Prof Pam Christie
Mandela’s legacy: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”
Mandela – the person, the political figure, the global icon – almost always made mention of education when articulating his vision of a free and just South Africa. There can be no doubt that Mandela regarded education as central for the betterment of both the individual and society. Yet, Mandela himself was not an educationist, and it would be fruitless to search through his legacy for a theory of education. Certainly, there are many aphorisms to serve as mottos, one of them being that ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. But there is no ‘Madiba Magic’ to provide an easy solution to the challenges we face as educators in present-day South Africa. What, then, does thinking-with-Mandela offer to us? I suggest it exhorts us to climb the hills that remain before us. In this Nelson Mandela Lecture, I open a conversation on what this might entail.