Collins Conference Room
  US Mountain Time
Edmund February

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Abstract: Apartheid in South Africa was an extremely complex dynamic directed toward maintaining a ruling elite with a working underclass. The education system was designed to maintain this status quo with most of the state funding going into educating the elite and only a small fraction left over for the rest of the population. The underclass was allowed enough education for some to become professionals such as teachers, nurses, doctors, and lawyers. This to specifically serve their own community. Despite this, the male dominated elite held all positions of power including professors, specialised medicine, and senior lawyers. Many who were not of European descent, either left the country permanently or sent their children to Europe and North America to be educated. With the fall of apartheid some of these educated children came back to South Africa to take up leadership roles. South Africa today has not embraced the full potential of its cultural diversity but is rapidly moving toward doing so. This is a personal journey of someone with a PhD who did not leave the country. In doing so I try to show that ordinary people with a will to succeed can triumph over centuries of racism and prejudice.


Edmund FebruaryEdmund FebruaryAssociate Professor, University of Cape Town
SFI Host: 
Mingzhen Lu

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