The Week will feature an Opening Assembly, interactive workshops, a Visual Arts exhibition, a music concert, two keynote Africa Panel forums, an African film, a slam poetry evening, a Leadership Round Table session an Africa themed lunch and an Africa Night of live music performances, poetry, dance and fashion from Africa. We hope these and other activities will make your UWC Africa Week 2017 experience engaging, enriching and memorable!
The word ‘Africa’ is shorthand for where our homes are placed, where our neighbours and our neighbours’ neighbours live. It is where our histories stretch into, as our 55 African countries (Western Sahara included), disappear in time; where our thousands of languages were spoken once in earlier forms. It is the faint memory of where we walked some 30 000 years ago, and drew the earliest forms of permanent human art, invented religion, society, technology and human-beingness itself. Africa is where we continue to do this, even when loud voices say that is not or has never been the case. The historical ‘Scramble for Africa’ disregarded this rich heritage and diversity and created a single story.
The lead team responsible for the organisation of the Waterford Kam¬hlaba’s UWC Africa Week 2017, comprises of students: Ike Njoroge, Alice Odame, Dipashna Acharya, Daeun Kim, Simon Lowry Towera Longwe and Zindzelé Taitt. This core team worked with subcommittees to plan various Africa Week events and activities.
Ike is the head of the UWC Africa Week 2017 Lead Team that is organizing the event. Being born in Lesotho, holding Kenyan citizenship, and having lived most of his life in Swaziland, one could call Ike a Confused African – a title he carries with pride, continually humbled by the kindheartedness, generosity and tenacity of the African people. Ike has spent his entire high school career at Waterford Kamhlaba UWC from an ambitious and equally anxious Form 1 filled with nervous anticipation to the focused and determined second year IB student he is now – driven to make as much of an impact as he can on the people around him! Through his education and extracurricular pursuits Ike aims to make all the difference he can in the development of our mother Africa. He advocates for Unscrambling Africa not just here and now, but everywhere and always!
Zindzelé Taitt was born and raised on the island of Barbados, but currently lives in Swaziland. She chose to attend Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa, mainly for its location and to seek independence and personal growth. She has had the unforgettable opportunity to be immersed in an wide variety of African cultures. She opted to be a part of UWC Africa Week 2017 not only to learn more about Africa as a continent, but also to understand and help dismiss any inaccurate claims that people might have about it.
As a lead team member, she hopes to take all that she has learned about Africa to challenge stereotypes about the continent. She hopes to see Africa develop into all that it has the possibilities to be and not be too heavily influenced by the Western culture. Zindzelé hopes to bring to light to the rich and extremely diverse cultures of Africa during the course of UWC Africa Week 2017.
Towera is a young girl who has roots in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda. Having grown up in an environment intricately interwoven with pieces of each of these cultures she finds her core values deeply rooted in Africa. She is passionate about music, language and the impact that these two communication tools have on people.
For her, UWC Africa Week is an opportunity to share, unwrap and showcase the rich cultural diversity and all that Africa has to offer was an opportunity too great to pass up. Unscrambling Africa to Towera means viewing Africa through both the lens of the continent’s deeply cultured past and its fast evolving present in order to secure Africa’s vibrant future. Towera firmly holds the belief that if the people of Africa were to fully embrace her and all that she has to offer they would make Africa’s renaissance a reality.
Dipashna was born and brought up in Nepal. Prior to joining Waterford Kamhlaba UWC she went to The British School, Kathmandu. She has always been involved organizing events in school since secondary. At Waterford Kamhlaba UWC she has been involved in a variety of initiatives including as the Head of Girl Up. She is the brain-child of Asia Week at Waterford and she was involved in the organization of the 2015 UWC Africa Week fashion show, TEDxUWCSA, the Glam Trash Fashion bash and the planning of the IB Graduation ceremony
A member of the UWC Africa Week 2017 Lead Team, she is responsible for organizing the opening Assembly and the Africa Night. From her visits to some of the countries in Africa and her 2 years in Swaziland during her 2 year stint at Waterford, Dipashna has experienced firsthand the richness in the vibrant cultures and the hospitality of people of Africa. Africa has grown to become a continent close to her heart. Dipashna has always worked towards the betterment of the Nepali society, but now her world view has broadened and hopes to contribute to the world beyond Nepal.
Alice Odame is a proud Ghanaian, born and raised in Swaziland. She is passionate about dance, fashion, and of course, anything to do with Africa. She has tried fervently to create something tangible out of her passions and, as a result, runs her own dance class entitled ‘Afrobeats Dance Class’, and has cultivated her own brand and fashion label entitled, ‘alima’.
As one of the UWC Africa Week 2017 Lead Team, Alice aims to literally “unscramble” perspectives on Africa. She strongly believes that in order for Africa to progress, Africans themselves have to forsake their self-depreciating attitudes towards Africa and its people, and realise that the continent has so much to offer them. Through the theme, “Unscrambling Africa”, she and her team hope to show that Africa is much more than the stereotypical narrative of poverty and corruption that is constantly fed to us through the media.
She thinks of herself as a Pan-Africanist. However, she does believe that Africa itself is not yet ready for a United States of Africa.
Daeun has the appearance and nationality of a South Korean but she has the hybrid culture and mind-set of a Mozambican, Swazi, and South Korean. She describes herself as a unique, mixed-root, and limitless person who is driven to make a positive impact, to the community around her, no matter how minute. She finds stimulus in the people around her and the community she lives in, aspiring to impact developing economies around the world, using the knowledge she has gained over the years at Waterford Kamhlaba UWC. She considers her experience in the United World College of Southern Africa, to be an exquisite privilege, as she was able to experience the genuine unscrambling and deconstruction of perspectives on diverse cultures, thus currently becoming a driven advocate to break the many stereotypes of Africa planted within the global societies.
Currently living in Swaziland, Simon Lowry was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He aspires to study astrophysics at the University of Cape Town, and has always enjoyed learning physics and history, particularly Southern African history. He dismisses the view that people of European descent cannot be African, and believes that his home is and always will be in Jo’burg, calling himself “Proudly South African.” He has a very idealistic view of Africa, and believes that the continent should not base its development on Eurocentric standards. He takes great interest in South African politics, and hopes that South Africa can be a world leader in the years to come in terms of free tertiary education.
He is a member of the UWC Africa Week Lead team member, with specific responsibility as Head of the Keynote Panel Forums Committee. He elected to be part of UWC Africa Week 2017 due to his love of the African continent and because he recognises the value in celebrating the rich diverse range of cultures in Africa. This will help raise awareness among those unfamiliar with the continent, and will hopefully reduce the stereotypes often associated with Africa. These being closely linked to the UWC values, he feels that it is particularly effective to carry out such a week in a UWC school. He has greatly enjoyed his role in helping to organise UWC Africa Week 2017.