, 17 May 2021
Unilever Southern Africa 16:10, 6 May 2021
Iziko Museums of South Africa 16:20, 5 May 2021
Sciences Po, France 10:05, 4 May 2021
The University of Tokyo 09:00, 30 April 2021
McCall MacBain Foundation 16:00, 29 April 2021
Stephen Toope, Chair of IARU 23:50, 27 April 2021
Mazi Asset Management 21:00, 27 April 2021
The National Archives (UK) 17:40, 27 April 2021
Universiteit Antwerpen 16:20, 26 April 2021
Yale University 21:15, 23 April 2021
SOAS University of London 17:00, 23 April 2021
University of Nairobi 15:45, 23 April 2021
Zhejiang University 12:05, 23 April 2021
University of Glasgow 11:20, 23 April 2021
Durham University 18:20, 22 April 2021
Sanlam Corporate Team 16:00, 22 April 2021
MANCOSA 16:00, 22 April 2021
Mastercard Foundation 13:30, 22 April 2021
National Research Foundation 09:05, 22 April 2021
Taylor & Francis 08:20, 22 April 2021
McGill University, Canada 21:35, 21 April 2021
Wild Bean Café 19:50, 21 April 2021
Worldwide Universities Network 19:10, 21 April 2021
University of Groningen 13:35, 21 April 2021
National University of Lesotho 11:00, 21 April 2021
Google South Africa 10:35, 21 April 2021
Chinese Ambassador Chen Xiaodong 09:00, 21 April 2021
George Whitefield College 08:40, 21 April 2021
Virginia Tech 02:00, 21 April 2021
University of Southampton 18:10, 20 April 2021
University of the Free State 17:25, 20 April 2021
KU Leuven 15:45, 20 April 2021
Northwestern University 15:45, 20 April 2021
Council on Higher Education 14:00, 20 April 2021
Times Higher Education 11:45, 20 April 2021
Regent Business School 11:15, 20 April 2021
Professor Crain Soudien 09:05, 20 April 2021
University of the Western Cape 09:00, 20 April 2021
Bishop Tshalo Katshunga 07:30, 20 April 2021
National Library of France 20:50, 19 April 2021
Thabo Mbheki Foundation 20:00, 19 April 2021
Stellenbosch University 19:10, 19 April 2021
Chinese Embassy in South Africa 17:20, 19 April 2021
University of Hull 17:00, 19 April 2021
University of Copenhagen 13:25, 19 April 2021
Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies 13:10, 19 April 2021
Mastercard Foundation 10:50, 19 April 2021
Stellenbosch University 09:20, 19 April 2021
Minister Blade Nzimande 09:15, 19 April 2021
Committee on Higher Education 09:10, 19 April 2021
University of the Witwatersrand 09:05, 19 April 2021
University of Pretoria 09:00, 19 April 2021

 

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