Mamphela Ramphele

Change: A conscious thing

Our hope is to create a space, bridging the divide between socio economic and cultural classes, where separate development is still tragically being perpetuated twenty years into democracy. As Advocate Mayosi says:

Change is a conscious thing. We have to consciously decide to engage in a space that we are alienated from. Transformation in this country does not happen at the political level, but at a human personal level. Twenty years on, we need to plug in at a personal level. We need to experience each other’s cultures, ceremonies, rituals, and the intimacy and interconnectedness of us.

We all have a responsibility to fix the extreme imbalance, otherwise brokenness remains. We all suffer because of the brokenness. The level of degradation is extreme.

Bridging the divide will be accomplished by introducing the ‘Benefactor, Mentor, Investor’ (BMI) concept that invites astute, clever, accomplished and economically successful individuals to invest in talented young trainees who lack access to the scarce resources, bringing people together to work towards a greater vision for the country as a whole in an atmosphere of Ubuntu. Dr Mamphela Ramphele, in her paper on Confronting Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality writes:

The persistence of poverty, unemployment and inequality is a symptom of our failure to establish the human connectedness that is essential to making ‘uBuntu’ a way of life.

 

Freedom to choose

She also noted that she “was encouraged … by the congruence between the views of St. Augustine, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dag Hammarskjold and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on the freedom we have as human beings to choose how to live as creatures designed for connectedness with other humans. All these thinkers link that human freedom to action in the service of others. (Feb 2015)

BMI’s will be asked to invest their time, expertise and financial support. Those who wish to, would be encouraged to mentor one of the trainees. This will help to build relationships and understanding across the racist, sexist, class and generational divide.

By building relationships and getting to know the ‘other’, fear, anger, lack of trust, barriers and false perceptions of inferiority and superiority we have about one another, begin to dissolve allowing for the dignity of difference to emerge.

While some of the trainees will be mentored by BMIs, others will be mentored by members of the faculty, members of the Governing Body/Board of Directors and others by Patrons.

We will ensure that each trainee has a mentor. We believe that inter-generational conversations and mutually beneficial sharing of knowledge and experiences would be invaluable to enable the next generations of artists to become confident professionals and performers.