As part of Women’s Month celebrations the University of the Free State hosted a talk on women in leadership and agriculture presented by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza.
The purpose of the lecture was to spark socio-economic and social-justice discussions on leadership, agriculture, and sustainable futures which draw on the life, work, and social impact of 19th century intellectual, Charlotte Maxeke.
According to organiser Billyboy Ramahlele, Director for Community Engagement at the university, the lecture was a space for an open talk and debate on related issues. “We invited the minister because agriculture has become a hot topic. Minister Didiza was able to share a vision for the future of the industry and the place of women in shaping this vision,” he said.
“Almost five generations of people interacted with the minister after her presentation. The highlight was definitely her vison for the future that emphasised that South Africa belongs to all but also that something wrong happened around the issue of land and solutions have to be found to solve that,” elaborated Ramahlele.
The talk was in association with the Charlotte Manye-Maxeke Institute. Maxeke was the first black woman in South Africa to gain a BSc degree from Wilberforce University in the United States of America.
According to Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe, of the institute the civil rights activist played a major role in women having access and rights today. “The lecture was not about taking away what was brought to the country by Westerners but about allowing the African point of view to make what is already there into something better,” explained Dr Saurombe. –