When Africans get together on Africa Day, it is an opportunity to celebrate who they are as custodians of unity, community and respect.

With this in mind, Ms Normah Zondo, University Relations Director, kicked off the celebrations – held on the Howard campus – by welcoming representatives from the governments of Lesotho, China and Mauritius as well as international students and staff, the South African “way”.

Themed: Leaving No-one Behind, the event featured interactive games and competitions as well as performances by Ikusasa Lethu – a traditional music and dance group comprising of UKZN students.

Chief Director of Cultural Affairs at the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, Mr Sbusiso Nzimande, urged Africans to ‘know who they are so they can do better. Africans have been brainwashed into believing that Europeans and Americans are better but we need to free the African mind through decolonisation,’ said Nzimande.

UKZN’s Academic Development Officer, Mr Feruzi Ngwambar, spoke about the history of Africa before colonisation and how Africans had always defined themselves “in the plural”. He highlighted African ideas and philosophies such as Ubuntu and how these have always been inclusive. ‘We need to ask ourselves questions as Africans to solve the many challenges we are faced with in areas such as health, corruption, the crisis of identification, borders and migration; ensuring that no-one is left behind in the process,’ said Ngwambar.

UKZN Executive Director: Corporate Relations, Mr Ashton Bodrick, thanked everyone who made the event a success saying: ‘Now go out there with the spirit of one Africa!’

Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela

Photographs: Andile Ndlovu