Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The following thoughts I penned down on on the morning of the 21st of March, 2011. It was sent as an e-mail communication that was then published online, and was engaged via -mail communication s people responded with affirmation, and more critical thought as to the social concern of human rights. Today while we enjoy our public holiday, we must be in tune with the origins of this day March 21st- a day impacted by the painful and traumatic loss of life captured in the title "Sharpeville Massacre 1960". "On Monday, 21 March in 1960 police opened fire, without order, on a crowd that had gathered at the Sharpeville station to protest pass laws, stipulations that required Africans to carry books and produce them for law enforcement officials on request; 69 unarmed people were killed and another 180 were injured." (Cape Town Magazine.com) Today we live in a democracy where people can move freely without the dehumanising process of being regulated by a pass book or as it was known back then 'dompass'-meaning stupid pass. However while the dompass is no longer required in our post Apartheid and 2 decade old democracy, we must ask ourselves: •what is our modern day dompass? •what access is denied to people and upon what bias? •who are the gate keepers regulating the dompass and who is trying to get in? •am I gate keeping or am dompass burning. I still see the dompass when people have to ask for access to what is their human right! The right to quality education, the right to work, the right to eat, the right to shelter, the right to speak, the right to disagree etc. We have walked a long road to Freedom as a nation, but the journey is far from over and the quality of the Freedom is still riddled and gated with modern day dompass injustices. May ours hearts and pursuit of justice, equality and human rights continue to beat in our every breath that we take and every step that we make, remembering that our human rights are resting on the shoulders of people who were had to fight and die for us to acquire our right to humanity. A blessed human rights day! Seth Naicker
Monday, December 31, 2012
To be in a place of equal voicing, where all present are on an equal playing field is not the everyday real life situation! I have been honoured to design, develop, and deliver by way of facilitating experiences of conversation and dialogue over the last 3 years of my consulting, and community change, and transformation work. As I reflect on my journey upon returning from the states where I studied and worked at Bethel University from 2004 to 2009, even in the states I was afforded the blessing to operate projects and programs that ultimately encouraged, and set the tone for conversation, dialogue, and people coming together. During my work at Bethel University my flagship project was project "Heita South Africa", which primarily focussed on providing participants the opportunity to engage in experiential learning through conversation and dialogue that would enrich learning in reconciliation, diversity, justice and inclusivity. In August 2009, having returned to South Africa I was honoured to consult and deliver work for streetfootballworld, and the Football for Hope movement of FIFA. Here my role was operational, but still anchored to engaging people in conversation and dialogue to mobilize our Football for Hope movement 2010. In October of 2010, I was honoured to serve the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation in designing, developing and delivering the youth focussed non racialism dialogues, and the inaugural youth festival of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation 2011. My work involved project management and project execution to ensure that we brought together a diverse grouping of youth and community leaders in 3 series of dialogues to further explore the learning and understanding on non racialism. In July 2011, I was contracted by the Salvation Army South Africa to deliver their focussed engagement as an organization and a Church on Reconciliation. I was honoured to design, and develop the content, experiential learning, and delivered with a team of 9 other skilled and motivated facilitators a worthy crucial, critical, and courageous conversation. People shared deeply in an open forum of their personal and organizational struggles, and even if nothing changed dramatically, several participants described the relief they experienced by merely having their voice heard. In September 2011, I was contracted to Young&Able to consult for the Gordon Institute of Business Science and the centre for Leadership and Dialogue. Here I served as the project lead on project Qiniso (truth) dialogues. Our focus to bring together a cross sector of leaders, and so called mover and shakers to consider the critical questions we should be asking as South Africans as it relates to our democracy and our future. We delivered 5 series of dialogues that inspired people through experiential learning, conversation and engagement of the other. In November 2011, I was contracted again to Young&Able as a transformation and diversity connoisseur on a contract for Transnet Freight Rail, on a campaign to bring about an experiential learning conversation to aid employees across South Africa in the area of conflict engagement. Participants shared personal and professional hurts and trials, and there were those who described the conversation as a saving grace. In March 2012, I was honoured to facilitate the Heartlines Comes to Town community dialogues for the community of Veesplaas in the Eastern Cape. Our key focus to develop a social compact as participants from different sectors of the community to engage in conversation, dialogue and experiential learning that would spark the flame for social innovation and community change. Also In March 2012, I was honoured to lead facilitate the Columba 1400 SA leadership academy, that was customized to have adult learners from the corporate space, together with teachers and students from the high school space, work through a week long journey of value based conversation to explore leadership and living life to our full potential. In June 2012, I began a conversation with the Hervormde Kerk Brackenhurst Congregation “Seester Gemeente”, our conversations turned into a 2 series conversation for their leadership team, a broader group of small group leaders, as well as a transformational preaching series, where I coached and critically analyzed the minister’s message of a 6 series of messages, designed to address 40 days in the word. It was an honour to look into Rick Warren’s series that was contextualized for an Afrikaner Christian community by Rev. Gys Els, and to bring along a theology of reconciliation and transformation that would encourage, inspire and challenge the community. In September 2012, I was afforded the opportunity to deliver a pro bono consult for the Johannesburg Roads Agency, hosted by MMC Rehana Moosajee. This conversation was focussed on change and transformation. Our conversation was enriched by the participation of a diverse grouping of community leaders, staff and leadership of the JRA. I was honoured to show case my offering, and consulting services, but more especially I was motivated by the deep conversation and the desire people have to be in a place and space that allows for critical learning, and learning that encourages and mobilises positive change and transformation. Also in September 2012, I was honoured to serve on the Heartlines team of designers, and facilitators for the inter faith dialogue that was ultimately hosted by Brand South Africa. This dialogue engagement was focussed on building relationships and allowing for people from different faith traditions to come together to consider the possibilities of partnering in light of addressing the social issues within our current democracy. My focus the social issues of racism, xenophobia, and the need for continued reonciliation conversation and activism! As I look back and take a moment to reflect on the last 3 years being back home in South Africa, it has been an honour to be of service in a great diversity of systems, organizations, communities, and people of a rich diversity of culture, language, religion, nationality, age, ethnicity/race, gender, class, and physical abilities. It is my hope to “Get up in faith, community, and purpose, as I pursue the New Year. "2013", I declare will be a year of a greater sense of belief, belonging, and becoming for myself, our family, our community, and the people I am honoured to engage with in authentic dialogue and transformational conversation!
Monday, September 3, 2012
To build a non racial society we ought to be recognizing the social construct of racism, and acknowledging that racism in its passive and active forms are still plaguing our society. Apartheid, slavery. Colonialism and post colonialism has taught us the social techniques to recognize people based on their outer appearance, their color, their hair, their sound and accent. From recognition and acknowledgment that we are a racialized society, we ought to propel the opportunity for people to become anti-racist or an anti-racism agents, who are required in the everyday practice of living for, or toward the dream of realizing a non-racial society. Multi-racialism I believe also has a role, for the journey that we embark toward non-racialism cannot be realized when we have no focus on building a multi-racial/multiethnic/multicultural society. Moving from a racist apartheid South Africa requires us to be in spaces and places where multi-racial/ethic/cultural peoples are able to live, work and be in with comfort. Journeying towards non-racialism requires people to stumble through the chaos of a multi-racial society being true to our difference, as we journey on into a place where our difference grows dim in the luminous darkness of our social engagement and enrichment of our diversity unrestrained. Being a student and life long learner of reconciliation. I would suggest that a reconciliation framework, ideology and way of being is strategically the selected underpinning approach upon which a non-racial society is anchored and built.