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In a bid to educate, motivate and inspire staff, students and the general public about Africa’s rich history and fruitful future, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) hosted a week of fun and colourful events to celebrate Africa Week.

"CultureCut" traditional wear designer, International Education Office's Algene Koeberg (middle) together with her two twin models, international students Nomasango Masiye-Moyo (left) and Nomakhosi Masiye-Moyo at last year's African Market and Cultural Day. 

The University’s Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage, the International Office and the Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD) teamed up to host the series of  on-campus events in commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963.

On this day, now known as Africa Day, leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 1991, the OAU established the African Economic Community, and in 2002, the OAU established its own successor, the African Union. The name and date of Africa Day has however been retained as a celebration of African unity.

As a university that promotes an open society where critical scholarship and the expression of a multiplicity of opinions and experiences are actively encouraged and one that fosters an environment in which diversity is appreciated, respected and celebrated, the week-long Africa Day celebrations are an annual feature on the NMMU calendar.

This year’s programme kicked off on Monday, 22 May, with a cultural and language lesson on the Nigerian Pidgin English, followed by the launch of My Road to Freedom, a book written by ANC struggle veteran and former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, Ben Fihla.

Lessons on the Zimbabwean language ‘Shona’ were then given on 23 May, followed by a seminar on ‘History, Heritage and Decolonisation: What they are and what they can contribute’, hosted at the University’s George campus.  

On Thursday, Malawian students in conjunction with the Malawian Embassy hosted an event celebrating the country’s culture and teaching the Chichewa language.

After yesterday’s successful African Market and Cultural Day, the next event to look forward to, among many others, is an upcoming photographic exhibition by acclaimed documentary photographer Cedric Nunn.

The exhibition, titled Unsettled: 100 Years of War, will open at NMMU’s Bird Street Art Gallery, in Central, on Saturday, 27 May, and will run until 15 June.

The opening event will include a panel discussion by Mr Nunn, National Heritage Council chief executive Adv Sonwabile Mancotywa and NMMU Trust’s acting chief executive and historian Dr Denver Webb.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777