Strini Moodley Annual Memorial Lecture
Professor Salim Vally delivered the 8th Strini Moodley memorial lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Vally’s lecture, themed “The Battle for Truth: Youth, Neo-liberalism and Education in South Africa”, coincided with Africa Month.
The Director of the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg, Vally said he felt compelled to discuss the recent xenophobic attacks that had swept through the country. ‘Durban has seen momentous and watershed events that contributed to our freedom,’ said Vally. Strini was part of this history.
It was quite significant then that the city that had seen Moodley develop as a young activist, would be affected by violent xenophobic attacks so many years after the liberation of the country.
Vally cautioned: ‘Xenophobic attacks are the canary in the cage – tomorrow it will be other South Africans.’
His lecture looked at the challenges facing education, including poverty and inequality.
Speaking at the event, Dr James Marsh, Chairperson of Umtapo who co-hosted the event with the University, said he hoped attendees would engage with issues raised at the Lecture.
Dr Lubna Nadvi, an academic whose areas of specialisation includes political science, said Strini Moodley cut his political teeth on Salisbury Island, the predecessor to the University of Durban-Westville. UDW merged with the University of Natal in 2004, to form the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The 2015 Umtapo Peace Award, presented by Ms Aashaa Moodley, political and gender activist and the late Strini Moodley’s wife, was given to Ms Nombeko Ndlovu from Langa High School in Cape Town. Ndlovu thanked Umptapo for the award, and said the school peace club she ran allowed scholars to share ideas and allowed her to ‘make the lives of these little kids better.’
Mrs Ntsiki Biko, former member of the Black Consciousness Movement and Steve Biko’s wife, introduced Professor Vally. Ms Hannah Kim, a member of Umtapo for eight years, recited a poem “Fool’s Gold”. Dr Farida Patel was the Programme Director.