Transformation News and Views
CHANGING RHODES UNIVERSITY’S NAME WILL BE A TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY: Rich Mkhondo
“What is in a name? Would not a rose by any other name still smell as sweet?'' William Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet more than four centuries ago. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," he answered. Many people agree that with Shakespeare’s description that whether one calls it by its scientific name, Rosacea, its common name, Rose, or by any other name, its smell remains sweet and enchanting and never changes.
More views sought on Rhodes name change By SINO MAJANGAZA.
THE proposed name change for Rhodes University was again put under the microscope during the alumni transformation consultation that was held at Beacon Bay Country Club in East London on Friday night. Vicechancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela addressed about 30 former students, promising them that transformation was high on the university's agenda. The alumni transformation consultation comes after the Rhodes University council approved a plan to engage the greater Grahamstown
Dear Dr Mabizela I am so sorry not to be able to join you for the transformation consultations and to hear you speak about this topic, as well as to reconnect. I am passionate about transformation and also about Rhodes. But I am white. So in a climate of political uncertainty, I am not sure if my opinion is welcome… but to silence one perspective and remove their voice repeats the mistakes like when not all people could use their voice to vote.
Michael Smout, Principal and Pro-Vice-Chancellor 1991-2001
In 1995 name change proposals came forward for both Rhodes and Fort Hare. At RU there were wide ranging consultations with ‘stakeholders’ and in the end the Rhodes Council voted not to change the University’s name. Most of the arguments put forward then would probably still hold today. I presume the current RU investigation has access to the relevant documents. In the case of Fort Hare, the then President and Vice-President came out very strongly against a name change and no more was heard. The point was made that the words ‘Fort Hare’ conjure up an image of a proud University not that of a Fort named after a British army Colonel.
Dr Chris Ndzengu
I, as a first year student arrived at Rhodes in 1987 as someone who had been negatively affected at an early age by forced removal from ancestral land and as a student from a village, with no computer skills. The University then was not ready and prepared for me and others like myself.
Rhodes University is very special to me. As a child we would visit the grounds often. I have strong roots in Grahamstown. I was born there as did my late father in 1910. He ran his business there, being an active member of the community. My late sister Josephine Henry worked as secretary for Prof. J.L.B. Smith at Rhodes' Ichthyology Department back in the 50s. I attended Rhodes from 1960 to 1963 and graduated in April 1964 with a Bachelor of Social Science.
"I feel that Rhodes Alumni need to consider the present situation concerning the arguments around a possible name change for Rhodes University. My own opinion is that history cannot be eradicated and that in order to move forward, this history needs to be recognised and understood. The debate around this issue has revealed problems that should now be addressed and that could be the most positive response for evolving a new culture. We cannot deny the huge contribution made by the Rhodes Trust,