Tlotlo Ntehelang, a fourth-year student, voiced his ideas on Steve Biko as well as what he thinks it means to be black. He encouraged the students to “disengage from oppressive systems” and also questioned the importance of having political parties, as he feels that they divide black students. Ntehelang called for unity among black students and for black students to create their own system. He also spoke about the black consciousness movement and questioned the relevance of learning or reading about the movement.

After the two speakers had concluded, the floor was opened for questions to the panellists on the issues they had raised. Once questions were answered, attention was turned to the keynote speaker, Tshepo Madlingozi. Madlingozi is a law lecturer at the university who focuses on “decoloniality”. His talk focused on his own understanding of decoloniality, in which he highlighted that it was his belief that “UP is historically, and presently, institutionally racist”. He encouraged students in attendance not to wait for the university to bring in African theorists or traditions, but to learn about them on their own. Madlingozi claims that the university cannot be decolonised until the society around it is. He encouraged students to take over the university, affirm it with African values, and then allow other students back. He ended off by saying, “If the university is okay with what you are doing, then you are doing it wrong and if you are cooperative, then you need to check yourself.”

After the speeches snacks were served to guests. The group then marched to the graffiti wall to commemorate the life of the late Steve Biko.

 

Image: Facebook