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Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) International Education and Partnerships Directorate (IEP) in collaboration with the DUT Library and the Department of Corporate Affairs celebrated Africa Day with the differently abled community. This was made possible by an online community radio station that caters mainly for differently abled individuals. With over 10 of the station’s presenters being individuals living with vulnerabilities, this community radio station, namely Siyaviva Online Radio, is based in Cornubia Flats, Durban. 

On Tuesday, 25 May 2021, these Departments through the DUT’s Disability Rights Unit were given an opportunity to work with the Differently Abled Students Association (DASA) of DUT and visited the radio station. The students were given an opportunity to partake in a number of radio activities and educate the listeners about their individual journeys as DUT students. 

The students, (Anga Mhlonyane, Cindy Mncwabe, Gcina Dlamini, Lindani Buthelezi from DASA), were accompanied by DUT’s Romeo Matumba, Divina Jithoo and Philiswa Mncube, as organisers.   Mncube, said that DUT’s Africa Day 2021 celebration’s focus is on creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development, in order to create positive attitude towards Africa and its citizens, while silencing the negativity hindering Africa’s development and unity; with the target being on social exclusion of the differently abled citizens in Africa.  

“Africa Day is a reminder to us Africans to maintain the spirit of Ubuntu, to understand the concept of community and building as one and to note that we are all in a way differently abled and we should embrace our differences as much as we do our similarities. This is why we took this opportunity to go to the online radio station and acknowledge the wonderful work that they do for our community at large. We admire their spirit and regard them as true heroes!” she said.

Matumba said that even though DUT still has an event planned for Friday, the 28th of May 2021, the Africa Day planning committee wanted to have another activity on 25 May 2021, leading to the Friday Guest Lecture. 

“We thought it would be best to work with this online radio station, to   hear their voices on what it means to be an African, to learn and understand their environment and what they have achieved,” he added 

DUT continues with Africa Day celebrations with a webinar to be held on the 28th of May 2021 from 13h00 to 14h00 via Zoom with guest speaker: Dr Demola Victor Akinyoade. 

Pictured: DUT’s Philiswa Mncube, International Students Relations Officer (IEP), Anga Mhlonyane, Cindy Mncwabe, Gcina Dlamini, Lindani Buthelezi (DASA) and Romeo Muvhulawa Matumba, Librarian: Marketing and Communication (DUT Library), outside Siyaviva the online radio station. 

Philiswa Mncube/Waheeda Peters

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