SPU’s Division of Student Affairs hosts enlightening Freedom Day dialogue

Marking 29 years of democracy and freedom in South Africa, the Division of Student Affairs at Sol Plaatje University (SPU) hosted a thought-provoking dialogue on 26 April 2023. These celebrations, however, are underscored by daily realities that often lead South Africans to question the freedom they commemorate.

Held at the Library Auditorium Central Campus, the dialogue carried the theme: “Youth as Agents of Change in Addressing Gender and Transformation within Society”. The Freedom Day Dialogue was enriched by the contributions of guest speakers Ms Siphokazi Tau, Programme Coordinator at the Centre for Women and Gender Studies at Nelson Mandela University, and Ms Yolokazi Mfuto, co-founder of RE4M Envoy and Civil Society Liaison Officer at the Pan-African Parliament.

Dean of Student Affairs, Ms Nicole Morris, welcomed the speakers, staff, and students, and inaugurated the dialogue. She encouraged all attendees to take the discussions seriously and use the insights and suggestions raised to bring about transformation in the university and society at large. “I hope we can engage in meaningful conversations this afternoon. As the youth, I hope you will carry these discussions forward, shaping the meaning of freedom at Sol Plaatje University,” she remarked.

The dialogue mainly revolved around how the youth could address gender issues and instigate social transformation. Each speaker focused on a distinct aspect of the topic. Ms Yolokazi Mfuto discussed “Embracing democracy through advancing a just society in South Africa”, highlighting the importance of voting for young people. “As youth, we need to start voting and also decide whether we just vote or whether we want to put ourselves out there and fight for the freedom or change that we want to see in our country,” she stated.

Ms Siphokazi Tau emphasised the “Importance of youth as social change agents in promoting a transformed society”. She underscored the significance of freedom for young people in higher education institutions: “Think about your journey and role in changing your institution, think about the power that you hold as students and how you are going to use that power to bring forth the changes that you want to see in your institution.”

The event aimed to ignite stimulating discussions to equip students and the youth of SPU and the wider Kimberley community. These dialogues will be a monthly feature hosted by the Student Life and Development Unit in the Division of Student Affairs under the theme “Engaged Leadership Series”, which aims to create a space for students to engage on critical issues that will shape young minds at SPU to be agents of change.


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