The journalist and anti-apartheid activist Wiseman Derrick Khuzwayo graduated from the University of Hull in 1981 with LLB Law. Following his death in 2017, a group of classmates and friends combined to fund a scholarship in his name in order to ensure that his name, his legacy and his life lessons would continue to flourish.
In June 2018, fourteen members of Wiseman’s Khuzwayo’s family made the trip from South Africa to attend an alumni reception held in the Palace of Westminster. His daughter, Fundi Sethebe, paid tribute to her father at the event
Our Dad was was here at the height of the apartheid era in South Africa. He came here not only as a political exile, virtually on the run. He ran not only for his protection but most significant is that he ran to proceed to fight a just cause, a cause of survival, for millions of South Africans. To fight against an inhumane regime, declared by the UN as a crime against humanity. Ironically, the very ideal that was meant to break him, built him into a giant force.
Apartheid was eventually defeated; however, the past continues to haunt us today in the forms of terror, discrimination, racisiom, slavery, human trafficking and the inhumane plight of refugees. Our borders are increasingly becoming closed and walls being built to reinforce the point that people from the outside are not welcome.
We live in a world that goes against what Hull represented to our dad during his stay, a place of hope, a place of refuge. He was fortunate enough to find a home and a family at Hull. He was certainly blessed in getting an education whilst still fighting the cause. Incidentally, he became very disillusioned with the government in South Africa, and left politics altogether to become a journalist.
To all of the generous donors and convenors of the Wiseman Scholarship, I quote what he said in the article: ‘Kwande nalapho ekuphuma khona’, translated as ‘May the money multiply in the pocket from which the contribution came’. This is truly an amazing honour of an unsung hero.
To the first recipient, Charlotte, firstly allow me to wish you well as you embark on your PhD. Your selection was not a coincidence, it was predestined, because now you will continue to fight against exactly what my dad fought against, you will continue to fight for what he stood for, his legacy will now live in you, and I have no doubt that you will take good care of it, and you will impact so many lives.