Change the world

Office for International Education

Celebrating History and Culture of the African Continent: Africa Week 2017
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD) and Office for International Education (OIE) in conjunction with several faculties and student societies, have created a week-long Africa-inspired programme in an effort to educate, motivate and inspire staff, students and the general public about Africa’s rich history and fruitful future. 

With official Africa Day being on the 25th of May, various activities were organized throughout the week to celebrate the different African cultures on campus. The Office for International Education hosted culture and language lesson workshops which commenced on Monday the 22nd. Every day during the lunch hour, four countries were focused on namely Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda. Staff and students of the NMMU had the opportunity to acquire more knowledge and gain better understanding about the history, culture and languages spoken in these countries.

Furthermore, Rendezvous Café had a special “African Dish of the Day” every day during this week, whereby significant dishes from various countries were served on the buffet.  Customers could experience the taste of ‘Seswaa and Steamed bread’ from Botswana, ‘Ifisashi’ from Zambia, ‘Mutton Potjie’ from Namibia, Kenya’s traditional ‘Githeri’ and Lekhotloane and Pap from Lesotho.
As part of the Africa Week’s celebrations, CANRAD hosted a Book launch named “My Road to Freedom: ANC Veteran’s reflections on the journey to Liberation” and in conjunction with the George Campus, a seminar series focusing on the “History, Heritage and Decolonization of Africa” as well as on the “History of Forestry in the Cape Colony”.

The Malawian Embassy visited the NMMU South Campus on Wednesday, 24 May to showcase their culture and traditions to the staff and students. Outside the OIE they performed a dance, drama and well-known songs of the country. Several students from Malawi were involved in an effort to promote the Malawian culture on the day.

Africa day was celebrated on 25 May with an African Market and Cultural Day outside the OIE Building. NMMU staff and students were given the opportunity to set up a stall at this event where they could sell their locally manufactured Arts and Crafts. This day also consisted of an Africa Day Lunchtime Concert with local performers praising Africa and the achievements of the African people. Artists included NMMU students, Khanyisa Powa, Zanele Maphaphu Thandokazi Hermanus and Poet, Siposethu Mbebe.

The student body and staff were invited to dress up in traditional attire on Africa Day as part of a ‘Best-Dressed’ Competition. Congratulations to Ms Yolisa Grace Beta from the Financial Aid Department on the North Campus who won the competition in her beautiful African garment. The prize included a consultation from CultureCut for a unique African garment designed and made by owner, Ms Algene Koeberg.

Towards the end of the working week, the OIE and the Microbrewery Society hosted a Beer Tasting with a Shebeen theme. The Rendezvous Café was transformed into a shebeen while customers could enjoy some locally brewed beer. Music from the likings of Mafikizolo, Malaika, Brenda Fasi, Dj Sbu and many more had the crowd grooving as they played some cards or a game of pool.

Saturday the 27th, the Arts, Culture and Heritage Department launched the photographic exhibition by famous South African Photographer, Mr Cedric Nunn at the Arts studios at the NMMU Bird Street Campus. The opening event of the exhibition included a panel discussion by Mr Cedric Nunn, National Heritage Council Chief Executive, Adv Sonwabile Mancotywa and NMMU Trust’s acting Chief Executive and Historian, Dr Denver Webb. The exhibition is open to the public until 15 June.

An inspirational week filled with talent and energy craving to educate students, staff and general public about Africa’s rich history and prosperous future. Keep celebrating Africa every day, in your own way.

Awethu Sonamzi, owner of Weza’s Hair, explaining to local NMMU student how to use her hair products during the African Market and Cultural Day on 25 May

Tuka Bijoux owner, Marcia Tuka Smith (left) and her friend (name tbc) showcasing their African print clothing, shoes, scarves, clutch bags and jewelry at the African Market and Cultural Day on 25 May.

Office for International Staff members (from left to right) Megan Connelly, Asanda Tele, Monalisa Ndwayana supporting the stalls on Africa Day during the African Market and Cultural Day.

CultureCut owner and Office for International Education staff member, Algene Koeberg at the African Market and Cultural Day. CultureCut supplied the First Prize for the Best Dressed Competition winner on Africa Day. The overall “Best Dressed” Winner walked away with a consultation and Traditional African garment made by CultureCut to the value of R700.

NMMU Financial Aid Department officer, Yolisa Grace Beta was the overall winner of the “African Traditional Best Dressed” Competition on Africa Day, 25 May. Yoliswa walked away with a consultation and Traditional African garment made by CultureCut to the value of R700.

From left: Malawian Embassy Representative, Grenner Gambatula; International Student from Malawi, Peter Banda; Malawian Embassy Representative, Constance Silungwe enjoying NMMU’s Africa Week celebrations during the “Dzuka Malawi” event on 24 May during Africa Week.


Malawian Embassy Representative, Grenner Gambutula providing information about Malawi’s Cuisine and Tourism to NMMU German Study Abroad students (from left) Jana Borcherding, Leandra Martin, Christina Schacht during the “Dzuka Malawi” event on 24 May during Africa Week.



Students from different cultures and backgrounds getting together, enjoying a beer while playing cards on crates at the Shebeen themed Beer Tasting hosted by the Office for International Education in conjunction with the Microbrewery society during Africa Week.



Posted on 01 June 2017 08:46:19

Current rating: 0 (0 ratings)

Trackback URL:

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.

Bookmark this page:Add to Twitter Add to Yahoo Bookmarks Add to Yahoo MyWeb Add to Facebook Add to Terchnorati Add to Digg Add to Google Bookmarks Add to Reddit Add to Blogmarks Add to StumbleUpon Add to Delicious