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‘Dear Madam VC, you embody courage, hope and resilience’

Dear Madam Vice-Chancellor

Nonsikelelo Nako

It was in 2014 when our paths first crossed. At the time I served in the National Student Representative Council, and you were the Dean of Students. On 2 September 2021, it was a great honour and privilege to form part of an historical day, where, as young women, the Unisa community and the world in general, we witness the inauguration of the first black woman to hold the post of Principal and Vice-Chancellor in the 148-year history of the University of South Africa.

Let it be known, Professor LenkaBula, that your ascension to this great portfolio does not only break patriarchal barriers but also creates and affirms a new generational platform for all women. It sends a powerful message that the impossible does not exist, as was also demonstrated by the brave women of 1956 on whose shoulders we stand. Together with them, you are a torchbearer of courage, hope and resilience.

I was fortunate to have met you on my first day at the Pretoria Campus, when you emphasised the importance of women empowerment, education and unity, and support for each other regardless of who we are and where we come from.

You also assured me that although you might be the lone women among the boys in the boardroom, trying to persuade them to support your programme of action for women, you must have the strength to believe in your vision.

Congratulations are in order, Professor LenkaBula, and I wish you all the best during your next chapter at Unisa. I will be here to support you in any way I can.

Yours sincerely

Nonsikelelo Nako

Publish date: 2021/09/11