Prof Christi van der Westhuizen from Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD) is the co-editor of The D-Word – Perspectives on Democracy in Tumultuous Times, published by Mandela University Press.

The Brass Congress will be presented at the Nelson Mandela University Music Department from April 25 to 28, in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a lecturer in the Department of History and Political Studies at Nelson Mandela University, and someone deeply invested in the future of South Africa, I see a critical gap in our democracy: the under-representation and disenfranchisement of young citizens.

Nelson Mandela University's Media and Communication lecturer Tarryn Rennie has been awarded an Emerging Scholar Award at the recent Design Principles and Practices International Conference in Valencia, Spain.

Reasons to be Proud #R2bP: Nelson Mandela University Visual Arts lecturer and the University’s Bird Street Gallery manager and curator Johnathan van der Walt has been selected as the recipient of the William Humphreys Art Gallery’s (WHAG) prestigious Artist-In-Residency programme.

Whether it is Threads or X, Insta or Facebook, TikTok or YouTube, Nelson Mandela University students and graduates are tapping into social media to carve their niche as influencers in a digital world.

Nelson Mandela University’s professor in music Alethea de Villiers together with linguistics professor Menán du Plessis, from the University of Stellenbosch, recently published an article on songs incorporated into |Xam stories. 
When Gqeberha artist Pola Maneli posted his work on Instagram, he had no idea it would lead to a commission for an international magazine cover, nor to a sale to an Oscar-winning movie director.
Not only the culinary arts are cooked up in a kitchen, with Nelson Mandela University academic Jessica Staple creating fine art prints using common household grocery items.
Nelson Mandela University graduate Cassandra Tregoning has earned accolades for her research on sexual violence representation in South African short fiction. 
The sudden popularity of and the interest in Afrikaans Instagram poets and poetry pages led to Jané de Wet's master's degree in Afrikaans and Dutch on this new form of poetry and self-publishing, with thousands of new poems and poets. Jané recently obtained the degree at Nelson Mandela University's summer graduation ceremony.
Abuse, self-enrichment and shady practices are devastating consequences of the ANC’s flawed cadre deployment policy – only urgent reform can stop the rot that should never have taken root in the first place, a Nelson Mandela University PhD graduate has revealed.
Reasons to be Proud: #R2bP - Chair for African Feminist Imagination and research professor at Mandela University's Centre for Women and Gender Studies Pumla Gqola received an honorary doctorate, Doctor of Literature (DLitt), honoris causa, from Stellenbosch University at its December graduation on Monday 11 December.
Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is a prevailing issue in protected areas across Africa, threatening the livelihood of the human communities, vulnerable to this conflict and the persistence of elephant populations.
Author and cultural activist was among the first in South Africa to draw on the arts to advance the liberation struggle. He is receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Nelson Mandela University (13 December 2023).
Academics at Nelson Mandela University have launched a novel Grade R Cybersafety Project, to create awareness among young children about cyberbullying, inappropriate content and “stranger danger”.
Reasons to be Proud #R2bP: Mandela University Visual Arts honours student Luke Rudman is one of 14 South African students and 38 globally to have won a Golden Key Outstanding Member Award Scholarship.
This was the message from Nelson Mandela University philosophy department lecturer and researcher, Karabo Maiyane, at recent Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and Science for Africa Foundation online event on AI and data use in social science research.
The Power of Humour
Nelson Mandela University’s Dr Jennalee Donian was invited to Paris earlier this year to be part of a documentary on Trevor Noah who has been awarded Europe’s prestigious Erasmus prize.
Mandela University alumnus Molatelo Racheku combined his passions of sport and diplomacy in a paper presented to the BRICS+ Sport Diplomacy Forum last month.
We chat with local artist Thandazani Nofingxana, a passionate textile designer hailing from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. He elaborates on how his artistic spirit was ignited by the vibrant traditions of his Xhosa heritage.
Reasons to be Proud #R2bP: Mandela University third-year BVA Fashion Design students Yaaseen Abdulla and Jan-Hendrik van Zyl have walked away with both, the first and second prizes in the national Bernina Dress Your Style 2023 competition.
University choir alumnus and master’s degree graduate in Voice, Robert Gillmer, is the new Nelson Mandela University Choir Conductor.
Reasons to be Proud #R2bP: Luan Staphorst, a Research Associate with Nelson Mandela University’s Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET) and University alumnus, has been awarded four scholarships to support his doctoral studies at the University of Oxford, from October.


Anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Raymond Mhlaba dedicated his life fighting social injustice towards a learned South African society driven by agency and service before self, said Professor Sydney Mufamadi.
Image Competition

‘Democracy is more than just elections’ was the topic of the Dr Brigalia Bam Inaugural Institutional Public Lecture held at Nelson Mandela University’s South Campus Auditorium on 25 August 2023.

Nelson Mandela University’s Professor Alethea de Villiers has recently been promoted to be the first Black woman as full professor in Music in South Africa.


With up to 80% of South Africans choosing indigenous healers and plants over mainstream medicine, local health knowledge is a rich resource that fills a critical gap in the country’s overstretched healthcare system.

The five-day-long Virtual July Global Southern Forum took place from the 17th to the 21st of July and was co-hosted by Nelson Mandela University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Connecticut. The virtual format was in preparation for hosting the in-person Inaugural July Global Southern Forum at Nelson Mandela University in 2024. The theme of the Forum was “Beginning the Conversation” – an opportunity for scholars, established and emerging researchers, and students to think through important topics like the archive, creolization, global blackness, migration, and African thought in an inter-disciplinary manner. 
The Faculty of Humanities hosted Weaving Words, it’s newly established writing and publishing workshop aimed at assisting early and mid-career academics to publish. The workshop was hosted on the 18th and 19th of July 2023 as part of the Faculty’s Capacity Enhancement Programme. The main coach was the visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Department of History and Political Science, Professor Benjamin Lawrance, from the University of Arizona in the United States of America.  

Professor presents masterclass in African Indigenous Jurisprudence at Nelson Mandela University.

Leslie Ogundipe asks: “Are African women voiceless or do we fail to look for their voices where we may find them, in the sites and forms which these voices are uttered?”

A trio of Madibaz student-athletes are closing in on their best condition as they prepare to test themselves against their international peers at the World University Games in a fortnight’s time.

“I want to play a part in opening avenues for young Africans to rise and take their place on the world stage” says Jackson Tshabalala, 30, from the Leva Foundation, who was named in the Civil Society category of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans for 2023.

Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Women and Gender Studies and DSI-NRF SARChI Chair in African Feminist Imagination will participate in the “Dialogues for Responsible Gender and Queer Studies – Experiences from South of Africa and Germany” Summer School from 23 to 24 June at Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany.

It is hailed as one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, yet a crippling leadership vacuum has nearly reversed all the gains in South Africa’s constitutional democracy almost three decades on.

A call for a community of practice. 
Empowerment through Participation: Take Part in The Africanisation-Decolonisation Project at Nelson Mandela University (AFDEP-NMU) Survey.We would like to welcome you to participate in our AFDEP-NMU survey, which will assist us in exploring and developing a set of conceptual and programmatic criteria for the project. 

Gary Koekemoer who graduated with a PhD from Nelson Mandela University on “Race as a complex system: The persistence of race as a primary driver of contemporary social relations and beneficiation” shares his journey with us.

Lara Potgieter joined her sister Liske Hemingway when she graduated recently with her Master’s in Music and Performing Arts cum laude at Nelson Mandela University’s Autumn Graduation. Both sisters focused on the fairy tale theme in film music for their master’s research.

“Thank you, Nelson Mandela University, for this opportunity and changing my world’, said Robert Gillmer, who is the first in the country to have graduated with a music master’s degree in performance art specialising in contemporary commercial music during Nelson Mandela University’s Autumn Graduation.  

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Women and Gender Studies (CWGS) has been recognised nationally by the Human Science Research Council – Universities South Africa (HRSC-USAf) Humanities and Social Sciences Awards for their scholarly efforts towards social justice.

Language lives; it is constantly changing and it fascinates me", says Jadé Blume, who will receive her DLitt in Afrikaans on Afrikaans Fishersman’s language at Nelson Mandela University's autumn graduation ceremony in Gqeberha.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Professor of Development Studies at Nelson Mandela University. Professor Janet Cherry received an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Rhodes University at its graduation ceremony on 30 March.

Nelson Mandela University hosted the official national launch of the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) social media charter last week.

Nelson Mandela University’s Music and Performing Arts Department is hosting the first ever in-person South African Strings Convention 2023 from 17 to 20 March in collaboration with the South African Strings Foundation (SASF). 

On Tuesday, Nelson Mandela University joined educational and other organisations across the world to celebrate International Mother Language Day.

Legendary artists Lizo Pemba and Dolla Sapeta have teamed up to share the craft of their art as part of the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) capacity building workshop series.

Today we celebrate International Mother Language Day - a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Nelson Mandela University Master's student in Applied Languages Tsakani Shilowe has been selected as one of 150 participants across the world to attend the Global Peace Summit in Kenya 2023 from 9 to 12 February 2023.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Matthew Perry, a final year Bachelor of Music student, has been selected as one of eight performers to take part in the 2023 Youth Concerto Festival hosted by the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra.


Only a sense of urgency, thinking outside the box, will set Ramaphosa apart.

“Hooked on Gqom: An ethnographic study of a contemporary urban youth musical identity in South Africa” is the title of Ngasiirwe Katushabe, Madibaz Radio’s technical manager.
Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola, Mandela University Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies and the SARChI Chair in African Feminist Imagination, has been awarded a prestigious international award. 
Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Two students from Mandela University’s Graphic Design Programme in the School of Visual and Performing Arts took top honours in international design competition. 

The systematic erasure of African knowledge has stripped society of values and world views that need to be reawakened through our universities. This is an important undertaking in revitalising the humanities at Mandela University. Heather Dugmore reports.

The South African Revenue Services (SARS) will hand over its new multilingual booklets to Nelson Mandela University, as part of the final leg of its efforts to popularise its tax terms in previously marginalised languages.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Bachelor of Visual Arts honours student, Zama Spellman, has been selected to show her paintings in the national, Latitudes Reshape 22 show.
Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Alumnus and research associate of Nelson Mandela University’s Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET),Luan Staphorst, has been awarded the Kirk-Greene Prize for Best Overall Performance in the University of Oxford’s MSc in African Studies. 

Nelson Mandela University will relaunch its Raymond Mhlaba Centre for Governance and Leadership with a public lecture headlined by the institution’s Chancellor, Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.

Created in 2019, the 25th anniversary of President Nelson Mandela's inaugural address, the Attached to the Soil project began with a series of 50 photographic portrait tableaus by the American photographer and Michigan State University Professor of Art, Peter Glendinning.

“Let’s Hear Them Speak” is the title of the upcoming Joint Public Lecture in honour of Dr Phyllis Ntantala and Prudence Mabele, co-hosted by Nelson Mandela University and the University of Fort Hare on the 25th of August 2022 in Gqeberha.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: National performance and multimedia artist and Visual Arts honours student Luke Rudman is Nelson Mandela University’s Abe Bailey travel bursary winner and representative for 2022.

Third-year Journalism Diploma student Ayanda Mhlambiso, 32, from Nelson Mandela University was the tertiary article winner of The Herald newspaper’s Youth Supplement 2022.


Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Advanced Diploma in Public Relations Management student, Fion Mfenqa from Nelson Mandela University, was selected as one of six young people representing South Africa at a YMCA Training Workshop in Cameroon and an International Camp hosted by Cameroon YMCA.  

Two of the province’s top institutions, Nelson Mandela University and Fort Hare University, instilled the importance of keeping the legacy of liberation hero Sizwe Kondile alive at the late ANC stalwart’s memorial lecture on 29 July.

Good, philosophical living needs a sense of humour – emotional, intellectual, and ethical. So, if we think of philosophy as a way of life, we should be thinking about how to train ourselves in humour and how to develop and refine our sense of humour. 

Mandela University’s Dr Magda Minguzzi from the School of Architecture was recently invited to present her documentary co-authored with the First Indigenous Peoples of South Africa leaders at Iuav University in Venice, Italy.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Seven local Nelson Mandela University students have been awarded the opportunity to attend the Technische Universitat Braunschweig (TU Braunschweig) International Summer School for German Language and Culture.

Reasons to be Proud #R2bP: BA student, Sipho Khumalo, recently published his autobiography "Life, Dreams, Thoughts, Experiences and Personality" which is available on Amazon.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Media and Communication graduate and E-Technologist in the Learning & Teaching Collab department at the University, Simon Venter, has been selected as one of four artists to take part in this year's Nando's Creative Exchange.

We would like to invite students from your institution to participate in the awards through submitting their work on the submission’s portal on the website. 

Nelson Mandela Bay has descended into a city under siege if the rampant killings that have gripped the metro are anything to go by.

There is much to learn about the wisdom and science of the first indigenous people of southern Africa. A groundbreaking book co-authored by a Nelson Mandela University academic and local Khoisan chiefs is a worthy start.

Leading South African businesswoman Dr Gloria Serobe will set the tone for a critical conversation around ‘value-based leadership’ to be held at Nelson Mandela University on Thursday, 19 May.

Two years ago, Professor Alethea de Villiers, Department of Music and Performing Arts head, clinched one of five coveted international music education research grants. 

After two weeks of painful destruction in the Sundays River Valley, it is time for serious reflection.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Masters in isiXhosa student, Anelisa Thengimfene, has published a book of poems entitled "Amajingiqhiw'entlalo" (the ups and downs of life).

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola from the Centre for Women and Gender Studies and our SARChI Chair on African Feminist Imaginations, has won the coveted 2022 Humanities and Social Sciences Book Award: Best Monograph in Non-fiction for her 2021 book, Female Fear Factory.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: South African mezzo-soprano and Mandela Uni Alumnus, Siphokazi Molteno, has won the Best Performance in an Opera (for the second time) at the 57th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards held recently.

With the advent of missionary education and the introduction of literacy in 1823, black women and men in the Eastern Cape started to articulate, in writing, their discomfort with an education that uprooted their knowledge and values and replaced them with Western concepts of knowing.

Without water and electricity, a university cannot have classes and use its technological infrastructure to drive research innovation and quality teaching and learning on a daily basis.

South Africa depends immensely on its natural resources for energy. This realisation has recently once more caused a stir in communities concerned about ecological devastation.

On 21 February 2022 the Humanities Faculty is celebrating the International Mother Tongue Day by hosting a seminar titled Writing Legal Judgments in isiXhosa: Indigenous Languages and the Law.

As many across the country watched the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews for South Africa’s next chief justice, patriarchy, the script of meritocracy and power intersected in public view.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Honours in Visual Arts student, Luke Rudman, has been selected from more than 380 entries to participate in South Africa’s most prestigious creative developmental programme

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Three design students from Mandela University were recently recognised in the 2021 WPO WorldStar International Packaging Design Student Awards.

SA needs to differentiate between different sorts of gas as it looks to develop a new gas sector, social and environmental activist Janet Cherry says.

Coming from a family that is deeply rooted in education and the belief that one’s background should not determine their future, it is no surprise that Pedro Mzileni spent his time at university fighting for the education of the poor, black child.

It is essential for music creatives to focus and educate themselves on music business and music law to be successful in the ever-changing music industry and working world.

Born in Limpopo, international music performer and composer Musa Nkuna, 48, who lives in Germany, has chosen Nelson Mandela University to study for this DMus in Composition degree.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: The newly established Nelson Mandela University Steelpan Ensemble, conducted by Siyamthanda Xotyeni, recently won several awards at the 10th world-renowned International Marimba & Steelpan Festival, with 1615 participants this year.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Third-year Nelson Mandela University BA Media, Communication and Culture design student Jamie Penrith, won second place in her category in the national Student Gold Pack Packaging Awards competition. She will now be entered into the WorldStar Student packaging awards.

Under the umbrella of celebrating excellence, Nelson Mandela University recognised its top academic, professional, administrative and service staff in the categories of research, teaching, engagement, creative outputs and institutional support on 23 November.

A 40-minute documentary entitled "Origins: an investigation into Khoi-San heritage sites" (NRF-Nelson Mandela University) concludes three years of research about the pre-colonial First Indigenous Peoples heritage places in the Eastern Cape province, premiered on 21 October at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum in Gqeberha.  

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Two Mandela University music students have been awarded prestigious bursaries from The Southern African Church and Concert Organists Society (SACOS).

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Master’s in isiXhosa graduate, Cingiswa Mbangwa, recently received the African Languages of Southern Africa (ALASA) VIA AFRIKA Postgraduate Award for her outstanding research.

Three Music students who all want to make a difference in various ways with their music, received awards at the University’s recent virtual annual academic student awards ceremony.

Challenging the scepticism and resistance in the public response to the COVID-19 vaccine is deeply important to the state of public health.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Master’s student in the department of Media and Communication, Talya Goldmann, has won the StageLine SA ‘Queen of Colour’ 2021 competition. 

Close analysis of global heritage identification and conservation reveals enduring inequalities. 

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Honours in Public Management & Leadership student, Vuyokazi Gwam, has been selected as one of 10 delegates from South Africa to participate in the Programme for Young Politicians in Africa (PYPA).

A university lecturer and his former students have tapped into political risk research.

Each August, South Africans turn our collective attention to women’s historic contributions and contemporary value.

My personal experience of having worked with young adults in higher education for more than 30 years is that students who grew up in adverse social economic circumstances but who had the benefit of being exposed to reading from an early age, generally excelled despite their circumstances.

Nelson Mandela University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts is showcasing two virtual exhibitions on the National Arts Festival virtual Fringe platform until 31 July 2021.

To meet the challenges of the climate crisis involves a fundamental rethink of how living and working spaces are designed and constructed. 

Journalism graduates and students of Nelson Mandela University contributed to a special Youth Day supplement published by The Herald on June 16, 2021.

In line with our vision of being a truly dynamic, African University, our Music Department has introduced steel pan as a choice of main instrument in its curriculum.

Dr Magda Minguzzi, senior lecturer at Mandela University’s School of Architecture and researcher at the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, recently received recognition for her years of research and commitments with the First Nation. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be much more than just a health crisis, but a societal one that has once again laid bare the country’s deep social crevices. 

Nelson Mandela University is partnering with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on a symposium reflecting on the role of South Africa in fostering multilateralism in Africa and the rest of the world.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: A group of 2020 3rd year IsiXhosa language students, assisted by their lecturer, Professor Linda Kwatsha, have written a book of poetry entitled Umphanda Wolwazi.

In the context of possible future shale gas exploitation, if the conflicts and uncertainties between communities and traditional authorities regarding land tenure and tenure security are not addressed, the potential benefits of shale gas development may be jeopardized. 

“It’s important for people to turn negative situations into positives,” this is the outlook of Public Relations Management graduate, Ross Dakin, 23.

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Associate Lecturer in the Department of History and Political Studies at Nelson Mandela University Dikeledi Mokoena, was elected as the new Treasurer of the African Association of Political Science at its recent conference.

It has been a little more than 25 years since the watershed Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in September 1995, which forged a global agenda towards the achievement of gender equality. 

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Two Nelson Mandela art and design alumni are flying the flag high in Hollywood!

Cultural activist, Dr Nokuzola Mndende has joined Nelson Mandela University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology as an Adjunct Professor. 

The national lockdown might have had its challenges, but professional dancer and aspiring  videographer Kris Swartbooi used it to her advantage by producing a self-reflective documentary focusing on how to navigate your way through this difficult time.

Nelson Mandela University’s Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (CMR), together with Visual Arts student Mr Luke Rudman had the opportunity to be involved in the international artistic initiative the MaskBook Project, which recently formed part of the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement.

The Inyathi Ibuzwa Kwabaphambili (wisdom is learnt/sought from the elders) of our African Women’s Intellectual Histories conference sought  to centre the intergenerational conversations and recognitions of interdependence of one generation to the other.