Literature degree honoris causa with Deputy
Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of
Humanities Professor Cheryl Potgieter.
Lecturer, master printmaker and founder of the Caversham Press, Mr Malcolm Christian, received the Degree of Doctor of Literature honoris causa from UKZN for his commitment to the value of human creativity, the common bonds of humanity and the educative power of collaboration.
Addressing a Graduation audience, Christian said: ‘In looking at how to share with you the significance of personal legacy, I returned to the time when I faced one of those crossroads, one that required me to think about what I wanted my legacy to be, resulting in the establishment of Caversham Centre for Artists and Writers.
‘There had always been components of education and the visual arts in what I had done and yet even though these both include knowledge and skills development, it was the core purpose that I wanted to make a focus – the content or meaning behind the work.
‘The question that I asked, and continue to ask even here tonight, is: “If I could give each of you a gift, what would it be?” It would be the gift of significance because this contains the two essential ingredients that we all seek in our lives – that of meaning and relevance which add depth to our journey.’
Looking at legacy being collaborative, Christian said: ‘Our legacy is as much about the people who have shared in this journey and their contribution to our lives as it is about our own endeavours and attributes. It is this shared responsibility that affirms our common bonds of humanity from frailty to strength, from baseness to transcendence.’
Reflecting on the death of Nelson Mandela, he pointed out that legacy taught us that ‘it is about what has been removed, left unsaid, that provides the power to create dialogue with others and within oneself’.
‘What I hope that each one of us will take from this Graduation is the reminder that we are all involved with the creative processes of our lives, striving to reach the next summit in this ongoing journey of legacy, and that this evening has provided a momentary pause prior to the descent to the valley floor of the everyday. For it is the understanding that comes with the journey down, that assists in translating our experience and endeavours into wisdom for the way forward.’