Colonialism and Racialism among Issues addressed at Student Workshop
Non-profit development organisation, Umtapo, recently hosted a five-day workshop aimed at educating students on how to address issues of colonialism, racism, human rights, Ubuntu and democracy.
Among the 25 students selected, 10 were from UKZN, seven of whom were law students and members of the Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) and the Black Lawyers Association (BLA).
Speaking on behalf of Umtapo, Ms Thanusha Govender, said it was imperative for the youth, South Africa’s future leaders, to come up with a plan of action on how the social issues identified could be addressed.
‘Through this medium, we hope to educate people on the mission and values of Umtapo, reawaken the spirit of Ubuntu and assure the youth that even if there is a problem such as corruption, there is always a solution, it just takes the right mind-set and determination to create effective change,’ said Govender.
Fourth-year Law student, Ms Pearl Khumalo, said the workshop not only widened participants’ understanding of democracy and human rights but also equipped them with vital skills to be teachers, leaders and custodians of the constitution.
‘We met like-minded young leaders and put our heads together to think of solutions for the future of our country in the light of its apartheid and post-apartheid problems,’ said Khumalo. ‘We looked at ways to bridge the gap between knowledge of rights such as socio-economic rights and the actual realisation of rights. This experience was life-changing and unforgettable. My mind is fixed on making our country a better place.’
Third-year Law students Mr Andile Mcineka and Ms Nokwanda Khumalo said the experience had been an eye opener as it made them realise how uniform their thinking was on these issues.
‘The training emphasised that if we wanted social ills to end we need to put our hands to work. We have to do something about the problems and encourage others to do the same,’ said Khumalo.
Said Mcineka: ‘Law students are inclined to think along legal lines and restraints. However, the training has transformed my perception of things that affect our daily lives and the way I perceive issues affecting our country. It has further moulded me to be an effective instrument striving for the eradication of injustice.’