Nelson Mandela University celebrating one of its values - DIVERSITY

The Office for International Education at Nelson Mandela University hosted its annual International Diversity Week on and off campus from 12- 17 August 2019. The objective of Diversity Week was to promote the concept, “Internationalization At Home”, and to celebrate the rich diversity of cultures present specifically at Nelson Mandela University, but also within the wider Nelson Mandela Metro.

Social and academic activities that took place in this weeklong programme included a Pizza and Poetry evening, an isiXhosa language workshop, various student discussions and debates, and ended off with its grand finale event, the annual International Culture Fest.

The week kicked off with a launch called, “Delicacies from around the World”. This annual eating competition encourages Nelson Mandela University students to taste and learn more about other cultures’ significant cuisine.





On the second day, the Office for International Education worked with the Poetry Society, in hosting a “Pizza and Poetry” evening. This open-mic event allowed aspiring poets to take the stage while the large audience of listeners enjoyed some pizza. Later that week, a student-lead panel discussion took place conveying student voices representing various countries in sharing their experiences of different challenges faced in their home countries. A group of talented students opened the event with an expressive dance routine which highlighted gender abuse in cultural, as well as, in modern relationships.


Every day during the programme, people could sign up for daily lunchtime isiXhosa language lessons aiming at those interested in taking up another one of South African’s 11 official languages. This workshop just touched on some important language rules and pronunciations only to entice attendees to take the matter further by pursuing a course in learning isiXhosa.

Another ongoing initiative during International Diversity week included a Mobile Photo Competition. Here students and staff from Nelson Mandela University were encouraged to submit photos based on the provided themes; “A Woman and Her Story” and “Dimensions of Diversity”. The entries were shortlisted by a panel of judges and the final six from each category were exhibited at the International Culture Fest. Festival attendees were asked to vote for their favourite photo from each category.

After an eventful week, International Diversity week concluded with the third annual International Culture Fest on Saturday, 17 August at the Tramways Building in Baakens Valley.

Students from sixteen countries represented at Mandela University managed food stalls and handed out samples of their self-prepared, traditional cuisine – free of charge – to attendees. In addition, the students exhibited information, souvenirs, paraphernalia artifacts and illustrations, which best represented their countries.

The students taking part in this food exhibition were competing for the three best stall winners, all receiving first, second and third cash prizes sponsored by Nelson Mandela University’s International Office. First prize for the best food stall in this category was awarded as a tie to students from Cameroon and Swaziland, followed by students from the Democratic Republic of Congo as the third prize.

In addition to the free food samples, visitors were able to purchase food and beverages from Nelson Mandela Bay’s local vendors who represent different cultural cuisines, including Foongs, AVIVA Eatery, Millie Mongo’s African Cuisine, The Mexican Jbay and Fire Foods. Mastertons ensured to cater for the Bay’s coffee lovers, as well as “Love Malawi” who sold Malawian coffee for those curious and adventurous coffee drinkers. Those with a sweet tooth enjoyed some scrumptious pancakes by Gourmet Girl, as well as grabbed a few donuts from AVIVA Eatery. Impilo Juice and Igbo Fruit Smoothies provided some light and fruity drinks on the day.

Young entrepreneurs within the City had the opportunity to pop up a stall to sell their locally made products to attendees. Items on sale included beaded accessories, beauty products, jewellery, art, novelty gifts, ceramics, fabrics, clothing, and even artsy face painting.


Attendees were entertained by the four-hour long programme on stage, consisting of a wide range of acts representing cultures, from traditional Zulu, Indian and a Chinese Lion dance just to name a few. Attendees enjoyed acts by Irie Vibes Marimba Band, LoveChild, Geentanjali Indian Academy and many other talented local artists from our City and Nelson Mandela University. There was also be a few Fire dancing acts as well as Flamenco dancing on stage by the Johnson sisters, Breeze and Ruth.

International Diversity Week allowed Nelson Mandela University staff, students and members from the public to get involved throughout the week in order to increase their cultural awareness and knowledge, to interact and share information about their various cultures, all in an effort to promote intercultural understanding, tolerance and mutual respect.


Posted on 24 August 2019 14:14:21

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