This morning our annual Uyinene Mrwetyana Commemorative Lecture, in partnership with Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation-UMF took place in our Memorial Chapel.

This is the second year we have held this lecture to honour the life of our Nene. The vision of this event is to celebrate her life and to take the time to stop, pause and reflect on who Uyinene was and the legacy she left behind.

A keen academic. A born leader. A talented musician. A smile that lit up a whole room – this was Uyinene Mrwetyana

The theme of this year’s lecture was “Uyinene: The academic”. Her family and the Foundation chose this theme as a means to honour what would have been her graduation year.

The keynote speaker for the lecture was Professor Shose Kessi, the Dean of Humanities at the University of Cape Town, Uyinene’s alma mater.

Uyinene, was known to be inquisitive, forthright and vocal about the various social ills, which plague our society, and this is evident in a short extract written by Uyinene in one of her last assignments done at UCT. Her insight into what it means to be a woman in a society such as ours, plagued by gender based violence and other social inequalities make her untimely death even more tragic.

Had she been able to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer we know that Uyinene would have given voice to the voiceless and that she would have spoken up for and defended those who could not defend themselves.

Even though the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation was born out of tragedy, the Foundation serves as a vehicle to champion those who find themselves voiceless and provides a platform from which individuals can feel safe to speak out, to stand up to and hopefully, make meaningful changes to society.
During the course of the service, a painting was presented to the Mrwetyana family and the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation. Cape Town based artist, Enola Barrier, did the painting and it is her hope that this painting will serve as not only a reminder of the lives lost, but also to remind us to stand up against gender based violence.

Kingswood College and the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation both affirmed their commitment to continue to partner together and where possible work collaboratively in order to educate our pupils and the broader community on gender-based violence, and how to challenge the status quo in such a way that helps bring meaningful change to society.