Opening the lecture was Professor Mandla Makhanya, Unisa’s principal and vice-chancellor.
“We are gathered at a time when the country and the world are going through many political and social upheavals,” he said. “We need creative wisdom through discourse and universities are seen as knowledge generators.
“Academics cannot take refuge in literal and figurative ivory towers, looking east and west for answers and wisdom. We cannot deny ourselves the roots of grounded native wisdom.
“Unisa is on a path with the ultimate aim of reaffirming African history and today has one of its facilities hosting a number of Africa-centred programmes. More still needs to be done to transform our academic landscape,” said Makhanya.
“A lecture like the one tonight gives space for reflection and engagement and I hope that the mustard seed spread here goes into our own homes and right through to taxi ranks and community halls. At this critical juncture, South Africa needs crucial introspection. Holding this event in Polokwane also underlines Unisa’s firm commitment to public engagement in every corner.”