The North-West University (NWU) celebrated Africa Day across all three its campuses on 26 and 27 May 2022.
This year the Africa Day theme was “The Year of Nutrition – Strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the African continent”.
Celebrations took place in Lovers Lane on the Potchefstroom Campus, at the Student Centre on the Vanderbijlpark Campus, and in the Great Hall on the Mahikeng Campus.
Keamogetse Mabalane, a senior specialist researcher at the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) was the keynote speaker at the event on the Mahikeng Campus. She talked about the need for localised food supply, diverse seeds and holistic land management which can increase the resilience of food production during climate change.
“Indigenous knowledge is crucial to ensure the wellbeing of future generations. Therefore, we need to work together to do more,” she added.
“The department is looking forward to formalising its relationship with the NWU, and to working together to promote, preserve and protect indigenous knowledge,” said Keamogetse.
Another speaker, Dr Solly Molepo, the director of the Department of Agriculture and rural development in the North West Province, told the attendees that Section 27 in the South African constitution states that food is a constitutional right, so every citizen has the right to sufficient food and water which must be accessible and affordable.
In addition to the official celebrations, the NWU divisions People and Culture and Student Life launched a “Sidewalk-Art” campaign to contribute to Africa Day. Linking the NWU values “Caring and Inclusive” and “Embracing Diversity” with the Africa Day theme of nutrition, the NWU community were invited to draw on the pavements with chalk, expressing what these values mean to them. Members were also invited to donate non-perishable nutritious food items.
According to Helen Lekalakala from People and Culture, the sidewalk drawings revealed stories that triggered emotions of amusement, sadness and appreciation. “With ‘unity’ and ‘diversity’ being the most common used words throughout the day, the NWU community showcased how they think Africa is currently shaped,” she added.
“As a token of appreciation to staff and students who participated during the Sidewalk-Art days, three best art works will be selected from each campus. The winners will each receive a R150 gift voucher from the NWU brand stores.”
Staff and students have until the end of June to contribute towards the Africa Day initiative, working together to build resilience in food security as a sign of caring.
Members of the NWU community are encouraged to reach out, walk the extra mile and make a difference.
Document your actions and send your pictures, videos and testimonials to firstname.lastname@example.org.
These will be uploaded to the NWU Way Values web page
Watch this video
About Africa Day
On 25 May 1963, Africa made history with the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) the precursor to the African Union (AU).
Africa Day is celebrated to acknowledge the successes of the AU in the fight against colonialism and apartheid, as well as the progress that Africa has made while reflecting upon the common challenges that the continent faces in a global environment.