On 29th May 2023, DSRAC sons and daughters braved the inclement weather to attend the Africa Day Celebrations as hosted by DSRAC Women’s Forum. The jovial and celebratory mood filled the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg as men and women in colourful African regalia, dressed to kill were in ululations, dancing, singing expressing their joy and celebrations in memory of 60 years of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity. Indeed, the event was a resounding success as evidenced by the quality of the presentations, comments and the African Union and the excitement it generated.
All speakers were on fire with the General Manager- Corporate Services, Ms Ncumisa Fololo setting the tone for the day. In her opening and welcoming remarks, she cited that there are remarkable women that have left a wonderful and powerful legacy in the resistance heritage liberation route of South Africa. “Legendary women like Charlotte Maxeke, Lilian Ngoyi, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Mandela, and many others like them, are worthy of being preserved in the annuls of history and be reflected on as the pathfinders and trailblazers in the liberation struggle of our country, the Republic of South Africa. Likewise, Africa has not been limited of women of steel throughout the continent of Africa, from jurisprudence, traditional leadership, academia and in a range of disciplines. As women, we are charged to emulate these remarkable women, take the spear from them and soldier on, as aluta continua”, echoed GM Fololo, to the rousing applause from all attendees.
The keynote speaker address for the day was presented by Prof. Wotshela. He was well prepared and kept all the attendees on the edge of their seats with his powerful presentation. Moving down memory lane with a geographic positioning of Africa and how it was sliced out like cake-pieces as the European imperialist colonizers salivated to getting a piece each, with a sole intent to exploit its rich mineral resources and enslave its inhabitants for their narrow-selfish interest of self-aggrandizement.
“Through the callous act of land dispossession of imperialism, Africa was shared among European powerhouses like the Great Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Italy, among others. The intent was to deprive Africa of their sovereignty, prospects for economic growth and dominance. This was the catastrophic period of the continent that needed African intellectuals, revolutionaries, and leaders to have a fighting spirit to redeem their selves from exploitation, domination, and dispossession. Legendary African statemen like Haile Silassei, Former Emperor of Ethiopia, Kwame Nkrumah, a Pan-Africanist of Ghana, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, came up as the shining light towards the total liberation of Africa through the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963, which later was changed into the African Union (AU). Soon after the liberation of South Africa in 1994, the country made a valuable contribution to the development of the AU with its representation in the organisation. May we, as South Africans always be enthused to keep the memory of the AU alive and work towards the realization of its ideals, values and mandate,” implored Prof. Wotshela.
Throughout the presentation, the audience’s attention was glued to Prof Wotshela with affirming and applauding expressions.
A million kudos to DSRAC Women’s Forum for being so their thoughtful initiative and hosting this debut event. Without a shadow of doubt, this event was worth it and is a move in the right direction as DSRAC has a mandate to strive for social cohesion and nation building, the aspirations that the force African Union espouses.