South Africa has vibrant and rich sources of cultural, living and natural heritage which are celebrated in September, Heritage Month. This month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique and diverse histories and cultures that are integral to South Africa’s people and character. This diversity is a potential source of unity for South Africans.
This Heritage Month the University of Pretoria is set to welcome South Africa’s newest heritage treasure trove. We are proud to host the Javett-UP Arts Centre which is situated on our South Campus and crosses over Lynwood Road into our Hatfield Campus precinct. The Javett-UP Art Centre will be launched this month and will be home to some of the University’s carefully preserved art and museum collections that highlight the art of Africa, South Africa’s diverse heritage and cultural history as well as a student art gallery.
The Javett-UP will connect established histories, cultures and art works with up-and-coming young talent from our students that will be on display. Curated, contemporary collections will help us connect and engage with our histories and social issues through the medium of arts and culture. It is a place where the past and the future of art and heritage collections will merge to allow people to be educated by and engage with a diversity of cultural beauty. Our already impressive Mapungubwe collection will find a new home. The collection, of which the iconic golden rhino is indicative of, will help the public develop a new understanding of the sophisticated technology and artistry that pre-colonial Southern Africa had.
Heritage Month encourages us to celebrate the diversity, cultures, religions and traditions of all people in South Africa in the spirit of the nation’s motto of ‘Unity in Diversity’. This is epitomised in how THE UP WAY encourages us to LIVE in a way that is respectful, caring, tolerant and inclusive of the diversity of all our cultures.
We are all enriched by the cultural diversity and presence of our students and staff from around the world. This makes for a rich teaching and learning experience because it enables understanding and growth. Despite our different backgrounds, our common culture at UP is our drive for excellence which is interwoven into our identities, and this is what makes today matter at UP, every day.
Professor Tawana Kupe
Vice-Chancellor and Principal