On Thursday, January 22nd, 2015—in conjunction with APU African Week and the 20year anniversary of her country’s first democratic election—the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Africa to Japan, H. E. Ms. Mohau Pheko came to APU to give a lecture entitled “The Role of Government towards its Citizens—What Constitutes Citizenship?” The story told dealt with the current state of South Africa, the “Rainbow Nation” of cultural and ethnic diversity, and the remaining challenges it faces in its attempt to cope with a borderless and globalized world.
The Ambassador raised questions about the influence of globalization, asking “Doesn’t setting CCTV for the reason of the world getting dangerous invade individual privacy?” “Doesn’t privatization of schools invade individual rights to go to school as people need to pay for school?” She also stated that we should give priority to individual rights rather than profits when determining good or bad”. Then, she spoke about how Nelson Mandela’s struggle against apartheid (battle for equal rights for all) played a big part in the choices taken by the South African government in actualizing a peaceful and stable democratic society for its people.
Throughout the lecture, the Ambassador emphasized the importance of transformation by individual citizens. She said they have the power to change the world and encouraged all citizens to actively participate in shaping their country.
The one-hour lecture piqued the curiosity of the students, many of whom asked inquisitive questions. This valuable, mind-opening opportunity is sure to become an inspiration for us to continue the legacy of Nelson Mandela in shaping a world of peace and equality for all.
Reporter, Student Press Assistant (SPA):
SABILA Duhita Drijono (Republic of Indonesia)