The joy of inclusive academia

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Simamkele Dlakavu
Simamkele Dlakavu

In the second week of the current #FeesMustFall protests at the University of the Witwatersrand, three black Fallist feminists and I attended an all-woman intergenerational conversation and dinner. In our attempts to secure support for the movement, an older black woman, who works in the private sector, remarked: “Your message is complicated and unclear... What is this decolonial education that you want with free education?”

Perhaps the lack of clarity arises because our universities “went ahead and instituted interdicts – some were made permanent – and went to sleep on the decolonisation question”, as noted recently by Dr Nomalanga Mkhize, a history lecturer at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

Those with institutional and executive power in universities might have neglected the urgent call for a decolonial curriculum, but pockets of black academics such as Mkhize, Gcobani Qambela, Siphokazi Magadla, Lwazi Lushaba and Joel Modiri – teaching at various universities in South Africa – are designing academic curriculums that have met this call.

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