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Friday, July 30, 2021

South Africa: Wits University inaugurates first black female chancellor

Roland Mpofu

A first in its 96-year-old history, Wits University on Saturday inaugurated its first black female chancellor – Dr Judy Dlamini – in a ceremony attended by dignitaries and academics including Minister of Science and Technology Mmamoloko Kubayi Ngubane.

Dlamini takes the reins from Justice Dikgang Moseneke who has served for two six-year terms in this position, she starts are duties immediately.

The ninth Chancellor of the University will serve as the titular head of the institution and the guardian of the University. Dlamini had nothing but praise African women and said they have always led no matter where they found themselves in the world, although they have not received the recognition for their selfless service.

“In spite of the ruling party’s efforts to legislate on women empowerment, we are not there yet. Gender democracy, gender consciousness that validates women in the eyes of others, gender consciousness by both men and women, is what we need. The consciousness that reminds us that we are equal in spite of being different. Our contribution and talent need equal recognition from gender bias.

Dlamini who is a medical doctor by profession and a leading businesswoman, author and philanthropist, called for the decolonisation of education that she said starts with knowing “your history, knowing who you are and embracing it. This is supported by doing research that seeks to solve African problems, collaborating with institutions of excellence globally, including African institutions”.

Her major attribute is creating and adding value to society and humanity. Dlamini has worked in different sectors of the economy using her diverse skills sets and degrees in different subject areas.

After practising as a medical family practitioner for many years, she specialised in Occupational Health and consulted for different companies. She holds an MBChB from the University of Natal, a Doctorate in Business Leadership from Unisa, an MBA from Wits University and an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate from Stanford University.

Dlamini is the founder and executive chairman for Mbekani Group that celebrated 20 years in business in 2016.

She is the former chairman of Aspen Pharmacare Limited (Aspen) a JSE-listed South African pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor. She is a published author of Equal but Different, which was a bestseller for several weeks.

She is the recipient of the African Economy Builder Lifetime Achiever Award for 2016 and holds several other awards. She will be receiving an honorary doctorate from the Nelson Mandela University this year.

The Sunday Independent


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