Durban human and environmental rights activist, Dr Kumi Naidoo said he was not only deeply honoured by the Honorary Doctorate in Education degree bestowed upon him by the Durban University of Technology, but he also extended his gratitude for the role the University played in his life.
“This University played a key role in helping with my education because when I was expelled at the age of 15 and again at the age of 16, I got reinstated again, to finish our matric. We had to do night classes and that time, ML Sultan which is part of DUT, had these night classes and all of us that were expelled from different townships across Durban during the day; so we used to do our political work and come for classes at night. That is how I managed write and finish my matric and received the Rhodes scholarship to study art,” said Dr Naidoo.
Dr Naidoo received an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree from the Faculty of Arts and Design, yesterday, 13 September 2017, during the University’s Spring graduation, held at the Fred Crookes Sports Centre.
He reiterated that in the past years, they never used to attend classes but instead they boycotted graduation because of the abnormalities of society which were plagued with apartheid and racial segregation laws. According to Dr Naidoo, the apartheid system was built with a particular education philosophy and the educational policy was a key part of the apartheid system.
He further added that it was an honour to be able to receive an honorary doctorate in such an institution like DUT, since in the days of apartheid, he and his fellow comrades were expelled in such institutions. His (Dr Naidoo) message to the graduates was that they should never adjust to corruption, mediocrity, extreme levels of inequality and obscene actions by some of the countrys’ leaders.
“We cannot have a situation in a country where so many of our people go to bed without food, so many of our people do not have access to electricity and water, yet, we see billions and billions being wasted, so I say to you do not adjust to that, stand up and resist that,” said Dr Naidoo.
DUT honorary doctorates are given to South African prominent icons in recognition for their outstanding contributions for the betterment of the country.
Pictured: Professor Thenjiwe Meyiwa caps DUT’s honorary doctorate, Dr Kumi Naidoo.