UJ Alumni Impumelelo Magazine Edition 8


indivisible bond with UJ and our achievements are yours. Now, as we look to the future – one where campus life is once again a reality, we are thankful for the lessons learnt in the past two years. We will take many of these shifts forward to reimagine higher education. Though there is still a great deal of uncertainty, we cling to promise of tomorrow. Wherever we may be heading, we are a University that needs you to continue to walk with us to reimagine and reinvent the future. As this period has demonstrated, UJ has to be and will be leading and challenging conventional stereotypes. Against this exciting but uncertain backdrop, I am reminded of the poem Turn on your Light by Nigerian poet Ben Okri. “We could use the new era To clean our eyes, To see the world differently, To see ourselves more clearly. Only free people can make a free world. Infect the world with your light. Help fulfill the golden prophecies. Press forward the human genius. Our future is greater than our past.” We look forward to another year with your support and with the promise of this gentle reminder that our future is greater.

The last two years have been characterised by great upheaval. “Unprecedented”, “unchartered” and “pandemic” have had an almost uncomfortable resurgence in our lexicon. At the beginning of the year in 2020, full of hope, few could have predicted that this would be have been our trajectory. Added to our lexicon is the phrase “the new normal” – this strange context we find ourselves in but one I must admit we have adapted to with great resilience and tenacity. We now find ourselves on the precipice of another shift. As vaccines and booster shots rollout through the world, borders open and restrictions ease, there is a sense that we could be emerging from this dark period that has characterised our recent history. It has been fulfilling to be at the helm of a University that has made a name for itself in South Africa, Africa and across the world,

even amid the most trying of times. This would not have been possible without the support of our community. You have ensured that even as we battle a tumultuous context, defined by the pandemic, technological disruption on a grand scale, climate change and global upheaval, that we have emerged as a University truly worth talking about. Our research output and our rankings are testament to this great feat. We have certainly been thrust at a lightning speed into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) as we had to eke out new forms of teaching, learning and working based on remote processes and a blend of technology. Yet, since the start of the pandemic, UJ has been agile and responsive and as a result seen pockets of great success. We are cognisant of the fact that you as our convocation and alumni have made this possible with your unwavering support. You have an



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