May 25, 2016 saw higher education institute Monash South Africa (MSA) celebrate the day with an eclectic Africa Day festival on its Roodepoort campus. The theme Africa Rising: #Leaders4Growth emphasised the importance of leadership and inspired students to grow their leadership skills in order to support Africa’s growth.
The festival paid tribute to the cultural melting pot of over 60 nationalities on the campus and also recognised the great potential of MSA students as leaders. The day saw students dressed in traditional attire adding to the festive atmosphere on the campus, while attending thought leadership discussions and cultural activities.
As part of the line-up, noteworthy guest speakers Kojo Baffoe and Noni Gasa were invited to address students, academic leaders and guests on the importance of embracing their African heritage and developing creative collaborations across the continent. Kojo Baffoe spoke passionately on the topic of What makes (us) Africa? Baffoe summed up with the powerful conclusion that each of the MSA students has a duty to be an active citizen within their community and should exercise their power to contribute towards the sustainable development of the country and continent.
Noni Gasa inspired the audience with her discussion on creative collaborations and the importance of Africa using innovative solutions to solve its problems. Her call to action was for students to look beyond their current areas of study and identify inventive solutions that are beneficial to the continent and that foster bilateral trade. Gasa purported that one of the key solutions to Africa’s problems is creative partnerships. Young attendees were encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and actively pursue the vast opportunities that exist and can help develop the continent.
MSA’s Student Representative Council (SRC), with the support of MSA students, organised powerful music, dance and poetry exhibitions and ended the event with an interactive drum circle that reverberated across the entire campus. MSA’s Lekgotla Square was transformed into a cultural food and lifestyle market; the aroma of traditional foods and the sounds of native languages being spoken is testament to the diverse student community.
Leadership and unity were strong themes throughout the Africa Day Festival. CEO of Monash South Africa and CEO of Africa Operations for Laureate International Universities, Esther Benjamin and fellow academic leaders showed their support and celebrated the day with the students. Monash South Africa also used the occasion to mark their 15th anniversary of providing quality education to student from all over Africa. The higher education institute recently added an MBA degree to its School of Business and Economics and remains dedicated to producing quality graduates equipped for the African and global workplace.