30 November 2023

The day was marked by cultural and traditional performances, including poetry, dance, and music, presented by both staff members and students.

Speaking at the event, Dr Machingambe underscored the significance of poetry, saying that African poetry holds a vital place in our lives.

“When we seek to understand your history, we begin with poetry. If we want to know where you come from, we don’t need to ask; we study or listen to your poetry. We aim to comprehend the sorrows, the noise, and the excitement that you have experienced in your life through poetry.”

He further said that heritage is equally crucial as it is a resource and attribute that we must pass down from one generation to another, ensuring that we do not perish as a people. Some of us are engaged in human capital development, and we know that the best way to develop an individual is to nurture them holistically.

“Academically, what you do in the classroom may not have a 100% impact, as you do not exist solely within the classroom. Upon graduation, you will be part of a community within the economy. You need not become social outcasts; rather, you should be assets to the communities you find yourself in.”

Dr. Machingambe further explained, “This day is significant because what you engage in outside the classroom is equally important and, in fact, reinforces what you do inside the classroom. Experience has also demonstrated that those who participate in extracurricular activities tend to excel in their studies.”

Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Dr. Mafika Lubisi highlighted that in African Philosophy, a person is not defined by their physical appearance but by what resides within.

UMPStudents expressed themselves through poetry.

“What you see is a temporary structure, merely a form of recognition, but a person, according to our African belief, is a spirit. This is why we do not fear interfering with the body but with the spirit, even after a person has passed on. In the event of a pregnancy, a messenger is dispatched to inform the other family to anticipate a new addition. The mother receives herbs in preparation for the baby's arrival. In the pre-colonial era, when a child is born, they announce their entry into the world of the living through crying.

If a child does not cry, it signifies that the designated time for their birth has not yet arrived. To ensure the survival of premature babies, they are placed in wooden trays, and the mother uses a tube to feed the child until the day they cry, signifying their official birth.”

The event was opened by Heritage Lecturer, Dr. Thulisile Bhuda who acknowledged and emphasised the importance of our identity. “We should always celebrate our origins and take pride in our identity as Africans. Programmes like MC100 help students fully embrace their culture and heritage.”

By Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures @ChrisplPhoto.