UP Campus Tours celebrate Humanities 100 with a “Walk Back in Time”

Posted on October 25, 2019

The Heritage and Cultural Tourism honours students in Department of Historical and Heritage Studies who manage University of Pretoria Campus Tours (UPCT) hosted a “Walk Back in Time” on 17 October 2019. 

The tour commemorated the centenary of the Faculty of Humanities. It took the guests on a journey down memory lane visiting the four key buildings Humanities occupied over the past hundred years and meeting the characters from this fascinating and chequered past. From the quirky to the oft-forgotten individuals, to some of the most influential ideologues – they were all portrayed by the UPCT team.  In addition, the journey was accompanied by refreshments appropriate to the respective eras.

Vice-Chancellor and Rector Prof Tawana Kupe opened proceedings and launched the Humanities expansion pack, which added 100 questions for the 100 years to the “Tuks Campus Board Game”, another award winning project of UPCT. The journey back in time started at the Victorian house (Kya Rosa) where the Faculty began and guests were welcomed by none other than Rosa Weinthal (Jeanne-Marie Roussouw), for whom the house had been built. After sherry and cucumber sandwiches, the over 100-strong audience had an encounter with Paul Kruger (Francois Annandale) and Jan Smuts (Stefan van Niekerk). The UPCT narrators, Danolien van den Berg and Thando Mthinkulu then escorted the guests to Old Arts after having listened to an “ode” to Kya Rosa written by a former student (Nikita Smuts). As the sun set, the group met the likes of Leo Fouché (Francois Annandale), Marie te Water (Marycke van Rooyen) and Madame Strelen (Tracy Liebenberg), where afterwards dinner and wine were served to the sound of music from the 1940s.

En route to the next stop, a librarian (Kylie Joubert) explained the African stories surrounding Old Merensky and guests could admire the beauty and symbolism of the building along with the stained-glass window of the former Transvaal University College (TUC) emblem. Converging on New Arts (Theology) the guests were entertained by Geoff Cronjé (Stefan van Niekerk), Anna Neethling-Pohl (Megan Rupping), Sandra Prinsloo (Kylie Joubert) and Mimi Coertse (Nolien Wilsnach) where dessert was enjoyed. 

Before the final stop with coffee and orange macaroons at the current home of Humanities, the iconic Humanities Building (HSB), the Dean of the Faculty, Prof Vasu Reddy, lit the centenary flame to commemorate Humanities’ 100 years.

Guests then witnessed the re-enactment of the graduation of the University’s first black students (Tanaka Matongera; Palesa Nyirongo and Steven Motena); paid homage to first female Dean at the University and of Humanities, Prof Marié Muller (Nikita Smuts); witnessed the tarring-and-feathering of Floors van Jaarsveldt (Christopher Sanderson) and relived #Feesmustfall (Palesa Nyirongo, Tanaka Matongera, Steven Motena, Nikita Smuts, Meagn Rupping and friends). The youngest SRC president, Humanities student David Kabwa (Steven Motena) also addressed the guests. 

The evening concluded with a speech by Deputy Dean of Postgraduate Studies and Research Ethics Prof Maxi Schoeman (Maxine Werth) and Deputy Dean of Teaching and Learning Prof Sandy Africa (Palesa Nyirongo).

Behind this glamourous performance was a year of very hard work for the team of honours student enrolled for Heritage and Cultural Tourism. Prof Harris, Head of the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies, who initiated UPCT, believes the students are “ambassadors of the University” and she salutes them for the work they do. She says it is most gratifying to see how the students literally transform within this honours year and says this Honours initiative, UPCT, is one of her most gratifying projects on campus. 

Scenes from a "Walk Back in Time"


Published by Ian Macqueen

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