Masters in Education student Ms Phakamile Mazibuko recently attended the Commonwealth Futures Workshop hosted by the Durban University of Technology in collaboration with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Commonwealth Secretariat and the British Council. The workshop was held under the theme Re-imagining Peace.
The workshop series is designed to highlight the role of young leaders in promoting social cohesion through cultures of tolerance, ethics, respect and understanding diverse spaces in unique contexts.
The workshop provided a forum for student leaders from across the Commonwealth to explore ways of promoting peace and non-violence in diverse spaces in response to the challenging issues confronting the world such as inequality and gender-based violence.
Mazibuko, one of UKZN’s top 40 inspiring students, remarked that the workshop taught her about the role of leadership and education in creating non-violent and cohesive societies.
‘Reimagining peace through critical and though-provoking engagements exposed me to socially accepted practices that have been imposed on us, that we have been fearful to challenge,’ she said. ‘Sharing unique experiences with people from different contexts emphasised how important it is to understand cultural diversity through respect, tolerance and equality in our diverse contexts. Higher Education Institutions and leaders have a responsibility to negotiate ways to ensure peaceful and non-violent spaces in universities, residences and communities at large.’
Mazibuko, a summa cum laude graduate, believes workshops of this nature are essential as they enable young leaders to understand differences in terms of culture, gender and power as well as their influences on diverse social contexts. ‘If we critically understand and respect diversity, collaborations can be made possible to devise impactful solutions that are action-oriented and sustainable to address inequality and violence within our communities,’ she added.
Mazibuko plans to engage with the UKZN community to develop practical solutions to promote non-violent spaces on campuses, in communities and beyond.