Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) Professor Albert Modi addressed an audience of young people at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban on curbing the scourge of violence on women and children.
Modi gave the address during the annual Isicathamiya Competition, which showcases the uniquely KwaZulu-Natal style of cappella singing accompanied by dance. The competition featured about 90 Isicathamiya groups, mainly from KwaZulu-Natal but included groups from the Transkei and Gauteng.
Modi highlighted the important role The Playhouse Company played in providing varied entertainment of interest to all cultural groups. He also noted the educational nature of productions the Company presented through mobile stage performances at schools, on roadshows and in communities throughout KwaZulu-Natal.
Modi’s address was titled: Living to Serve, Serving to Live, and Doing to Build, which was in line with the gender-based violence (GBV) theme of the competition.
Speaking in isiZulu, Modi emphasised the need for all, especially men, young and old, to respect women.
‘Women deliver people into the world carrying a “seed” that must be planted and grown for the betterment of humanity,’ said Modi. ‘That is the “seed” of love, care and happiness.’
He encouraged men to embrace the culture of caring for and protecting women under all circumstances, and encouraged those who may have hurt women to be prepared to ask for forgiveness and pledge to be ambassadors for the culture of ethics and high moral values to help create a better South Africa, Africa and the world.
Modi thanked the Administration Manager of The Playhouse Company, Ms Charlene Moodley Bezuidenhout, for the opportunity to be part of such an important event, saying that it was a wonderful and touching moment at a time when the country was fighting against GBV, and demonstrated UKZN’s opposition to and abhorrence of GBV.
Words: Christine Cuénod
Photograph: Albert Hirasen