A Tribute to Mandela

3rd Biennial Kwame Nkrumah Conference

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Richmond Campus
Melville Centre for Dialogue, August 21, 2014

Nelson Mandela painting by Masore Lule, Cape Town, 2009

Painting by Masore Lule, Cape Town 2009

Nelson Mandela ‘s ideological legacy – in South Africa and globally – is startlingly complex. He has provided inspiration for the struggles of oppressed people throughout the world, and he has made himself a symbol of reconciliation in a world in which their oppression continues. To understand his historical role, and come to terms with his legacy, we need to see how his greatness and his limitations stem from the same source.”

Andrew Nash, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.  1999

A Tribute to Mandela

9:00 am Drum Café performance

9:10 am

Praise singer: Munkie Ncapayi
9:15 am

Keynote Lecture: Jay Naidoo
Honouring Madiba’s Legacy:  The Challenges Facing the ANC 20 Years Later

10:00 am

Colloquium I: Dr. Thabo Msibi, Peter Milanzi, Thato Makgolane
Community Activism: Connecting the Diaspora

10:45 am

Coffee and snack break: Atrium
Video Tributes to Mandela: Soweto Gospel Choir and Johnny Clegg

11:15 am Interactive Drum Café
12:00 pm

Colloquium II:  Dr. Jo Beall, Stanford (Khulu) Eland, Dr. John Pampallis, Dr. Dan O’Meara. Moderator: Prof. Kogila Moodley
Non-racialism and the SA Liberation Struggle

1:00 pm Singing: Jabulile Dladla, formerly of the Soweto Gospel Choir; Anna Nkhabu Riopel, who survived the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, when South African police fired on a crowd of black protesters, killing 69, will lead the singing of The South African National Anthem.

Language Lyrics English Translation
Xhosa Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
God bless Africa
Let its (Africa's) horn be raised,
Zulu Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.
Listen also to our prayers,
Lord bless us, we are the family of it (Africa).
Sesotho Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa, South Afrika — South Afrika.
Lord bless our nation,
Stop wars and sufferings,
Save it, save our nation,
The nation of South Africa — South Africa.
Afrikaans Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,
Out of the blue of our heavens,
From the depth of our sea,
Over our everlasting mountains,
Where the cliffs give answer,
English Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.

1:15 - 2:00 pm
African-themed Lunch
2:00 - 3:00 pm Concurrent Sessions - South Africa after Mandela
Room 2520

Chair: Dr. Charles Quist-Adade

Prof. Kogila Moodley and Prof. Heribert Adam - Imagined Liberation: Xenophobia, Citizenship and Identity in Africa, Germany and Canada

On a spectrum of hostility towards migrants, South Africa ranks on top, Germany in the middle and Canada at the bottom. South African xenophobic violence by impoverished slum dwellers is directed against fellow Africans. “Amakwerekwere” are blamed for a high crime rate and most other maladies of an imagined liberation.     Why would a society that liberated itself in the name of human rights turn against people who escaped human rights violations or unlivable conditions at home? What happened to the expected African solidarity? Why do former victims become victimizers?    With porous borders, South Africa is incapable of upholding the blurred distinction between endangered refugees and economic migrants. South Africa simply leaves all newcomers in a legal limbo without eventually granting citizenship or access to social rights, but expects the outsiders to fend for themselves. Since they are generally preferred by employers because they offer a greater variety of skills, are willing to work longer for less and are more compliant, the scene is set for severe conflict with locals.    In their talk, Profs. Moodley and Adam ask what xenophobic societies can learn from other immigrant societies which avoided the backlash against multiculturalism. The authors stress an innovative teaching of political literacy that makes adolescents aware as to why they hate.

Dr. John Pampallis - South Africa’s Strategy for Post-School Education Training

Since 1994, considerable progress has been made in opening up post-school educational opportunities in South Africa, especially for previously disadvantaged black students and for women. Despite this, enormous challenges remain. A major problem in the system is that post-school education and training is inadequate in quantity, diversity and, in many but not all instances, quality. Approximately three million young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are not in education, training or employment. South Africa’s strategy aims at drastically reducing inequalities based on race, class, gender, disability and geographical location. Enrolments in universities and, especially, in vocational colleges will be greatly expanded. A new type of institution, the community college, will be established to handle the need for more and better adult and community education. There will also be an increased focus on getting practical, workplace experience for students and youth, with an expansion of apprenticeships and other forms of work-integrated learning.

Room 2515

Chair: Dr. Wendy Royal

Dr. Thabo Msibi - Is Teaching about Homophobia and Sexual Diversity in South Africa part of Social Activism?

Same-sex desire is increasingly being perceived as a Western imposition within the African continent, with governments in countries such as Uganda and Nigeria having already passed stringent, draconian laws to curb this supposed ‘Western disease’.  The intense homophobia evident in many African countries is not unchallenged; South Africa is the first country to have embodied constitutional recognition and protection in relation to sexual orientation.  Despite this, the discourses espoused in other parts of Africa are not uncommon within South Africa, and are increasingly being articulated.  What then informs a strategy that aims to align understanding and practice with the thinking contained in the Constitution? Can this strategy count as social activism? This paper reports first on a project which sought to address the homophobia within township schools in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, by drawing on young people and teachers representing varied sexual and gendered subjectivities to talk about experiences of homophobia.  The second is an intervention project geared towards supporting pre-service teachers to teach about sexual diversity matters.  Drawing from both these projects, I show that in contexts like South Africa, any intervention seeking to challenge homophobia must take into account the role played by culture and religion in shaping people’s perceptions of same-sex desire. Additionally, such interventions require an understanding of homophobia as a shared concern, not just affecting same-sex desiring individuals, but affecting everybody regardless of sexual orientation.  I argue, therefore, that interventions such as these should be understood as part of social activism, given the complexities surrounding same-sex desire in African contexts, and suggest that careful consideration is given to contextual realities prior to the designing and implementation of similar intervention programmes. 

Dr. Jo-Anne Dillabough - Rethinking Historical Responsibility, the Archive and the Representation of Young People's Stylistic Revolts on the Urban Scene

This paper investigates the areas of youth culture and urban studies in two different cities and nation states (South Africa & the UK), the different ways the power of narrative and the narrative imagination as a temporally located strategy for making sense of the world can be understood in the imaginative and political worlds of marginalized young people. It also seeks to assess and intervene into the political worlds of two marginalized youth communities in the UK and SA and demonstrates the need for researchers to introduce historical responsibility as part of the research practice. I focus in particular upon youth populist movements and political movements in both countries (ANC Youth League, English Defence League in the UK, youth riots in both sites as well as aesthetic movements such as rap, DJ's, hip hop, graffiti and grime). The research is focused upon these two sites and youth communities because of their similarities in relation to experiences of enforced exile to particular parts of urban life through fascist and totalitarian political reforms and the conflation of place with stigmatized youth identities. A particular focus in this first stage of the paper is an emphasis on understanding the history of apartheid, race and township developments and the political role of the post 1950 ANC movement on the lives of young people and political movements across the latter half of the 20th century. It also compares this history with a history of council estates in the UK and the race riots and associated political movements that impacted upon young people across the same time period.


Jay Naidoo was recently voted one of the top 100 most influential Africans.  He was at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid, leading the largest trade union federation in South Africa. After Independence he held ministerial positions in Mandela’s Cabinet.   He is currently Chair of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

Dr. Thabo Msibi lectures in the Faculty of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on HIV/Aids education and attitudes to homosexuality.  He has been recognised as one of the Top 200 Young Minds in Africa. 

Peter Milanzi, who worked underground for the banned ANC, left for North America on an athletics scholarship in the mid ‘70s.  He is currently President of the South African Cultural Association of British Columbia (SACABC), which was formed to promote the history and culture of the “Rainbow Nation” within the context of the Canadian Multicultural Society.

Thato Makgolane is a passionate African with interest in African development, specifically youth and entrepreneurial innovations. In his 7 years in Canada, he has co-founded two Africa focused initiatives – Arc Initiative and Young-Pan African Dialogue (YPAD). He volunteers extensively with SACABC and with Education without Borders (EwB), a successful non-profit organization which supports a high school in a disadvantaged township, Gugulethu, South Africa.  It was founded in 2001 by Ruth & Cecil Hershler.

The Drum Café was founded in 1996 in Johannesburg, to bring together the country's diverse and divided post-Apartheid people. Warren Lieberman opened an actual Café where drumming was used in a relaxed environment to break down barriers and inspire patrons.  Mbuyiselo (Munkie) Ncapayi joined Warren and together they set an example of how two South Africans from vastly different upbringings, social and economic status could together create unforgettable corporate events.  After relocating to Canada's West Coast, Mbuyiselo and Sarah Ncapayi started Drum Café Canada West.

Dr. Jo Beall is Director of Education and Society at the British Council. Jo was Professor of Development Studies at the LSE and Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town.  She is a specialist in internationalising higher education and international development. Her work has taken her to Africa, Asia, Latin America, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and South Africa. She has written numerous books and articles on governance and civil society, women and development and fragile cities and states. During the ‘80s, Jo was involved in anti-apartheid activities in South Africa, imprisoned and put in solitary confinement.  On release she fled to Britain where she remained in exile until 1994.

Stanford Eland During the Soweto Student Uprising of 1976, Stanford was among the first group of Soweto students to leave South Africa for exile in Swaziland and Tanzania under the auspices of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC). In 1986 he resettled in Canada, where he was involved in the Movement that called for economic sanctions against the Apartheid regime and boycott(s) of South African products. In 2010, he was elected as the first Secretary of SACABC, of which he is still a member.  

Dr. John Pampallis is currently special advisor to the South African Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande. From 1997 to 2009 he was Director of the Centre for Education Policy Development, Evaluation and Management (CEPD) which developed education policy for a democratic South Africa. He has been instrumental in the development of new educational policies for post-apartheid South Africa. John has written a number of publications on education transformation in South Africa as well as the history of the liberation struggle. From 1980 to 1989 he was in exile in Tanzania, where he taught at a college operated by the ANC for the education of South African exiles.

Dr. Dan O’Meara is Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at the Université du Québec (UQAM) à Montréal, Director of the MA programme in Political Science, and Research Director of UQAM’s Centre d’études pluridisciplianaires de la sécurité et la société. A graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and Sussex University (UK), and member of the African National Congress of South Africa from 1976 to 1996, he is the author or co-author of eight books and over sixty articles on the politics of Southern Africa, Great Britain and the USA.

Dr. Kogila Moodley is a Professor Emerita at the University of British Columbia, where she was the first holder of the David Lam Chair of Multicultural Studies. Raised in the Indian community of apartheid South Africa, her expertise includes multiculturalism, anti-racism, ethnic and race relations.

Herbert Adam, is a Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University, where his specialization is in human rights and security, political violence and conflict resolution, transitional justice and politics of memory, particularly Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. They have co-authored numerous books on South Africa including:  Imagined Liberation: Xenophobia, Citizenship and Identity in South Africa, Germany and Canada (2014); Seeking Mandela: Peacemaking Between Israelis and Palestinians (2005); The Opening of the Apartheid Mind: Options for the New South Africa (1993); South Africa Without Apartheid: Dismantling Racial Domination (1986).  

Dr. Jo-Anne Dillabough Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia; Reader, University of Cambridge, UK; holder of the David Lam Chair of Multicultural Education 2010-2013.  Jo-Anne’s academic focus is on interdisciplinary research, drawing extensively upon theoretical, conceptual and methodological insights deriving from Continental philosophy, political science, cultural geography and history. Her expertise is in micro-cultural sociological and qualitative approaches in the study of social inequality in order to develop a research agenda which confronts larger questions of social and cultural exclusions cross-nationally, particularly in cities.

In the words of Nelson Mandela

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made in the lives of others, that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

It always seems impossible until it is done.

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

The organizing committee would like to express our deepest gratitude to the sponsors of the Conference: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Kwantlen Students Association (KSA), Department of English Language Studies, Office of Research and Scholarship, Department of Sociology, BC Teachers Association (BCTF).

Dr. Wendy Royal, Department of English Language Studies
Dr. Charles Quist-Adade, Department of Sociology
Kwantlen Polytechnic University